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Michael Moore and Boycotts

There was a flurry of news a couple days back about how tons of people are downloading Fahrenheit 9/11 using bittorrent and how Michael Moore is 100% okay with that. An anti-Michael- Moore website called MooreWatch.org even posted a link to the .torrent file as a taunt. So if you hate Michael Moore and you want him to lose money, if you really want to see the movie but you don’t have the money, or–especially– if you’re not really sure either way, then download the movie and burn it for all of your friends. One of these links should work: 1, 2, 3. (If you don’t have bittorrent yet you’ll have to download it first, here)

And here’s something to think about while you’re watching that status bar:

Conservatives are downloading and watching the movie, while choosing not to support it. It’s a reasonable position: they don’t want their money going to buy TV ads for Fahrenheit 9/11 in late October (“Vote for the other guy… Now on DVD!”). But at the same time refusing to watch the movie would be like sticking their head in the sand. The movie is a political and cultural event, one which, in an important sense, belongs just as much to them as to anyone else.

That is also, we believe, the most healthy approach to major label music. Nobody normal wants to see their money go to fund payola radio or major label lawsuits against families with kids. But to refuse to listen to major label music is just willful ignorance. Abstaining from peer-to-peer downloads or refusing a burned-CD gift from a friend is as absurd as covering your ears and singing the Pledge of Allegiance at full voice when somebody turns on non-indy radio. Of course you’re not going to pay for major label music. That’s a given. But if you totally unplug yourself from mainstream culture, you’ll be in absolutely no position to change it.

When the product is digital and can’t be “used up”, boycotting that product becomes an oddly different thing. You can still get it, as long as you don’t fund it. We’re serious about this.

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