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Capone With Morgan Spurlock About WHERE IN THE WORLD IS OSAMA BIN LADEN? And More!!

Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here. The last time I spoke to filmmaker Morgan Spurlock back in November (read it HERE), he was being extremely tight-lipped about his follow-up feature to SUPER SIZE ME. All the world knew about the film at the time was that it involved a hunt for Osama Bin Laden. Spurlock's goal was to premiere the then-untitled movie at Sundance 2008 (which it did) and to keep as tight a lid on what happened during his journey through the Middle East. He certainly reaped the benefits of the rumor mill that he had, in fact, come face to face with the world top terrorist, an event that would have sent shockwaves of embarrassment throughout the current administration. And while I don't want to be the one to give away any of the secrets of the film (although many before me have), let's just say reports of shockwaves were premature. That being said, the film is a worthy look at the current situation in the region, and Spurlock's interactions with everyday people in many of these countries reveals much about extremism, America, and the misperceptions Muslins have about Americans and vice versa. In addition to WHERE IN THE WORLD IS OSAMA BIN LADEN?, Spurlock's long-delayed (by FX, wanting to fill any scheduling gaps created by the writers' strike) third season of his marvelous television show "30 Days" will finally premiere on June 3. I love talking to Morgan. He's one of the most conversational guys I've ever interviewed, and it in no way surprised me that we could talk twice in a five-month period and cover completely different ground in both discussions. Enjoy Morgan Spurlock...

