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Old 03-31-2003, 10:57 AM   #1
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Michael Moore: Why I Made That Speech

Why I made that speech
March 31 2003

Something had to be said at the Oscars about the war. Michael Moore explains why he was the one to say it.


A word of advice to future Oscar winners: don't begin Oscar day by going to church. That is where I found myself last Sunday morning, at the Church of the Good Shepherd on Santa Monica Boulevard, at Mass with my sister and my dad. My problem with the Catholic Mass is that sometimes I find my mind wandering after I hear something the priest says, and I start thinking all these crazy thoughts like how it is wrong to kill people and that you are not allowed to use violence upon another human being unless it is in true self-defence.

The Pope even came right out and said it: this war in Iraq is not a just war and, thus, it is a sin.

Those thoughts were with me the rest of the day. I had not planned on winning an Academy Award for Bowling for Columbine (no documentary that was a big box-office success had won since Woodstock), and so I had no speech prepared. Besides, I had already received awards in the days leading up to the Oscars and used the same acceptance remarks. I spoke of the need for non-fiction films when we live in such fictitious times. We have a fictitious US President who was elected with fictitious election results. He is now conducting a war for a fictitious reason (the claim that Saddam Hussein has stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction when in fact we are there to get the world's second-largest supply of oil).

We are continually bombarded with one fictitious story after another from the Bush White House. And that is why it is important that filmmakers make non-fiction, so that all the little lies can be exposed and the public informed. An uninformed public in a democracy is a sure-fire way to end up with little or no democracy at all.

That is what I have been saying for some time. Millions of Americans seem to agree. My book Stupid White Men still sits at No. 1 on the US bestseller list. Bowling for Columbine has broken all box-office records for a documentary. My website is now getting up to 20 million hits a day (more than the White House's site).

My opinions about the state of the United States are neither unknown nor on the fringe, but rather they exist with mainstream majority opinion. The majority of Americans, according to polls, did not want to go into this war without the backing of the United Nations and all of America's allies.

That is where the US is at. It's liberal, it's for peace and it is only tacitly in support of its leader because that is what you are supposed to do when you are at war and you want your kids to come back from Iraq alive.

In the commercial break before the best documentary Oscar was to be announced, I suddenly thought that maybe this community of film people was also part of that American majority and just might have voted for my film. I leaned over to my fellow nominees and told them that, should I win, I was going to say something about President Bush and the war and would they like to join me up on the stage? They all agreed.

Moments later, Diane Lane opened the envelope and announced the winner: Bowling for Columbine. The entire main floor rose to its feet for a standing ovation. I was immeasurably moved and humbled as I motioned for the other nominees to join my wife (the film's producer) and me up on the stage.

I then said what I had been saying all week at those other awards ceremonies. I guess a few other people had heard me say those things too because before I had finished my first sentence about the fictitious president, a couple of men (some reported it was "stagehands" just to the left of me) near a microphone started some loud yelling. Then a group in the upper balcony joined in. What was so confusing to me, as I continued my remarks, was that I could hear this noise but, looking out on the main floor, I didn't see a single person booing.

But then the majority in the balcony - who were in support of my remarks - started booing the booers. It all turned into one humungous cacophony of yells and cheers and jeers. And all I'm thinking is, "Hey, I put on a tux for this?"

I tried to get out my last line ("Any time you've got both the Pope and the Dixie Chicks against you, you're not long for the White House") and the orchestra struck up its tune to end the melee. (A few orchestra members came up to me later and apologised, saying they had wanted to hear what I had to say.) I had gone 55 seconds, 10 more than allowed.

Was it appropriate? To me, the inappropriate thing would have been to say nothing at all or to thank my agent, my lawyer and the designer who dressed me. I made a movie about the American desire to use violence both at home and around the world. My remarks were in keeping with exactly what my film was about. If I had a movie about birds or insects, I would have talked about birds or insects. I made a movie about guns and Americans' tradition of using them against the world and each other.

And, as I walked up to the stage, I was still thinking about the lessons that morning at Mass. About how silence, when you observe wrongs being committed, is the same as committing those wrongs yourself. And so I followed my conscience and my heart.

On the way back home, the day after the Oscars, two flight attendants told me how they had been stuck overnight in my home state - and wound up earning only $30 for the day because they are paid by the hour.

They said they were telling me this in the hope that I would tell others. Because they, and the millions like them, have no voice. They don't get to be commentators on cable news like the bevy of retired generals we've been watching all week. (Can we please demand that the US military remove its troops from ABC/CBS/NBC/CNN/MSNBC/Fox?) They don't get to make movies or talk to a billion people on Oscar night. They are the American majority who are being asked to send their sons and daughters over to Iraq to possibly die so Bush's buddies can have the oil.

Who will speak for them if I don't? That's what I do, or try to do, every day of my life, and March 23, 2003 - though it was one of the greatest days of my life and an honour I will long cherish - was no different.

Except I made the mistake of beginning it in a church.

Michael Moore won an Academy Award for Bowling for Columbine. This article first appeared in the Los Angeles Times.
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Old 03-31-2003, 03:30 PM   #2
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There's probably no reason for a new thread on this, but I find it hilarious that he thinks that people were "booing the booers". Ha ha ha ha ha... Nope they were just booing you. If they supported what you said they would have cheered, not booed the booers.
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Old 03-31-2003, 04:36 PM   #3
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Maybe they did boo the booers. (boo-urns ) With the camera pointed at Moore, we wouldn't have seen if the balcony was looking down at the original booers, making gestures. Instead, we get one sound.

