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Who let Michael Moore have it? Plus: Life after Hollywood. The gal from the BBC. Still debating Rachel Corrie. Plus more.

3.30.03

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BOO BIRDS
Re: Enemy Central's Cat's Paws:

The booing at the Academy Awards came from the nobodies, the jerks, the blue-collar wanks whom Michael Moore pretends (along with other gold-encrusted members of Hollywood's anti-solidarity movement like Susan Sarandon) to be out there fighting for. His claim -- that he has a connection with the "real" people -- is, of course, quite true. He is as much a part of the hoi polloi as ever o'er-topped 18 stone, as common as a frog in the rain, as plain as a rat in a garbage dump -- you get the picture. But he hates them. Detests them. Fears them. Freud will tell us why.

Anyway, the stagehands, the riff-raff in the balconies, that's who booed Mr. Moore. The other millionaires in the orchestra just sat there wishing they could really cheer, but it might mean not getting that ten mil they're hoping to pull out of the pockets of their fans for their next film. So they stoically put up with the booing because they were going to some really great parties in just a little bit and they could all plot Bush's overthrow there in the privacy of their mansions while their nameless, faceless servants served them delicacies and French Champagne and Saddam killed another couple of hundred citizens of his own country for not having a picture of Himself hanging on the wall.
-- Ned Wynn

AIR ON THE SIDE CAUTION
Re: George Neumayr's Pundit or Saint? and James Bowman's Too Late for Hollywood:

I have just read your matched set of articles on the rantings of the Hollywood Left (Hollywood Left -- is there any other kind of Hollywood?). I am significantly torn in my opinion of whether their opinions ought to be aired more or less.

Unfortunately, the Moore, Sheen, Fonda, Sarandon, et al faction make my blood boil. However, their opinions and rantings are so outrageous that I really am tempted to say that their every utterance should receive "front page" treatment in all media. The theory being that, the more the public sees their rantings, the more disgusting they will seem and the less effective and believable they will be. That, however, implies that the American citizens are logical, reasonable individuals both capable and willing to make informed judgments. I am not sure what portion of my fellow countrymen fail that description.

The other side of my self-argument is that there is a really significant subset of our population whom you simply can not underestimate. They made Oprah and Martha Stewart hugely wealthy women. They have allowed Alec Baldwin to keep his citizenship after he promised to leave the country. They truly see the Dixie Chicks as deep thinkers. These folks anchor their lives and beliefs on the expressed thoughts of the latest "hot" commodity in the entertainment, athletic, and/or media world. My only hope of salvation is that these gullible citizens largely make up the 50% or more of Americans that do not vote in elections. But then again, they elected Bill Clinton and still adore him and bitterly hate George Bush.

I shall continue this argument with myself. Right now I must get an aspirin as the whole debate makes my head hurt.
-- Ken Shreve
New Hampshire

MARK MY WORDS
Re: James Bowman's Too Late for Hollywood:

Twain is not responsible for all old American wit -- Lincoln could be pretty good too; though I believe he attributed the saying to a Silvan Engle (perhaps an old friend, teacher or acquaintance from his younger days).
-- unsigned

CARGO CLASS
Re: George Neumayr's Pundit or Saint?

George Neumayr missed something in his otherwise excellent piece on Michael Moore; Moore claims that two stewardesses complained that they only made $30 (for not working) and that "no one speaks for them". Well, I don't know of a single airline whose flight attendant's are not unionized. So, their union cut them that deal and it's not like the airlines are rolling in cash and sticking it to their stews. Every one of the big airlines is in big trouble and a couple are not going to make it.
-- Tom Halleck
Longwood, FL

CAN SHE BE BELIEVED?
Re: The Washington Prowler's Get a MoveOn:

The posting on the MoveOn folks reminded of an experience I had the other week.

That Monday evening I went to the National Press Club with some friends to toast St. Paddy's Day. (The club has very reasonably priced Guinness.)

We were joined by a young lady from the BBC's Washington bureau. She was vehemently anti-war; a peacenik of the no-war-is-ever-justified-no-matter-what-the-circumstances school of thought. She argued politely but firmly against any military action in Iraq for nearly an hour. Nothing any of the more hawkish fellows at my table said could change her mind.

At the end of our little forum, she thanked us. She said she had never actually been in a serious debate with people who weren't anti-war and found the experience fascinating.

