Someone Has to Deliver That Pizza!

Movie Title: Capitalism: A Love Story (2009)
Spoilers: No

---

Capitalism: A Love Story is Michael Moore’s latest stab at cooperate America, released on the 20-year anniversary of his first documentary film, Roger & Me (1989). This 127-minute film features Moore interviewing politicians, economists, religious leaders, and average, blue-collar citizens on the evils of capitalism. Also included is a flurry of archived footage of Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.

Everything, from social gatherings to mortgage scandals, is discussed at great length in what seems like miles and miles of clips. Along with the footage are silly scenes of Moore driving armored trucks up to banks and asking for the people’s tax money back and an obviously out-of-ideas Michael Moore wrapping a bank in yellow crime scene tape and claiming to be there to make a citizen’s arrest.

Moore’s message (as though you are wondering): capitalism is evil…capitalism is really evil…capitalism is really, really evil…even Catholicism and many religious figures think so. So says Father Dick Preston: “It is contrary to the common good. It is contrary to compassion. It is contrary to all the major religions. Capitalism is wrong, and therefore, has to be eliminated.” Walmart is also evil. Socialism: socialism is good…and biblical and moral, though the biblical and moral parts Moore never cared about until he found that it served his purpose to mention.

And mortgage investors are evil. Congressmen are corrupt. The big banks are manipulating the system to their own advantage. The bailout was a bad move, an illegal move forced upon us by satanic bankers who operate outside of the law. Why this sudden urgent insistence from Mr. Moore that white-collar crimes exist? We knew that. No need to state the obvious.

And then we get statements like this to go along with scenes from teary-eyed family members getting forcefully evicted from their homes: “There’s got to be some kind of a rebellion between the people who have nothing and the people who have it all.” Socialist philosophy to a “t”: You can’t sleep in a nice house of your own unless you hook me up with one of my own!

Moore gives footage of the 2002 PA Child Care scandal, wherein two judges, Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conohan, shut down the state-funded juvenile detention center to send offenders to a privately owned Wilkes-Barre and one sister location. Both judges were charged with federal racketeering.

The film opens with commentary on the downfall of Rome and with clips of the brutalities of ancient Rome. These brutalities are compared to the modern “brutality” of UFC fighting (a totally ridiculous comparison!) What Moore could and should have pointed out was Rome’s giving out of free bread and neglecting the nation’s many slums in favor of unfeasible military expansions abroad were two very important factors that played a part in her ultimate demise.

Moore spends a lot of time on the influence of the big banks, like Merrill Lynch, but without a good working knowledge of the scandals at question, the viewer can become lost in a flood of clips that are not well explained. Surprisingly little time was spent hammering America’s poor healthcare. Scholars and academics have such a love affair with Cuba’s healthcare system because it is “universal.” That’s a magic word with liberals.

Moore seems to be coming up short. This, his latest “power to the people,” romp is in some ways informative, but not sensational enough as a film. And who are his viewers, his devoted fans? The borderline nuts who stand in rallies and hold up signs that say “Capitalism = War!” For the life of him, Moore just doesn’t realize that his views of a socialized America, where business owners and network executives make $7.95 an hour, along with pizza delivery guys and housekeepers, is not thinkable.

It’s not always pretty – and yes, there is some social Darwinism involved – but if you ask this writer, capitalism is still to be preferred. If you are smart enough, strong enough, inventive enough, and determined enough, and you care to take advantage of the right opportunities, then you too can make something of yourself. If not, then I’m sorry. Life isn’t fair. Never was. Bottom line, someone has to deliver that pizza I ordered!

(JH)

---

Grade: C+ (2 stars)
Rated: R
Director: Michael Moore
Summary: Michael Moore explains the abuses of American capitalism.
Starring: William Black “Himself,” Congressman Elijah Cummings “Himself,” Baron Hill “Himself,” Marcy Kaptur “Herself,” John McCain “Himself” (archive footage), Jimmy Carter “Himself” (archive footage), Ronald Reagan “Himself” (archive footage), Michael Moore “Himself”
Genre: Documentary / Drama
Trailer

2 comments:

  1. Joe, how much time does Moore waste on interviewing religious leaders in this? I am failing to see how they have the slightest thing to do with what he's talking about.

    Also, is the message of this film – what Moore believes – really what you wrote? That "business owners and network executives make $7.95 an hour, along with pizza delivery guys and housekeepers". Does he really go that far?

    I'd never go that far. My concern is... well, it's kind of multi-layered, but my two biggest questions I want to ask today are these:

    1. Should the government allow companies to operate in a kind of "wild west" environment, where almost anything goes? Or should they break up any "foul" scheming to pave the way for more competitive markets? To follow that up, should the government use tax dollars to specifically help people who are already rich make even more?

    2. Should the government continue to back increasing stratification? Is it really fair for 4 guys at a party of 40 to eat more than half of a pie, and then complain that they don't have enough to eat and need more pie? Is this really a healthy situation for society?

    I think that the main goal should be to create a situation where you have a lot of social mobility going on. I want a landscape that is rich in opportunities for people to go out there and grab. The free market is not a natural order (many confuse it to be a natural science), and I think a lot of confusion stems from that. The other idea is that our current situation is the best POSSIBLE order. Literally every single piece of data proves that wrong. We are facing massive problems at the moment.

    There should definitely be a big difference between the money a pizza delivery boy makes and a business owner makes. But, at the same time, you don't want the differences in wealth between the rich and everyone else to be so great that it does serious damage to the very balance of our society.

    Life isn't fair– but that doesn't mean that one shouldn't work to create and maintain a balance that keeps society afloat and moving onward. This sort of concentrated wealth will only stall our society.

    Do me a favor and look up the "Progressive Era" . I'm not proposing any great revolution of any kind. I'm talking about doing a lot of the same things we did back then, as far as spirit goes. Reform, not a revolution. My ideas about this are more of a response than they are beliefs about how society should be. Things got off balance– now's the time to correct that. We have to do that before we can move forward.

    I must say one thing: I am for a "transformation" of sorts, but that goes way beyond what we're talking about. It has nothing to do with this discussion, and you will never get me to post about it online due to its many nuances and complexities.

    Some people these days are trying to use the same talking points Andrew Carnegie wrote about in "The Gospel of Wealth". The problem is, we already allowed that scenario to play out in modern times and it failed. Why some people are pushing it even more fiercely is beyond me. It just didn't happen. It would have been nice if it did, much less complicated and all, but it didn't. And it's not going to happen– the players haven't changed. Of course, I'd be willing to bet that most politicians and citizens who use this argument aren't even familiar with Carnegie's essay!

    What's Moore conclusion in this film? Does he agree with what I said or does he back some grand revolution? What's his answer?

    ReplyDelete
  2. He spends some amount of time interviewing the religious. You can tell he doesn't want to alienate the common man.

    About $7.95 per hour thing was my cynically satirical messing with his conclusion. He didn't actually say that, though his reasoning can't be far off from that. Those who are CEOs and fly in corporate jets get that because that's what their position entitles them to. A fry cook makes $7.95 an hour.

    Those on the bottom want to complain about those making it big on the top. Well, fuck, get on the top then!

    As far as your first question, my answer is that the government shouldn't penalize those for being rich. That's the general conservative stance.

    But Moore, sounds like Moore wants a revolution. His militant tone and change agent attitude stay with him. Rather than tiring and whiny, he was tiring himself out in his moving and shaking.

    (JH)

    ReplyDelete

Follow by Email

SHOWTIMES & TICKETS
Enter ZIP Code: