Monday, October 20, 2003

A couple hours ago, Rick and I had a conversation about those who represent "the left" (or "progressive" politics) in the media and how they can be frustrating.

Like Michael Moore, for instance. In general, I agree with his politics. I, too, get upset with abuses by the corporate world or the war in Iraq or institutionalized racism - just to name a few. But I have problems with how Michael Moore expresses those viewpoints. His oscar accpetance speech, for example, really irked me. He just came off as this ranting lunatic who was getting off on his own subversiveness.

And that bothers me because... if he's one of the few people representing progressive political thought in the mainstream media, then he gives mainstream audiences the impression that all of those who share his beliefs are also "ranting lunatics who get off on their own subversiveness."

As a result, I want to thumb my nose at Michael Moore. Furthermore, I want other progressive thinkers in the media to criticize him. But you can't do that because in the end, all you're doing is giving power to "the right." After all, in mainstream discourse, things are basically separated between "the left" and "the right." There is no "left of the left." So, in effect, by descrediting Moore, you inadverntly agree with the right.

It's like how when a black person criticizes others in the black community, it allows racists to stand back, fold their arms, and say, "See! Even black people agree with us!"

So, all I can do with Michael Moore is shrug and think, "At least those viewpoints are getting out someway."

But I just wish it could be done better.

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