Friday, November 14, 2008

Just Plain Wrong

If I were wondering "why did I subtitle this blog as 'the voice of liberalism from main street, not hollywood boulevard?' I can stop wondering.

It seems that filmmaker/activist Michael Moore plans a spring, 2009 opening of a movie regarding the global financial crisis and the economy of the U.S.A. Says Craig Minassian, described by hollywoodreporter.com as "an entertainment consultant and former Bill Clinton aide":

if Moore offers a prescription for how to improve things, he may indeed find an audience that at this moment is eager for change. But it's going to be hard for him. What this election shows is what's right with America, and sometimes what Michael Moore does is highlight what's wrong with America....The problem with the financial crisis is that it's changing so quickly. I'm not sure how relevant is going to be in six months, and I'm not sure if people want to hear it; my sense is they already have a pretty good idea of a lot of the people who are to blame for it.

This is wrong on so many levels, but here are a few:

- What does Minassian mean by "this election shows what's right with America?" On one level, every election shows what's right (a democratic republic) with America. But is he implying that the election of Barack Obama was right because of his race- and that the election of a white man would have been wrong for the same reason? Maybe not- but he doesn't let us in on the secret.

- Is Michael Moore highlighting what is wrong with America- or rather with corporate greed and incompetence, the war in Iraq, the health care system, an excessively deregulated economy? Is Minassian promoting a Hollywood version of "America: Love It or Leave It?"

- Is there really broad consensus on "who is to blame for it?" From the right, I've heard the names Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, President-elect Obama, Franklin Raines; from those more objective, the names suggested include Alan Greenspan, Bob Rubin, Larry Summers, George W. Bush, and Phil Gramm and his merry band of Republican Congressional deregulators, past and present. (Of course, the first three names constitute two individuals appointed, and one re-nominated, by the President Minassian served.)

You now know as much about this upcoming film as I do, which is very little. But there are many people who bear the blame for this economic catastrophe and if Moore's effort brings these actors to light, a little bit of accountability may develop. After all, there are societies which, albeit wrongly, hang government and corporate officials for far less.

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