Translation of reactions:
[Smurf Philosopher] an analysis both interesting and daring.. I don’t think Moore has no interest in minority issues. Agreed, Michael Moore talks to a white audience and puts a focus on their problems. But I perceive that attitude of his as a “tactic” of sorts. You can’t really bring out change without bringing (at least a substantial amount of) white folk to your side in a white-majority American society. You’ve got to talk about their problems if you intend to get their attention. “Hey hey, it’s not only bad for the blacks, but also for you guys..” People tend to not be interested in an issue if it doesn’t directly address them. / My rough guess is that Michael Moore often portrays overt patriotism to the U.S. because otherwise he may be classified as betraying the nation in an otherwise overpatriotic country as the U.S. My suspicion grows as I see him overemphasize it beyond the necessary.. (I wonder if Moore thinks “I wish I was born in Canada” for himself?) / To me Moore is a kind of guy who calculates all his moves first and then proceeds to action. A kind of person who first takes into consideration the political odds before embarking on writing a book or making a movie.
[Ocean watching] Interesting.. recommended!
[To breathe and rest] I don’t really know Michael Moore and wouldn’t get into judging him personally but I tend to think that his “tactics” is restricting the kind of movement Michael Moore is involved in. If, as Smurf argues, you convince whites to bring about change in a context of white absolute majority, that change would necessarily be only one that whites would be willing to accept, wouldn’t it? The problem that they were pointing out was the such changes wouldn’t take into consideration structural contradictions suffered by minorities such as the blacks.
[Yongho Kim] Moore never made documentaries with a political purpose before 9-11. Even 9-11 is weird because initially it was a separate thing from the ACT and I don’t know how the ACT lured him into their camp but they came to some sort of agreement and got into supporting Kerry and stuff which ended up in their demise. Anyway before that he was just blasting on Clinton and the like no matter who they were, so it’s hard to say if Moore’s actions were results of hard calculation or if he was parodying society. I lean toward a parody kind of reading, and if that is so, failing to find out problems in society is a big deal. In south korea there is a strong impression of Moore as the maker of 9-11 but Moore already had a following before that and there was controversy as for what his message really was about.
[Smurf Philosopher] I would first like to point out that “Stupid White Men” has a chapter in which he mentions the black problem. / I think there is a big argumentative gap between the premise that says that Moore’s focus was not racism and the one saying that he was a white nationalist. My personal take is that a movement is to bring into action what you yourself regard to be most important. That doesn’t involve saying that “the other issues are not necessary”. / Let’s take south korea’s case for example. You may be justified in saying that “I oppose Participatory Coalition/People Power 21 [progressive coalition in south korea that worked in bringing down the conservative party during the 2004 parliamentary elections] because what they are doing is steering away from leftist progressivism”, but an argument in the lines of “I oppose Participatory Coalition despite the fact that they do overall good stuff because they are not socialists” carries less analytical weight. Participatory Coalition is not a socialist organization. / Wouldn’t it be better to suggest that Moore do what he is supposed to do in his field and let others take care of the rest? It’s not like Moore is superman.. / Breathe & rest, Yongho Kim, thanks for the responses – they are informative.
[ocean watching] I support Smurf Philosopher. Isn’t it better to at least take a step forward than doing nothing? It may be frustrating if it’s the case the goal was just providing an alternative way of building up a stronger America.
[Smurf Philosopher] Actually, I can understand that real leftists would be angry on how Moore is recognized as a symbol for U.S. left intellectuals. Cuz it precisely speaks to the conservative political topology of the United States. What can you do about it, though? It’s not Moore’s fault. It’s the problem of the baby-boom generation, on whom all hope is lost, which is constantly criticized by Moore…
[1234QNA] Regardless, those damn whites need to learn and understand first why everyone is better off with the exception of eastern Europe…
[Eh…] I think it’s criticism for criticism’s sake. They’re just making exaggerated negative definitions of Moore throughout the text and then using it to criticize him the easy way… I can’t simply swallow the authors’ argument that Moore problamatizes corrupt individuals and overlooks corrupt structures. Maybe you could say that Moore’s work does not analyze structures from a sufficiently politicized vantage point; but Moore is definitely not simply questioning individuals’ morality. Passages like these are plain overinterpretation on the criticizer’s side. / And since when does “Roger and Me” deal solely with white “middle-class”? Of course maybe the middle class and the blue collar could end up coexisting, I mean, blue collar workers at GM may be middle-class; but they are just making it easy to blast at Moore by sneaking in the argument that the middle-class equals the white blue collar workers, in whom Moore is interested in, so that they can later diss Moore on his focus on the white middle class when discussing problems of class. Maybe this is a problem in the translation, but I don’t think the authors are defining Moore in a honest way. / I can agree with the intention of the authors, that is, that race is a central problem, but don’t support purposefully detracting Moore just to make a strong point about it. / That Moore is recognized as a representative leftist is a passage that shows the symptomatic disease of U.S. society. But I’ve got feelings about how the two authors cross into overinterpretation in order to criticize this.
[Eh….] “If you watch carefully over Moore’s works you can clearly see that the theme is the lost rights of white citizens and the struggle to recover it”. Passages like these are strong overinterpretations. You can’t assume Moore is struggling solely for whites’ rights because he didn’t discuss the problem of race in a central fashion. As Smurf Philosopher pointed out, Michael Moore doesn’t completely ignore the problem of race. Of course it might be said that it is insufficient. But it’s two very different things to point out that it’s insufficient and another to define it was complete avoidance and establish an easy target for criticsm.. unfortunately the authors picked the second option. That’s too bad. / They say: “Some may say it’s unfair to consider Moore to be pushing for an anti-black project. Didn’t he address the slave system, racial profiling and the imprisoning? Of course he does, but Moore only brings up these criticisms insofar as they do not challenge his White Nationalist Project – furthermore, his project has the limitation that this kind of racialist situation is required for the existence of white liberal citizen/worker/anti-corporate subject supported by the masses.” / even paragraphs like these, which seem to have been inserted to establish a balanced framework of criticism, are not sufficiently supported. What do you mean by Moore’s “White Nationalist Project”? The question is too arbitrary on the part of the authors to regard it merely as a problem arising out the interpretation of the word “project” which was translated as “planning” in the translation. I wish there was a empirically grounded argument rather than a declarative definition followed by criticisms..
[Svinna] I wish I could also say something… but this text.. I just don’t get it –;;