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Monday, March 24, 2003

Oscar's Gone Wild

That was certainly an event.

I heard the speech, and its going to be spun in such a way that Michael Moore was booed and that was it. There were plenty of cheers to go with the boos.

And it's my take that the boos were not so much intended as expressions of support for the administration as they were disapproval of the use of an Oscar acceptance speech in such a fashion.

I say this because other people made statements against the Iraq war, and though most of them were, like the statements of Chris Cooper or Susan Sarandon or Nicole Kidman, subtle or vague, Gael Garcia Bernal, star of the Mexican film "Y Tu Mama Tambien," explicitly denounced the Iraq war by wishing Frida Kahlo were still alive to protest it in the context of introducing a song from the biopic "Frida," and there were no jeers. Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, who won a screenwriting Oscar for "Talk To Her," dedicated his award to peace activists in his acceptance speech.

Moore did not make the best use of a national audience. It would have been better to couch the poltical criticism in terms that related to his films, to ask the audience to inquire to themselves about why our times are so violent, why fear is so all-pervasive, and why this climate makes peace so difficult. It would have been more challenging than the sloganeering he engaged in, but it might have won over more people. What Moore did was preach to the converted in such a way as to turn everyone else off, in both style and substance. Granted, that's what Moore specializes in, but the tone of the messenger here drowned out anything trenchant he might have had to say.

Although his line "If the Pope and the Dixie Chicks are up against you, your time is up" was hilarious, if drowned out.

Listen or read for yourself here.


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