Michael Moore – this tough-neck of a documentary movie maker has made a career out of criticizing the downsides of American politics. Where I come from he would be regarded as a class-A celebrity. It is therefore surprising to realize that many young Americans have never heard of him. To be fair; it seems like he also has his bunch of fans (read; democrats) and enemies (read; conservatives) over here… I joined “An evening with Michael Moore” at Georgetown University to get first hand insight into the life and thoughts of this Emmy- and Oscar-winning “different thinker”.
Mr Moore was introduced to the audience with the hobbies “gardening” and “getting rid of G. W. Bush at presidency”. He came directly from three days demonstrating at Wall Street where he participated in a campaign against greed in USA. His kick off story was a romantic story of how life was in Detroit 30-40 years ago, where rich people lived happy lives while being taxed 50-90 % and the people employed in their factories were able to live descent lives and support their families. Back in those days, youth were even able to pursue education across USA for almost free, so say Moore. Nowadays, in contrast, the “credit card society” makes people live on the line. People are afraid; they are in fear of loosing their house, in fear of loosing their jobs. Why and how has the life in US changed so fundamentally?
I’ll summarize his answer to this in the following phrasing:
Greed among the few grows fear among the many.
What Mr. Trouble really want to change is the thinking among many Americans to live in terms of “we” rather than the ingrained “me”. Such a change would among other things benefit the 46 million people living in poverty in USA today. Why do the man on the street tolerate that 46 million of his common countrymen live in poverty? “The richest country on earth” can not support health insurance for its children. Moore begs his country to move away from the “out of sight out of mind attitude”. During the Q&A session he suggest the following actions:
- The capitalistic thinking of “making money on money” must come to an end
- Investigate Wall Street and punish the responsible for crimes conducted
- Create jobs and tax them (don’t focus too much on the state debt)
His call to all of us:
“Think about being a participant – Life is not a spectators’ show”
Further reading: www.michaelmoore.com and I strongly recommend his documentaries. His new book “Here comes trouble” has just reached the book shelves.