Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Warning: Ad-Hominem Attacks and Random Thoughts on Michael Moore

You gotta hand it to Michael Moore. He has found a gold mine in the mass-media market, using the same old tricks that right-wing media commentators have been using for years. Characterize your opponents as the evil enemy. Make use of extraordinary hyperbole and utilize emotion wrenching visual images, mixed with market-tested ad hominem attacks, and laugh all the way to the bank. The funny thing is, he is not only profiting handsomely from a medium that makes million in profits by exploiting tragedy and manipulating truth, he could be a poster boy for the mainstream myth of the "American Dream." Poor boy from Flint makes good, Viva la America!

The work of this fellow former Flint resident (folks in my family worked for Buick for years, and I have relatives who have stayed) shows that free speech is truly a profitable endeavor if marketed in a professional manner. We should all be thankful that Hollywood is witness to the fact of what a really astute person working within the existing market structures can accomplish politically. Because of Michael Moore, We are now better equipped to insist that the consumerism and decadence that drives us (especially me) to the very mental and emotional state of dysfunction that we currently disdain be cared for by corporate America for free. You made me this way, now treat me.

Yet, this is not a rant about the evils of socialized medicine. Every single citizen of the World is owed an equal opportunity to enjoy medical care regardless of income. However, we had better be working to prevent the diseases that are making all of us ill, such as free-market or state-sanctioned capitalism, and the demand that our lives be free from sacrifice or want.

Perhaps I should give up on watching movies, and stop listening to talk-radio or NPR, and give up the profit-driven life. We could survive together, and then we could invite the poor, and the sick, and the elderly to contribute to our community as we know they can. Jesus healed so that people who were ritually excluded from community could find covenant relationships again. We can reflect God's desire that people enjoy wholeness by offering relationships free of consumer driven priorities, schedules, and values. I wonder if anyone would make a movie about that? Perhaps Remember the Titans?

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