Friday, September 25, 2009

Michael Moore does it again with Wolf Blitzer

thanks to Icebergslim for the videos


Andre said...

I went to see Mike Moore in Flint where he gave a viewing of "Capitalism...". Before he started, he prefaced the showing by essentially doing exactly what he did in this Wolf interview: he clearly avoided a legitimate question of how he could demonize the very system that has made HIM wealthy. I like Mike Moore; and I loved his documentary. But I kept thinking to myself: CEO's are bad for exploiting poor people, separating themselves from the marginalized, and getting off them = bad. But what Mike is doing is...good, somehow?

redante said...

Hi Andre

Not having seen the movie yet I can't really say whether or not Michael Moore "demonizes" capitalism. From what I gather from news sources and his past films and reputation, much of what he probably says about the American economic system are quite accurate. Unless someone can point out to me in what ways Moore describes capitalism is inaccurate I would have to say he is not involved in "demonizing" but merely telling the truth.

But I do get your point which implies hypocrisy on Moore's part on becoming a wealthy man based on his critiques of the System. The most similar case of a criticism like that I can remember is when people criticized the militant Leftist rock group Rage Against the Machine along the same terms.

Their response: "When you live in a capitalistic society, the currency of the dissemination of information goes through capitalistic channels. Would Noam Chomsky object to his works being sold at Barnes & Noble? No, because that's where people buy their books. We're not interested in preaching to just the converted. It's great to play abandoned squats run by anarchists, but it's also great to be able to reach people with a revolutionary message"

Andre said...

Hi Lib,

I think I overdid it with the hyperbole. Moore's flick didn't "demonize" capitalism as much as it simply offered an indictment of the folks who take advantage of the system to satisfy their over avarice. Without giving away any of the film, he actually suggests that Capitialism - without it's co-option from the greedy and deregulation by the powers that be - can be a good system. He's even argued that at times. So I apologize for loosely describing the film earlier.

That doesn't change my feelings as much about people who are critical of the very systems from which they are benefitting. I suppose for me the larger issue is how these folks (artists, clergy, celebrities, and the other prominent personalities) claim to operate in the interest of "the people", while they're strolling to the bank. Was Rage Against the Machine sharing their message with free concerts? Is Rev. "So and So" offering people 'A word from the Lord' for no charge (like the original apostles did)? Is Mike Moore going to look out for 'the people' by lifting ticket prices?

Not likely.

My ulitmate point, I guess, would be that it's easy being preachy and high & mighty on principle when your payoff is right.

redante said...

Hi Andre

Totally understand your point about people (especially celebrities and entertainers) who have built a career around railing against the System and have benefited tremendously financially as a result.

Depending on the artist and the message they are saying I try to cut them a little bit of slack on this one, especially if a little research on their off-stage activities reveals a genuine concern for the cause and actual, on the ground work with activists, nonprofits, and political organizations that do good work.

The members of Rage Against the Machine, for example, have given free concerts. But more than that they are involved in something called Axis of Justice, a collective of artists who do political organizing for social justice. Geologic, the MC of the Underground hip hop group the Blue Scholars, for example, is well-known as a political and community organizer in his off-stage life. In the age of the Internet it is relatively easy to find out who walks the walk and who doesn't.

Opposition voices to the powerful Establishment is relatively rare in the US mass media. When an anti-System act or celebrity breaks through I pay attention.Especially when they get big because that indicates there is a demand for such voices. It is OK to be skeptical but I would caution against dismissing them out of hand because if they are silenced, what other mass media access do alternative voices in politics and society have?

Brian said...

Moore is one of the few Progressives with the backbone to stand up and fight back.

I will try to see his latest.... (I saw the last two documentaries and enjoyed them).