We watched Roger And Me this weekend, Michael Moore’s 1989 film about General Motors’ destruction of Flint, Michigan. I’m just crazy about skanky old Michigan, ever since I found the Detroit blog, Sweet Juniper. In fact, Sue’s parents were asking for vacation suggestions yesterday, and I wanted to say: “Go to Detroit.” It’s where I would go, given a week off—the center of the human universe, right now. The great thing about Roger And Me, of course, is all the GM execs saying things like “we can’t go bankrupt.” Yes we can!
Moore’s newest film takes on capitalism. I guess he got sick of poking around the edges. And he’s made some nice connections at a press conference this weekend about newspapers, being in the pocket of big business: In 14 of the 17 elections between 1940 and 2008, American newspapers have supported Republican candidates, who have advocated for the destruction of education, says Moore—leading to 40 million functional illiterates, and 40 million people who can’t read above a 4th grade level in the US. Yes, it’s ham-fisted, but how else is he going to get through to those 80 million people? Shorter arguments, for a start:
MOORE: “These newspapers slit their own throats. It would be like General Motors funding candidates who promised to get rid of driver education.”