Monday, November 2, 2009

Michael Moore Hates America

I finally got to see Capitalism: A Love Story and it wasn't what I expected. I think the best way to review this movie is to break it down to three individual parts.

1. Michael Moore Is Fat -- Capitalism, like all Michael Moore movies, is a mixture of humor, showmanship and stories that even the allegedly liberal media doesn't like to cover. Oh, sure, on the local level you see stories of people who lose homes in which their parents and grandparents lived but mostly they lament and tear their garments over the idea that CEOs will now have to struggle by on a meager $500,000 per year. The pundits on CNBC wonder how any company will be able to retain the people who wrecked the economy if their pay is limited like that. Michael Moore, on the other hand, insists on talking about how the average person is taking it on the chin and, in many cases, right up the ass either because they lost their jobs or fell for the con often supported by the folks at CNBC and other media outlets that they should be players in the world of banking and high finance.

2. Michael Moore Is A Fat, Rich, Commie Hypocrite -- Michael Moore is a liberal who isn't particularly well liked by the "liberal" media because Moore likes to remind them when they don't do their jobs. For instance, in this movie, Moore tells us how thoroughly the government, particularly the part of the government responsible for regulating the financial industry is infiltrated by people who worked in and got insanely wealthy because of the financial industry. Most media outlets simply dismiss this while Moore says it might not be such a good idea to appoint people to oversee financial workers whom they know as those lovely people they see at dinner parties. Because Moore says things like this, he receives from people like Wolf Blitzer and Maria Bartiromo something that people like the Treasury Secretary, both current and former, receive, that being scrutiny and skepticism.

3. Michael Moore Wants Us To Be Like Cuba With Himself As A Fat Fidel Castro -- Something Moore repeats throughout the movie is that capitalism is evil. This is something his critics bend over backwards to misunderstand. Moore has no problem with people who create a product, fairly sell it to the public and get rich as a result. Hell, that's how he makes his living, a fact used by his critics to brand him a hypocrite. The target of Capitalism:A Love Story isn't the guy who makes a tasty cupcake and manages to make a comfortable living by selling more cupcakes than other cupcake manufacturers. No, Moore would only start criticizing the cupcake guy if he started telling people that his competitors' cupcakes caused AIDS and then used his massive cupcake profits to bribe Congressmen with campaign contributions to get huge subsidies and tax breaks for himself that would be paid for by cutting Social Security payments to war widows while using a cheap, toxic corn syrup sweetened polymer for his cupcake filling. What I just wrote is a pretty good summation of the current state of capitalism as it exists today and it's also what Moore's movie is all about.

Moore's movie is a counterpoint to those in the media who preach the glories of individual wealth over common good. It's not a perfect movie. For example, Moore employs the trick he's used in every movie he's done in which he shows up in a place he knows he's not wanted in order to record them tossing him out. I don't feel like harping on its imperfections, though. I prefer to concentrate on the people who applauded at the movie's end and the generally positive discussion that ensued afterward. This fat hypocritical communist tells and shows us things that you hardly ever hear from people of his level in the modern media and for that we should all be thankful.

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