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imperialism & war

Words of encouragment from Michael Moore

My Oscar 'Backlash' - - - - - resulting in 'Stupid White Men' back At #1, "Bowling for Columbine' breaking new box-office records!!!! By Michael Moore
> April 7, 2003
> Dear friends,
> It appears that the Bush administration will have succeeded in colonizing
> Iraq sometime in the next few days. This is a blunder of such magnitude --
> and we will pay for it for years to come. It was not worth the life of one
> single American kid in uniform, let alone the thousands of Iraqis who have
> died, and my condolences and prayers go out to all of them.
> So, where are all those weapons of mass destruction that were the pretense
> for this war? Ha! There is so much to say about all this, but I will save
> it for later.
> What I am most concerned about right now is that all of you -- the
> majority of Americans who did not support this war in the first place --
> not go silent or be intimidated by what will be touted as some great
> military victory. Now, more than ever, the voices of peace and truth must
> be heard. I have received a lot of mail from people who are feeling a
> profound sense of despair and believe that their voices have been drowned
> out by the drums and bombs of false patriotism. Some are afraid of
> retaliation at work or at school or in their neighborhoods because they
> have been vocal proponents of peace. They have been told over and over
> that it is not 'appropriate' to protest once the country is at war, and
> that your only duty now is to 'support the troops.'
> Can I share with you what it's been like for me since I used my time on
> the Oscar stage two weeks ago to speak out against Bush and this war? I
> hope that, in reading what I'm about to tell you, you'll feel a bit more
> emboldened to make your voice heard in whatever way or forum that is open
> to you.
> When 'Bowling for Columbine' was announced as the Oscar winner for Best
> Documentary at the Academy Awards, the audience rose to its feet. It was a
> great moment, one that I will always cherish. They were standing and
> cheering for a film that says we Americans are a uniquely violent people,
> using our massive stash of guns to kill each other and to use them against
> many countries around the world. They were applauding a film that shows
> George W. Bush using fictitious fears to frighten the public into giving
> him whatever he wants. And they were honoring a film that states the
> following: The first Gulf War was an attempt to reinstall the dictator of
> Kuwait; Saddam Hussein was armed with weapons from the United States; and
> the American government is responsible for the deaths of a half-million
> children in Iraq over the past decade through its sanctions and bombing.
> That was the movie they were cheering, that was the movie they voted for,
> and so I decided that is what I should acknowledge in my speech.
> And, thus, I said the following from the Oscar stage:
> 'On behalf of our producers Kathleen Glynn and Michael Donovan (from
> Canada), I would like to thank the Academy for this award. I have invited
> the other Documentary nominees on stage with me. They are here in
> solidarity because we like non-fiction. We like non-fiction because we
> live in fictitious times. We live in a time where fictitious election
> results give us a fictitious president. We are now fighting a war for
> fictitious reasons. Whether it's the fiction of duct tape or the
> fictitious 'Orange Alerts,' we are against this war, Mr. Bush. Shame on
> you, Mr. Bush, shame on you. And, whenever you've got the Pope and the
> Dixie Chicks against you, you're time is up.'
> Halfway through my remarks, some in the audience started to cheer. That
> immediately set off a group of people in the balcony who started to boo.
> Then those supporting my remarks started to shout down the booers. The L.
> A. Times reported that the director of the show started screaming at the
> orchestra 'Music! Music!' in order to cut me off, so the band dutifully
> struck up a tune and my time was up. (For more on why I said what I said,
> you can read the op-ed I wrote for the L.A. Times, plus other reaction
> from around the country at my website www.michaelmoore.com > )
> The next day -- and in the two weeks since -- the right-wing pundits and
> radio shock jocks have been calling for my head. So, has all this ruckus
> hurt me? Have they succeeded in 'silencing' me?
> Well, take a look at my Oscar 'backlash':
> -- On the day after I criticized Bush and the war at the Academy Awards,
> attendance at 'Bowling for Columbine' in theaters around the country went
> up 110% (source: Daily Variety/BoxOfficeMojo.com). The following weekend,
> the box office gross was up a whopping 73% (Variety). It is now the
> longest-running consecutive commercial release in America, 26 weeks in a
> row and still thriving. The number of theaters showing the film since the
> Oscars has INCREASED, and it has now bested the previous box office record
> for a documentary by nearly 300%.