Capone: Hey Morgan, good to talk with you again. Morgan Spurlock: Good to talk to you, man. How have you been?
Capone: Good, thanks. So the last time we spoke, you were being particularly cagey about this movie. MS: Yeah [laughs].
Capone: I was curious, was there ever a concern while you were traveling and then editing this film that someone might actually find Osama Bin Laden and screw up your movie? MS: Oh, of course. Somebody just asked me that, "What if they had found him?" I would have said, "Great! Now, what am I going to do?" I'm glad they got him, but now we've got to figure this out. Believe me, that was something we talked about a lot. We didn't really have an answer for that. I was pretty much figuring that wouldn't happen. We hadn't found him in all those years, I didn't think it was just magically going to happen. You always have to keep hope alive.
Capone: I guess you're lucky that you weren't making this film a couple years earlier and that the title wasn't WHERE IN THE WORLD IS SADDAM HUSSEIN? MS: [laughs] Well, we did find Hussein in a spider hole in a country half the size of California, so anything is possible with Osama.
Capone: I actually want to ask you something about the very end of your film, probably something no one else is going to ask you. Did you and your wife have a home birth? MS: We did, yes, we did. She wanted to have the baby at home, and she had a midwife. She did it all natural, no drugs. The woman is a champion, like a Viking.
Capone: The only reason I bring this up is because I just saw a documentary not to long ago called THE BUSINESS OF BIRTH that Ricki Lake produced, and it's about the lack of midwives in America, or more specifically how they have been demonized in this country, whereas they are very common in other countries. And when I saw the set up for birth in your film, it looked identical to what I'd seen in this other movie. MS: I haven't seen it; is it good?
Capone: It's very good. And it really opened my eyes to how hospitals have convinced women that there is no other place to give birth. MS: And how many places won't let midwives practice.
Capone: That's in there too. MS: I definitely want to check that out. I have to tell you, I'm like everybody else: "What if something goes wrong?" We live two blocks away from a hospital, so we were right there in case things went wrong. But having the baby at home, and then after having the baby, going up an lying in our own bed with our baby meant everything. It was the greatest thing not to be in a hospital and not be in a hospital room and actually be in our house. There was such an incredible…I mean, you're home. There's no place like home. Judy Garland was right.
Capone: Did you feel like a total heel for leaving for this sometimes-dangerous trip while your wife was going through the pregnancy without you? MS: Of course. And that's the thing, there are so many phones calls between Alex and I over the course of this film, and there's one where she's really upset, which we left in there for a while, and was thinking, Man, I look terrible. People already think I'm the worse husband around for leaving her. We can't leave that conversation in there.
Capone: It doesn't matter how many of those phone call scenes you put in there, it still looks pretty bad. MS: It still looks bad, exactly. But there's difference between us having a conversation and her crying during a conversation.
Capone: When the project was originally conceived, was it meant to be an actual hunt? Or did you go there to take the temperature of the Middle East, and the search framework seemed like the best idea? MS: I was conceived as a hunt and this idea of finding this guy we haven't caught yet. Those were the ideas that we came up with. I'll go look for him and we're going to get the real root of why we haven't found this guy. And we were about two months into preproduction, we'd gotten some money, just to begin putting together how would we even go about putting this together when we found out Alex was pregnant. And that was the real turning point for me. At that point, it was just "Where is Osama Bin Laden?" and "What kind of world creates Osama?" And it became, "What kind of world am I going to bring a kid into?" There was a little shift, especially inside me about how I looked at this film, and what was trip was going to be.
Capone: So it really did stem from the pregnancy, as the film shows us? MS: The idea came in 2005, but I think the real movie that you see in the theater didn't click until she got pregnant. That was when the real rocket went off inside of me about what the movie was, and it became much more personal for me. I think this movie is much more personal than SUPER SIZE ME, and it's a real personal journey that I go on. I think that made the film better because of it.
Capone: You say this is more personal for you, but I also think this film features much more journalistic objectivity than SUPER SIZE ME. You didn't know the exact outcome of your experiment in SUPER SIZE ME, but you knew it would be bad. MS: But even the doctors didn't think it was going to be THAT bad. They said, "Oh, you're going to gain some weight and your cholesterol will go up a little. The things that happened, none of us anticipated, especially me.
Capone: But with the new film, you didn't seem to go in with any expectations. You let it happen to you. You didn't guide it or force anything to happen. MS: It was a real organic process. We had an idea of the countries we wanted to visit and what we wanted to do in each one, but when we started talking to people…We had an idea of who we wanted to talk to, but when you hit the ground, some of them are around, some of them aren't, some of them will talk to you now, and some of them have changed their minds. It does become real; it does take on a life of its own. What I like about the film and I hope what people see in the film is that as I learn things, you learn things. As I meet people and feel things, hopefully that carries through to you as well. There are so many beautiful moments in the film that nobody could anticipate. It's great.
Capone: The one thing you avoid doing is any sort of administration bashing. MS: It's almost so easy at this point. Everybody's doing it. And for me, we have to be a little more forward thinking. This guy is out of office; he's gone in six months. What do we do now? I think the film is a little more looking ahead, a little more optimistic. You see things we talk about in the film dealing with U.S. foreign policy, and you hear what people think about the United States. That's the biggest thing that we need to look at. How do we start to change that image of America in the world? The U.S. used to be seen as this beacon of democracy and hope, and that's gone now.
Capone: Was that a hard fact to realize? MS: Not only hard to realize, but hard to hear, hard to sit though conversation after conversation where people are saying, "I hate what your country is doing." Yeah, it's awful. And you hear people say, "I used to love America, I used to want to go there. It meant everything to me. But now I would never go there; I would tell me kids they shouldn't go." That's a tough thing to hear.
Capone: You're almost relieved when you hear someone in the film say, "I don't hate Americans; we hate your government." MS: Yeah, it's great to hear someone make that distinction. I think that's a great thing that people should take from this movie.
Capone: Did you and your team ever speculate--jokingly or seriously--how you would handle the unlikely even of either finding Bin Laden or being approached to meet him or interview him? MS: Me and the D.P. [Daniel Marracino] talked about it a couple of times. You don't know how it would come about or what would happen. Obviously it would take multiple days to get to him; you'd probably have to go through safe houses, and they'd probably take everything away from you; you'd get stripped down and searched and held. Then you'd get taken to another place and stripped down and searched and held. I've talked to people who've interviewed the Taliban, and these are the same types of things that happen to them just to get an interview with someone in the Taliban. We had an idea of what we wanted to know, and for me, what I would have liked to have asked him was, "How does this all end?" "How do we get to the point where there's no more killing, no more targeting of innocent people?" "How can this all come to a close?" And maybe we would have gotten a real answer, maybe there would have been something there that would have made a little bit of sense. Or maybe there would have been a whole lot of crazy. Who knows?
Capone: Did you consider yourself a kind of goodwill ambassador while you were in the Middle East? MS: I just tried to be respectful of people. That's the one thing my mother constantly reminded me of growing up: it's just as easy to show respect for someone as it is to disrespect someone. You might as well take the time to be nice.
Capone: I've seen a couple of really terrific posters for the film, but the Indiana Jones-like one is the one I'm seeing the most. That's by far my favorite, especially when I see them in the same theaters as real Indiana Jones posters. MS: I think Mr. Lucas wasn't happy about that. The poster was awesome, and thank goodness I still read Mad magazine at 37 years old. Because that was the idea I had for a poster over a year ago while we were editing, and I was looking at Mad magazine and I saw this one artist's drawing named Mark Fredrickson, and I called him up immediately and asked him if he'd be interested in doing the poster. He did both of them; he did the new one as well, which is kind of a the new LAWRENCE OF ARABIA poster, with me on a camel. But he's such a great artist; the guy's incredible.
Capone: I can't tell you how many double-takes I've seen other people give that Indiana Jones poster. MS: Apparently the folks at Lucasfilm weren't happy with it, and they said "We're concerned about brand confusion." And I basically called someone myself and said, "Really?! You're being serious about this? You think someone is going to confuse this little documentary filmmaker with the biggest action hero of all time?" And they said, "Yes, we do." I couldn't believe that.
