October 2, 2009, - 5:16 pm
My friend, former Detroit Free Press movie critic Terry Lawson, said it best when wrote this about Michael Moore:
His blue collar bonhomie is bunk.
That’s the flabulous filmmaker in a nutshell. And Terry Lawson is a liberal, normally inclined to side with Moore’s polemics.
To say that Michael Moore is intellectually dishonest wouldn’t be correct. It’s not intellectual. He’s just plain, flat out dishonest. And hypocritical.
And “Capitalism: A Love Story,” his latest fake-umentary, is more like Hypocrisy: A Love Story. The lovers: Michael Moore and . . . himself.
That’s unless you count actor Wally Shawn, America’s new “economic scholar” . . . and a character actor who played a teacher in “Clueless,” a title more appropriate for this flick. Shawn is suddenly an econ expert “because he’s read and studied politics and economics.” Big Deal. Shawn tells us that the problem with capitalism is
You have one guy who makes ice cream and nobody likes his, so they don’t buy it, and he goes out of business. You have another guy, and everybody likes his ice cream, so he succeeds.
And this is a problem because . . .? Capitalism . . . it’s bad because bad ice cream makers go out of business.
There isn’t a shred of honesty in this movie after that dumb “economics” lesson in “Duh!” Much of this “love story” is the same old retreads you’ve heard before, including from Moore. Barack Obama is a and the “hero.” Children are shown saluting capitalism in classrooms like a Hitler salute. Moore trots out Abu Ghraib and Gitmo scenes and calls America a human rights abuser (yup, for America, Michael Moore has no “love” story–it’s pure hate-America baloney). Capitalism, Ronald Reagan, Republicans and corporations–not the weather–are responsible for Hurricane Katrina, people losing their homes across America, and the end of America’s middle class. Americans need socialized medicine. General Motors is “bad” and still won’t give Michael Moore the interview they actually gave him while he made “Roger and Me.” And America needs workers to own and run companies . . . except Michael Moore’s filmmaking company. That needs to be majority owned by its creator.
Not only are Reagan, Republicans, and businesses responsible for all of America’s ills, but these corporations want to murder their employees. That’s what Moore implies when he “explores” “dead peasants policies,” the derogatory term used by trial lawyers and lefties to describe life insurance policies that companies take out on their employees to recoup some of the costs of hiring and training a new employee and losing an already-trained one. Companies, in Moore’s view, are murderers who want to see their employees die so they can collect death benefits. And to make the point of how evil this is, he shows us a shot of George W. Bush on a commemorative plate in the home of a widow of a bank employee. Aha! Bush did it! I knew it!
Moore also tells us that the reason planes crash is that pilots aren’t paid enough. So it’s ironic that he uses testimony of Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger to bolster his argument, since birds were the reason his plane sank. Moore tells us that pilots have to work multiple jobs and go on food stamps to survive. That’s tragic. But it isn’t–as Moore claims–the reason pilots crash. It’s ironic, too, that a recent report just came out this week showing that a number of pilots engage in a good deal of chatter and other improper behavior at critical points in flights when they’re supposed to be paying attention. That’s not in Michael’s “Love Story.” But love means never having to say you’re sorry . . . or you’re wrong.
At the beginning of his cinematic screed, Moore laments the disappearance of the Fifties way of life in America, “when families could live on one income.” But later on, he decries Ronald Reagan’s opposition to feminism and the ERA–the Equal Rights Amendment. It’s lost on him that feminism implored women to go out and work to “prove their equality and worth,” and the economy adjusted to the dual income household. Yes, Moore’s cherished feminism and “equal rights” movement are the reason families need two incomes to survive today.
Moore claims that capitalism is behind a dishonest judge who took bribes and kickbacks from a company running a privatized youth detention center in Pennsylvania and unfairly sent kids there for long sentences for no reason. Yeah, because in state-run systems and Communist countries, there’s never bribery or corrupt officials, or cronyism. Riiiight.
Moore says capitalism destroyed Detroit’s neighborhoods. Actually, it’s the exact opposite, far-left Black Panthers and their riots forty-odd years ago, as well as third-world anti-capitalist “leadership” and policies destroyed Detroit’s neighborhoods. But why tell the truth, when it doesn’t fit your agenda? Like Moore, Detroit Mayors like Coleman Young and its whacked out City Council are capitalists for themselves and communists for every business and job of the many that they’ve driven out of the city. Moore also glorifies squatting, which certainly hasn’t helped any neighborhood, in Detroit or otherwise. How would Michael Moore like it if I broke into his Torch Lake mansion just because I felt like living there? He seems to like it when people do that to a bank’s property.
Then, there’s Bishop Thomas Gumbleton and sundry other left-wing Catholic clerics, telling us that Jesus was against capitalism. Perhaps, but since I’m a Jew and don’t believe in him, why should I care? And why should I care what Gumbleton says? For decades, he’s been a vehement leader of the far-left liberation theology movement and a long-time communist who supported Daniel Ortega, the P.L.O., and every other enemy of the West. Of course, a commie is gonna hate capitalism. Einstein stuff, Michael Moore.
