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‘Slacker Uprising’ is only a minor 2-1/2 of 5 star disturbance
by Patrick Mulkerrin
Oct 02, 2008 | 282 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I love politics. Not the real issue, make-a-difference kind of politics. Oh no, dear reader, I like the shove it in your face, make you look stupid, smear campaign kind of politics. Like in 1856 when South Carolina Senator Preston Brooks cowardly attacked Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner with a gold-handle cane.

Brooks beat Sumner silly on the Senate floor until he broke his cane and then Brooks nonchalantly walked out of the Senate chamber and Sumner took a three-year hiatus from the Senate to recover. They don’t debate like that anymore and that’s why I don’t watch C-Span.

That was what I was eager for in Michael Moore’s “Slacker’s Uprising,” good ole politics. I don’t care what side you’re on, I just wanted to watch the mayhem.

“Slacker Uprising” follows Michael Moore’s 62-city tour during the 2004 Presidential election. Moore wanted young voting age “slackers” to get out and vote in the 2004 campaign and offered them packages of clean underwear and ramen noodles as incentives to do just that.

The tour is filled with speakers, singers, and comedians to entertain and energize the events and with a promise that “no event would start before noon and no politician would be allowed to speak.” Who could pass up such an opportunity?

Michael Moore is the star of this documentary. You might be thinking he’s the star in all of them but it’s a very different role for Moore in “Slacker,” as compared to his role in “Roger and Me” or “Fahrenheit 9/11.”

“Slacker” follows and films Moore specifically, he isn’t the interviewer or the sometimes on screen director; he is the subject. In scenes between him and the press, speaking to filled auditoriums, and clips taken from television news - this movie is all about Michael Moore.

Yes, it’s also about voting and politics, but it’s mostly a mini-study of Michael Moore. He says on his website that this is a movie for his fans. If you really like Michael Moore or have a strong interest in him, then this may be the film for you. If you don’t, well it is free and you’ll only be out 97 minutes.

There are some golden moments in the film, like when Moore started a scathing criticism of the press and their failure to do their job of informing the public on important political and social issues. Or when it delves into despicable behavior of a few business leaders trying to pay off universities to not let Moore speak.

But these only last a moment, then its back to wide shots of auditoriums filled with cheering people, short clips of speeches on the importance of voting, some anti-Moore protesters, and appearances by Eddie Vedder, REM, and others for a musical number peppered throughout.

On a side note, one of the musical acts was Joan Baez and her singing of the Finish National Anthem, which transported me to my youth and the memory of a woman who used to sing in church when I was a kid.

Her voice would soar and crash through the pews and jolt me from my sleepy Sunday ritual of napping through the liturgy. God Bless you Singing Church Lady where ever you are.

Moore’s “Uprising” doesn’t have the same passion that his other films have. It has some humor, political indignation, cynicism of big business and government, and a man’s hope for America, but its overall feel is flat and half hearted.

“Slacker Uprising” can be seen for free on Slackeruprising.com.

Oh, and by the way just in case you where wondering, Sumner was asking for it.

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