Capone: Of all of the places you visit and people you come into contact with, I couldn't believe that it was a group of Orthodox Jews that would be the ones you'd come to blows with. What happened there? MS: I think they just really weren't happy with us there asking questions. They are a very protective society, really kind of shield themselves. And I'm in there with a great big HD camera asking potentially sensitive questions about what's happening in the country. What I love about that scene, though, is not the fact that those few people lash out against us. I love that there's the one guy who makes it a point to say, "What you see here, the majority of us don't think like them." He was really worried about the perception, and how they were going to be perceived. That's a fantastic part of that scene, especially when you start to look at the way other people are talking in the rest of the movie. There is this perception that we always have to think about.
Capone: There are varying schools of thought when it comes to documentaries. Some filmmakers make it a point to stay out of their films entirely. When you decided that you wanted to pursue documentary filmmaking, did you always see yourself as part of the story? MS: The whole reason I was in SUPER SIZE ME, when we first got the idea for the movie, I thought, "Oh, I'll find somebody to do this, and I'll direct the film." I wanted to find somebody else to go on this diet. But the more we started talking about that, the more I realized that I couldn't trust whoever that other person was, when they went home at night, that they wouldn't sneak some carrots or broccoli on the side. And so ultimately we realized that the only way we could make that film and know that somebody stuck to the diet was if I did it. And that was the whole big impetus for putting me in front of the camera.
Capone: And that became you on camera for several of the "30 Days" episodes… MS: Right. After SUPER SIZE ME, there was this whole idea of chronicling an experience, something I was going through. When we took the idea of "30 Days" to the network, that was another step beyond SUPER SIZE ME. Then while we were in "30 Days" and I was going through me living on minimum wage or me going to jail, what I think is interesting and exciting is where I'm taking you on this journey, and you're going on this journey vicariously through me. Most people aren't going to go to prison in their lifetime. A lot of people live on minimum wage, but a lot of people don't. So it's taking you to a place, I mean 99 percent of us aren't ever going to travel to the countries that I go to in this movie: Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan. So the biggest thing, I think, is that as long as I can be honest with myself while I'm going through this and explain what I'm feeling and what I'm experiencing, then I can be honest with you and relay that to who's watching. And hopefully as I feel things, you feel things. As I learn things, you learn things. I think there's something really interesting about that to me.
Capone: Prior to the film premiering at Sundance, you were certainly riding that wave of speculation that you found Bin Laden. You can blame the interest if you want for pushing that rumor to crazy heights, but you certainly didn't do anything to dissuade people from thinking that. MS: I don't know too many directors who are going to give away the end of their movie before it opens or before it premieres. Here's what happened. There was this article that Daniel Marracino was interviewed for, maybe a cinematography magazine. And the guy asked how the stuff looked, and Daniel said, "The pictures we took were amazing. The stuff looked fantastic. We definitely got the Holy Grail." And somebody took that line, put it in another article. The next thing I know, I'd found Osama Bin Laden, and it just steamrolled from there. It was incredible. But I'm not going to come forward and say it's untrue. I said, "See the movie." That's what I said, "You should see the film." If I was Lucas, would I come forward and say, "Yeah, by the way, Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker's father. You shouldn't see the film."
Capone: Your film played at SXSW this year, and I missed it there; but there was another film that played that was inspired by SUPER SIZE ME… MS: You mean Doug Benson's movie?
Capone: Yes. Have you seen that? MS: I haven't seen it yet. Is it funny?
Capone: Oh my goodness, yes. The guy's funny whether he's stoned or straight, but the movie is a really great idea. MS: Yeah, Benson's very funny. I met him at Jimmy Kimmels' show a couple of years ago. I don't know if he was writing for Kimmel, or if he was just there. And he told me he had this idea for a film [of staying stoned for every waking moment for 30 days straight]. And he said, "What do you think?" And I said, "I think it sounds pretty funny." And then when I found out that he actually finished it, and that it played at SXSW, somebody asked me what I thought of it. And I said, "Are you kidding? A stoner actually came up with an idea and finished it. It's fantastic!" But I need to check it out soon.
Capone: So finally "30 Days" has a premiere date in June. MS: Yeah, after sitting in the FX archives for seven months. [laughs]
Capone: I remember one episode from a prior season where the devout Christian guy movies in with a Muslim family. And while I was watching your new movie, I thought about that episode and what it would be like if you brought a Muslim man to America to live with a Christian family. MS: Yeah, I like that show. And that's a good idea. When I was embedded with the troops in Afghanistan…and actually the best guy that I met was when we were going to Tora Bora, there was guy who fought for years, and he was shot like 30-40 times. The guy is a legend in Afghanistan, especially in the province where we were. And he was saying, "You should bring me to America. I've never been there." And I was thinking how fantastic this would be to see this guy traveling around America for the first time, taking him to do all of these American things. There's a great idea there. I'll give you the credit. [laughs]
Capone: In looking over what this season's six episodes are about, you seem to have divided them as you always have into two camps--one is someone going through something they probably never would have otherwise, those are often experiences you reserve for yourself; and then you have this other episodes where you put someone in a culture that is diametrically opposed to what they believe. Do you have a favorite? MS: Even when we shot the pilot we tested, FX thought, "We'll have you do something." And I said, having me do something isn't kind of the point of what the show is. For me the better example of what the show is, is when you take somebody and put them in this other environment. They get to walk a mile in someone else's shoes, and see the world through someone else's eyes. The pilot was actually the Muslim episode you were talking about. That's what got the show greenlit. So for me, those are my favorite episodes. I love the ones that other people do. And this season, my favorite one is the animal rights show where the hunter from North Carolina moves in with a PETA family in Los Angeles. That's one of the greatest hours of television you're ever going to see.
Capone: I never would have guessed that was the one. I don't mean this is a bad way, but "30 Days" is a show makes me anxious when I watch it, as in "filled with anxiety." Maybe I'm just afraid of conflict. MS: [laughs] What's great about the show is that you have these people who are both set in their beliefs and so they have to defend their beliefs. It's not for a week; it's for a month, and a month's a long time.
Capone: And you personally do two this year: one where you work in a coal mine and one where you live on an Indian Reservation. Tell me about working in a coal mine. MS: That's some of the hardest work you will ever do in your life. It's backbreaking work, and these guys are unbelievable for what they do. They go down there every day and do this job that is so difficult and so hard so that we can turn on our computer or turn on a light switch every day. Half of our electricity in America still comes from coal, so their work is unbelievable.
Capone: Not to mention incredibly dangerous. MS: Well, while we were shooting that episode is when the collapse happened in Utah. That was happening simultaneously. People in the coal mine, the day after that happened, they are riding the mantrip, that little cart that takes you into the mine. The day before, the people are joking and laughing. That day: silence, nobody is saying anything. It's intense.
Capone: Compared to SUPER SIZE ME, the amount of footage you must have had for OSAMA must have been overwhelming. MS: It was almost four times as much. We shot about 250 hours for SUPER SIZE ME, and for this film it was 900 hours.
Capone: Plus the animation. MS: Plus the archival footage. With what we had in archival footage it gave us 1,000 hours of footage to cut down to 90 minutes. It was a tremendous undertaking.
Capone: Will we see any of that material at some point? MS: Yeah, there's so much good stuff. We're trying to pack as much as we can onto the DVD. We're trying to push for a two-disc DVD because there are so many great interviews that I want to put on there. We'll see what Weinstein wants to do.
Capone: At what point do you start thinking what you want to do next? You've wrapped up three big projects, including producing WHAT WOULD JESUS BUY?, so when do you decide what's next? MS: I usually about a project ahead, so even while we were in post on this movie, we were already thinking about what film we wanted to make next. We haven't committed to anything but we've got a bunch of ideas. And I got approached to direct a segment for FREAKONOMICS, which I'm hoping I can do because I would love to do that.
Capone: What is that? MS: "Freakonomics" is this great book that deals with society and statistics, and it's a really smart book that looks at the world from a numbers point of view. So they're doing an adaptation of that book into a movie, and there are five or six different directors who are going to work on it, like Jehane Noujaim [STARTUP.COM; CONTROL ROOM]; Eugene Jarecki [WHY WE FIGHT]; Alex Gibney [ENRON; TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE]; Laura Poitras, who did MY COUNTRY MY COUNTRY; the girls who did JESUS CAMP [Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing] are doing one.
Capone: So it's short documentaries based on this book? MS: Right, so each person will do a 15-minute short doc that will go in this movie.
Capone: Alright, Morgan. Thanks for talking again. MS: Take care. I'll catch you the next time around.

