Sunday, September 18, 2011


I missed this when it first came out two years ago, but I've caught parts of it on cable, just never watched it from beginning to end until last night.

Probably good I waited. If I hadn't done a lot of work to help myself be a hopefully more patient and less angry guy, this would have had me raging. As it is, it just made me sad.

Some of you I'm sure have seen this addition to Michael Moore's series of j'accuse documentaries that should be required viewing for all high school seniors and all voters before elections.

His indictment of, in this film, "capitalism" as practiced in contemporary USA is as expected sometimes humorous, sometimes heart wrenching, but always reflective of realities that cannot be denied, no matter how much the right accuses Moore himself of manipulating through editing etc.

Our own experience, I'm sure, substantiates most of his films' indictments. But the saddest thing about watching this actually was toward the end when the hope Obama inspired overwhelmed so many of us. Watching folks exposed for their connections to corporate cronyism and serving the interests of financial institutions and their wealthy CEOs et. al. end up being held on or appointed by Obama is a little heartbreaking.

Though there is also footage of Obama's risking political capital in defending workers holding out for the full faith payment they were owed and never received (that sit-down strike in the Chicago window company), which is heartening).

But the real heroes in this flick—besides those workers, and others fighting for the right of a family not to be evicted from their lifetime home etc.—were the whistle blowers and regulators and handful of politicians who spoke out against the corporate greed and injustice. There was one Midwest Congresswoman who I'd love to see run for president herself, but I didn't even catch her name (I know I can look it up but I'm reporting my own lack of focus on some of the massive array of details that we're bombarded with all day long that makes it more difficult than say in the "'60s" to organize widespread and cohesive protests against the insidious entrenchment of corporate greed as our nation's most rewarded  characteristic.

All I can say is, no matter his faults or shortcomings, thank God for Michael Moore. we need more like him, including directors of regular dramatic movies who can create a GRAPES OF WRATH, the film version, for these times.


harryn said...

And I just saw Bill Clinton on the Today Show ...
Mr. Clinton summed things up by clearly saying what we've been suggesting for a long time: 'Conflict is good for news and politics - not cooperation. If they want to get anything done in Washington, they'll have to cooperate'.
I was haunted this weekend by the memory of how painful and heartbreaking my foreclosure was - and how 90 days of difficulties can fall on deaf ears and a bureaucracy with a momentum of its own.
Though it doesn't mean much to the piggy banks, I wonder what happened to the 300K of initial down-payment that vanished with the American Dream that Michael Moore illustrates so poignantly.
Who found what so many people lost ...

Lally said...

I hear you Paul, but having not gone through that I can only imagine the pain it must have caused you and your family. I'm one of the lucky ones who sold before the crash, so according to the rightwing template I should be gloating about my foresight etc. instead of sympathizing and understanding that there but for the grace of God go I. And of course, my healthcare problems and bills would have long ago bankrupted me if I were younger and without insurance or Medicare, which I was for much of my earlier adult years, including with kids. How can anyone not feel for those suffering from the collapse of an economy built on big bank gambles for which we taxpayers paid and most of those very banks still profit.

JIm said...
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