Michael Moore, and the death of New York.

nydolls1973's picture

A lot of people hate Michael Moore. After seeing Sicko, I could definitely see why. And although I had to wonder where he gets his cynical statistics, I feel like we need more people like him running around.
Here is a quote from a book he wrote called Downsize This!:

"Maybe the reason the majority of Americans don't vote is that they're tired of having to choose between Tweedledum and Tweedlydumber. The choices are always so pathetic, aren't they? If you went to a restaurant and the waiter told you, 'We're sorry, but the only choices we have left on the menu are cottage cheese and fried breadsticks,' you'd leave. Nobody would think you were crazy, lazy, apathetic, or not hungry. In fact, imagine this was the only restaurant in town and there was nowhere else to eat. You'd be desperate to find someplace that had what you wanted.
Our American political system is like that restaurant. Most citizens don't vote--not because they're not hungry to participate, but because they've shown up and there's nothing but crap left on the menu. Because it is almost impossible for a third party to make it on the ballot and get proper media coverage, the voter has nowhehre else to go. If the voter does decide to go to the polls, there's always that empty feeling in the gut. Who among us marches proudly into the voting booth thinking, I can't wait to vote for these great men and women of vision!"

I remember one of my parents saying (their opinions being often interchangeable) that whoever doesn't vote has no right to complain about the country. Only years later at the tender age of 16, realising to what extent their conservative jingoism truly spread, could I realise that the parental propaganda they sometimes shot at my sister and me was really only a narrow right-wing outlook. They were (and still are, for the most part) racist, homophobic, anti-immigration, pro-Bush, pro-war, pro-American nationalism, and expecially pro-"this country is being run just fine". I thought this was normal. Especially since we moved to the south when I was only 6, and that kind of view was basically consistent all around me.
It's hard getting past something like that being ingrained into one's skull so directly and ceaselessly. I thought, when first discovering what can be vaguely classified as liberalism at age 14 or 15, that I was embarking on the fringe. Little did I know that was seemed like the underground was actually a large minefield.
I raised myself on Free Speech TV and documentaries. Since then, I have tried so hard not to come off as racist or prejudiced. And yet, even now, I see the faults in one-sided medias, albeit something as "fringe" as Free Speech TV. The main complaint the channel gets is its extreme leftist politics. After awhile, I had to agree.
I try to balance out others' opinions, no matter what side they are attacking. My mom said Obama was a "terrorist", and I told her to stop getting all her information from email. I also try to balance my liberal friends' distorted views with a few facts of logic, but I can't think of any right now.

Well, that was my essay. I didn't even mean for it to turn into an essay.

On to travel.
I narrowed my list from Montréal, London, Seattle, Portland, and France to eliminate Portland. Then I put Portland back on.
If I moved to France, it would be to Normandy, Brittany, or Toulouse. Paris is too touristy.
If I moved to Canada it would be to Montréal or Vancouver. It depends on which side of the US I end up on.
I want to move to London only because I don't want to own a car and it's close to France. Otherwise I wouldn't mind Bristol or any other place in England, because I love England regardless. Regardless of whether I've ever been there, which I haven't.
Then there's Seattle and Portland. Not San Francisco because it's too expensive.
Not Boston because I heard it's too segregated.
Not Philadelphia because I don't like Pennsylvania and besides, I bet all they have are museums.
Not Minneapolis because I don't want to live in the middle of the country's width.
New York City. Here we go. I wanted to live in New York for what, 8 years now? But unfortunately, everywhere I look it's being "gentrified." My grave disappointment when I first realised this is actually happening cannot be described with words. Every single neighborhood in Manhattan. Many neighborhoods in Brooklyn. According to one source, "Only a few years ago, Times Square was the seediest part of the city. Now, there is a Disney store." I have seen the Disney store. It sickens me.
Where is the New York of Lou Reed's days? Of course, I can't say much, because I don't live there, but I can react to what I've heard. New York IS dying.

Comments

5thstory's picture

Michael Moore sucks! Now,

Michael Moore sucks!
Now, about New York dying? even if I have never lived in New York for more than some months in a row -a couple times-, I think I got the hang of it nicely: and yes, it is dying in some way. I always suspected that Woody Allen left NY for London (and nor Barcelona) because he also felt like New York was loosing its essence, thanks to you, I think my theory is now proved. *sighs* well, I certainly hope that as long as there are New Yorkers that stay true to the city's essence, there is a chance of some parts of the city going back to what it was.

" . . . The sun does not shine upon this fair earth to meet frowning eyes, depend upon it." Charles Dickens

jeff's picture

Eh...

All of the citations as to where Moore gets his stats are on his website.

Not sure why you think the facts are cynical. I think facts are true or untrue. And the person interpreting them (you or Moore) attributes any other motive to them.

---

"Be like a postage stamp. Stick to one thing until you get there." -- Josh Billings.

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nydolls1973's picture

They could be biased. He

They could be biased. He could have excluded information. etc.
I'm only saying because when I read the book I'm thinking "surely it can't be that bad"....otherwise who would want to stay in the US?
===
o how it hurt me sharp in the vein
it would never let me be still and still.

jeff's picture

Umm...

He is pointing out what is broken to try and make it better, not to show how awful the U.S. is as a means of disparaging it (my view anyway). The right wing tends to think America is the best thing going and ignores the places where there are problems, figuring the market will correct itself whenever there are problems; the left tends to deal a little more with the reality in an attempt to make the country better.

You can't have biased facts. You can present facts in a biased manner, but facts are facts. Most of his stuff is from pretty reputable groups: CDC, WHO, etc., and a lot of his statistics are from government reports. He went out of his way with Sicko to avoid criticism by using the stats put out by the Bush administration's own budgets and reports.

---

"Be like a postage stamp. Stick to one thing until you get there." -- Josh Billings.

Add me on MySpace!

nydolls1973's picture

Well...that's good enough

Well...that's good enough for me...BUT how exactly are we going to change anything?
I've been asking this forever. You can hold demonstrations, but the purpose of that is to "educate" I'm supposing....when has anything big been changed through the grassroots efforts of someone who got inspired by a book etc.?
===
o how it hurt me sharp in the vein
it would never let me be still and still.