This is another in our series of ZNet Free Update mailings. If you want
to add or remove an address, please remember you can do so via the link
for that purpose on the ZNet top page -- www.zmag.org/weluser.htm
It has been awhile since our last message, and there is of course way
too much new material since then to even summarize in this note. Just
today there are six new articles on the top page, seven yesterday, and
so on. But over this span we have also updated many of our watch pages,
made some changes in the top page layout, etc. We hope you will visit
and look around.
Some recent items in particular, though, we might call to your attention
Have some fun with ZNet's Independence Day Quiz from Stephen Shalom:
And the July August issue of Z Magazine is now available for online
subscribers and ZNet Sustainers to access in full, including all
content, graphics, etc. For more about the Sustainer Program please
check: http://www.zmag.org/Commentaries/donorform.htm
Our numerous blogs are also very busy, some updated many times daily,
others a few times a week, etc. We even have a blog of all ZNet blogs so
that you can see all blog posts in one tidy place. This is at: 
There is also diverse recent coverage of the new movie from Michael
Moore, and of course on-going coverage of current events and issues of
concern and debate around the world, including a number of strategic
pieces about the U.S. elections.
We would like to announce, as well, that Arbeiter Ring Press has
released a new book from Michael Albert called Thought Dreams. It
develops a "political framework" from scratch, no assumptions, in a
short and chatty fashion. The book page is at:
And here is first the book interview for Thought Dreams, as per our
sending such interviews of authors of ZNet writers about their new
books, and then, second, an interesting letter from Michael Moore about
his first week since release of F 9/11. We also have a number of reviews
and comments on the movie on ZNet.
ZNet Book Interview for "Thought Dreams"
By Michael Albert

(1) Can you tell ZNet, please, what your new book is about? What is it
trying to communicate?

Thought Dreams tries to develop, interactively with the reader, a
conceptual framework for thinking about society and history and also
vision and strategy. The book assumes no background instead starting at
the beginning of defining our basic concepts and their relations. It
arrives in short order, however, at ways of understanding history and
even thinking about how to affect it - that is, it arrive more or less
at my own broad political and social "theory" or "politics." It proceeds
step by step, and quite conversationally. 

The idea of the book is to help facilitate thinking about political and
social thinking, as well as provide tools for doing it, but in a way
that is very congenial, result-oriented, and passionate about its aims,
rather than being typically school-book dry, abstract, and aloof.

(2) Can you tell ZNet something about writing the book? Where does the
content come from? What went into making the book what it is?

Thought Dreams is based on a series of courses I have given at Z's
summer school, ZMI, and have also given online in years past. It is
really my own political framework sifted through the experience of
teaching and the reactions of a great many "readers." With the excellent
editorial help of the folks at Arbeiter Ring, I have tried to capture
both the spontaneity and the actual flow and logic of thinking about
political and social concepts and theory, finally using the results to
think about issues of vision and strategy.

Creating the book involved first transcribing from the courses and
choosing the best exemplars of the process and presentation. Then the
transcribed material had to be edited, including deletions, additions,
and refinements for print presentation, but without losing the informal
tone. We even kept some student answers and questions - removing
attribution, however. 

(3) What are your hopes for Thought Dreams? What do you hope it will
contribute or achieve, politically? Given the effort and aspirations you
have for the book, what will you deem to be a success? What would leave
you happy about the whole undertaking? What would leave you wondering if
it was worth all the time and effort?

The particular approach that emerges in Thought Dreams pays close
attention to class, race, gender, and political dynamics and
institutions, to social structures and historical processes, and to
matters of vision and strategy. I hope the book will spur critical
thinking about what some people call "our politics" or "our ideology" or
"our theory" - both for views that people may already have, and for new
ideas they may not have previously encountered. 

What emerges in the book as the proposed politics is a very
anti-authoritarian and multi-focus approach, and I hope that that will
gain even more credibility than it already has via people reading the
book. If it is read pretty widely, by many new people but also by people
hoping to test their own current views, and if it spurs thinking in all
those directions, that will be good. If it contributes to people being
able to own concepts and ways of thinking they haven't had easy use of
in the past, and then sharing them with others, that will be excellent.
All that would make we feel the effort was well spent - quite like
feeling that way about teaching courses, for that matter. If people
either don't read the book  (like not showing up for class) or read it
but are unmoved and unaffected (again like happens in some classes),
that would leave me feeling that perhaps I might have better spent the
time on other tasks. I guess we will see. 


