Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Who’s in it? Michael Moore sans 50 pounds.
Whoa whoa whoa, isn’t he totally one sided? Yes.
So why even watch it? Because the issue is important—it’s our health that is on the line here. Our lives, really.
So what’s the deal? Our health-care system is run by for-profit companies, which means the people in charge answer to two things: the bottom line and shareholders. This creates a conflict of interest as insurance companies want to maximize their profits as much as possible. Which is fine, they are a private company—that’s their job.
What’s his point? That everyone should be able to be cared for, no matter what insurance you do or don’t have, no matter what excuses an insurance company gives you.
Any crying? Yes, in Cuba. It’s unfortunate what Moore does here—he makes us cry and he makes us angry. Is he manipulating us? Sure. Are the tears warranted? Yes. Is he fooling us into being on “his side” of the issue? No. The system is broken and he’s pointing at the deficiencies with a huge red arrow so that we recognize the problems. Is it that simple? No, but he’s not looking to be a neutral, 6 o’clock news story. There is an urgency in his message.
What scares me: Besides getting seriously sick and having my insurance decline coverage for bullshit reasons, the fact that Moore’s movies are the perfect recipe for inciting rage, fears, CHANGE. I mean, unless you’re a real heartless bastard (or a Republican in the case of Fahrenheit 9/11), then his movies have to make you angry. Why is the gun issue so fucked up in this country? Are we going to put up with the kind of shit the Bush administration has done vis a vis Iraq and 9/11? Are we satisfied being bullied around by insurance companies when it comes to our lives, our health, and our livelihood? What scares me is that his previous movies did their job—they pushed the right buttons for people more aware of politics, but that was it. This movie should cause massive change. Should shock people into demanding change. History shows that the furor over this movie will be at an all-time high, and then it will go away. Why? A lot of money is at stake for a lot of powerful people (God, how cliche and “alternative wannabe” that sounds—I’m really not though).
The Obama connection: When I started paying attention to Obama’s campaign talking points, I realized his main issue was going to be health care (this is after Iraq—every hopeful’s #1 issue), more specifically: universal health care. Then I saw the release date for this movie and it hit me: Obama is a smart man. He’s been shouting universal health care for months and, if Moore’s movies provide an accurate track record, universal health care will be on everyone’s mind when this movie blows up later this month. Obama will have the necessary ammo to overtake Hillary. Obama won’t “endorse” the movie or anything crazy like that—Moore is too far out there for that—but still.
Why Hillary? You’ll see in the movie how sassy she was back in Clonton’s day—she was Mrs Universal Health Care. She fought the big wigs. Then they bought her out and she has become the second highest person receiving contributions from the health-care industry. This will be a huge talking point come election time.
Where to live then? Cuba, Canada, England, or France. The look at France is especially intriguing. The group of Americans who now live over there feel guilty as hell that they only have to work 35 hours a week, get five weeks off paid vacation, and pay absolutely nothing for all medical care (I looked this up and they actually have 85% covered by the government). Canadians are priceless: they are like “Pay? No, no, no, it’s free.” They just can’t comprehend the for-profit system. The idea of paying for health care is something that just doesn’t compute with them. And yes I know this is all very one sided and bias and all, but still.
Bottom line: This is a fucked up system. Hopefully the movie can jump start the debate on the issue and the actual movie can be put aside. It’s like driving to an environmental rally in a hummer—yeah, it may be a little controversial, but it gets you there so you can try to change things. The end justifies the means here. And if Moore needed to be one sided or a little snarky to get me pissed off and outraged about the way it all works, so be it. The bottom line is we need to get universal health care.
Post Office connection: It’s state sponsored, government run, whatever. The point is it’s not a for-profit, private company. I remember people were complaining about how slow their mail was or something and about possibly privatizing it. Someone pointed out that, if you did that, you would see what cost you 42 cents before would cost $4. It’s what would be needed to make it profitable. And that’s our freakin mail, people. Our mail is more important?
Full Disclosure: I wrote this review a few days ago and now that I’m rereading it I realize how converted I come across, how thoroughly convinced and on Moore’s side. It’s a strong movie like that, it has that power to just plain old convert you. Good or bad? Who knows, but the idea here is that it get people talking about the issue. This is Moore’s saving grace: people become aware of a very important/interesting issue.


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