"Now I know how you guys think," she said.
-- Sean Higgins

A PATSY ON THE BACK
The question I came away with after reading George Neumayr's 3/27/03 Embedded Patsies article is why "some critics" do not also consider journalists in Baghdad to be are not also considered to be "patsies." They are under the constant care and protection of handlers from the Ministry of Information and are forced to leave Iraq if the Ministry does not like the coverage the reporter provides. While being interviewed by Charlie Rose 3/27/03 New York Times reporter John Burns discussed his handler, their relationship and the fact that John Burns relies upon him for his safety. Why isn't John Burns a patsy?
-- Robert Metzler
College Park, MD

Because he's the best reporter in Baghdad.-- Ed.

BROWN OUT
Re: The Washington Prowler's Clark Tanks:

I was so pleased to read your column with the remarks about W. Clark, as this is what I nightly used to watch: an expert who is sitting on a chair at CNN criticizing the way the war is going. He has no knowledge of the plans made to win the war, but still there he and Aaron Brown (who at one time was giving viewers his take on how the war should be fought; he had the grace to say at the end of his uninformed criticism that he may not know enough, but did that stop him?) The negativity of his and Mr. Clark's regarding the war are depressing and so biased that I quit watching them and now go to the Internet to find the real facts. I am glad to hear that he has lost any credibility with the his party of choice because he is not aware Americans do not like armchair generals thinking they know better than the men who have spent months planning the war and are doing a great job in difficult circumstances. These men who Americans know are doing the work, not sitting on a chair showing their liberal bias to the world.
-- Carole Graham

I am so tired of all the retired military analysts. Just once, I want a interviewer/pundit to sweetly ask: "Sir, tell us, exactly how many years ago did you retire?" Their military credentials are stale if they retired before 1997 -- weapon technology changes quickly these days -- and a great deal of their criticism stems from envy of the guys running the show today.
-- Judy Beumler
Louisville, KY

THE GIRL FROM EVERGREEN STATE
Re: George Neumayr's Self-Inflicted Tragedy

I am incredulous that Rachel Corrie's school, Evergreen State College, with no grades, majors, or academic departments, is supported by the taxpayers of Washington state. The next time state governors start whining about how they need either an increase in taxes or a federal handout, or both, to meet expenses, they should be told that such institutions as Evergreen State are good places to begin cutting expenditures.
-- Tom Ladd
Manchuria, China

Rachel was probably hoping, desperately, to stop the Israeli bulldozer from the inhumane action of demolishing yet another Palestinian home, thinking that once the driver sees her standing in the way he would stop. Eyewitnesses say the clash between demonstrators and the soldiers/driver lasted for almost two hours before the incident. They say the driver clearly saw Rachel, wearing a fluorescent jacket (see pictures at links here and here,below) waving her hands, climbing a pile of dirt to the same eye-level of the driver, while others screamed at the driver with bullhorns.

He almost definitely saw Rachel, but at best, hoped to scare her and also didn't care if she got injured or killed in the process, noting that little punishment, if any, is inflicted on Israeli soldiers when they kill Palestinians or supporters of Palestinian rights. (Although of course killing Palestinians is preferable to killing non-Palestinians, since the media almost never notices when the former are killed, saving Israel and its propaganda machine the minor headache that accompanied Rachel's death.)...

People admired the heroism of the Chinese student who confronted a tank 14 years ago in China's Tiananmen Square, (At least the Chinese tank driver, unlike the Israeli bulldozer driver, had some conscience), but now see stupidity, irresponsibility, radicalism or "hippie-ness" in Rachel's actions, blaming her for a "self-inflicted" death. Palestinians and their supporters are repeatedly asked to follow nonviolence in resisting the occupation. But when they die confronting their oppressor's mighty machine nonviolently with their bodies, they are ignored, or, when they are rarely noticed (especially when they are non-Palestinians) they are relegated to realm of nuts.

The idea of a human shield might be a bad tactic, as some had mentioned, but also a desperate one by a conscientious person who is trying everything in his/her power to stop oppression. As such Rachel should be admired and honored, not ridiculed or dismissed....
-- Sami Deeb
South Kingstown, RI

FRENCH RAP
Raoul and Jackie, by their article, "The French, The French," demonstrate that they don't know the History. They talk, they talk again and again, but they are saying nothing. The level of the article is below the bollocks...it's rubbish!

A few corrections: France did not invent the anti-Semitism during Dreyfus affair: think of Russia, Poland, Germany, etc. Napoleon was French, as Corsica joined France before Napoleon was general...
-- Dany Duquesne
France

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