Since the movie was made, Moore has now told the world that Islam and Judaism are against capitalism, too. I can’t speak for my friends in the “Religion of Peace” whose financiers are the biggest capitalists in the black gold market. But I can tell Rabbi Moore that my religion is very capitalist. In fact, Judaism believes in a flat ten percent tax and our prayers include beseeching G-d to help us make a good living. There’s nothing about building a business and handing it over to the workers. Not in my Torah.
And Moore’s graphs and charts are dishonest, too. He shows pictures of Ronald Reagan on repeated graphs all purporting to show that bankrupcties, incarcerations, sales of anti-depressants, unemployment, downsizing, lowering of wages, and other economic maladies all went up. And his narration blames Reagan for them. Problem is–while he shows a big picture of Ronald Reagan smiling at the point of escalation of these problems–the point of escalation is 1990. Who was President then? Was it Ronald Reagan or was it a liberal Republican who asked us to read his lips, no new taxes, and then raised taxes? And who was President for eight of the next ten years of the chart where all of these problems keep going up geometrically? Here’s a hint: his initials are Bill Clinton.
But Clinton gets away unscathed in this movie, as does Barack Obama. He’s Moore’s hero and the movie’s. While Moore is upset that a guy name Timothy Geithner and others bailed out the banks, he fails to note who appointed them and for whom they work. Gee, I think it’s a President whose initials stand for Body Odor and whose economic policies are even more malodorous.
But most people watching this movie are dummies, or they’re Michael Moore’s amen crowd. But then I repeat myself. They’re not going to look at those graphs and charts and point this out to themselves or their groupthink fellow useful idiots.
The Hackers, an older couple, whom Moore shows throughout the movie getting evicted from their family farm, are a tragic story. You can’t have a heart and not feel for these desperate people. I felt for them, and it was difficult to watch them lose everything. But they apparently took out an ARM–Adjustable Rate Mortage–on their farm, something barely mentioned. And unlike this very sympathetic couple on hard times, Moore shows none of the subprime mortgage takers who never should have bought a home and did so carelessly, knowing they had no money to pay for it. Nor does he show those who bought homes they couldn’t afford, whether for investment properties, vacation homes, or just because they wanted to keep up with the Joneses.
And finally, there’s the company in Madison, Wisconsin that Moore portrays as paradise on earth. Employees own the company and decide what wages are paid and everyone owns everything. He compares it to his other paradise: Europe, where unions often have seats on company boards and help run the show. The problem is Michael Moore hasn’t taken steps to do that himself. He owns his company and he and his wife don’t equally divide the profits and wages among his workers. In fact, ex-employees of Moore’s have repeatedly claimed he did not pay them overtime, minimum wage, or benefits, and abused his position as an employer. So much for paradise when you force other bosses to create it while you lounge around and mouth off about their ethics. Do Michael Moore’s Best Boys and Key Grips get to vote on how his profits are spent? Do they make what he’s making on “Capitalism: A Love Story”? Of course, not. There’s no equity and egalitarianism in Moore’s camp. Like Terry Lawson said, his blue collar act is a fraud.
Moore also doesn’t tell us what incentive anyone has to sweat and toil and risk to create a going concern, if it then must be taken over by the masses who did nothing to make it a success in the first place. Moore insist on “fairness in the workplace,” but how fair is it for one person to put in his heart and soul and risk everything, and then be forced to give it away to his employees when the risk turns into a successful product and/or company? He merely tells us that everyone should be like Jonas Salk who gave away his polio vaccine. But has Moore ever given away his movies and said, hey, Hollywood, don’t pay me? PUH-LEEZE. Reports say the guy’s worth over $50 million.
Moore shows a bunch of mansions of CEOs of companies and is upset by them. But two properties in the movie are missing: Moore’s mansion in Torch Lake in Michigan and his $1.2 million apartment in New York. CEOs aren’t allowed to live well. Only a fat film guy from Flint is.
During one of my encounters with Michael Moore, I asked him why he criticizes corporate welfare (and I agree somewhat with that criticism), yet wears pro sports teams’ T-shirts and hats. He said, “Well, I’m a hypocrite. I admit it. I’m not 100% consistent.”
Uh, yeah. Not even close. But he is right about the first part. “Capitalism: A Love Story” isn’t about capitalism. It’s about Michael Moore’s love affair with hypocrisy.
Capitalism is just the prostitute this pimp throws under the bus.
To Moore’s credit, during a scene on Wall Street, Moore includes a great response when he asks people on the street for advice. One man tells him:
Yeah, don’t make any more movies.
Great advice. But the biggest capitalist of them all, Michael Moore, won’t take it. He’s got a capitalist anti-capitalist lifestyle–and a love affair with his lies–to support.
Tags: Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Capitalism: A Love Story, Chesley Sullenberger, dead peasant, dead peasant policies, dead peasants, docu-fakery, documentaries, fake-umentary, Hackers, Hurricane Katrina, Michael Moore, Movie Reviews, Sully Sullenberger, Terry Lawson, Thomas Gumbleton, Wallace Shawn, Wally Shawn