The American Idiot

Journal Entry. Toronto.
May 21st, 2008

"Yoo Hoo, Osama ??" asks the American Idiot (into an empty cave) "Wanna be my friend ?"

Saw a bootlegged copy of the new Morgan Spurlock documentary "Where in the World is Osama bin Laden?" recently.

If there is ANY solace to be taken from this (in the poetic words of my Glasgow relatives) - "steamin' pile of shite" it's to be found in the realization that documentaries must have reached the mainstream of US entertainment culture; we finally have our own professional idiot.

Hollywood "men" generally fall into two archetypes: vigilantes-with-a-good-heart who kill people - Clint Eastwood, Steve McQueen, Rambo, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Jason Bourne; or pre-eternal adolescents - Jerry Lewis, Adam Sandler, Will Ferrel, Jim Carey, Jack Black, Mike Myers etc.

The doc world has spawned a similar duality: Michael Moore and Morgan Spurlock. Moore is the bad kid - Spurlock the class clown. They are both in Grade 10.

The great American Cult of Stupidity, which tricks every high school kid with a handicam into believing that he (and yes, it's almost always a "he") can become a film-maker, has a poster boy - Mr. Super Size Me.

I avoided Super Size Me for as long as possible, but when I finally saw it I thought it sweet and clever. Not so with Osama. It is cynically manipulative and xenophobically stupid as Spurlock takes a crew across the planet in search of bin Laden to tell him to -- CHILL THE FUCK OUT ... DUDE.

I know that Michael Moore's "Sicko" wasn't exactly brain surgery (so to speak) but at least it had a resonance of truth - being sick and poor in America IS a bad thing. But "Where in the World is Osama bin Laden" scores zero on the R.S.V. scale (redeeming social value). It's a cheap trick on a drunken Saturday night. Trust me, you'll feel like shit the next morning.

Do not pay to watch this S.P.S. (see above). Send this guy home alone.


Words Words said...

Sweet and clever? I don't eat at McDonald's, but I thought he came off as a twit in that one as well.

"Look, Ma! I'm eating a burger!"

"The Book of Don" said...

Yea...but that's just because you like tomatoes and fish and veggies and all that "hippy" stuff.

Words Words said...

Hippy, no.

Sweet and clever, I think maybe.

Balbulican said...

I'm with Words. "SuperSize" was manipulative drivel as well. It ignored the fact that if you ate nothing but spinach for a month you'd end up puking your guts out in a parking lot as well.

And I'm cleverish, but not sweet.

daughter said...

hmmm did you mean to write obama in the first little bit or is that supposed to read: osama? freudian slip there dad or the beginning of the descent into dotage?

Doc Holiday said...

Thanks for saving me the trouble. I saw the trailer and figured I'd seen everything remotely clever there was in the film, and a few dumb bits to boot.

Brian said...

So does he find Osama or what?