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    (Original post by ArthurOliver)
    Lovely people, friendly, open generous - tourists and students in Oxford anyway.

    Some people will always resent power, justified or not.

    Nasty piece of work, Michael Moore.
    Michael Moore is just exposing one side of the coin. I am fairly ambivalent to the US. I admire some of their values and I condemn others. I admire some of their actions, but I condemn others. At the moment I, like most of the UK science establishment, are on a bit of an anti-US campaign, but I assure you that it is well justified.
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    (Original post by Iz the Wiz)
    Yeah, I read Hitchens' article right after I saw Moore's movie. My impression was that he falsely represented the emphasis of the movie. Here is the list of points you refer to:

    "1) The Bin Laden family (if not exactly Osama himself) had a close if convoluted business relationship with the Bush family, through the Carlyle Group.

    2) Saudi capital in general is a very large element of foreign investment in the United States.

    3) The Unocal company in Texas had been willing to discuss a gas pipeline across Afghanistan with the Taliban, as had other vested interests.

    4) The Bush administration sent far too few ground troops to Afghanistan and thus allowed far too many Taliban and al-Qaida members to escape.

    5) The Afghan government, in supporting the coalition in Iraq, was purely risible in that its non-army was purely American.

    6) The American lives lost in Afghanistan have been wasted. (This I divine from the fact that this supposedly 'antiwar' film is dedicated ruefully to all those killed there, as well as in Iraq.)"

    Ponts 1, 2, and 3 are definitely there in the movie (although point 3 is a very minor point): point 4 was not exactly as Hitchens states (Moore's real criticism---more of a speculation, actually---was that Bush waited too long & allowed Osama to hide), but points 5 and 6 exist only in Christopher Hitchens' head. I can't imagine anyone who's seen Fahrenheit 9/11 accepting 5 and 6 as having anything to do with the movie Moore made. But they're crucial to Hitchens' attack on Moore.
    Were we not watching the same movie, then? Maybe this is just the result of being a passionate cinephile, but I can tell you that I drew similar conclusions to Hitchens, and that I too take offense to Moore's film being labelled a "documentary." It blatantly does not fit the qualifications form in that it is totally one-sided and makes NO attempt to examine the validity of contrasting views. A documentarian may have an agenda when making a film, but he does not permit himself to exaggerate half-truths, purport falsehoods, or demonize opposition to achieve his aims. Moore does not have the artistic integrity to be considered a documentarian.

    And by the way, contrary to your claim, Hitchens' article has been refuted. There are many rigorous debunkings of his claims & his dishonest technique: http://flakmag.com/film/fahrenheit2.html, http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/6-29-2004-56044.asp just for starters.
    There seemed to be less refutation of the examined issues than an assault on Hitchens' character and agenda. It's not so much that they refuted Hitchens' words, as much as they said "Well, of course, HE would say that..." Furthermore, their accusations that Hitchens was somehow antagonizing Moore with his writing just shows their lack of knowledge of Hitchens' writing style. I'm instantly disinclined to give credence to their attacks on someone's writing when they seem to have not noticed one of the key elements of the author's style.
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    (Original post by psychic_satori)
    Were we not watching the same movie, then? Maybe this is just the result of being a passionate cinephile, but I can tell you that I drew similar conclusions to Hitchens, and that I too take offense to Moore's film being labelled a "documentary." It blatantly does not fit the qualifications form in that it is totally one-sided and makes NO attempt to examine the validity of contrasting views. A documentarian may have an agenda when making a film, but he does not permit himself to exaggerate half-truths, purport falsehoods, or demonize opposition to achieve his aims. Moore does not have the artistic integrity to be considered a documentarian.
    No, we were watching the same movie. And it was a documentary. What "qualifications" are you referring to?


    There seemed to be less refutation of the examined issues than an assault on Hitchens' character and agenda. It's not so much that they refuted Hitchens' words, as much as they said "Well, of course, HE would say that..." Furthermore, their accusations that Hitchens was somehow antagonizing Moore with his writing just shows their lack of knowledge of Hitchens' writing style. I'm instantly disinclined to give credence to their attacks on someone's writing when they seem to have not noticed one of the key elements of the author's style.
    On the contrary, these authors display a formidable knowledge of Hitchens by drawing on their familiarity with much of his work. The first article appraises Hitchens' books and forwards on Orwell (and quotes passages from all of these), his televised interviews, and pieces he wrote for Front Page Mag, Slate, The Guardian, etc. The author of the second states that he's read Hitchens' books Orwell’s Victory, No One Left to Lie To, The Trial of Henry Kissenger, and Letters to a Young Contrarian. And far from being mere "attacks on Hitchens' character," paragraphs such as the following get right to the heart of the matter:

