Monthly Archives: October 2009

Why Fox ain’t news — and toes the line between dissent and treason

There’s been a lot of chatter lately about the obvious: That filthy-rich-wingnut-owned-and-operated Fox “News” — often called “Faux News” — isn’t news, but is right-wing, pro-corporate propaganda. The buzz stems from the White House’s announcement of the obvious that Fox ain’t news — and thus the White House’s exclusion of Fox from at least some White House news media coverage.

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, my favorite political commentator, states that Fox isn’t news because Fox’s goal is to overthrow the democratically elected government of the United States of America.

While I don’t disagree with Maddow’s assertion that the Richie-Rich-owned Fox and its Sore Losermen supporters would have no problem whatsoever with the democratically elected President Barack Obama being overthrown — this is the same bunch that was perfectly OK with the blatantly stolen presidential election of 2000 and the subsequent coronation of usurper George W. Bush — to me, Fox isn’t news primarily because it fabricates the “news”: most visibly, it orchestrates right-wing “protest” events and then reports on them as though they’d happened organically.

That’s not journalism, which is the reportage of that which happens of its own accord (although, of course, the media do influence events, no doubt about it; just the presence of reporters and cameras changes a situation, as people act differently, of course, when the media are present).

You don’t see ABC or CBS or NBC or CNN organizing and promoting or otherwise supporting political events and then reporting on these events as though they were detached from these events. That, to me, is what sets Faux “News” aside from the others.

What I have yet to hear be discussed is how much Fox “News” is like the corporately owned and controlled right-wing media in Venezuela that played a large if not pivotal role in the illegal and failed attempt to overthrow the democratically elected President Hugo Chavez in 2002. (In a nutshell, in April 2002, right-wing operatives in Venezuela — with the full blessing of the anti-democratic, right-wing BushCheneyCorp, of course — overthrew the democratically elected Chavez and replaced him with their own unelected, right-wing, pro-corporation, anti-people “president,” Pedro Carmona, and the leaders of the illegal and immoral coup also suspended the democratically elected national constitution and they dissolved the democratically established national governmental bodies. But in fewer than three days, the people of Venezuela stood up to the usurpers and they returned Chavez, the man whom they had elected, to power.)

This, I believe, Faux “News” and, in fact, the majority of those who comprise the right wing in the United States of America would love to do: forcibly remove the democratically elected president of the United States from power and install their own unelected president, a stupid rich white man, of course — you know, like George W. Bush redux.

I am not alone when I say that this will happen over my dead American body.

Want a repeat of the Civil War, wingnuts? Then try to illegally and immorally overthrow the democratically elected Obama White House. Please. Because we blue-staters showed you red-staters way too much mercy in the first Civil War, and a second one would give us blue-staters the chance to finish the job that we should have finished the first time around. 

Ahhh, that felt good.

Anyway, to continue:

The existence of Faux “News” does raise interesting considerations. While I am a firm believer in the First Amendment, I’m also a firm believer that although the Repugnicans and other assorted wingnuts stole the White House in 2000 and again in 2004, they must never be allowed to subvert democracy — the will of the majority of the American people — again.

What the majority of the people in a democracy decide — whether in Venezuela or in the United States of America — is sacrosanct, and anyone who attempts to subvert or who subverts the will of the majority of the people — such as by forcibly removing an elected leader primarily because he or she did not want that leader to be elected — is a traitor. Traitors, at the minimum, should be put in prison. 

Fox “News” has First Amendment rights, but those rights don’t include treason.

Once a “news” organization crosses the line from voicing dissent to fomenting treasonactual treason, such as the violent acts that all of these well-armed wingnutty militia groups easily could commit, not what the wingnuts like Ann Cunter call “treason” (which is only political dissent against right-wing lunacy) — then it’s time to shut that “news” organization down, because the uber-greed of the corporate few does not supercede the needs and the desires of the majority of the people.

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Die, Dick, die!

My fantasy: Justice delayed is better than no justice at all. Dick Cheney deserves to die in federal prison.

Why does Dick Cheney’s faulty, cold heart go on beating?