Capone




Readers Talkback
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  • April 18, 2008, 10:02 a.m. CST

    First

    by Blanket-Man

    to say this movie sucks? Probably not.

  • April 18, 2008, 10:06 a.m. CST

    Isn't this supposed to be shite?

    by Lost Jarv

    I seem to remember it being critically savaged.

  • April 18, 2008, 10:18 a.m. CST

    Spurlock

    by Series7

    I like you. We get it you are a likeable enthusiastic guy. But you are becoming the definition of one trick pony. Stop making your "CONTROVERSIAL" documentaries that play out more family dramas with your wife then anything useful or in-depth. Stick with producing. 30 days is actually worth while. The Superhero movie was excellent. I don't mind you having to put your mug on everything you do because your the biggest media whore this side of Kevin Smith, but just stop making your documentaries. That are stop calling them documentaries. Most documentaries are made by people who have spent years with the subject they are filming and have done lots of reaserch. Supersize Me came off about as in-depth as a wikipedia post. You aren't as good as you think, use your fame to help bring other more talanted filmmakers out. It is hard to hate Morgan, because he does come off as an interesting fun guy. Maybe thats why no one will tell him, his shit stinks.

  • April 18, 2008, 10:19 a.m. CST

    It IS shite

    by slone13

    I saw nearly 45 minutes of this a couple months ago. Morgan's a narcissistic douche. There are numerous times in the footage that I saw where Spurlock is genuinely surprised that he is not allowed to just waltz into temples and start filming whatever he wants and interview whomever he pleases. Ignorant asshole.

  • April 18, 2008, 10:25 a.m. CST

    www.aint-it-liberal-propaganda.com

    by uss cygnus

    AICN Supports AL-Qaeda '08!

  • April 18, 2008, 10:27 a.m. CST

    AID AND COMFORT TO THE ENEMY=TREASON

    by uss cygnus

    I guess Spurlock, and Oliver Stone were out burning the flag on the day they taught that in school. Deport them both.

  • April 18, 2008, 10:28 a.m. CST

    Wasn't this interview already posted?

    by tonagan

    I swear I saw it on here a couple of months ago. I'd search for it but, well, you know how the search function works here.

  • April 18, 2008, 10:37 a.m. CST

    HEy uss!!

    by F U Popeaphile

    How could you see through the eye holes of your hood when you typed those most excellent comments?

  • April 18, 2008, 10:39 a.m. CST

    www.usscygnusisacunt.com

    by Lost Jarv

    What a fucking toolbox. <P>IS that the best you can do? Dickhead. <P>It's not as if you haven't recycled that shitty joke about, oh say, 1000000 times. Is your idea to repeat until funny? because it isn't working.

  • April 18, 2008, 10:44 a.m. CST

    Lost Jarv

    by F U Popeaphile

    You should see him over on the GI Joe tbs. He's all like..." GI JOKE!! GI JOKE!!!....See what I came up with?....umm No. What a fag

  • April 18, 2008, 10:48 a.m. CST

    I did see it, but at least it isn't a repeat of his usual

    by Lost Jarv

    crap. Or his lame title spams. <P>He's a knuckledragging cretin.

  • April 18, 2008, 11:06 a.m. CST

    "would have sent shockwaves of embarrassment throughout the curr

    by Sakurai

    It would of been embarrassment for our country and more specifically, our military. They are the ones looking for him. Its not Bush out there with a flashlight. Be reasonable Capone.

