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Michael's Brilliant Denial: A review of Slacker Uprising

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Director Michael Moore
Producer Monica Hampton
100 minutes

This free release chronicles Michael Moore's 62-city tour in 2004. It is his best effort, his slickest, most exciting, most inspirational film to date. It is not bent on educating us about dark truths. Instead, it's a rousing musical-speech-video tour aimed at Getting Out The Vote (GOTV). The film seeks to reach the nation's youth with its strong anti-war message. It calls for a nonstop movement for universal health care, quality education, marital and reproductive freedom, racial equality, and fair labor standards. Slacker Uprising is the best GOTV message on the market.

Moore applauds the 21 million youth who voted in 2004 and blames their parents for reelecting Bush. He slams mainstream media for lying to the public about the war in Iraq, but is pathologically silent on electoral cyber theft and Democrat wimplicity. The film flays Republicans, our evil warlords, but never mentions that Democrats refuse to impeach BushCo, that they continually vote to fund the war, to shred the US Constitution, and, most recently, to squelch dissent with terrorizing brutality. His lack of honest criticism of the Democratic Party dulls the brilliance of this motivational film. The genius of Slacker Uprising serves the plutocracy as effectively as Moore's past films condemned it.

An instrumental When Johnny Comes Marching Home by Instant Death and Andrew Weiss opens the film, immediately commanding our attention. This song choice is subtle and effective in an antiwar film that salutes our troops. Other musical appearances include REM, Eddie Vedder, Steve Earl, Joan Baez, and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine. Takin' My Country Back by Honky Tonkers for Truth provides background as Moore arrives in Nashville. Robert Ellis then performs Al Gore, a humorous foot tapper with a familiar tune.

Michael Moore during his 2004 Slacker Uprising Tour

Joan Baez sings Finlandia a cappella, which she introduced as Finland's national anthem:

This is my song O gods of all the nations A song of peace for lands so far away This is my home, a country where my heart is Here grew my hopes and dreams for all mankind But other hearts in other lands are beating With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine My country's skies are bluer than the ocean And sunlight shines on clover leaf and pine But other lands have sunlight too and clover And skies are ev'rywhere as blue as mine O hear my prayer, o gods of all the nations A song of peace for their lands and for mine

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Most of the tour stops host large crowds in filled arenas, with hundreds and often thousands of loud, cheering youth. But Moore is somber when visiting Kent State University. He pays tribute to the four students who opposed the Viet Nam war and were murdered by the Ohio National Guard, on orders of then-Governor Jim Rhodes.

Kent State U, May 4, 1970: Ohio National Guard kill unarmed war protesters

Back in 2004, Moore was promoting his film Fahrenheit 911 a topic many are still trying to suppress. He shows how San Diego successfully prevented him from speaking on campus in a 1,500 seat auditorium. That speech-suppression effort became a boon for Michael, when the students moved his appearance to a sold-out 15,000 seat venue at the nearby Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Sep.2 2008 RNC St Paul (by Matt Rourke, AP)

Not much has changed since May 4, 1970. Free speech is still brutally, illegally, and unconstitutionally suppressed with force.

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Roseanne Barr satirizes the neocon ideology and actor Vigo Morgenson gives a deadly serious speech, along with soldiers and parents of fallen soldiers. A few military heavyweights also take the podium, including Colonel Ann Wright.

Organized Republicans invade his speeches, chanting "Four more years!" Moore quips, "You say four more years, but I hear four more wars." His fans laugh the Bushites into submission. A creepy segment shows organized youths standing, holding hands, and loudly intoning Christian prayers, while Moore tries to speak. He effectively responds, "Hey, let me ask you a question. What would Jesus bomb?"

Parodying a line from A League of Their Own at the end of the film, he laughs and says to a crowd, "There's no crying in politics!" Nor should we scapegoat voters for Bush remaining in the White House. Bush was never elected, Michael; not by Floridians in 2000 nor by Ohioans in 2004.

In six weeks, 95% of the nation's voters will vote on computers that can be hacked without detection. Software, by its nature, is undetectably mutable. If Michael Moore can condemn mainstream media for failing to do its job, for parroting White House lies that led us into war, he should also demand that media not report as fact what cannot be proven, or has not been independently verified. I mean election results. Dave Berman of Humboldt, California makes this point with clarity in a recent speech.

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In 2004, Rady Ananda joined the growing community of citizen journalists. Initially focused on elections, she investigated the 2004 Ohio election, organizing, training and leading several forays into counties to photograph the 2004 ballots. She officially served at three recounts, including the 2004 recount. She also organized and led the team that audited Franklin County Ohio's 2006 election, proving the number of voter signatures did not match official results. Her work appears in three books.

Her blogs also address religious, gender, sexual and racial equality, as well as environmental issues; and are sprinkled with book and film reviews on various topics. She spent most of her working life as a researcher or investigator for private lawyers, and five years as an editor.

She graduated from The Ohio State University's School of Agriculture in December 2003 with a B.S. in Natural Resources.

All material offered here is the property of Rady Ananda, copyright 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009. Permission is granted to repost, with proper attribution including the original link.

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." Tell the truth anyway.

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