> -- Yesterday (April 6), 'Stupid White Men' shot back to #1 on the New York
> Times bestseller list. This is my book's 50th week on the list, 8 of them
> at number one, and this marks its fourth return to the top position,
> something that virtually never happens.
> -- In the week after the Oscars, my website was getting 10-20 million hits
> A DAY (one day we even got more hits than the White House!). The mail has
> been overwhelmingly positive and supportive (and the hate mail has been
> hilarious!).
> -- In the two days following the Oscars, more people pre-ordered the video
> for 'Bowling for Columbine' on Amazon.com than the video for the Oscar
> winner for Best Picture, 'Chicago'.
> -- In the past week, I have obtained funding for my next documentary, and
> I have been offered a slot back on television to do an updated version of
> 'TV Nation'/ 'The Awful Truth.'
> I tell you all of this because I want to counteract a message that is told
> to us all the time -- that, if you take a chance to speak out politically,
> you will live to regret it. It will hurt you in some way, usually
> financially. You could lose your job. Others may not hire you. You will
> lose friends. And on and on and on.
> Take the Dixie Chicks. I'm sure you've all heard by now that, because
> their lead singer mentioned how she was ashamed that Bush was from her
> home state of Texas, their record sales have 'plummeted' and country
> stations are boycotting their music. The truth is that their sales are NOT
> down. This week, after all the attacks, their album is still at #1 on the
> Billboard country charts and, according to Entertainment Weekly, on the
> pop charts during all the brouhaha, they ROSE from #6 to #4. In the New
> York Times, Frank Rich reports that he tried to find a ticket to ANY of
> the Dixie Chicks' upcoming concerts but he couldn't because they were all
> sold out. (To read Rich's column from yesterday's Times, 'Bowling for
> Kennebunkport,' go here:
>  http://www.michaelmoore.com/articles/index.php?article=20030 406-nytimes.
> He does a pretty good job of laying it all out and talks about my next
> film and the impact it could potentially have.) Their song, 'Travelin'
> Soldier' (a beautiful anti-war ballad) was the most requested song on the
> internet last week. They have not been hurt at all -- but that is not what
> the media would have you believe. Why is that? Because there is nothing
> more important now than to keep the voices of dissent -- and those who
> would dare to ask a question -- SILENT. And what better way than to try
> and take a few well-known entertainers down with a pack of lies so that
> the average Joe or Jane gets the message loud and clear: 'Wow, if they
> would do that to the Dixie Chicks or Michael Moore, what would they do to
> little ol' me?' In other words, shut the f--- up.
> And that, my friends, is the real point of this film that I just got an
> Oscar for -- how those in charge use FEAR to manipulate the public into
> doing whatever they are told.
> Well, the good news -- if there can be any good news this week -- is that
> not only have neither I nor others been silenced, we have been joined by
> millions of Americans who think the same way we do. Don't let the false
> patriots intimidate you by setting the agenda or the terms of the debate.
> Don't be defeated by polls that show 70% of the public in favor of the
> war. Remember that these Americans being polled are the same Americans
> whose kids (or neighbor's kids) have been sent over to Iraq. They are
> scared for the troops and they are being cowed into supporting a war they
> did not want -- and they want even less to see their friends, family, and
> neighbors come home dead. Everyone supports the troops returning home
> alive and all of us need to reach out and let their families know that.
> Unfortunately, Bush and Co. are not through yet. This invasion and
> conquest will encourage them to do it again elsewhere. The real purpose of
> this war was to say to the rest of the world, 'Don't Mess with Texas - If
> You Got What We Want, We're Coming to Get It!' This is not the time for
> the majority of us who believe in a peaceful America to be quiet. Make
> your voices heard. Despite what they have pulled off, it is still our
> country.
> Yours,
> Michael Moore www.michaelmoore.com >
>  http://www.michaelmoore.com/mailing/unsubscribe.php
> ----------------
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