  • April 18, 2008, 11:41 a.m. CST

    that interview was gay

    by krycek08

    as in homosexual gay

  • April 18, 2008, 11:44 a.m. CST

    You are a loathsome fascist Morbid

    by Lost Jarv

    and I'm devastated that I missed giving you and your equally vile compadre AnimalBraneBalls a thorough kicking for some of your truly dreadful and wildly innaccurate beliefs

  • April 18, 2008, 12:05 p.m. CST

    So, wait, his excuse is

    by GodMars

    My wife got pregnant? No, I think I'm going to stick with shite concept/shite flim maker.

  • April 18, 2008, 12:21 p.m. CST

    Did you know fast food makes you fat?

    by Sithdan

    It's unhealthy. Also, did you know that the Earth is round and G.W. is a moron?

  • April 18, 2008, 12:26 p.m. CST

    Where in the world is Morgan Spurlock?

    by Spastic Jedi

    Oh right, he's right there on camera the whole time. <p> When did documentaries become about the documentarian? <p> Seems to me Moore and Spurlock make projects about themselves more than anything else.

  • April 18, 2008, 12:48 p.m. CST

    midwives...

    by Wee Willie

    My wife and I were on the midwife train with our first kid. One day, we had an MSS screening done. The results came back that our kid had a 75% chance of having Down's Syndrome. We were devestated. Then we got a sheepish call from the midwife explaining that she had filled out our forms incorrectly before sending them along with my wife's blood sample... We fired her and went with a doctor, who re-did the test and found that the kids was well within normal range. THEN, when our son was born, he got stuck. His little shoulder got stuck on my wife's pelvis. The doctor did some quick cutting with a scalpel, reached in, and freed the little dude. The nurse said later that it takes a lot of skill to do what the doctor did and that if my son had been stuck for more than a minute, he likely would have died. I imagined what that incompetent midwife would have done in a similar situation. Who do you want to trust your unborn kid with? Someone with a college diploma, or eight years of training, plus residency?

  • April 18, 2008, 12:54 p.m. CST

    HAVE ANOTHER FRENCH FRY, SPURLOCK!

    by Pennsy

    Yes, I know it doesn't have the same ring as Jim Schoenfeld's "Go have another donut, you fat pig" to NHL referee Don Koharski, but no matter what side of the political aisle you're on, Spurlock is just a waste of space. Michael Moore is Edward R. Murrow compared to this self-aggrandizer.

  • April 18, 2008, 1:07 p.m. CST

    MORBID'S POWERS OF DEDUCTION ARE PITIFUL

    by BringingSexyBack

    Ever notice the URL to AICN's pages? That's where "Node" comes from, Sherlock. <p> I thought Bush was gonna smoke out bin Laden, you know, to bring justice to 3,000 Americans killed? <p> Bush: "A fellow came the other day to the office, and said, well, are you worried about Mr. bin Laden? I said, no, I'm not too worried about him. He's the guy that needs to be worried. But I want to assure you, the objective is not bin Laden. Oh, we'll get bin Laden. There's only so many caves he can hide in, if he's still hiding in caves. My attitude was, once we get him running, it's just a matter of time before we bring him to justice." <p> Prick.

  • April 18, 2008, 1:41 p.m. CST

    Another Liberal Circle Jerk

    by msspurlock

    Still preaching to the choir, I see. How do you sleep at night, Morgan?

  • April 18, 2008, 1:44 p.m. CST

    Spurlock is douche supreme....

    by Darth Macchio

    And I still don't get why people aren't chasing this goat-teed fuck down the street with torches yelling "you took my super-sized coke away you fucking dickhat!!!"<p><p><p>Seriously...I don't need this self-obsessed putz telling me shit I already fucking know and then acting like he's god damn moses just got back from speaking to the burning bush. I consider him the same human shit-tripe as those fucktwit teenagers in the anti-smoking ads. These fucking adolescent morons, unfamiliar with anything remotely resembling critical thinking, join up in their masturbatory group-think pretentions that somehow using megaphones to yell at fat-cats out in front of the big tobacco buildings will make the minions of Sauron...err...I mean Big Tobacco realize the vile evil they have commited and what....start selling fucking candy? Nobody forces anybody to do anything in these contexts. Nobody forces you to smoke or eat fast food. And get off the "poor people" nebulous term used to defend these pretentious assholes. Poor people aren't allowed into fucking libraries? Poor people aren't allowed in school? Read a fucking book and stop acting like without you we'd all be monkeys chewing our nads up in the trees.<p><p><p>Oh and thanks for the right-versus-left continuation into this thread (no surprise) and hopefully infinity and beyond!!! (read: the modern version of SPY V SPY!!!!)...it's inane and totally awesome at the same time!!<p><p><p>Seriously...I'm sure all of you are probably decent people in real life...but seriously...get a room already! Sheesh!

  • April 18, 2008, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Node32774

    by Series7

    his work is always relevant???? Supersize me may as well just been the nutrition fact sheet on the screen for an hour and a half. Enough time for retards who don't understand it to go look up what each thing means. <P> This biggest problem I have with Supersize me, is that the special features were more informative then the movie. There is an interview with Eric Schlosser thats is a million times more informative and interesting then what Morgan said. How Fast Food Nation was turned into a garbage fictional movie with a narative while Morgan get an Oscar nom for best doc? These two movies should have been totally the other way. Supersize Me Should've been a stupid comedy about a guy who was bet that he couldn't eat McD's for a whole month, and Morgan wouldn't have been half bad as the dumb shmuck. And Fast Food Nation should have been an in-depth documentary exposing the fast food world for those to lazy to read, or for those you would like to see pictures for the words. Spurlock is like Moore for dummies, and thats sad.

  • April 18, 2008, 1:54 p.m. CST

    Oh

    by Series7

    And the like time by time shot of the different burgers left in the open and how it took forever for the McD's ones to spoil and the french fries never went. Yeah after seeing that it made me try to remember the last time I saw a french fry that didn't like just like every other french fry I had ever seen. That concept, while very basic, was pretty damn effecttive in getting the point across of how bad that food is.

  • April 18, 2008, 1:57 p.m. CST

    Supersize Me and Common Sense

    by TheLastCleric

    Of course we all know that fast food is bad for you but who would've thought eating at McDonald's for one month, 3 squares per day, could do so much damage to your body in such a small amount of time? There was also quite a bit of ancillary information provided in the film, including the ridiculous portions of food Americans consume at one sitting. The film wasn't merely about the perils of fast food but also the portions we consume, which is the real cause of obesity in this country.

  • April 18, 2008, 1:58 p.m. CST

    DARTHMACCHIO

    by BringingSexyBack

    Although I tend to agree that eating fast food is, of course, voluntary, I disagree about smoking. Nicotine is highly addictive, and the cigarette companies are not only aware of it, but they control the amount of nicotine and introduce chemicals to speed up the nicotine delivery. So smoking really is a different issue than fast food. And far more dangerous. If smoking were outlawed, I have no doubt that in less than a year's time, no one would even miss a cigarette, and our nation's health would be vastly improved, to say the least.

  • April 18, 2008, 2:07 p.m. CST

    Plus

    by Series7

    Spelunking was ordering like $10 worth of food at a time when he went to McD's. Normally people only order one meal. Not a meal and and 2 burgers. <P> Granted I just ordered $9 of crap at Taco Bell the other night (and was not high). But I did just get off of from working 12 hours. I ain't got Morbid's problem, in fact I actually lost 8 pounds this week.

  • April 18, 2008, 2:09 p.m. CST

    Node32774

    by Series7

    Have you read fast food nation?

  • April 18, 2008, 2:26 p.m. CST

    NODE - THAT'S INTERESTING

    by BringingSexyBack

    I have a very high metabolism so I never had a weight problem, and I do enjoy some fatty foods (fat does taste awesome). But if what you say is true, then the country really does need to address the problem through some regulation and education. I'm a former smoker, so I can seriously attest to the addictive quality of nicotine/cigarettes. That shit really takes people over. But quitting it was so damned easy once you understood your own addiction. I think the same could be done for fat people like Morbid here.

  • April 18, 2008, 2:28 p.m. CST

    MORBID - IF YOU WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT

    by BringingSexyBack

    I recommend you look up a weight loss book by Allen Carr. His book on quitting smoking helped me quit in a matter of days, so I think he could be of help to you for your weight loss problem. Good luck.

  • April 18, 2008, 2:32 p.m. CST

    THERE'S A FINE LINE BETWEEN ATHEISTS AND DEISTS

    by BringingSexyBack

    I frequently cross it. Depends on my mood.

  • April 18, 2008, 2:40 p.m. CST

    Node32774

    by Series7

    There is a section of the book about how all the frech fries come from almost one factory or like a few. And there is one person that gets to just taste french fries all day long. Like freshly cut and fried. I was like wow, I never thought there would be a job that I was born to do, but there is. Man I would kill to have that job. The author said that it was the best damn fries he ever had.

  • April 18, 2008, 2:41 p.m. CST

    YOU WANNA HEAR SOMETHING TOTALLY FREAKY?

    by BringingSexyBack

    True story, somewhat related to this religion side topic ... <p> A couple of months ago, my GF and I were sitting on the couch and we heard some tapping. It was a very steady tapping, maybe an even 8 seconds apart. We looked around and she saw that her handbag was moving. It looked like something was tapping it from the inside (I wish I had taped this). A very steady tap. She couldn't think of anything that would do that, like her cellphone or whatever. So I took it to the hallway thinking it might be a mouse ... <p> I emptied the purse and there was NOTHING in it that could have caused the tapping. Absolutely nothing. We were baffled by it, but couldn't figure it out. <p> A few days later, she told her mom about it, and her mom reminded her that her cat (who lived with her mom) had just recently passed away, and that cat always loved to play in her handbags before. So now we're convinced her kitty had paid us a visit. <p> It's times like that I do believe in the spiritual world, perhaps in God, but I certainly don't put any faith in organized religion.

  • April 18, 2008, 3:07 p.m. CST

    I sent my Sarah Marshall review to Mori...

    by Pennsy

    It was the world premiere at Grauman's Chinese in LA, but it's still not posted. :(

  • April 18, 2008, 3:29 p.m. CST

    A worthy look?

    by Luscious.868

    I doubt it. Spurlock isn't exactly what I'd call an unbiased observer.

  • April 18, 2008, 3:30 p.m. CST

    Seriously, fuck this movie in the ear

    by SHINEBOXgreen

    Saw it at Sundance. It will make your brain bleed and your testicles shrivel.

  • April 18, 2008, 4 p.m. CST

    Not about addiction...it's about pretentious bullshit

    by Darth Macchio

    I wasn't saying anything regarding the addictive qualities of either. What I was referring to is how these choads like Spurlock and the "just got out of bed hair" teenager militant anti-smokers aren't telling anyone anything they either don't already know or couldn't find out with a cursory search. The difference being that cigs were sold back in the day as a valid appetite suppressant and they even had fake doctors saying, in essence, that this cigarette was healthy for you when the reality was it's only marginally *less dangerous* due to some flimsy filter. Of course that first cig always came with that lovely hacking cough which I'm sure no one would think is bad for you? So my point wasn't that fast food or cigarettes are or are not additcive. However, they both are *obviously* bad for you plus information relating these facts has been available longer than the guv has been enforcing nutrition labels, etc.<p><p><p>As for fast food being addictive? Links please. Forgive my skepticism but it sounds an awful lot like "I'm big boned" or "I weigh 300lbs cause it's genetic" or some other bullshit 'reason' for not marginalizing obesity within society or to allow the individual the semantic escape from the poor dietary choices he or she makes. PC-correct niceties aside...obesity and shitty diets are almost guaranteed the number one cause of death in the US. Talking about the addiction to fast foods as if it's equivalent to heroin or cigarette addiction...both *chemically* addictive...is likely to be pure pseudo-scientific bullshit. Culturally addictive? Why not right? Just about anything that gives the human animal pleasure or placebo is culturally/socially addictive. That aside, I'm not saying it isn't addictive for sure cuz I don't know...but unless you've got some known medical journals and physiology articles out of the blue somehow saying that fast foods or sugary junk food are now physically or chemically (not socially/culturally) addictive...I simply don't buy it...links please!<p><p><p>Did you realize that there is no clear cut case of someone dying from second hand smoke? That's right kids...the DEA report that all of the militant anti-smoker campaign causes of the supposed harm to innocent bystanders? Yup...complete bullshit. And even our own government has bought the hype based on a bullshit report with fabricated cases. Second-hand smoke is a nuisance...nothing more (tho I wouldn't blow smoke into an infants crib or anything!). And no...I'm not a smoker (I was) but I believe in the scientific method versus what some jackass like Spurlock has to say just cause he feels like opening up his pie-hole and vomiting his opinions on everybody in range.

  • April 18, 2008, 4:08 p.m. CST

    Treason! Bloody fucking rape! Treason!

    by HExTeXly

    Rush Limbaugh can go suck a fat one (Harry's?). SSM was great, can't wait to see this one...just like SSM--on Lifetime. At 3AM. On a school night. Fucks ta all, y'all!!!

  • April 18, 2008, 4:50 p.m. CST

    The AICN Republican Guard

    by KazamaSmokers

    You can set your watch by these idiots.

  • April 18, 2008, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Wow, Node...

    by Stevie Grant

    It really troubles me how liberals have reduced "fascist" to a meaningless, mindless insult. I guess appropriation is the best way to dissolve an inherently, just-fucking-wrong, regardless-of-all-the-reasons-it-is-bad, term, into a defense nowadays. Right, nigga!

  • April 18, 2008, 5:45 p.m. CST

    Liberals VS Conservatives!!

    by Darth Macchio

    Arguing about how badly the other sucks without ever debating any actual issues. Do you guys think you'll actually change each other's minds? Or, more accurately, do you think you'll actually change each other's minds with the specific things you say here? Do you have arguments in the meat world like this too?<p><p><p>Regardless...it is occasionally fun to read. And forgive the fake/pretentious "above it all" tone...I do indeed have a say...it's just that, to me, it is the definition of 'pointlessness' trying to argue these things on an informal and anonymous forum which is about movies anyway! But that's just my opinion and I could be right.

  • April 18, 2008, 5:57 p.m. CST

    Macchio

    by Stevie Grant

    I agree with you. Arguing politics with total strangers on an anonymous internet forum is very, very gay. I try to stay away from it, and occasionally succeed. That being said... I'll most likely fail later tonight and perpetuate total suckage on this TB forum.

  • April 18, 2008, 6:09 p.m. CST

    America is still number one, baby

    by 18to88

    In France you don't even have freedom of speech. Just ask Bridget Bardot.

  • April 18, 2008, 6:18 p.m. CST

    THE MISSION WAS ALREADY ACCOMPLISHED!!!

    by Err

    Bush said so

  • April 18, 2008, 6:19 p.m. CST

    MORGAN SPURLOCK = MICHAEL MOORE VERSION 2!!!

    by Err

    Only more of a hack.

  • April 18, 2008, 6:50 p.m. CST

    true 18to88

    by Stevie Grant

    Bardot is on trial (again) for writing a personal, private letter to a politician that later got published. Sad thing is, I can see that sort of bullshit happening in the US within a decade or two.

  • April 18, 2008, 6:57 p.m. CST

    Stevie, you avoid the arguments but never cease to

    by samsquanch

    weigh in when you have a good point to make. You're the example of reasonable, informed conservative thought round these parts, in my opinion. I try to avoid argument, rarely succeed, but thanks to folks like you the conversation stays somewhat sane. It's when people, (right or left) start calling people 'idiots' and 'fucktards', or when the stupidest conversation in the world fires up- the semantic bullshit circle-jerk of: "The Nazi's had the word socialist in their name, they must be liberals!" That everything falls to pieces. Uh-oh, I think I just opened the Pandora's Box of bullshit... <p> here we go...

