Reply to reader

Thank you, Kit Baker, for your thoughtful comments. I will try to address a couple of your points. First, about the curious fact that "Fahrenheit 9/11" contains no reference to Israel. "Since the Bush administration has hardly mentioned Israel in its pronouncements on the Iraq war," you write, "why should we fault Moore for doing the same?" Well, because Moore is trading in every other coin of the conspiratorial realm. Why not this one?

Second, about oil. To anyone who can remember the ideological battles of the post-Vietnam era, Moore's caricature of America as a greedy imperialist power out to exploit the world's resources must feel as comfy and familiar as an old pair of slippers. Unfortunately it's also about as sturdy. It does not even come close to describing the complex geopolitics of oil in the 21st century. For a sense of this complexity, see "Saving Iraq From Its Oil," by Nancy Birdsall and Arvind Subramanian, in the current issue of Foreign Affairs.

Moore is shocked, shocked, that economic self-interest was part of the reason why the U.S. invaded Iraq. But isn't he the one who worries about the prosperity of working Americans? Didn't every politician, Democrat and Republican, pro and con, refer to "America's vital interests in the region?" What did Moore think they were all talking about? If he sees something illegitimate about being interested in oil, then by all means follow through, and say why America, alone among all the countries of the world, should not be so interested. But Moore deals in innuendos, not real questions.

Consider: what if Al Gore had been president on 9/11? What would he have done differently? If Moore is serious about wanting to elect a Democrat, as opposed to, say, lead a socialist revolution, then this is the narrow space where he ought to be aiming his barbs. Scattershot is OK, but in troubled times like these, precision is preferable.

July 13, 2004 6:03 AM |

Categories:

Soundtrax

PRC Pop 

The Chinese pop music scene is like no other ...

Remembering Elvis 

The best part of him will never leave the building ...

Beyond Country 

Like all chart categories, "country" is an arbitrary heading under which one finds the ridiculous, the sublime, and everything in between. On the sublime end, a track that I have been listening to over and over for the last six months: Wynnona Judd's version of "She Is His Only Need." The way she sings it, irony is not a color or even a set of contrasting colors; it is iridescence.

Miles the Rock Star? 

Does Miles Davis belong in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame? Here's my take on his career ...

Essay Contest 

Attention, high school jazz listeners ...

more trax

Me Elsewhere

Edward Hopper 

Painter of light (and darkness) ...

Dissed in Translation 

Here's my best shot at taking Scorcese down a few pegs ...

Henri Rousseau Revisited 

"Henri Rousseau: Jungles in Paris" appeared at the National Gallery of Art in Washington this fall ...

Paul Klee's Art 

Paul Klee was not childish, despite frequent comparisons between his art and that of children...

Our Art Belongs to Dada 

Rent my "Dadioguide" tour of the Dada show (before it moves to MoMA) ...

more picks

Blogroll

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by published on July 13, 2004 6:03 AM.

Super Sized Rhetoric was the previous entry in this blog.

It's A Wonderful Flight is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

AJ Ads


AJ Blogs

AJBlogCentral | rss

culture
About Last Night
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Artful Manager
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
blog riley
rock culture approximately
critical difference
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Dewey21C
Richard Kessler on arts education
diacritical
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dog Days
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Flyover
Art from the American Outback
Life's a Pitch
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
Mind the Gap
No genre is the new genre
Performance Monkey
David Jays on theatre and dance
Plain English
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Real Clear Arts
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
Rockwell Matters
John Rockwell on the arts
Straight Up |
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude

dance
Foot in Mouth
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Seeing Things
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...

jazz
Jazz Beyond Jazz
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
ListenGood
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Rifftides
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...

media
Out There
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Serious Popcorn
Martha Bayles on Film...

classical music
Creative Destruction
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
The Future of Classical Music?
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
On the Record
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Overflow
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
PianoMorphosis
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
PostClassic
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Sandow
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Slipped Disc
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds

publishing
book/daddy
Jerome Weeks on Books
Quick Study
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera

theatre
Drama Queen
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
lies like truth
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world

visual
Aesthetic Grounds
Public Art, Public Space
Another Bouncing Ball
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
Artopia
John Perreault's art diary
CultureGrrl
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Modern Art Notes
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog
Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.