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Old 03-31-2003, 05:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by womanfish
There's probably no reason for a new thread on this, but I find it hilarious that he thinks that people were "booing the booers". Ha ha ha ha ha... Nope they were just booing you. If they supported what you said they would have cheered, not booed the booers.

Last time i checked you werent there. So for you to say that isnt the most informed comment but you might be right, but i would take someelses word on it. Even though i dont agree with what he says i do think that many people agree with him and he does have passion for what he says, which is more then alot of other people who have the platform he has.
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Old 03-31-2003, 06:39 PM   #5
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I don't really care either way what he said. Glad someone said something or it would have been a pretty boring show, and I think everyone was expecting someone to say something. Just saying that common sense-wise, I have never seen a group of people boo another group that was booing. It just seems strange. whatever.....
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Old 03-31-2003, 08:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by womanfish
I don't really care either way what he said. Glad someone said something or it would have been a pretty boring show, and I think everyone was expecting someone to say something. Just saying that common sense-wise, I have never seen a group of people boo another group that was booing. It just seems strange. whatever.....
i agree.

booing the booers was the lamest attempt of damage control ive ever seen.

diamond
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Old 04-01-2003, 01:20 AM   #7
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A nice self-serving statement to keep his name in the news......
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Old 04-01-2003, 02:10 AM   #8
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I once boo a booer.
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Old 04-01-2003, 04:41 PM   #9
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Apparently, hearing Moore's defense has either A)Shut up all his opponents, because they can't form a grounded rebuttal, or B) Nobody cares anymore. I think it's a little from A and B, but in my opinion his words have proven his stance to the nth degree.

How can you aruge with the man when his beliefs are centered around a faith that the majority of his critics believe? Who's going to batter Moore when he's simply directing his Christian attitude toward a current debacle? No one.

Therefore, opponents of Michael Moore are wrong, and Michael Moore is right.

---Doesn't that sound beautiful. The ability to finally say those words? Ahhhhh.....(the sound of it!)
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Old 04-01-2003, 04:49 PM   #10
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Actually, since most Americans are Christians and somewhere between 72 and 78% of Americans back the use of force in Iraq (depending on what poll you use). Then I would say that he is wrong. He says his Christian beliefs say never to kill anyone for any reason??? Believe me this is not the belief of most Christians. It is not my belief and it is not the belief of the minister at my Christian church. So in answer to your question of who can batter him for putting his Christian attitude in - Lots of people.
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Old 04-02-2003, 04:21 AM   #11
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womanfish:

I don't think that you shall never ever kill someone, but read that quote from the bible:

Quote:
Bible
James and John asked Jesus; "Lord , wilt thou that we command
fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as elias did?"

But he turned and rebuked them and said, "Ye know not what
manner of spirit ye are of,

For the son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them."
so for me Jesus is no pacifist (we can see this in other parts of the bible) but he knows that love is stronger than hate.

Klaus
p.s. not everyone who calls himself a Christian or even a reborn really is.
p.p.s. i don't agree on m.moore, most of his messages are more entertainment then presenting facts - but with this style he might convince people who believe their political entertainers.
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Old 04-02-2003, 09:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Danospano
Apparently, hearing Moore's defense has either A)Shut up all his opponents, because they can't form a grounded rebuttal, or B) Nobody cares anymore. I think it's a little from A and B, but in my opinion his words have proven his stance to the nth degree.

How can you aruge with the man when his beliefs are centered around a faith that the majority of his critics believe? Who's going to batter Moore when he's simply directing his Christian attitude toward a current debacle? No one.

Therefore, opponents of Michael Moore are wrong, and Michael Moore is right.

---Doesn't that sound beautiful. The ability to finally say those words? Ahhhhh.....(the sound of it!)
Dano-
Moore showed that he was an imbecile that night.
He also showed he was a progandist that got booed off the stage.
He now looks like a desperate progandist trying to explain himself and only imbeciles believe his rubbish.

DB9
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Old 04-02-2003, 11:46 AM   #13
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The justification of killing is not biblical, it's political.

From the 3/30/03 edition of the L.A. Times:

"Nearly half of Americans (48%) said they think the United States has had special protection from God for most of its history, according to a poll a year ago by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. Four in 10 took the opposite view.

That belief is strongest among white evangelical Protestants, a group that makes up about a quarter of the nation's population and that is a core constituency for the Republican party. Among that group, 71% said in the Pew center poll that they think the United States has special divine protection. Among white non-evangelical Protestants and Catholics, only four in 10 took that position."

Guess who's driving this war? Our Republican president, his advisors and, I would argue, his core constituency.

One of the primary ethos' behind Conservative evangelical tradition is the idea of "God and Country." This is where the American flag as well as servicemen and women are brought into church and "baptized," so to speak. This is the ethos that justifies killing in the name of protecting our country, a protection "ordained by God."

Klaus, you will never win this argument. The idea that this war is "just" and "righteous" is deeply embedded in our culture and nothing is going to change that.
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Old 04-02-2003, 03:14 PM   #14
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pub crawler:

thanks for your hint, but i never want to "win" a discussion, i'll try to exchange ideas and perspectives and i try to see the world from the birds perspective by that instead of the mole's perspective

Klaus

ps. no i don't want to call anyone here mole, it's just the change of my view
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Old 04-02-2003, 04:02 PM   #15
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What exactly is a progandist?
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