July 01, 2004


Bad guys: 1
Good guys : 0
Thanks, Michael Moore.


It's interesting that Bubba wrote "I resent that some will be willing to call me 'traitor' when they haven't served one fricking minute, but that is life I suppose" because my students and I were discussing that very idea last night.

We were discussing logical fallacies, and one of the examples of begging the question was "If you haven't written short stories, you shouldn't be criticizing them." I asked my active duty students if they thought that the same idea applied to soldiering was also begging the question.

They started talking about how criticism of the war doesn't really bother them, unless it's mission specific (e.g. you should have done this differently in Fallujah) and the speaker has no military background. They said that general criticism doesn't matter much to them. I then asked about the flipside: chickenhawks. They laughed and said that sometimes it's irritating to hear people be overly hooah when they don't actually have to pick up the rifle and head down there. One student said it's especially annoying to hear Congress do this. Nonetheless, they seemed to agree that this still fell under the begging the question fallacy.

In class, I preface everything I say with the general disclaimer "I've never been in the military, but from my point of view...". I don't want to be seen as one of those irritating hooah people, though I've sorta earned the right seeing as my own husband's life is at stake. And if I could click my heels together and have already been through basic training, I'd go down there in a heartbeat; the problem is the getting there. If I enlisted today, it would be a long road to war, and my schedule would not match up with my husband's. I am perfectly content to have a military family, but a dual-military family includes headaches I'm not sure I want to face. Right now there are too many couples who won't see each other for four years because of alternating deployment rotations, and I don't want to put my family in that position. Thus I remain hooah from the sidelines.

Anyway...begging the question? I don't know. My students seemed to say yes.

Posted by Sarah at July 1, 2004 09:45 PM

It is a MOVIE, albeit a "documentary", and every documentary I've ever seen argues a view-point. I wonder what have you and the rest of the right-wing side been paying attention to? I tend to think that Coulter and Rush, and Hannity, and Savage, not to mention Krauthammer, Malkin, and everyone else of their ilk has finally managed to complete the "brainwashing" they have tried to achieve for 40 years now. I was against invading Iraq from the moment the President tried to establish the link between Saddam & Al Qaeda. Myabe it is because I lived through all of LBJ's and Nixon's lies. All I know is I have a finely tuned bullshit detector between my ears, and it was sounding alarms everytime some one from this administraion spoke. I resent that some will be willing to call me "traitor" when they haven't served one fricking minute, but that is life I suppose. Sarah I type these comments to present what I think is a rational alternative to the seemingly one-sided viewpoint you take. I know in my heart that I will probably not make any "converts" to a more "progressive" viewpoint, but I would hope I have at least expanded your horizon a little. I have left both fictitious and a real e-mail address, I leave you my address for this post as I would not mind continuing a discussion should you decide to close you comments. Any way to sum-up nice cheap shot on Moore, shame you don't blast the rightward leaning idealogues, as well as the left leaning ones.

P.S. tell your dad that this "left of center" dude, wishes him a belated happy b-day.

Posted by: Bubba Bo Bob Brain at July 2, 2004 02:18 AM


From Dictionary.com:

Presenting facts objectively without editorializing or inserting fictional matter, as in a book or a film.

The systematic propagation of a doctrine or cause or of information reflecting the views and interests of those advocating such a doctrine or cause.
Material disseminated by the advocates or opponents of a doctrine or cause: wartime propaganda.

Moore can say/make what he likes-- It just needs to be called what it is: Highly Partisan Propaganda.

As for the Iraq/Al Qaeda links, if you can't see them, it's because you don't want to see them.

Posted by: Jack Grey at July 2, 2004 03:01 PM

i never served in the military, but i rely on my patriotism and my history degrees to back up my excessive tendency to be all "Hooah." Still, i realize my point of view is distinctly civilian and i'll be the first to admit it. Doesn't mean i'm going to keep my opinions to myself, though.

Posted by: annika at July 2, 2004 08:13 PM

Jack Grey.. Bad, bad, bad form, leaving these out:

1. Consisting of, concerning, or based on documents.
pl. 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.

In my view it's a documentary with an emphasis on op-ed. If this warrants a new label, fine.

John Grierson, the one who coined the term 'documentary', describes it as a "creative treament of reality". This is somewhat vague to me, so I'll add this discussion about the nature of documentaries.


Concerning the cartoon: taking it seriously is disgraceful (although I believe Sarah meant it as a joke); it's guilt by association. You could do exactly the same using Yasser Arafat in a cartoon about the Passion of the Christ. Or putting Hitler images in between angry Democrats (see Coalition of the Wild-eyed).

Posted by: Sander at July 2, 2004 08:18 PM


Sorry. "1. Consisting of, concerning, or based on documents." As in "I hold in my hand documentary evidence". Not the same thing. the pl you pasted appears after both usages of the word, and the definiton I used actually includes the word FILM in it. I didn't use the Catholic Church example in "propaganda", you want to pick nits over that?

The point remains that taking things out of context and telling half-truths is not what a documentary is "supposed" to be. See "The Thin Blue Line" for an example of an actual theatrical documentary. Of course, you probably (along with Hollywood) think "Bowling for Columbine" is a documentary... so I see no point in arguing it with you.

Let's just call "The Coalition of the Wild-eyed" a documentary on the state of the Democratic Party. That seems more than fair.

Posted by: Jack Grey at July 2, 2004 09:22 PM

Yeah, sure, you of course know exactly what I'm like, just because I brought up a point you didn't from sources you quoted from. But if you won't debate me, hey, the echo chamber's always available.

PS I'm snarky because I don't see what's so overly liberal about my post.

Posted by: Sander at July 2, 2004 10:24 PM