Why is washed-up former Vice President Dick acting like the Penguin to President Barack Obama’s Batman?

Cheney, with his latest act his rant against the Obama administration’s handling of Afghanistan (where he would have proclaimed “mission accomplished” already), is trying to salvage his “legacy” by acting as though he really cares about national security instead of war profiteering (he did deliver his war-profiteering corporation Halliburton the Vietraq War, after all), the pundits are chattering, but my best guess is that Cheney is terrified that he might actually be charged as the war criminal that he is and that he therefore is trying to drum up public opinion to be sympathetic toward his sorry, felonious, treasonous ass should justice actually ever be done and he actually be held accountable for the thousands upon thousands of unnecessary deaths of our men and women in uniform and of innocent Iraqi civilians (and many, many other innocent civilians throughout the Middle East).

Cheney and the odious members of his family need to shut the fuck up and go the fuck away. The Repugnicans lost the November 2008 presidential election by a decisive margin (53 percent to 46 percent). They were rejected by the majority of Americans, were shot down democratically, but, of course, the wingnuts only respect democracy when democracy goes their way (or when an election is close enough for them to be able to steal it).

The highest approval rating for Cheney that I’ve seen for any time in the past six months is 37 percent — with 55 percent having an unfavorable opinion of the Dick. (Dick’s approval rating was only 29 percent when Joe Biden took over his job in January.)  

Dick’s Penguin act could backfire, of course. You’d think that he’d have just slithered away in January in order to avoid prosecution instead of keeping himself in the public spotlight, which only reminds the American people that a war criminal in their midst continues to go unprosecuted.

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Where the neurotic things are

Film review

In this film publicity image released by Warner Bros. Pictures, ...

Boy hero Max hitches a ride on monster Carol in Spike Jonze’s rather disappointing adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s children’s book Where the Wild Things Are.

After my boyfriend and I watched Spike Jonze’s film “Where the Wild Things Are,” we went to a bookstore and looked at Maurice Sendak’s children’s book Where the Wild Things Are to see what material Sendak had given Jonze to work with.

It wasn’t much.

The only character in the story that Sendak named was the boy hero Max. Max’s mother is portrayed by Catherine Keener in the film, but Max’s mother isn’t even depicted in the book. (She is mentioned, though, if memory serves.)

Jonze’s monsters, created by the Jim Henson people, I understand, are quite faithful in their appearance to the way that Sendak depicted them, even uncannily so, but as Sendak didn’t name them, Jonze’s project had to, and so the film version of “Wild Things” sends up rather strange names for monsters, such as Carol (for a male monster), Judith, Ira, KW, Douglas and Alexander.

Sendak’s thin picture book doesn’t give us much: Max (played by Max Records in the film; did the fact that the young actor’s first name is Max help get him the role, I wonder?) is sent to his room, fantasizes about partying with some monsters on an island, and then comes home.

So Jonze’s film fills in the gaping gaps, but it’s mostly just filler.

Jonze’s wild things bicker with each other, exhibit quite-human traits such as jealousy and anger and bitterness and low-self esteem, and in general are pretty neurotic. They start fantastical projects that they don’t finish and they crave a leader (whom they more or less find in Max) because they seem fairly directionless themselves.

Gee, this sounds a lot like a lot of the people in my life, and I don’t know about you, but I go to fantasy movies to escape from my life, not to see my life regurgitated for me on the big screen.

My boyfriend and I kept waiting for Jonze’s “Wild Things” to arrive somewhere, but instead the movie just plods on pointlessly, and then Max goes home.

Yawn.

“Wild Things” is technically marvelous with its faithful, realistic depiction of Sendak’s creatures, but the children’s book takes place in a jungle, and the film version takes place in a deciduous forest setting. A jungle would have been better.

But what Jonze’s “Wild Things” really lacks is a good plot and better dialogue. Special effects aren’t enough.

My grade: C+

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An open letter to Joe Solmonese

Joe Solmonese — here he is rubbing shoulders with pseudo-progressive Billary Clinton (the Clintons did little to nothing for gay men and lesbians but they sure have liked their money!):

— is the president of the Human Rights Campaign, probably the nation’s most powerful gay and lesbian rights lobbying group.

