Capitalism: A Love Story
Michael Moore is a national treasure. Seriously, folks, two-hundred years from now, his films and books will be studied in civics classes much in the same way that Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" is studied today. I am convinced of that. It's refreshing to know that in 2010, we can walk into a movie theater and see on the silver screen topics being dealt with that the main stream media - with the blessed exception of Bill Moyers - insists on ignoring. We ignore Michael Moore to our own detriment.
If you didn't get the chance to see it in the theaters, you can now view it in the privacy of your very own home, boys and girls! On Tuesday morning Moore's latest film, Capitalism: A Love Story, was released on DVD. It is his most important one to date. Buy it. Watch it. Organize a showing at your local library. Make sure that as many people as possible see this film. If enough of them come to realize how badly they're getting screwed by their elected representatives, there will be a revolution in this country. It's been seventy-seven years since the last one. We're long overdue.
In fact, there is a revolution brewing at this moment in our history - for all the wrong reasons. People are rising up against an imaginary organization of Liberal politicians that doesn't even exist in this country anymore. Life can be funny that way, you know? Americans even funnier. Go figure.
Democracy in America has been overthrown - plain and simple. For three decades Corporate America was allowed - by law - to rape, pillage and loot our national treasure. When their house of marked cards came crashing down on September 15, 2008, you and I, against our will, were forced to bail these hideous bastards out. That's not a democracy. That's a plutocracy! These "Plutocrats" were able to buy our democratic form of government under the guise of campaign contributions. They have seized it and they have no intention of giving it back. And don't kid yourself by thinking that this is the fault of any particular political party. Both of them have been thoroughly corrupted - the Republicans only slightly more than the Democrats. You say you want a revolution?
In this new movie, Mike dots every i and crosses every t - or to the extent that that's possible in slightly over two hours. A comprehensive look at the shambles that is the American economy would require a film several months in length. It took thirty years to create this mess and it's not going to be cleaned up overnight. When the American electorate stupidly signed on to Ronald Reagan's moronic Supply Side, Trickle Down, Voo Doo Economics in 1980, we effectively sealed our fate. Back then, there were a few voices in the wilderness who were sounding the alarm: that Reaganomics was mathematically unfeasible and that we were committing a long and slow economic suicide. Those warnings went unheeded. After all, it was the Roaring Eighties, baby! Let the next generation clean up our mess!
We're in the money!
The skies are sunny!
We've got a lot of what it takes to get along!
The long dormant chickens of the era of Ronald Reagan have come home to roost with a nasty vengeance. Someday, I hope, we as a nation will overcome our dysfunctional love affair with Reagan and come to understand what a fool the man was. The damage he did to our country was so immense, it will never be accurately assessed. There was a period between the years 1993 and 2001 where that damage might have been put in reverse. Unfortunately it was only aided and abetted by Bill Clinton. And you wonder why I am no longer a Democrat? No Friend Of Bill am I.
The premise of Capitalism: A Love Story is going to be awfully hard for many of us to swallow. In essence the argument being made is that capitalism has failed. We're not merely talking about unregulated, out-of-control capitalism; were talking about capitalism PERIOD. And while it might have been a reasonable option once-upon-a-time - that is no longer the case. Our economic value system needs to be completely rethought if we are going to survive as a nation. And what are the odds of something that miraculous ever happening? About slightly less than zilch. Best of luck to us.
On whom would Jesus foreclose?
One of my favorite scenes in the film is where the theological argument against the capitalistic system is made by a Catholic priest named father Richard Preston. He calls it by its rightful name: "Evil". In the DVD version, there is an extended interview with Father Dick in the "Special Features" section. That segment alone is worth the price of the ticket.
Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called Sons of God
Jesus of Nazareth
We're no longer living in the "land of the free". Show me a people whose lives are held hostage by the greed of the ruling class and I'll show you a people who are many things. "Free" they are not. This situation has existed for many years now and it's only recently that we're starting to catch on. Unfortunately, due to the successful propaganda campaign being spewed forth by FOX Noise, the GOP and the so-called "Tea Party", that mass anger is being misdirected. The "Liberals" are behind all of our problems, we are being led to believe. That is only true inasmuch as they have been rendered (by themselves largely) as irrelevant in recent years. The only true progressives in the entire senate are Russ Feingold and Bernie Sanders. Liberalism is deader than the three Kennedy brothers combined - and that's pretty damned dead, Buster!
Capitalism: A Love Story costs about twenty bucks. Trust me on this one, it's more-than-worth the price. On the DVD's box, Mary Corliss of Time magazine says, "This is Moore's magnum opus". I'm inclined to agree. Each film this guy produces somehow manages to top the previous one in importance. It almost makes one tremble to even contemplate what the subject of his next one will be. It is enlightening, disturbing and moving all at once....OH! And did I mention that it's funny, too? It's a scream! Even the music in the closing credits had me rolling on the floor - the worker's anthem, "The Internationale" sung by a lounge singer named Tony Babino in the swingingest, Las Vegas/Rat Pack style! Koo-Koo, baby!
This is the film that Michael Moore should have won the Academy Award for, and yet he didn't even get a nomination this time 'round. That's okay with me - I can't even remember the last time I watched the Oscars anyway. That award is meaningless. The thing to remember is that this is the film which will be remembered twenty years from today as the warning that was ignored. Michael Moore is a prophet. That fact will become more and more obvious as the years transpire. The economic cataclysm has barely begun.
My brother Pete recently bid on a charity auction. The prize was a guided tour for two of the Abbey Road Studios in merrie old England where the Beatles recorded. HE WON! For the average Fab fan, that's the closest thing to a religious experience. We'll be over there in May. Any UK readers want to meet up for a pint or two?
A splendid time is guaranteed for all!