More Moore

More Moore

: As of now (and this could change), I’ll be on CNN with Aaron Brown tonight between 10 and 11 ET to talk about Fahrenheit 9/11.

: Last night, I watched the Independent Film Channel, which aired Moore’s press conference in Cannes after he won the big enchildada there and it was incredibly boring: a guy drones his opinions for a half-hour; it was like being stuck in an elevator with him.

But I kept watching as they aired The Big One, Moore’s film after Roger & Me, because I wanted to see whether he had changed or I had. I used to enjoy Moore; I clearly don’t now. Well, I’m sure we’ve both changed: I’m skinnier and the beard’s whiter; he’s bigger and the beard’s scruffier.

But Moore has lost something: Call it his light touch (I said his light touch, light for him) or call it his sense of humor, he used to make his point by making fun. He poked at the powerful to bring them down to earth. He laughed.

Now he’s still poking fun but in the immortal words of Billy Crystal, it’s not fun, it’s not funny. He’s deadly serious. He’s downright rabid. And that makes him harder to take; don’t you always want to back away from somebody who’s seething at you? It also makes his role as a filmmaker and political activist different: He’s no longer just ridiculing the powerful; he’s no longer turning them into punchlines; he’s now trying to convince us that these particular powerful people — Bush et al — are evil, venal, corrupt, incompetent co-conspirators out to ruin our world. If you’re going to try to convince us of that, then you have a different obligation of fact and argument than if you’re just trying to make fun of somebody. You should give us legitimate facts and arm us with arguments by showing both sides of an issue and beating down the other side. If you don’t do that, you’re only shrieking. You’re weakening your own argument by ignoring the other side. You’re insulting the intelligence of your audience by not giving them both sides. You’re just seething. That’s what Moore is like now. He wants to convince us he’s telling the truth but he’s afraid to tell the whole truth.

: By the way, Mike’s Blog is coming soon! Hoo boy!

: UPDATE: A commenter says I was wrong in part of this post about the first day’s take and the number of screens it appeared on in two NY theaters; couldn’t confirm either way and I’m headed out and so I killed that part of the post.