    "In his article on Fahrenheit 9/11, Hitchens rhetorically asks why the Bush administration is so keen to topple the Saudi oil monopoly, especially if they 'live in each other's pockets.' This is meant not just knock down the conspiracy theorist's house of cards, but also to destroy the notion that possibly, maybe, there could be some unnecessary and compromising complications here. Again, Hitchens pushes in his chips on the ethical fidelity of the Bush administration, dismissing the fact that toppling Saddam just happened to liberate his oil fields, placing them more or less in American hands and in the hands of Bush/Cheney family friends and campaign contributors. Though a brave and noble acceptance of American responsibility for deposing an evil we helped create, it also conveniently props up Bush's billion-dollar business interests and assures contributions galore to his presidential campaign. Won't these suspicions breed mistrust in both Americans and Iraqis, thus compromising this grand humanitarian gesture, even if Bush/Cheney acted with the purest of hearts?

    "When Hitchens tosses such rhetorical bones as calling for 'transparency' in the doling out of oil money, it indicates a consciousness of all these things. And yet, in his increasingly loud and bullying rants against the left, he operates as if none of it exists except in the paranoid imagination of Moore and his ilk.

    Did Hitchens refill his soda during the part of Fahrenheit 9/11 when the smarmy yuppies say that 'profits are overwhelming' in Iraq and 'Whatever it costs, the government will pay you?' It's both a conscious and an unconscious act, engaged with precision and without guilt or irony. This blank-slate mentality toward the Bush administration is not just dangerous and anti-contrarian, it resembles the Orwellian concept of doublethink: Hitchens is holding two contradictory thoughts in his mind and accepting both of them. ('The left is weak for not making Bush reveal his covert alliances. Michael Moore reveals those alliances, and is a coward for doing so.') Not only that, but in Hitch-World, an administration that has sanctioned a coup to install an oil-friendly government in Venezuela is to be the trusted custodian of oil riches in Iraq. In almost every argument he makes about the war, he creates an either/or fallacy to bemoan the left's criticism of the sometimes-legitimate campaign to bully the argument into a moral relativism with the Taliban or Saddam Hussein.

    "For all Hitchens' Orwell stock, his postwar rhetoric seems greatly at odds with his observation in the introduction to Animal Farm and 1984 that '(Orwell) set 1984 in England, in order, as he put it, to show that the English were no better than anyone else and that the totalitarian danger existed everywhere,' or even his own words in the anti-Moore diatribe, 'if you leave out absolutely everything that might give your "narrative" a problem and thrown in any old rubbish that might support it, and you don't even care that one bit of that rubbish flatly contradicts the next bit, and you give no chance to those who might differ, then you have betrayed your craft.' (emphasis Hitchens')

    "The irony here, of course, is that it's Moore who lays bare Hitchens' most glaring oversights."
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    (Original post by che guevara)
    Americans and polite? well every country has good and bad ppl.. if u go to texas u will hardly find anyone polite.. the polite ppl in USA are mostly europeans..
    Hahaha........

    I have to tip my hat, that is possibly one of the funniest (and completely ignorant) criticisms of the US that I have ever heard....

    I can only wonder where such a scholarly lad like yourself came across the information that led you to these conclusions???
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    (Original post by Made in the USA)
    Nonsense. Ever hear of southern hospitality? Southerners are famous for being polite

    http://sd.essortment.com/southernhumor_rvwf.htm

    Proud to say that Im a 'Southern Gent.'
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    (Original post by psychic_satori)
    Actually, in the Western hemisphere, only citizens of the United States would say that they live in "America." Any other use of America is always prefixed with a more descriptive location--North America, South America, Latin America. To say simply America, it means the United States of America.
    I have many south and central American friends that would beg to differ.

    But in all of the countries I have visited in Europe and Asia, the US is the only country known as "America."
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    I like american people in general, however i dont like american politics and policies............

    I did support the war in Iraq and i still do however.......

    I believe america are heavilly responsible for climate change and they're doing jack sh*t about it (kyoto agreement).

    They always seem to think they're an exception to whatever and this is wrong.