From what I can tell, Joe really likes himself.

Well, probably not, not really, not when you really examine it. I mean, how can you sell out your people for personal gain like he does and really like yourself?

But he “likes” himself like so many pretty and rich white gay men “like” themselves, I mean.

Dear Joe (may I call you Joe?):

I have given the Human Rights Campaign a considerable amount of money, probably especially after Proposition Hate passed here in California in November. Not only am I a member of the HRC — well, I think that I’m still a member in good standing, since I still get the quarterly HRC publication Equality in the mail– but I’ve purchased a lot of stuff from the HRC website’s shop, and I do believe that I’ve made at least a few one-time online contributions to the HRC as well.

But Joe, I’m concerned.

Looking at the fall 2009 issue of Equality, I see some things that I find disturbing.

I see all of these full-page ads for corporations. There is, on page 6, a full-page ad for American Airlines. Does American Airlines pay its pilots diddly squat, like Michael Moore exposed in his latest work, “Capitalism: A Love Story”?

On page 8 of Equality is a full-page ad for Chevron. Chevron. Didn’t Condoleezza “You Know She’s Lying When Her Lips Are Moving” Rice go directly from Chevron to the BushCheneyCorp?

I mean, Chevron, Joe? Because we all know that global warming is bullshit! Condi says so!

I don’t know much about Wall Street, Joe, being quite middle class (if, um, that), but on page 10 is a full-page ad for Deloitte, on page 14 is a full-page ad for Ernst & Young, and on page 15 is a full-page ad for Citigroup. Aren’t these all players on Wall Street, and wasn’t at least one of these Wall Street players featured in “Capitalism: A Love Story” as one of the recipients of the bullshit $700 billion taxpayer bailout of Wall Street? (Wasn’t it Citigroup that Moore was wrapping crime-scene tape around in “Capitalism”?)

Wait, there’s more. On page 18 is a full-page ad for Prudential.

Oh, and Chevron won’t be outdone, because on page 22 is a full-page ad for Shell Oil.

But hey, escape from all of this depressing talk about corporate responsibility and check out “the new Luxor” in Las Vegas, which has a full-page ad on page 24 (and features an apparent lesbian apparently using another apparent lesbian for her money — sweet!).  

Page 31 of the current issue of Equality advises us readers to “SUPPORT [the HRC’s] NATIONAL CORPORATE SPONSORS” and lists such corporate sponsors as American Airlines, Citigroup, Bank of America, Chevron, Harrah’s Entertainment, Nike, Shell, Chase and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Sure, there are some corporate sponsors of HRC that don’t strike me as too bad and some I haven’t even heard of, such as Google and Dell and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams (is this a corporation or are these two rich gay men who are in love with each other and who would like the whole world to know by spelling it out that way?). But most of HRC’s corporate sponsors send shivers up my spine, Joe.

My point, Joe, is that it’s not enough for me to know that someone affectionately prefers members of his or her same sex like I do and/or that his or her corporation is willing to give the Human Rights Campaign some money. I want to know that a person or a corporation isn’t causing others harm, even if he or she or it is not overtly anti-gay.

And as a gay man, I’m sick and tired of being reduced to a target group by corporations that don’t wuv me, as they claim, but that just want my money. It’s calculated, Joe. Corporations almost never do anything that they don’t believe will help their profits. If appearing to be pro-gay-and-lesbian will bring in the profits, then the corporations will do it.

I look at the whole picture, Joe, not just my tiny place within it.

Your concerns might be very different from mine, Joe. You might make a lot of money as the president of the HRC, and thus these “corporate sponsors” might be very important for you to be able to continue to live in the way in which I’m guessing that you’ve become accustomed.

But, Joe, when I weigh your personal fortune against things like, oh, say, the future of the entire planet itself, the future which the likes of Chevron and Shell and many if not most other transnational corporations are threatening, well, um, no offense, Joe, but I’m going to have to put the well-being of the entire planet above your own personal well-being.

Joe, lots and lots of corporations give a teeny-tiny percentage of their obscene profits to groups like the Human Rights Campaign in order to make it look like they’re actually not that bad after all.   