  • April 18, 2008, 6:58 p.m. CST

    Macchio- Battle Royale?

    by samsquanch

    Premature?

  • April 18, 2008, 7:28 p.m. CST

    um, what?

    by samsquanch

    How the hell did I deserve that, Morbid? I don't recall ever even speaking to you in the past. I guess you're one of those people who has actually made such an argument of that fallacy, and you're defending your position through insulting me? No offence to you personally, man, but if you have made this argument before, I have no sympathy for you.

  • April 18, 2008, 7:53 p.m. CST

    uss cygnus

    by shodan6672

    Please come up with something different. You have made the same post several times. Nothing wrong with being conservative but a Limbaugh-worshipping dittohead is pathetic.

  • April 18, 2008, 8:27 p.m. CST

    I guess by 'sympathy'

    by samsquanch

    I mean 'can't take anything you say seriously.' <p> why can't we all just get along?

  • April 18, 2008, 8:32 p.m. CST

    "Anonymous forum," Macchio?

    by Garbage

    But you posted your real name--Darth Macchio. It's right there on every post you make, so that's hardly "anonymous." You blew it, boy! You really blew it!

  • April 18, 2008, 9:01 p.m. CST

    Excellent!

    by Darth Macchio

    Battle Royale indeed!!! Serious is as serious does. Or not.<p><p><p>Darth Macchio is just my underground fighting circle tag. There's one guy...calls himself the Blade. Boris the Blade. I mean Boris the bullet dodger. As in he dodges bullets Avi.

  • April 18, 2008, 9:32 p.m. CST

    FUCK ALL YOU

    by Stevie Grant

    Darth Macchio has a golden idea... TB'ers fighting each other over political issues: BEST IDEA EVER (as long as George Sr. is there to tape said fights and market 'Boy Fights, AICN Edition' for the rest of our amusement).

  • April 18, 2008, 9:33 p.m. CST

    by Stevie Grant

    that would kick so much ass (only in the metaphorical sense, obviously)

  • April 18, 2008, 11:13 p.m. CST

    DARTH MACCHIO

    by BringingSexyBack

    I'm not knocking your greater point, but just making a distinction between eating and smoking. I don't know much about eating disorders but I do know smoking involves both physical and psychological addictions. Not to put too fine a point on it, but every smoker knows how bad it is. But just knowing it's bad is not enough to permanently quit it, and I think organizations like truth do help by spreading information. Cigarettes kill a whole lot of people. Only a dysfunctional and immoral society would allow it to continue without at least trying to help people stop. <p> As for arguing politics on AICN, I've found it to be a fascinating forum, given the right TB, and there are a ton of well-informed people, from a great diversity of backgrounds, to learn from here. At least that's been my personal experience. Sometimes it feels like a Battle Royale, but that's a small price to pay for such a freedom of exchange here.

  • April 19, 2008, 11:19 a.m. CST

    So...

    by jsm1978

    Another interview with this guy about a documentary THIS VERY WEBSITE has ripped to pieces in the past. Yet not a single word anywhere about Ben Stein's documentary that came out in theaters yesterday?

  • April 19, 2008, 11:29 a.m. CST

    Needs more Rockapella

    by ChrisTuckersOnlyFan

  • April 19, 2008, 1:05 p.m. CST

    Freakonomics

    by Omegaman

    You dont know what Freaknomics is? You must not... read much. I guess you have to be interested in politics. Freakonmics proves that Abortion (Roe v Wade) is what led to the huge drop in crime rates over the last couple decades. Abortion has a very postive impact on a country because it keeps single, poor, females from having babies they cant care for. And that lowers the crime rate, the welfare roles, etc.... Ill be curious to see if they cover that issue in the Freakonomics movie.

  • April 19, 2008, 1:26 p.m. CST

    Omegaman

    by Stevie Grant

    Levitt is a very famous economist because of studies like that, and generally respected in the field, but there are a lot of other economists who disagree with his process, figures, and results on his abortion paper (just like any given economic paper). It's been a while since I read the book, but, for example, I'm pretty sure he didn't take the 80's crack wars and resulting laws into consideration. His papers are interesting but saying he "proves" it might be a bit strong.

  • April 19, 2008, 3:49 p.m. CST

    sorry Node

    by Stevie Grant

    I must have confused you and Jarv

  • April 19, 2008, 3:49 p.m. CST

    Spurlock =

    by Mel Garga

    the poor man's Michael Moore's intern.

  • April 20, 2008, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Freakonomics is the new Bell Curve

    by JackieJokeman

    And is being thought of as such by more and more people. Meaning its unfounded and racist pro-eugenics crap.

  • April 21, 2008, 12:05 a.m. CST

    EXPELLED is a piece of shit

    by NapoleonDynamite

    I saw it today. It's sleazy, manipulative, dishonet trash that couldn't possibly be effective with anyone with an IQ higher than room temperature. The Dwkins scene was a joke. Dawkins says that alien deigners are hypothetically possible (which they are), but that those aliens would still have to be a product of natural evolution, not magic. Stein tries to ridicule Dawkins for positibng a "science fiction" scenario when Dawkins was speaking purely rhetorically and obviously did nt express any actual belief in the alien scenario. What's lost on Stein and his imbecile target audience is that, as ludicrous as alien designers might sound., they're still not as far fetched as hypothesizing a magical fairy who lives in the sky.