The Electric Commentary

Saturday, July 10, 2004

My response to the response to my comment on Instapundit

Once again, since I can respond, I will:

Dear Professor Reynolds,

Thank you for printing my comment. It is an honor.

I just wanted to state that, for the record, I don’t like Mr. Moore one bit. I have a blog (Note: Shameless plug for little read blog imminent, www.electriccommentary.blogspot.com) and I have written exactly one positive thing about Michael Moore ever, that being what you printed.

I think that my defense was important because not every single solitary thing that Michael Moore does is anti-American (most maybe, but not everything) and that you run a risk of losing credibility yourself if you stretch too much to come up with examples. Usually, there is no explanation for his distortions and lies other than to appeal to the extreme left wing. In this case, there was another plausible explanation: That he was shamelessly ripping off Ray Bradbury yet again. Perhaps his motive was to get under Bradbury’s skin again. Perhaps it was to rile up Europeans. Certainly the image of the US flag burning will play to Europeans (and Benelux Europeans especially I would imagine) in general more so than it would to the small contingent of Americans that like that sort of thing. However, it’s not as if he just stuck a burning flag up strictly for that effect. He had a justification, which makes sense as a literary reference.

Mr. Nichols misunderstands me a bit in his later comment. I have no illusions that the US flag being burned scares no Europeans, as Mr. Nichols suggests. I think that it is supposed to represent how the President is destroying America, stomping on civil right, etc. That what the flag represents is being destroyed. I think that most left wing flag burners in this country often advocate some radical reconstruction of the country in a socialist fashion, or to convey the notion that the current government has rendered that flag meaningless through it’s actions and that they no longer wish to live under such a flag. They hate the country. Moore probably believes these things too, and has done much to make this obvious, but that is not what is being conveyed on the poster.

If my Fahrenheit 451 analogy is to be believed, then the flag must represent something good and noble, not something tainted or repressive. The ANSWER crowd burns the flag because they hate it. In the context of Fahrenheit 451, books are burned because they are good, free, and expressive. Bradbury’s message is to save them. To save thought, speech, etc. These are good things being destroyed by a corrupt system. This is clearly the message that Moore is sending on the poster. That the US (good) is being destroyed by the President’s policies (bad).

I still think he’s an unpatriotic liar. I think his celebrity is undeserved, his “documentaries” are nothing of the kind, and that he’s a hypocrite in his personal life. But I still think that this particular criticism is a stretch.
I think your comment is probably accurate that he intended the literary reference and to rile up Europeans.

Once again, thank you very much for printing my comment. To be printed is an honor; to have it responded to is greater still. I realize that this is too long to print, and it is not my intention to turn your site into a personal usenet (nor do I have such ability) but I needed to defend myself.

Thanks again,

Paul Noonan

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