Friday, May 07, 2004


Michael Moore's documentary, Farenheit 911, was tailor-made to generate controversy and publicity -- for himself -- and in that, he's once again succeeded admirably.

Michael Moore has NOT been censored. Granted, few films are so transparently blocked for solely political reasons, and Disney has shown extreme cowardice here. If Disney believes Moore's new film is as much a pastiche of agitprop bullshit as his last one, the proper response is to allow Farenheit 911 to be seen widely and allow its critics to expose its falsehoods. The proper response to dumb speech is smart speech, not editorial/corporate suppression.

But censored? Hardly. If Michael Moore was genuinely concerned with getting his message out, he could do exactly the same thing as the rest of us non-celebrities who haven't the clout to demand a fat distribution deal: He could make his content available on the Internet, as a free download.

In fact, he wouldn't even have to pay for the bandwidth. He could just put a single seed copy "out there," where all the film piracy buffs know where to look for it -- and tack on the words Legal For Download, As Per The Director in the file name and embedded comments field. There would be a thousand self-replicating copies in less than a week.

But then -- of course -- Moore would have to forego some fragmentary percentage of the box office ... and the odds of that happening are far slimmer than he.