March 23, 2003

Biggest Surprise of Oscar N...

Biggest Surprise of Oscar Night So Far: No, it wasn't that Michael Moore won, or gave an anti-Bush speech, but that he was howled and hissed at by a decent-sized portion of the crowd. Wasn't expecting that one.

Posted by at March 23, 2003 07:22 PM

Though not as vociferously as Christopher Hitchens was howled & hissed at when he debated Bob Scheer & Mark Danner about the war at the Wiltern Theater the week before....

Posted by: Matt Welch at March 23, 2003 07:30 PM

I cannot help but wonder if the other nominees really knew what would be said in their names when they joined him on stage.

Oh, and that part about preferring fact to fiction was rich, considering.

Posted by: Ken at March 23, 2003 08:07 PM

Now, if anyone merits the label *truly* _disgraceful_ it is Michael Moore. Exhibit A.

...and that's a big, fat, putrescent "A".

Posted by: Robert Light at March 23, 2003 08:26 PM

Robert -- You know, I think Saddam Hussein is *truly* disgraceful. Or that wingnut who fragged the Camp Pennsylvania tent.

Moore's a clown, a hypocrite, and a dreadful writer with a bad grip on facts. But he makes a damned interesting documentary, and he's funny one time out of 10.

Posted by: Matt Welch at March 23, 2003 08:52 PM

Gee Matt, do you really think *disgraceful* is a word we need to rescue from excess hyperbole?

And I can think of several words that describe Saddam Hussein, and Mr. Akbar that go well beyond "disgraceful".

Posted by: Ray Eckhart at March 23, 2003 09:55 PM

Ray -- Yeah, I know. It was the "if anyone" that set off my anal alarm ... I should learn to ignore it, now and then.

Posted by: Matt Welch at March 23, 2003 09:59 PM

I wanna use this opportunity to ask you and your educated audience something that may or may not be important: How did the word "shame" become a staple of the left?

I ask now because it was the lynchpin of Moore's speech tonight ("Shame on you, Mr. Bush, shame on you"). But I've actually been wondering for a while, because the word "shame" seems to be quite popular among leftists. You'll hear it constantly at leftie rallies of all sorts, and see it in lots in left-wing writing.

Is there a historical context I'm missing -- e.g., an allusion to some famous incident, perhaps? As it is, it translates to my ear as an example of the kind of mindless self-righteousness that passes for progressive thought nowadays. Maybe not mindless in every case, but oh-so-sanctimonious every time.

Would love some insight, if anybody else cares.

Posted by: Toller at March 23, 2003 10:33 PM

Michael Moore would be an excellent talk radio host, for the same reasons Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly are: he's disingenuous, interesting, entertaining, and a demagogue. He'd fit in well on Clear Channel or Fox.

Posted by: Steve Smith at March 23, 2003 10:44 PM


I'd guess it goes back to the McCarthy hearings, when the U.S. Army Attorney Joseph Welch, under questioning, on television, shot back at the Senator: "Have you no shame?" which stimulated a turning point in public opinion at the time.

Posted by: Z at March 23, 2003 10:48 PM

Matt -- damn, the LAST thing I would want to happen to you or any good fellah is to have their "anal alarm" go off -- phew. Now, the "if anyone" language just serves as clarifying subtext, since (it seems) you thought I was _dehumanizing_ those poor little defenseless gossamer protesters with such "mean-spirited" calumny as employed in the word "disgraceful" (but as my previous post tried to explain, nothing of the sort was my intent).

Michael Moore is a self-constructed portmanteau for myriad things *disgraceful.* I'd be derelict in any moral duty not to point this out -- if you want an example, "boom, there it is!" -- this, especially given our argument over nuance as witness in our previous exchange.

Yah see, where I come from, the bar for attaining the label "disgraceful" is substantially lower -- by several orders of magnitute -- than earning the reproach *EVIL.* "Disgraceful," by contrast, as I see it, has an almost slight tinge of the innocuous about it. It implies that its bearer once had grace but lost it, did something to sully it.

Saddam Hussein was from the word go a love child of lysergic demons in Hell.

And I think the South Park movie caught something of this.

Posted by: Robert Light at March 23, 2003 11:59 PM

"Portmanteau?" What's that mean, Treacher?

Posted by: Matt Welch at March 24, 2003 12:57 AM


Posted by: philippe at March 24, 2003 02:11 AM

'But he makes a damned interesting documentary'

Ummm...he didn't make a documentary. He made a social commentary. His alleged documentary has as much to do with reality as The Beverly Hillbillies had to do with Beverly Hills. The commenter who compared his to Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity is closer to the truth but I don't believe they are claiming to be reporters or claiming that their shows are anything other than commentary.

