Where to Invade Next

February 22, 2016 at 5:00 pm | Posted in 2016 | Leave a comment
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In some ways, I think that Michael Moore is the Ron Jeremy of documentarians. He just makes liberal porn that we all watch because we enjoy seeing him be a big dick that sticks it to people. And fair enough. To that end, you won’t be disappointed here. Moore takes his camera all over Europe (and a few other cursory places) and examines what other countries do better than we do. As he looks at school lunches, vacation time, access to education, treatment of prisoners, gender equality and a host of other issues, his central message seems to be that America created the ethos that these great ideas were built upon but that we have somehow lost our way. As is typical Moore, the film is sometimes funny, sometime poignant, sometimes insightful and sometimes downright silly. As with any good propagandist, Moore leads his interviewees exactly where he wants them to go. He lobs softball questions designed to highlight how amazing they are and then he looks shocked for the camera, as though he had no idea what the answers would be. This is the stuff that infuriates conservatives about Moore and rightly so. There is so often an air of righteous disingenuousness about him. The problem with his approach is that you can’t help but wonder what part of the story he isn’t telling. On the surface, he is absolutely right, of course. We should treat our children and our students and our workers and our criminals and ourselves so much better than we do. We probably would be happier and healthier if we vacations liked the Italians and ate like the French and worked like the Germans. But can we do everyone one of those things and are there any hidden costs? Moore claims each of these ideas for the U.S. as though it were just that simple, as though we will all collectively wake up and start demanding these things from our government. But the problem with porn is that it’s all artifice. You’ve just spent 2 hours in a fantasy world and nothing has changed. When it’s over, you stumble back out int0 the light and are forced to face the depressing world exactly as it is.

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