But, Joe, they’re actually that bad after all.

Have you seen the documentary “Flag Wars,” Joe? (Please indulge me a little here…) In that documentary, gay men and lesbians (living in Ohio) are portrayed as selfish, cold-hearted money-grubbers who care only about their own personal fortunes.

There’s a rich white lesbian who, in one great scene, goes on a drunken rant about how great capitalism has been to her. (It’s funny how both the impoverished and the rich sure seem to like to get drunk a lot, but I digress…)

In another scene in “Flag Wars,” an apparently rich white gay man states that historical homes in his neighborhood have to be “saved” from the poor. These homes have to be snatched away from their impoverished long-time residents by rich gay men and lesbians, renovated, and then sold for big profits. Screw the poor and save the homes! That’s what the gay men and the lesbians in the film say, in effect, quite unabashedly: it’s profits over people.

What kind of human beings do we gay men and lesbians want to be, Joe?

I don’t know about you, but as for me, before I am a gay man, Joe, I am a human being, and you know what? I don’t want to be the kind of human being like the heartless gay men and lesbians who are portrayed in “Flag Wars,” and the Human Rights Campaign encourages gay men and lesbians to be this kind of human being by kowtowing to corporations, perhaps especially to the Wall Street players and big oil.

I don’t know that I can continue to be a member of the Human Rights Campaign, Joe. HRC’s pro-corporate values certainly don’t seem to be in alignment with my own values as a gay man who cares about others besides myself.

I think that I already know what your counter-argument will be, Joe: HRC really, really needs the money that the corporations throw its way. And that if you didn’t accept that money as HRC president, then someone else would. Yadda yadda yadda…

But you know what, Joe? I am sick and tired of being sold out by gay and lesbian “leaders.” It’s not just you — it’s almost all gay and lesbian “leaders” who, for just the right amount of money (which often isn’t really that much) and the opportunity to do such things as to be photographed with Billary Clinton, will sell their gay and lesbian brothers and sisters (and indeed, all of the rest of humankind) out.

So we see all kinds of things that are harmful to the gay and lesbian community. We see ads for alcohol and for bars in almost all of the gay and lesbian publications, and often a gay and lesbian community’s “leaders” (such as is the case here in Sacramento) are the owners of the gay and lesbian bars that encourage alcoholism and smoking and drunken hookups, which are so helpful for the gay and lesbian community!

We see the ads for the anti-HIV drugs placed by the big-pharma corporations in which healthy-looking, young, muscular models give gay men the idea that HIV is no big deal — if you catch it you can just take a pill.

(The other gay and lesbian “leaders” in Sacramento and elsewhere are the publishers of the gay and lesbian rags who personally profit from such advertising that actually harms the very same community that they claim they are helping.)

When we gay men and lesbians aren’t being encouraged by our “leaders” and their for-personal-profit businesses and publications to be drinking and smoking and sexing, we’re encouraged to buy stuff, to use materialism (including personal investments and pointless travel) as our drug of choice. (The fall 2009 issue of Equality also includes full-page ads for travel agencies, hotel chains and furniture.)  

Is there nothing more to being gay or lesbian than catering to our addictions to chemical substances, to sex and to money and things, Joe?

Can we gay men and lesbians perhaps be bold and brave leaders instead of being trembling followers, and help our fellow men and women, regardless of their sexual orientation, out of the spirit-and-soul-crushing effects of the humongous corporations that now control almost every aspect of our lives, even the groups like HRC that are supposed to be helping to make us free?

Joe, can you be part of a revolution that actually makes gay men and lesbians free, truly free, instead of keeping them enslaved to such things as materialism and alcoholism and sex addiction and other addictions?

Or are you utterly unable to part with the lifestyle that you have attained, even though your lifestyle comes at the expense of those you are supposed to be helping and freeing?

Please let me know, Joe.

But, truthfully, I’m not holding my breath for your response, because you seem to be addicted to corporate money, and it just might take an intervention, because I doubt that you can overcome your addiction on your own.

Thanks for listening.

Yours,

Robert Crook
Sacramento, California

P.S. From what I know of Harvey Milk and what he thought of Democrats who just use the members of the gay and lesbian community as ATMs — and what he thought of those members of the gay and lesbian community who support these Democrats — Milk is not just turning, but he is spinning, in his grave.

(Actually, you might know that Milk was cremated and not interred, but that fact just doesn’t lend itself to my point…)

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President Obama’s prize apparently meant as a pre-emptive strike for peace

 

List of Nobel Peace Prize winners since 2000. US President Barack ...

AFP graphic

Barack Obama is the third current or former Democratic U.S. president or vice president to have won the Nobel Peace Prize this decade. You just don’t see any warhawk Repugnican politicians who put corporate profits far above mass civilian casualties on the peace-prize list, do you?

So on the heels of being blamed quite unfairly for losing the United States the 2016 summer Olympic games — which would have been an unfairly unprecedented five times for the summer Olympics to have been held in the same nation (and would have left Britain at No. 2, having hosted only three summer Olympic games, including 2012) — President Barack Obama today was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Not to sound too much like the wingnuts, but:

For what?

For not being George W. Bush?

That seems to be the message of the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama, who hasn’t been in office for even a full year yet; it seems to be a thank-y0u message to Americans for having chosen Obama over hawkish John McCainosaurus in November 2008.

Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize seems to have been awarded more for what he hasn’t done — such as to start a bogus war in violation of the wishes of the United Nations Security Council, as the unelected BushCheneyCorp did when it launched its Vietraq War in March 2003 — than for anything that he has done.

“Obama told reporters in the White House Rose Garden that he wasn’t sure he had done enough to earn the award, or deserved to be in the company of the ‘transformative figures’ who had won it before him,” The Associated Press reports today, adding, “But, he said, ‘I will accept this award as a call to action, a call for all nations to confront the challenges of the 21st century.'”

An AP “analysis” probably correctly notes that “the prize seems to be more for promise than performance. Obama so far has no standout moment of victory. As for most presidents in their first year, the report card on Obama’s ambitious agenda is an ‘incomplete.'”

Yeah, really, it seems to me that there’s no other way to read the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama than as a message from the rest of the world as to the kind of U.S. president they hope Obama will be. This makes me feel at least mildly badly to be an American, to be feared by the rest of the world as the bully on the global block who has a tendency to go off half-cocked.

Of course, that is exactly how the wingnuts want us Americans to be perceived, even though that results in such blowback as 9/11. (But, of course, such blowback as 9/11 is as politically good for the Repugnican Party as the Reichstag fire was good for the budding Nazi Party. Bad for Americans, good for the Repugnican Party — isn’t that how it always is?)

Baby-boomer-asshole blowhard Rush Limbaugh, whose best service to his nation would be to die already, remarked of the Nobel Prize committee’s decision to award the peace prize to Obama: “They love a weakened, neutered U.S, and this is their way of promoting that concept. I think God has a great sense of humor, too.”

God, of course, is an old white Repugnican man who loves to start bogus wars for his war-profiteering cronies and for multinational corporations that want to steal other nations’ natural resources for the private profits of a filthy-rich few.

Everyone knows that.

Anyway, the peace prize committee should have known how awarding the prize to Obama would have been received politically within the United States, with even foaming-at-the-mouth lefties like me asking: “For what?” Or maybe I’m being U.S.-centric for stating that, but still…

In any case, the peace prize has been awarded, so let’s just hope that Obama lives up to it.

Which was the message of the peace-prize committee in the first place, methinks.

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REALLY ‘going rogue’

More to come (off): A shirtless Levi Johnston holds infant Tripp, the apparent grandson of Sarah Palin-Quayle, in a photo for the July issue of GQ magazine. Johnston is about to go even more rogue than Palin-Quayle ever would.

It’s official: the world is soon to see Levi Johnston’s johnson.

From The Associated Press’ um, piece on this news:

Anchorage, Alaska – Levi Johnston is going for the ultimate exposure — the 19-year-old father of Sarah Palin’s grandchild will pose nude for Playgirl, his attorney said [today].

