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A review of "Slacker Uprising"

Originally posted at

Michael's Brilliant Denial: A review of "Slacker Uprising"

Michael Moore making a point in "Slacker Uprising" cc

By Rady Ananda

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, 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, and its call 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 taper with a familiar tune.

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 everywhere as blue as mine
O hear my prayer, o gods of all the nations
A song of peace for their lands and for mine

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 National Guard, on orders of then-Governor Jim Rhodes.

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.

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

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.

Moore at University of Florida cc

In six weeks, 95% of the nation 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.

"Slacker Uprising's" effectiveness in motivating our youth is not for naught, however. If the rallying cry to vote – even in a sham system – unifies the youth into action, then the film should be promoted far and wide. With fewer years of being propagandized, they might more easily recognize the false hope of our corporate-sponsored government that fails on all social measures. As walls are built to enclose us, as spies track our movements and conversations, as wealth is further concentrated, it will be the youth who respond. If Michael Moore is the one who unites them, even with the deception of voting in a rigged system, then so be it. Who else on the Left has reached the youth the way he has?


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