Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Michael Moore Premieres "Capitalism: A Love Story" in The Burgh!

The AFL-CIO Conference is here and at the last minute, they were able to get Michael Moore to do the world premiere of his new documentary, "Capitalism: A Love Story". He said it's the culmination of his 20 years of filmmaking---and it shows. As usual, Moore interlaces old film clips and commercials in between his poignant observations and commentary on contemporary events. The use of older Westerns prove to be some of the most hilarious scenes, especially one, in particular that demonstrates Ronald Reagan's response to the Women's Rights Movement.

But what I most love about Moore's "Capitalism..." is, ironically, what I most love about HBO's "True Blood" series. In the end, it's a heartfelt engagement, dialogue and challenge to that which we hold most sacred --- our beliefs, our faith, our ideas about humanity, equality, shared goods and responsibilities, what it means to actually "provide for the common welfare" (an actual clause in the American Constitution, folks) and how much one considers to be "enough".

As a scholar, I absolutely love the fact-checking and the manner in which the money trail is so eloquently (and sadly) outlined. Even my present-cynical attitude regarding government powers and personal enrichment did not prepare me for the level of evil I witnessed in this documentary. Point blank: America is a plutocracy and the only way to wield back power to the people is via real democracy. The richest 1% of the population simply cannot outvote the other 99% of the American people. Thus, Americans have revolted and that is part of the reason why Barack Obama is in office.

Unearned privilege and rampant exploitation of the working class and the everyday person is slated to come to an end, as long as we stand up. Michael Moore can't do it alone and he shouldn't have to. Barack Obama can't do it alone and he shouldn't have to. And he'll have to figure out a way to deal with Goldman Sachs and Tim Geithner, for sure. Count me in that number. It's time to continue to change the course of human history in this country, as Kwame Ture always believed would happen, anyway. I credit him, more than anyone, with spreading the message about the evils of capitalism, its inevitable demise and the natural evolution to socialism---even Democratic Socialism---an idea Cornel West has touted for quite some time. These are exciting times and I'm glad to be here. Thank you, Michael Moore, for being a great educator! See you next week!