    On the other hand i do see them as a key ally to the UK..... economically and politically
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    personally, i reckon american culture looks awesome...wud luv to experience it. seems so much nicer than this drab country called england.

    call americans shallow etc but c'mon it looks fun at least haha! at least the schooling does.
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    The U.S. seems to think its better than everywhere else. It just annoys me how they take credit for things that other countries invented. Ive even heard a few Americans refering to the English language as "American". I mean the least they can do is give the right country credit.
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    (Original post by Iz the Wiz)
    No, we were watching the same movie. And it was a documentary. What "qualifications" are you referring to?
    It was a documentary in name only. It did not meet the accepted standards of being a documentary. If anything, I would call it a "docu-drama" in that it was filmed in the style of a documentary, but lacks the artistic integrity to be one.

    On the contrary, these authors display a formidable knowledge of Hitchens by drawing on their familiarity with much of his work. The first article appraises Hitchens' books and forwards on Orwell (and quotes passages from all of these), his televised interviews, and pieces he wrote for Front Page Mag, Slate, The Guardian, etc. The author of the second states that he's read Hitchens' books Orwell’s Victory, No One Left to Lie To, The Trial of Henry Kissenger, and Letters to a Young Contrarian. And far from being mere "attacks on Hitchens' character," paragraphs such as the following get right to the heart of the matter:
    Anyone REMOTELY familiar with Hitchens' writing style would not accuse his scathing review of Moore's film to be the result of a bad encounter with him.

    "In his article on Fahrenheit 9/11, Hitchens rhetorically asks why the Bush administration is so keen to topple the Saudi oil monopoly, especially if they 'live in each other's pockets.' This is meant not just knock down the conspiracy theorist's house of cards, but also to destroy the notion that possibly, maybe, there could be some unnecessary and compromising complications here. Again, Hitchens pushes in his chips on the ethical fidelity of the Bush administration, dismissing the fact that toppling Saddam just happened to liberate his oil fields, placing them more or less in American hands and in the hands of Bush/Cheney family friends and campaign contributors. Though a brave and noble acceptance of American responsibility for deposing an evil we helped create, it also conveniently props up Bush's billion-dollar business interests and assures contributions galore to his presidential campaign. Won't these suspicions breed mistrust in both Americans and Iraqis, thus compromising this grand humanitarian gesture, even if Bush/Cheney acted with the purest of hearts?
    You're neglecting that America could have made deals with Saddam just like the French and Russians did, if American oil companies owned the president, and it would have been cheaper and more efficient. This is where I stop taking your author seriously.

    This is rather off the topic of the thread, so if you wish to rehash a topic that was discussed in another thread long ago, you may feel free to drag it from the depths.
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    (Original post by Kondar)
    I have many south and central American friends that would beg to differ.

    But in all of the countries I have visited in Europe and Asia, the US is the only country known as "America."
    There are always exceptions, but the sort of people who would claim to be "American" before they would be "Central American" are probably trying to hang their hats on US power in the world. No offense to your buddies...
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    (Original post by KdySk8rGirl)
    The U.S. seems to think its better than everywhere else. It just annoys me how they take credit for things that other countries invented. Ive even heard a few Americans refering to the English language as "American". I mean the least they can do is give the right country credit.
    I don't really think the English language was "invented," since it is more of a product of evolution than anything. In the US, it's a bit of a joking thing to tell someone who is speaking in a more extravagant of formal manner to "Speak American." Nothing to be offended by.
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    (Original post by psychic_satori)
    I don't really think the English language was "invented," since it is more of a product of evolution than anything. In the US, it's a bit of a joking thing to tell someone who is speaking in a more extravagant of formal manner to "Speak American." Nothing to be offended by.
    in films they refer to it as "we speak the english language"
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    (Original post by Iz the Wiz)
    No, we were watching the same movie. And it was a documentary. What "qualifications" are you referring to?
    It wasn't a documentary. Try looking up the word in the dictionary.

    doc·u·men·ta·ry Pronunciation Key (dky-mnt-r)
    adj.

    1. Consisting of, concerning, or based on documents.
    2. Presenting facts objectively without editorializing or inserting fictional matter, as in a book or film.
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    (Original post by Made in the USA)
    It wasn't a documentary. Try looking up the word in the dictionary.

    doc·u·men·ta·ry Pronunciation Key (dky-mnt-r)
    adj.

    1. Consisting of, concerning, or based on documents.
    2. Presenting facts objectively without editorializing or inserting fictional matter, as in a book or film.
    Those are definitions of the adjective "documentary." When used to mean a category of film, the word "documentary" is a noun. Dictionary.com (which, I see, is the website where you got your definitions) lists one noun under its entry for the word:

    "A work, such as a film or television program, presenting political, social, or historical subject matter in a factual and informative manner and often consisting of actual news films or interviews accompanied by narration."
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    (Original post by psychic_satori)
    There are always exceptions, but the sort of people who would claim to be "American" before they would be "Central American" are probably trying to hang their hats on US power in the world. No offense to your buddies...
    Although i wish we had beaten them and not let them had independence.... it was called the American Revolution, im not sure though if this was before or after the USA was created (the actual name).
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    (Original post by melbourne)
    Although i wish we had beaten them and not let them had independence.... it was called the American Revolution, im not sure though if this was before or after the USA was created (the actual name).
    I've got to politely disagree with you on that one, though I commend you for topical timing. And, it was called the American Revolution back then, anyway (though, usually just Revolution). That's why, when you see very old land deeds that were granted by the US government to Revolutionary war veterans, it says something to the effect of "For valorous conduct in serving the war of the American Revolution."
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    (Original post by psychic_satori)
    I've got to politely disagree with you on that one, though I commend you for topical timing. And, it was called the American Revolution back then, anyway (though, usually just Revolution). That's why, when you see very old land deeds that were granted by the US government to Revolutionary war veterans, it says something to the effect of "For valorous conduct in serving the war of the American Revolution."
    haha, well i just think what could have been if we had have kept hold of you!

    Thinking about it, if the USA wasnt as far (it was probably one of our furthest colonies at the time) we would have been able to send more military out there.

    Anyway.........

    Yeh my point was that it was called the American revolution ie it was calling them "America" not the "USA", although im not sure when the latter word came into creation...
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    (Original post by psychic_satori)
    It was a documentary in name only. It did not meet the accepted standards of being a documentary. If anything, I would call it a "docu-drama" in that it was filmed in the style of a documentary, but lacks the artistic integrity to be one.
    Again---what are these "standards"? Where are you getting this stuff?

    Anyone REMOTELY familiar with Hitchens' writing style would not accuse his scathing review of Moore's film to be the result of a bad encounter with him.
    Well, these writers are familiar with his style ... and they're NOT saying the review is a result of a bad encounter ... so I guess you're right.

    The purpose of mentioning that "encounter" at all was to show (1) Hitchens jumping to the conclusion that Moore was a coddler of terrorists, and (2) Hitchens obsessing about the incident afterward, bringing a tape of it onto other TV shows and using it to "prove" his psycho assertions about Moore.

    No one familiar with Hitchens' writings would discount the principle that Hitchens had, until recently, sided with Moore and the Left, and that "the vices that one leaves are hated most." What do you think of these couple paragraphs?---

    "With cellphones still bleeping piteously from under the rubble, it probably seems indecent to most people to ask if the United States has ever done anything to attract such awful hatred. Indeed, the very thought, for the present, is taboo. Some senators and congressmen have spoken of the loathing felt by certain unnamed and sinister elements for the freedom and prosperity of America, as if it were only natural that such a happy and successful country should inspire envy and jealousy. But that is the limit of permissible thought.

    "In general, the motive and character of the perpetrators is shrouded by rhetoric about their "cowardice" and their "shadowy" character, almost as if they had not volunteered to immolate themselves in the broadest of broad blue daylight. On the campus where I am writing this, there are a few students and professors willing to venture points about United States foreign policy. But they do so very guardedly, and it would sound like profane apologetics if transmitted live. So the analytical moment, if there is to be one, has been indefinitely postponed ....

    "The United States as a country has no fixed position on Islamic fundamentalism. It has used it as an ally, as well as discovered it as an enemy. It could not bomb Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates, even if it found conclusive proof that the hijackers and assassins had actually trained there. So what does the president mean when he says so portentously that "we shall make no distinction between the terrorists and those who harbour them"? It looks like a distinction without a difference, and gives a momentary impression of being decisive, while actually only confusing the issue."

    You're neglecting that America could have made deals with Saddam just like the French and Russians did, if American oil companies owned the president, and it would have been cheaper and more efficient. This is where I stop taking your author seriously.
    I'm sorry, "making a deal with Saddam" (along the lines of France or Russia) is the same as placing Iraq's oil reserves in American hands? In other words, there's no difference between doing business with the store, & taking over the store? If our motivation was greater control of the world's oil supply (and it is this analysis that makes the most sense), then becoming another client of Saddam's was not a desirable option.
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    (Original post by psychic_satori)
    There are always exceptions, but the sort of people who would claim to be "American" before they would be "Central American" are probably trying to hang their hats on US power in the world. No offense to your buddies...
    No trust me, its a big deal with them. They joke around that people from the states think they are the only people from "America".

    Maybe Canuck can comment on this?
 
 
 
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