Better than the Oscars

Michael Moore at the Republican Convention
I’m dizzy with American politics. I’ve been watching C-Span’s coverage of the Republican Convention (via BBC Parliament). The convention’s a kind of collapsed super-dense cloud of rhetoric, sentiment, aggression and fear. Organised and cynical but also mawkish, naive, humourless and a bit slow-witted – lots of yearning for something simpler and older, lots of directionless patriotism, lots of Stetsons and hilarious hair. It’s pure Hollywood too – obviously elaborately-stage-managed – Sinatra singing New York New York on the Jumbotron, glamorous TV presenters roaming the crowd and interviewing photogenic delegates, slick televangelists delivering nightly benedictions… In hours of coverage though, I’ve observed not one moment of wit or self-knowledge or irony (Giulliani had some pretty good gags, though, when he wasn’t revising post-war European history for the neo-cons).

When John McCain greeted Michael Moore from the podium (Moore was in the room – how does he do that?) as a ‘disingenuous film-maker’, the wave of hatred was palpable and the chants of ‘four more years’ deafening (that must have been quite a moment for Moore). It’s amazing TV and pretty strange politics…