To get ready for his close-up, Johnston is training three hours a day, six nights a week at an Anchorage gym with a local body builder.

A formal agreement hasn’t been reached with the online magazine, but the photo shoot is a “foregone conclusion,” said Johnston’s attorney, Rex Butler.

Johnston fathered a son with Bristol, the 18-year-old daughter of Sarah Palin, the former Republican vice presidential candidate who resigned as Alaska’s governor in July.

Publication of the photographs could be a source of embarrassment for Palin, often mentioned as a possible 2012 presidential candidate. Her memoir, Going Rogue, will be published next month and pre-sales already have made it a national best seller.

Just after Sen. John McCain chose Palin as his running mate in August 2008, Johnston was thrust into the national spotlight when Palin abruptly announced her unwed daughter was pregnant and the couple would marry.

The couple broke up after the birth of their son, Tripp, in December. The relationship between the Palins and Johnston since then has often been strained, mostly over visitation issues.

Palin’s representatives did not respond to a request for comment on the Playgirl job….

No date has been set for the Playgirl photo shoot, but Butler expects the world will get a gander of the finished product by the end of the year. Playgirl approached Johnston about posing in the buff, Butler said….

Johnston has been working out with Marvin Jones, a former Mr. Alaska competitor who has put the teenager on a low-carb, high-protein diet.

With such practices as “sexting,” nudity doesn’t seem to be a big whoop to today’s young people, and when you think about it, nudity is just our natural state and thus really is no big deal, but yeah, I expect Palin-Quayle’s followers to not be too happy with Johnston baring it all. (Though I expect them to look at the pictures anyway…)

Ah, the fond memories that I have of Playgirl, back when it used to be an actual magazine and not an “online magazine.” (Let’s just say that if a website can be called an “online magazine,” then I’m still looking at an awful lot of porn magazines, even though I stopped buying those years ago…)

Anyway, I’ve always thought that Johnston is a hottie, so if he wants to share of himself with us, that’s fine with me.

How about Todd Palin, too? He’s not bad.

What’s next for Johnston, though, I wonder? Porn videos with a Sarah Palin-Quayle look-alike? To cater to those with the MILILF fantasy?

Hee hee hee…

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Filmmaker Michael Moore pounds another nail in the coffin of capitalism

Film review

FILE - In this March 27, 2009 file photo, filmmaker Michael ...

FILE - In this March 27, 2009 file photo, filmmaker Michael ...

Associated Press photos

Filmmaker Michael Moore attempts to speak to traders on Wall Street for his film “Capitalism: A Love Story” in March. At the end of “Capitalism,” Moore correctly concludes: “Capitalism is an evil, and you cannot regulate evil. You have to eliminate it and replace it with something that is good for all people, and that something is democracy.”

So will Michael Moore’s “Capitalism: A Love Story” usher in a socialist revolution within the United States of America?

Um, no, probably not, given the fact that Americans haven’t exactly been the most revolutionary bunch on the planet since about 1776, and since capitalism still has a fairly strong grip on the minds and hearts and gonads of the majority of the American sheeple, but “Capitalism” probably does represent yet another nail in the coffin of capitalism as it has been practiced in the United States of America during my lifetime.

I won’t regurgitate all of the contents of “Capitalism,” as you can get that regurgitation in a multitude of reviews and articles, but I will say that “Capitalism” both is in line with and is a departure from Moore’s previous films. (If you must read a straight film review, you might try Roger Ebert’s. He remains my favorite film critic.)

In “Capitalism” Moore’s eclectic style remains the same, but “Capitalism” differs from Moore’s previous work in that “Capitalism,” as its name suggests, tackles the rather abstract concept of capitalism, and while “Capitalism” is filled with real-life examples of the devastation that capitalism has wreaked upon working-class and poor Americans, “Capitalism” is Moore’s most abstract, least concrete film to date.

And lest you think that “Capitalism” is a huge push for socialism, socialism actually gets fairly little air time in “Capitalism,” which focuses more on the evils of capitalism than it does on the benefits of socialism (see Moore’s “Sicko” for that).

And at the end of “Capitalism,” what does Moore offer as an alternative to capitalism as it is practiced today? Not socialism, but democracy.