Posted by: Jack Tanner at March 24, 2003 06:35 AM

"'Portmanteau?' What's that mean, Treacher?"

I don't know, but it's $2.99 a bottle at Trader Joe's.

I had an anal alarm once, but I got tired of always having to [blank]. BWOWMP, ding, da-ding-ding, ding-ding-ding, BWOMP...

Posted by: Jim Treacher at March 24, 2003 07:12 AM

I love that the LATimes reported that Moore got boo'ed by stagehands--you know, the workers of the workd. Union stiffs. I guess one of them told him off backstage, as well. It's always too bad when the unwashed masses don't appreciate your greatness, isn't it? He's a class traitor.

Posted by: KC at March 24, 2003 07:37 AM

You know, I forced myself to watch Moore's acceptance rant, steeling myself with rotten Tomatos. But goddamn if those Hollywood boos didn't make my heart go pitter patter. And I love how that pussy Moore brought up his fellow nominees to be the useful idiot bodyguards to shield him from his, yes, disgraceful, remarks. And judging by his post award comments, he might want to get those ears checked.

Posted by: Lloyd Albano at March 24, 2003 09:04 AM

Re the word "shame" as used by leftists: I'd note that "shame" is what you say when you tap a puppy on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper after it's piddled on the floor...and this perfectly expresses the patronizing attitude of people like Michael Moore towards people who disagree with them: "I'm right and you're wrong because I'm human and you're not, and I get to decide the rules of appropriate behavior and you don't."

Posted by: Cathy Seipp at March 24, 2003 12:05 PM

How does one interpret the statement, "We like nonfiction and we live in fictitious times. We live in a time where we have fictitious election results that elect a fictitious president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons," to be either patronizing to other people or dehumanizing. If you want to read something that dehumanizes those who disagree, or is patronizing to "inferior minds", check out Sully or Lileks.

Posted by: Steve Smith at March 24, 2003 01:31 PM

I liked their take in it over at the Fametracker Galaxy of Fame.

Posted by: Jim Treacher at March 24, 2003 03:36 PM

"Portmanteau." Which means a large-ass carrying case -- and used in the metaphorical sense, an all too convenient, sort of unthinking, repository for ideas.

So fine!! My cover's blown! I actually ripped off one of my idols, Harvey Mansfield, in his excellent critique of Richard Rorty (*THE* doyen of left-liberal-progressive American thinking -- I highly recommend Rorty's _Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity_, a pretty accessible read) in the The New Republic.

Since context is everything, I'll quote (or rather cut n' paste) at length [by the way, this also captures what's going on in the above discussion of "shame" and its, seemingly, frequent use on the Left]:

"Rorty does not want a politicized university, of course; he wants a tolerant one open to all views. To get a balanced, tolerant university he has to promote his view – that of 'Deweyan historicism' – because other views, especially the Straussian, tend to think they are closer to the truth than their rivals, hence tend to become intolerant. They cannot think they are closer to the truth without also wanting to impose their view, again, since thinking is never more than an effort at self-assertion.

But if a person thinks he is not right (non-historically), will that necessarily make him tolerant? Why could he/>

way, if any of you would like a copy of this full essay, drop me an email and I'll send it to ya.

Ah, shucks, don't all jump at once, now!

Posted by: Robert Light at March 24, 2003 03:46 PM

Also, getting back to Matt's earlier post, he wrote:

"...a clown, a hypocrite, and a dreadful writer with a bad grip on facts."

You know, sounds a VERY apt description of *disgraceful* to me !

Websters and American Heritage have nothing on Welch.

Posted by: Robert Light at March 24, 2003 03:57 PM

Moore: in desperate need of attention... an exhibitionist masturbating in front of a captive audience. Very unmanly.

Posted by: tom scanlan at March 24, 2003 09:42 PM

"I wanna use this opportunity to ask you and your educated audience something that may or may not be important: How did the word "shame" become a staple of the left?"


Posted by: M. Scott Eiland at March 24, 2003 10:37 PM

Maybe the Hollywood crowd booed Moore because he was insulting fiction.

As far as the other nominees go, there are three options:
1. They agreed with his views.
2. They knew nothing about their by far most famous competitior, and therefor had no way to know that he might say anything like what he said.
3. They were idiots who thought he would tone down for the largest audience he could ever hope to have.

Posted by: Timothy Roscoe Carter at March 25, 2003 01:14 AM

Shame on Michel Moore.. his insistence in voting his and others lack of conscience.. pushing Nader's demand of raining Bush (as in Nader's, Bush as a cold shower America needs rant)down on the most powerless. All those stupid white men, Moore included are just as complicit in what Bush is doing in Iraq... and have innocent blood on their hands. And Matt.. denial is not an option.

Posted by: Jeff at March 30, 2003 01:41 AM
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