My First Wild Week with "Fahrenheit 9/11" 
Michael Moore

Where do I begin? This past week has knocked me for a loop. "Fahrenheit
9/11," the #1 movie in the country, the largest grossing documentary
ever. My head is spinning. Didn't we just lose our distributor 8 weeks
ago? Did Karl Rove really fail to stop this? Is Bush packing?

Each day this week I was given a new piece of information from the press
that covers Hollywood, and I barely had time to recover from the last
tidbit before the next one smacked me upside the head

** More people saw "Fahrenheit 9/11" in one weekend than all the people
who saw "Bowling for Columbine" in
9 months.

** "Fahrenheit 9/11" broke "Rocky III's" record for the biggest box
office opening weekend ever for any film that opened in less than a
thousand theaters.

** "Fahrenheit 9/11" beat the opening weekend of "Return of the Jedi."

** "Fahrenheit 9/11" instantly went to #2 on the all- time list for
largest per-theater average ever for a film that opened in wide-release.

How can I ever thank all of you who went to see it?

These records are mind-blowing. They have sent shock waves through
Hollywood - and, more importantly, through the White House.

But it didn't just stop there. The response to the movie then went into
the Twilight Zone. Surfing through the dial I landed on the Fox
broadcasting network which was airing the NASCAR race live last Sunday
to an audience of millions of Americans -- and suddenly the announcers
were talking about how NASCAR champ Dale Earnhardt, Jr. took his crew to
see 'Fahrenheit 9/11' the night before. FOX sportscaster Chris Myers
delivered Earnhardt's review straight out of his mouth and into the
heartland of America: 'He said hey, it'll be a good bonding experience
no matter what your political belief. It's a good thing as an American
to go see.' Whoa! NASCAR fans - you can't go deeper into George Bush
territory than that! White House moving vans - START YOUR ENGINES!

Then there was Roger Friedman from the Fox News Channel giving our film
an absolutely glowing review, calling it 'a really brilliant piece of
work, and a film that members of all political parties should see
without fail.' Richard Goldstein of the Village Voice surmised that Bush
is already considered a goner so Rupert Murdoch might be starting to
curry favor with the new administration. I don't know about that, but
I've never heard a decent word toward me from Fox. So, after I was
revived, I wondered if a love note to me from Sean Hannity was next.

How about Letterman's Top Ten List: 'Top Ten George W. Bush Complaints
About "Fahrenheit 9/11":

10. That actor who played the President was totally unconvincing

9. It oversimplified the way I stole the election

8. Too many of them fancy college-boy words

7. If Michael Moore had waited a few months, he could have included the
part where I get him deported

6. Didn't have one of them hilarious monkeys who smoke cigarettes and
gives people the finger

5. Of all Michael Moore's accusations, only 97% are true

4. Not sure - - I passed out after a piece of popcorn lodged in my

3. Where the hell was Spider-man?

2. Couldn't hear most of the movie over Cheney's foul mouth

1. I thought this was supposed to be about dodgeball

But it was the reactions and reports we received from theaters around
the country that really sent me over the edge. One theatre manager after
another phoned in to say that the movie was getting standing ovations as
the credits rolled - in places like Greensboro, NC and Oklahoma City --
and that they were having a hard time clearing the theater afterwards
because people were either too stunned or they wanted to sit and talk to
their neighbors about what they had just seen. In Trumbull, CT, one
woman got up on her seat after the movie and shouted "Let's go have a
meeting!" A man in San Francisco took his shoe off and threw it at the
screen when Bush appeared at the end. Ladies' church groups in Tulsa
were going to see it, and weeping afterwards.

It was this last group that gave lie to all the yakking pundits who,
before the movie opened, declared that only the hard-core "choir" would
go to see "Fahrenheit 9/11." They couldn't have been more wrong.
Theaters in the Deep South and the Midwest set house records for any
film they'd ever shown. Yes, it even sold out in Peoria. And Lubbock,
Texas. And Anchorage, Alaska!