I concur that democracy would be a great antidote to the way that capitalism is practiced today — in the United States of America we have not a democracy but a plutocracy and a corporatocracy, because it’s the rich and their corporations that run the nation, not the people, and this plutocratic and corporatocratic mindset trickles down even into non-profit and governmental workplaces (oh, the stories that I could tell you as a California state worker!).

But how about I amend Moore’s recommendation of democracy and recommend some democratic socialism? Because even Moore seems to shy away at least somewhat from the “s” word.

While “Sicko” examines the socialist systems in other nations, unfortunately “Capitalism” offers no such comparisons, and it’s too bad, because it’s probably the socialist revolution in Latin America that offers the millions upon millions of downtrodden in the United States of America the most hope. (Yeah, there’s a reason that the American wingnuts want to keep the Latin American immigrants out: because they tend to collectively organize for their fair share of the pie.)

In “Capitalism” Moore examines to a fairly large degree the nexus between what passes for “Christianity” in the United States and capitalism as it is practiced in the U.S. today. Moore even shows clips of wingnuts declaring that capitalism is Christian.

Moore interviews several Christian leaders who state that capitalism — in which a greedy few profit from the masses — as decidedly not in line with what Jesus taught, and there’s a cute overdubbed clip in which Jesus Christ refuses to heal a sick man (because that would be socialized medicine!).

(However, where the Catholic Church is concerned — and it’s the Catholic Church that gets the most attention in “Capitalism,” because Moore was raised Catholic — I’m not sure how much Catholic leaders oppose capitalism because of capitalism’s inherent evils and how much it might be the case that the Catholic Church just doesn’t want to have to compete against the capitalists for the minds and hearts and gonads — and the pocketbooks — of the masses. An oppressor is still an oppressor, whether it’s the church or the capitalists.)

Moore could have gone a bit further in “Capitalism” in destroying the fallacy that all of those Joe the Plumbers (Joes the Plumber?) out there hold: the fallacy that they must protect capitalism as it is practiced in the U.S. today because one day they might actually make it to the pinnacle of the pyramid of wealth.

Um, no, they will not, but it is this lottery mentality of Glenn-Beck-lovin’ dipshits like Joe the Plumber that keeps the rich safe from mobs carrying pitchforks and torches. (I remember Joe the Plumber claiming that Barack Obama’s policies, as president, would prevent him from ever owning his own plumbing business, and then discovering that Joe the Plumber didn’t even have a plumber’s license. Gee, I suppose that that’s Barack Obama’s fault too!)

Moore could have also gone further in “Capitalism” in exploring the unholy nexus involving not only what passes for “Christianity” in the U.S. and capitalism as it is practiced in the U.S., but involving nationalism and “patriotism” as well.

The plutocrats and corporatocrats have been successful in brainwashing millions of Americans (with the help of the likes of Fox “News” and Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and Ann Cunter) into believing that capitalism = Christianity = patriotism = militarism, so that to oppose any of these (but especially to oppose capitalism) is to oppose the others.

Finally, you will note that I repeatedly have used the phrase “capitalism as it is practiced in the United States of America.” Like I can support the idealistic tenets of actual Christianity — that is, while I agree with Jesus Christ’s actual teachings and sayings, such as that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven — I can support the idealistic tenets of capitalism, such as that every individual should reap the fruits of his or her own hard work.

However, just as Christianity has been bastardized — with today’s “Christians” being just like the hypocritical Pharisees of his day whom Jesus repeatedly lambasted — capitalism has been bastardized as well. Today, the worker’s hard work does not benefit the worker, who can barely survive, but benefits only the rich and the super-rich plutocrats and corporatocrats, professional thieves who exploit the working classes and the poor more and more each passing day. 

Had capitalism not been taken over by crooks and thieves, had these greedy motherfuckers been able to moderate their greed just a little, capitalism might be strong in the United States of America today.

Instead, socialism is looking better to more and more Americans.

Capitalism — as it is practiced in the United States of America — is consuming itself.

Michael Moore, thankfully, is just helping that process along.

My grade: A-

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