Friday, September 25, 2009

michael moore, a love story

In "the unbearable sadness of michael moore" at Daniel Kalder raises the usual objections to Michael Moore--his movies are simplistic and one-sided and Moore profits handsomely from them (he profits from the very system he objects to, etc.)--but Kalder does use the apt phrase of "political erotica," and I can imagine Kalder debating at home whether or not to call the writing "erotica" or "pornography," perhaps with a shot of booze and a copy of Margaret Atwood's "On Pornography" nearby. I don't think anyone can dispute that Moore's films do steer the viewer in a definite direction, and like Fox News, they certainly do have an agenda.

Of course, Kalder is right that Moore is not so "complex," but I don't believe Michael Moore has ever told us he was a philosopher, nevermind one advancing us beyond an original thinker such as Karl Marx. Is "complexity" something we ever expect from mainstream film? The Weather Underground and Street Fight are two political documentaries that I feel offer more complexity than Michael Moore films, but to the best of my knowledge, neither of these sold a tremendous number of tickets. To me, a Moore film is like going to a horror film or a blockbuster. We know to an extent what we are getting into before we arrive at the theater. Complete objectivity is not what we seek or expect to find once we are seated in his theater.

Speaking of Moore's nemesis Fox News, when visiting "fair and balanced" Murdochville (not to be confused with anyone else's villes), we find these musings on Moore's new film from former Presidential candidate Tom Tacredo: "But this is Michael Moore. This is what he believes in. It's not only Michael Moore, of course. It's the president of the United States. I believe he looks at it exactly the same way. That's the scary part." It seems impossible that anti-capitalist, left-wing Michael Moore could be confused with the new (and improved?) moderate moderate President Obama, but Tacredo does this no doubt so he has a chance to pick up another appearance fee or run for office or because he is not able to see the difference between an advocate for socialized medicine and a President who is embracing private insurers as a big part of the solution to healthcare.

Tacredo later shows off his literacy, giving a full-sentence quotation from no other critic of capitalism than Karl Marx: "Hey, Michael, Michael, look at — look at me. To each according to his needs, from each according to their abilities./
Buddy, you have got more money. I need some of it, OK? We had a rough winter here."

To his credit, Tancredo acknowledges that Moore has more ability and that Moore does give money to charity but insists Moore should give it all away, as if this would be the only genuine way of living an anti-capitalist life. In other words, anyone of us who is not Mother Theresa has no right to criticize any aspect of our economic system? With some urgency, Tancredo asks for Moore's money again:

"That is exactly right. It's to each according to his needs./ And, believe me, there are a lot more people in this country who need it more than he does. I am one. Send me a check."

To me, on live television, Tacredo is obviously being sarcastic, and yet by repeating the line twice, he has me convinced that he does have financial problems! Maybe USK should write him a check? Or contact his press secretary to see if we can counsel him on life choices and not using his house as an ATM?

On the other hand, is it possible that this is how people get money in real life? They ask for it? On live television? I don't have any TV deals yet, but I'm thinking I could use this blog as a platform.

Hi, I'm Alex Kudera of the United States of Tacredo, and I have an opinion on Michael Moore, and I would like it if you send me a check! That's right Michael or you other yous, send cash now to Alex Tacredo, a former candidate for President who was almost as successful as Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul at getting his face on TV during the live debates.

In real film, as you know from his movie Sicko, Michael Moore was the once hidden benefactor who paid the hefty health bills of one of his chief critics.

Here is the link to Tacredo on Moore:,2933,547680,00.html

I am concerned for Tacredo, the poor folks of Michael Moore films, and anyone reading this who is also wondering how they will ever have enough money to afford healthcare or anything else. The latest news from the AP wire is that more 62 year olds took their social security early (with a penalty) because they were out of options. There was no work to be found, and they needed a monthly check. I believe that when one contrasts the number of years these people worked to the amount penalized by accepting an early social security, it can be shown that this penalty is a severe one. I don't believe older workers taking "retirement" five years early are to blame for the current financial crisis. Rather, they are its victims.

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