WASHINGTON, January 31, 2015 – Lefty director Michael Moore took to Facebook and recounted how he faced down an enemy worse than the Al-Qaeda insurgents confronted by U.S. Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle.
“Ten years ago this past week,” wrote a traumatized Moore, “Clint Eastwood stood in front of the National Board of Review awards dinner and announced to me and the crowd that he would ‘kill’ me if I ever came to his house with my camera for an interview. ‘I’ll kill you,’ he declared.”
A nervous Moore continued, no doubt trembling:
“‘I mean it,’ he barked, and the audience grew more quiet. ‘I’ll shoot you’… There was a smattering of approving applause, but most just turned around to see what my reaction was. I tried to keep that fake smile on my face so as to appear as if he hadn’t ‘gotten’ to me. But he had.”
Moore’s traumatic Hollywood war story is quite remarkable.
Ten years ago, Moore was 50 years old, Clint Eastwood was 74. Now age 84, Eastwood has grown burlier and increasingly more deadly with every Academy Award nomination; at least in the over-active imagination of a traumatized Hollywood has-been, diving behind the nearest human shield at the faintest sound of “approving applause.”
Moore suffers from a new disease ravaging America’s political left. And it’s more deadly than Ebola –
Post Traumatic Clint Disorder, or PTCD.
The trigger for all the uncontrolled weeping, of course, is the release and success of Eastwood’s film American Sniper, which recounts the exploits and trials of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle. The movie is a financial success, winning Eastwood a fist full of dollars on its opening weekend – 105 million of them.
A.O. Scott at the New York Times said American Sniper “reaffirms Mr. Eastwood’s commitment to the themes of vengeance and justice in a fallen world. In the universe of his films — a universe where the existence of evil is a given — violence is a moral necessity.”
And Khaled Beydoun and Abed Ayoub of Al Jazeera America note, “‘American Sniper’ does not disappoint, and delivers these damaging binaries [good vs. evil] bolstered with the banal tropes of Iraqis and Muslims that attracted viewers in droves.”
Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone magazine laments, “It’s the fact that the movie is popular, and actually makes sense to so many people, that’s the problem… you know at all times who’s the good guy on the one hand, and whose exploding head we’re to applaud on the other… Sometimes a story is meaningless or worse without real context, and this is one of them.”
The context, unclear to the film’s critics, is found in the thousands of Americans burned and crushed in New York’s collapsed Twin Towers on 9/11; in the children kidnapped and the thousands butchered by Boko Haram in Nigeria; in the journalists and market shoppers killed by jihadists in Paris; in the children nailed to crosses in the public squares of cities under the control of the Islamic State.
These are all monsters whose exploding heads would trigger a deafening round of applause that would send Moore and his PTCD-affected cohorts diving under tables.
What, you ask, triggers a Post Traumatic Clint Disorder attack?
First, seeing a clear juxtaposition of good and evil, like Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle weighed on a moral scale opposite 6th century miscreants who murder those that won’t submit to their totalitarian ideology. Second, the frightening realization that when measured against a hero like Chris Kyle for instance, one is found wanting, reducing your shallow values – in a phrase borrowed from the Old Testament – to “filthy rags.”
PTCD victims, you see, feel small… like ants at a picnic, which engenders a pathetic, childlike paranoia.
“Finally, what was bothersome ten years ago when Clint issued his half-kidding/not-kidding threat to me was that he was joining in on a theme others in the media were perpetuating – the wishful idea of my untimely death.”
Michael Moore exaggerates his importance in a Hollywood that has passed him by. But his histrionics deserve a half-kidding/not-kidding smattering of approving applause.