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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Moore's Love Story Is A Haunt

I finally got the chance to see Michael Moore’s “Capitalism: A Love Story” over the Halloween weekend at the Rock Theatre (Wildwood) here in Janesville.

To my surprise, the documentary fittingly opens up with the tune “Louie, Louie” in the days of the class war cruelty that prevailed between the ruling elite and the peasants of the Roman Empire. From there, Moore takes off into the current American foreclosure crisis and weaves bits of historical facts, modern politics and human nature into a heart felt and personal cinematic experience.

Of course during the following two hours he tackles a multitude of the common misconceptions about capitalism. For instance, he accurately portrays how the practitioners of capitalism have successfully commercialized and glorified its worst attributes synonymously with personal success, God and country. He also paints establishment figures including police as nothing more than pawns and sycophants taking marching orders from the controlling big business elitists.

No doubt, Moore's enemies will label him as a irritable rabble-rouser and hypocrite simply because his documentary will likely turn a handsome profit. To the contrary, Moore gave me the impression that he loves capitalism, hence the title. He just has a problem with capitalism's single-minded and cold-blooded adherents and hi-jackers. And who could blame him?

However, he does tend to give socialism a little more credit than I think it deserves, yet at the same time he doesn’t completely take down the capital system. In a broad sense, his documentary makes a compelling argument against the perversions and greed obviously driving the money operators and other “get rich” wannabes to turn a profit.

I was disappointed in how short Congressman Paul Ryan’s role was in the film. But one thing was clear. Moore did a great job describing the importance the owners of America place on those who know how to steer the masses wrong. Ryan was one of the Wall Street pawn’s in Congress who did just that, yet was able to convince his supporters at home that he courageously voted against his principles to protect their risk. For this, his political party crowned him as a future rising star in the political arena. Ryan has slowly polished this personal gift into a quality that is highly regarded among the masters of the universe.

There is perhaps an interesting side note to the Wisconsin connection with Moore's film than just the fast talking and corporate-groomed Paul Ryan. Though Moore makes no mention of this at all, few people would connect the late billionaire Ken Hendricks of Beloit-based ABC Supply with Moore's love story. However, Hendricks was not only a heavy donor to Paul Ryan’s re-election campaigns but also was the primary sponsor of a movie parodizing Michael Moore as a modern day left-wing Ebenezer Scrooge in the forgettable dud "An American carol." This all may be just my own peculiar observation, but "Capitalism" was released one day short of exactly a year after the national debut of American Carol.

Nevertheless, Moore’s documentary is a must see for those who want to witness another confirming point of view of your worst suspicions about capitalism. It’s a respectful mixture of real life events backed up with historical evidence through the common sense eyes of the folksy idealist film maker. There certainly is a lot to chew on. I give it four stars.

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