Should a 400 lb man advise us on the evils of over-consumption?
Should the resident of a million-dollar apartment claim to be a poster boy of the working class?
Should a person who thought that Enron was a great investment, that Ralph Nader, Wesley Clark and John Kerry would win, and that North Korea's Kim Jong was changing for the better, advise us on ANYTHING?
Michael Moore is a paradox. A millionaire who boasts of wealth as proving his value -- "I'm a millionaire, I'm a multi-millionaire. I'm filthy rich. You know why I'm a multi-millionaire? 'Cause multi-millions like what I do. That's pretty good, isn't it?"
He lives in a million-dollar apartment, and boasts of that as well. "I walk among them. I live on the island of Manhattan, a three-mile-wide strip of land that is luxury home and corporate suite to America's elite..... Those who run your life live in my neighborhood. I walk in the streets with them each day" (Michael Moore, Stupid White Men, p. 51). For vacations, he keeps another million-dollar beachfront house in Michigan.
"You would think that he's the ultimate common man. But he's money-obsessed," said one associate.
He sends his child to a private school -- no sense associating with the working class -- and has some trouble associating with them himself. The New York Post reported on a tantrum he threw in London: "Then, on his second-to-last night, [Michael Moore] raged against everyone connected with the Roundhouse and complained that he was being paid a measly $750 a night. 'He completely lost the plot,' a member of the stage crew told the London Evening Standard. 'He stormed around all day screaming at everyone, even the 5 pound-an-hour bar staff, telling them how we were all con men and useless. Then he went on stage and did it in public.' At his last appearance, staffers refused to work or even open the theater's doors." NY Post, Jan. 8, 2003.
He supplements his meager income with speaking tours. No more $750 gigs; on his 2004 pre-election tour he charged Utah Valley State College $40,000, Xavier $25,000, and University of New Mexico $35,000. Not bad for an hour or two's work.
Ah, the joys of capitalism....
One of his former associates summed him up: " You would think that he's the ultimate common man. But he's money-obsessed."
His major themes are his status as the spokesman of the working class, the evils of capitalism, and the selfishness of (all other) Americans.
It would be easy to denounce Moore as a hypocrite. Many conservatives denounce him as a leftist, when in fact the serious left, the thinking left, generally finds him appalling. He is the latest in the modern breed of Limosine Leftists -- individuals who, while personally they share the values of 19th century robber barons, find it flattering to adopt a thin veneer of leftism as a pose, in the same manner they pick a flattering hair style or gown. (A left-leaning critic of Moore summed up the situation very nicely: Moore's appeal lies in his giving wealthy, over-educated, whites an opportunity to laugh at working-class whites.)
But enough on Michael Moore as a person. Let's examine his output.
A consistent theme can be found throughout his work, and that is a theme of deception any time it is useful. Moore fixes upon a conclusion and, when the data do not exist, simply invents them.
A look at Bowling for Columbine (my main analysis to date). In producing his Oscar-winner, Moore altered history, misled his viewers, and edited the footage and audio in such a way as to reverse the meaning. In one case, he took a speech of a person he desired to target; the problem was that the speech was in fact conciliatory and mild. So he spliced in footage from another speech, cut out paragraphs, and spliced the beginning of one sentence to the ending of another. In another, when he wanted to criticize a political advertisement, but it wasn't as pointed as he wanted, he spliced together two different political ads, then added titling which was in neither.
A short review of his perhaps autobiographical Stupid White Men. Here we learn such shocking things as -- 200,000 Americans are dying of Mad Cow Disease and no one knows it; Bush secretly stole the election by having Florida bar convicted felons (which Moore maintains were great Gore supporters) from voting; Nader did the Demos a big favor by running in 2000; Enron is a great investment. Okay, Mike.
Another of his books --Dude, Where's My Country, (page still under construction.) In this tome we learn "There is no terrorist threat," (p. 95) and Richard Nixon was the last liberal President, (p. 193). (Even more amusingly, in chapter 8 Moore pledges to contribute the limit to whichever Democrat has the best chance of winning (p. 162) and then in chapter 11 tells the reader that the Democrats are "professional losers," that "Democratic Party leaders have told me something they will not admit in public -- that they have basically written off 2004; that they see little chance of defeating George W. Bush" (p. 204) and that they might as well run Oprah Winfrey. (p. 206).)
Not really on-theme -- but I'm working on my own documentary, an honest treatment of the Second Amendment and the American right to arms. It will show details many do not dream exist. For example, the fact that the 14th Amendment (perhaps the most important Amendment of them all -- without it, States would be free to violate any provision of the Federal bill of rights) arose directly out of post-1865 State attempts to disarm the returning black Union veterans. Click here for details.
Hits on this (and its predecessor) since April 2003: