The Right Coast

June 26, 2004
Michael Moore -- the bright side
By Tom Smith

Conservatives are in a state of high dudgeon about Michael Moore's latest artistic documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11. While I certainly understand why they are irritated, I also think they are failing to see how the movie tells a happy story about America, which Moore proves is, indeed, the land of opportunity.

Here we have a relatively young man who, to all appearences, is without any appreciable talent. Based on his public utterances, he seems to be of somewhat below average intelligence, for example, or at least below the average of those who comment on geopolitics. He comes across as someone who thinks geopolitics has to do with earthquakes. Like many people who find long articles about the international news in USA Today hard going, he tends to see the world in terms of conspiracy theories. Of course, he is not the first relatively unintelligent person to do well in the movie biz. However, most of those people, while stupid, are or were spectacularly good looking, or are at least good looking, and able to sing or dance. I am incurious about what Tony Bennett thinks about the future of public sector borrowing in the developing world, for example, but no one can deny the appeal of his vocal stylings. With Michael Moore, none of this is so. Not only is he no rocket scientist, but he has looks only his mom could love, and that after a couple stiff drinks. So here we have a fellow who is, not to put too fine a point on it, both stupid and ugly, and yet is the toast of Hollywood, Washington, and Cannes. Not to mention making untold millions of dollars. Only in America.