- You could attend some demos and waste your time annoying some rank and file policemen who probably love the current government no more than you do
- You could write a blog but that’s essentially a passive occupation and one that will never reach the majority of people who simply don’t read blogs
- You could hand out leaflets, file Freedom of Information requests, lobby and heckle media outlets to publish material that might wake a few people up.
However, once again, even if you have some success you are unlikely to penetrate the skulls of the majority of people who are much more preoccupied with what they believe to be more important or more interesting things...
And, as luck would have it, somebody has.
It’s called ‘Taking Liberties’ and the now mandatory attempt at a web-based viral campaign is underway...
including a Film Makers blog. A blog which includes the line…
“Though the death threats and accusations of us all being Hard Let/Hard Right/MI5 Agents are starting to trickle through”
It can’t be much of a trickle as I’m having real trouble finding anything on-line to that effect.
I’ll pass on making any death threats, that’s not my style, and I haven’t actually seen the film, so levelling specific accusations of
Reasons why the old spider-sense is already tingling -
A glittering galaxy of celebrity gobshites…
The movie features the same old shower of ineffective tools of the state-funded, state-endorsed opposition; Titans of civil liberties such as Tony Benn, Shami Chakrabarti and Boris Johnson. The kind of people who already have copious access to newsprint and airwaves and have achieved precisely fuck all in the way of preventing the encroachment of authoritarian government in the UK over the last 10 years. Their only real achievement has been to fill a void that might otherwise have been occupied by someone with something genuinely challenging or constructive to say.
So, why anyone in their right mind would be expected to fork out eight quid and give up a Saturday night to watch more of the same useless bollocks eludes me.
The marketing of the movie stinks of Michael Moore, tastes like Michael Moore, is Michael Moore…
Looking at the promo poster for 'Taking Liberties' for the first time I couldn’t help but be struck by how much it looked like publicity material for some awful piece of mainstream Hollywood tat. Some of the tag lines floating about reinforce that feeling. You know, guff like this...
Experience tells me that any movie which shamelessly describes itself as ‘Hilarious’ or ‘The most important film of the decade’ is highly unlikely to be anything of the sort.
The feeling of déjà vu was so strong I decided to click around a little to see exactly which other poster the ‘Taking Liberties’ poster reminded me of. I must have been lucky because it only took one click…
Oh yes, Fahrenheit 9/11. And it only took a little more clicking to establish that ‘F9/11’ and ‘Taking Liberties’ share a producer.
Well, fuck me sideways. What a small world it is.
And I have seen F9/11
The movie that was going to swing the last US Presidential election from the war-mongering Republican to the anti-war (sic.) Democratic party. The movie that explained that 9/11 happened because a) George Bush is an idiot and b) the Saudis did it.
I’ve met a few people who have actually thought F9/11 was quite good; right up until I gave a couple of examples of why it is not. My favourite being the coverage of Bush’s behaviour in that Florida school on the morning of 9/11. Moore plays the scene as if Bush is a bumbling fool paralyzed by indecision. What Moore doesn’t ask, effectively misdirecting the viewer in the process, is why Bush’s security team didn’t whisk him out of the room as soon as they heard about the first, or even the second, WTC strike...
Moore’s entire film is a work of misdirection and somehow manages to spend 2 hours talking about 9/11 without actually addressing any of the serious questions arising from that day. Which is a major achievement in itself.
And on the subject of Michael Moore, I’d like to direct trivia fans to the part of his Wikibio that talks about the making of his first film Roger and Me...
“Moore was largely taught the craft of film making by his cinematographer Kevin Rafferty, who is ironically also a first cousin of President George W. Bush“
Ironic is not the word I would have used in that context
Taking Liberties totally misses the point (probably)
OK, not having seen the movie this is a speculative concern but I’d put money on this being the case.
One purpose for which Michael Moore’s movies such as F9/11 and Bowling for Columbine are genuinely useful for is as learning tools for the study of how people are wanked-off by faux opposition. In the case of F9/11, Moore employs two techniques in particular; heaping as much blame as possible on an expendable puppet idiot (Bush) and misdirecting the audience through acts of omission…
And lo and behold, who features prominently on the ‘Taking Liberties’ poster?
None other than Tony Blair
Given that the film is scheduled for general release on 8th June and Blair is leaving office on the 27th that yields a shelf-life for presumably one of the central themes of the movie of precisely 19 days.
You couldn’t make it up
One of the depressing aspects of the opposition to the erosion of civil liberties in this country over the last ten years is how so many people on the Left have kidded themselves that what has happened is some kind of Blair-specific aberration. Once Blair leaves, so the fantasy goes, everything will be just fucking peachy and life will somehow return to normal.
This fantasy doesn’t square with reality. Blair didn’t vote for That War on his own and the same bunch of elected turds who voted for That War have just voted, amongst many other shameful votes, to exclude themselves from Freedom of Information legislation.
Admittedly, I’m not being entirely fair on all Labour supporters. Given that the Labour Party has lost half its membership over the last few years, a good number of people on the Left clearly have twigged to what’s going on and presumably understand that it’s not a Blair-specific issue.
(And I’m not invoking any conspiracy theories here but there really is something quite creepy about how so many of the decent, senior Labour MPs who could have replaced or challenged Blair (or Br
Even if you kid yourself that we retain the democratic tools that enable us to ultimately vote out the worst offenders, that still wouldn’t be enough. So much of our critical national infrastructure, including our security infrastructure, has been handed over to quasi-autonomous or privately controlled organisations, beyond public scrutiny or account, that it simply defies rational belief that it is all down solely to Blair and his immediate circle or that the direction our government is pursuing will change once Blair leaves.
The system is fundamentally broke but don’t expect anyone speaking to a mainstream audience to address crucial questions such as ‘Who is benefiting from this?’, ‘How are they exercising their influence?’, ‘What can we do to stop it?’
But the real killer omission I’m expecting from ‘Taking Liberties’, the omission that will have many viewers leaving the film with a nagging feeling that something wasn’t quite right but they’re not quite sure what, is the fundamental failure by all corporate- and state-permitted opposition to tackle the central issue that drives so much of the repression our government is carrying out in our name…
If people continue to genuinely believe that the UK is infested with hundreds of terror cells comprised of thousands of highly trained, well-funded, suicidally motivated lunatics with access to nuclear and biological weapons, lunatics who want to kill as many people as possible simply because they live in a free country, then no-one is going to care a flying fuck about civil liberties
(though, obviously, neutering the terrorists' core motivation by cunningly making your country less free is an intriguing proposition)
I believe that, if not entirely a state-creation, there is absolutely no doubt that the terror threat is being cynically exaggerated to serve political agendas. There is also a real risk, and there are signs that this is indeed happening, that the War on Terror will become a self-realising myth. If you kick people long enough, particularly people who believe in something, they will kick back.
Not one fucker permitted mainstream opportunities to talk about the erosion of civil liberties will touch this issue with a barge-pole. Unless someone does, this civil liberties thing will, to put it bluntly, continue to be viewed by the vast majority of people as being a theoretical concern of a few chattering middle-class Whiteboys and a bunch of chippy Pakis who have no-one to blame except for people of their own kind
And that’s the sad truth
I know at least a few people out there share the feelings I had on 7/7 and the days that followed it. Without wanting to sound melodramatic, something profoundly Evil was unleashed that day and I’m not talking about Islamic terrorism.
I really hope that ‘Taking Liberties’ tackles that Evil head on. I honestly do. But I won’t be holding my breath.