Published Jun 28, 2004

Were I PJ O’Rourke, and were PJ O’Rourke still his funny, young, sex- and drug-addled self, I’d open this movie review by commenting on how physically unattractive the crowd at Fahrenheit 9/11 was. Yes, it’s true, leftists are skinny, have un-preened hair, and don’t wear their finest to Sunday evening shows. Michael Moore himself, it is true, is a fat, sweatshirt-sporting slob who probably sports a baseball cap because he doesn’t have a stylish haircut. Truth be told, I was a bit surprised that, in LA of all cities, the Left did not contain more hotties.

On the other hand, ugly or not, it’s nice to be proven correct.

My general objection to Michael Moore’s films is that he has a particular fixed view of the truth and is unwilling to follow the thread of the story if it leads to another truth; Bowling for Columbine is a great example — Moore followed the guns, not Marilyn Manson’s erudite description of teen alienation, even if alienation was the cause and guns were only the tool. Even with an administration as corrupt as ours today and with as many warm, if not smoking, guns as one might find around the Bushes and the neocons, the story needs to follow naturally the evidence if even one swing voter is to have his or her mind changed.

On the other hand, prejudged or not, it’s nice to be proven correct.

The pre-story of Fahrenheit 9/11, eerily like the pre-story of The Passion, was of how major studios wouldn’t distribute the film. Mel Gibson couldn’t get anybody to pick up his movie; Moore’s movie was dropped from the Miramax lineup after Michael Eisner, chair of Miramax’s owner, Disney, decided Fahrenheit 9/11 was too controversial. I would certainly agree that the picture was inflammatory; in some places, Moore could have been more delicate with his presentation of information and still achieved much the same effect. Fahrenheit 9/11 is not just a presentation of the information Moore unearthed in his investigation; it’s an aggressive presentation.

On the other hand, inflammatory or not, it’s nice to be proven correct.

Fahrenheit 9/11 was an excellent film. It drew me in, appalled me, took me down a coherent path of conspiracy and then spat me out the other end, mad as hell. I’d never fully appreciated how tangled the web of the Bush family, the Bush friends, and the Saudi family were. I never thought critically of the ultimate (rather than short-term) effects that the Bush administration’s efforts to create a climate of fear would have. I never thought of how lonely it must be to be the parent of a serviceman or -woman who was one of the few killed in a popular war.

In an interview on the Daily Show, Michael Moore lamented that the left in America was not aggressive enough. Having seen his movie, I agree that more aggression can get the point across more clearly. Fahrenheit 9/11 is an aggressive movie, appropriately so as it is aimed at an aggressive foe. And it’s appropriate at that, being less disrespectful and more factual than the aggressive vitriol spewed by the Limbaughs and Coulters out there.

The best thing I can say about Fahrenheit 9/11 is this: not only will every liberal who sees it feel they’ve been proven correct, they’ll feel that they have the tools to help show the undecided voters what is correct as well. Of all goals, that’s a great one to have. And it shows that, in making and distributing this film, Michael Moore and the Weinsteins were proven correct.