Newspaper after newspaper wrote stories in tones of breathless disbelief
about people who called themselves 'Independents' and 'Republicans'
walking out of the movie theater shaken and in tears, proclaiming that
they could not, in good conscience, vote for George W. Bush. The New
York Times wrote of a conservative Republican woman in her 20s in
Pensacola, Florida who cried through the film, and told the reporter:
'It really makes me question what I feel about the president... it makes
me question his motives'

Newsday reported on a self-described 'ardent Bush/Cheney supporter' who
went to see the film on Long Island, and his quiet reaction afterwards.
He said, "It's really given me pause to think about what's really going
on. There was just too much - too much to discount." The man then bought
three more tickets for another showing of the film.

The Los Angeles Times found a mother who had 'supported [Bush] fiercely'
at a theater in Des Peres, Missouri:

'Emerging from Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11,' her eyes wet, Leslie
Hanser said she at last understood. My emotions are just....' She
trailed off, waving her hands to show confusion. I feel like we haven't
seen the whole truth before.'"

All of this had to be the absolute worst news for the White House to
wake up to on Monday morning. I guess they were in such a stupor, they
"gave" Iraq back to, um, Iraq two days early!

News editors told us that they were being "bombarded"

with e-mails and calls from the White House (read: Karl Rove), trying to
spin their way out of this mess by attacking it and attacking me. Bush
spokesman Dan Bartlett had told the White House press corps that the
movie was "outrageously false" -- even though he said he hadn't seen the
movie. He later told CNN that "This is a film that doesn't require us to
actually view it to know that it's filled with factual inaccuracies." At
least they're consistent. They never needed to see a single weapon of
mass destruction before sending our kids off to die.

Many news shows were more than eager to buy the White House spin. After
all, that is a big part of what "Fahrenheit" is about -- how the lazy,
compliant media bought all the lies from the Bush administration about
the need to invade Iraq. They took the Kool-Aid offered by the White
House and rarely, if ever, did our media ask the hard questions that
needed to be asked before the war started.

Because the movie "outs" the mainstream media for their failures and
their complicity with the Bush administration -- who can ever forget
their incessant, embarrassing cheerleading as the troops went off to
war, as though it was all just a game -- the media was not about to let
me get away with anything now resembling a cultural phenomenon. On show
after show, they went after me with the kind of viciousness you would
have hoped they had had for those who were lying about the necessity for
invading a sovereign nation that was no threat to us. I don't blame our
well-paid celebrity journalists -- they look like a bunch of ass-kissing
dopes in my movie, and I guess I'd be pretty mad at me, too. After all,
once the NASCAR fans see "Fahrenheit 9/11," will they ever believe a
single thing they see on ABC/NBC/CBS news again?

In the next week or so, I will recount my adventures through the media
this past month (I will also be posting a full FAQ on my website soon so
that you can have all the necessary backup and evidence from the film
when you find yourself in heated debate with your conservative
brother-in-law!). For now, please know the following: Every single fact
I state in "Fahrenheit 9/11" is the absolute and irrefutable truth. This
movie is perhaps the most thoroughly researched and vetted documentary
of our time. No fewer than a dozen people, including three teams of
lawyers and the venerable one- time fact-checkers from The New Yorker
went through this movie with a fine-tooth comb so that we can make this
guarantee to you. Do not let anyone say this or that isn't true. If they
say that, they are lying. Let them know that the OPINIONS in the film
are mine, and anyone certainly has a right to disagree with them. And
the questions I pose in the movie, based on these irrefutable facts, are
also mine. And I have a right to ask them. And I will continue to ask
them until they are answered.

In closing, let me say that the most heartening response to the film has
come from our soldiers and their families. Theaters in military towns
across the country reported packed houses. Our troops know the truth.
They have seen it first-hand. And many of them could not believe that
here was a movie that was TRULY on their side -- the side of bringing
them home alive and never sending them into harms way again unless it's
the absolute last resort. Please take a moment to read this wonderful
story from the daily paper in Fayetteville, NC, where Fort Bragg is
located. It broke my heart to read this, the reactions of military
families and the comments of an infantryman's wife publicly backing my
movie -- and it gave me the resolve to make sure as many Americans as
possible see this film in the coming weeks.

Thank you again, all of you, for your support. Together we did something
for the history books. My apologies to "Return of the Jedi." We'll make
it up by producing "Return of the Texan to Crawford" in November.

May the farce be with you, but not for long,

Michael Moore www.michaelmoore.com [EMAIL PROTECTED]

P.S. You can read letters from people around the country recounting
their own experiences at the theater, and their reactions to the film by
going here.

P.P.S. Also, I'm going to start blogging! Tonight! Come on over and
check it out.




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