I’ve been contemplating seeing the documentary “This Divided State” by Steven Greenstreet, a graduate in film from BYU.
The film recounts the 2004 presentation of “Fahrenheit 9/11" at UVSC.
This showing was designed as a publicity stunt just prior to the 2004 general election. Moore’s tactic was to make a big showing in the most “conservative” state he could find. Utah is a neocon state. (Utah flip flopped from being the most Democratic state in the Union to the most Republican State in the Union in the 50s).
To make the stunt controversial, the UVSC student committee spent way more than the lecture was worth. They basically spent the entire student entertainment budget on a single event. I would be upset if I were a student at UVSC. I would want my money spent on wild concerts.
Michael Moore is a skilled propagandists who holds a leftist view of life. Provo is the heart of a breed of Mormon propaganda that produces a steady stream of rewritten history to support their world view. The documentary shows the comical results that occur when different propagandists meet.
It would be a worthwhile film in that regard. We get to see the clowns on the left engaged with the jokers on the right. Christian Right and Leftist propaganda are just two sides of the same coin.
My reason for not wanting to see the movie is that I am really stuck on the issue of whether or not discourse is possible. The modern tradition pretty much dismisses the Enlightenment’s faith in reason as naive. The modern tradition holds that man is just a bundle of instincts created through an evolutionary process. Man cannot reason. Man is simply manipulated and controlled by propaganda.
I happen to be one of those naive hold outs who believe that we can reason.
The different reviews and previews I’ve seen indicate that it is a good cross section of thought in Utah. Maybe, I just want to pretend that I am living in a place other than the divisive Utah.
The film makers have a blog, and appear to be both educated at reasonable. Since I like to support artistics expressions from the local community. I will probably end up seeing it when it goes DVD.