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Archive for March 13th, 2011

Michael and Me

First, a prologue.

I realize that Michael Moore is in many ways insufferable; he doesn’t always play fair, and his films are meticulously edited to prove his points and ignore every other perspective (a trait that he shares with other documentary filmmakers and, for that matter, editors).

On  the other hand, when he is right on he is right on, and he can be a very powerful advocate for the downtrodden.

But then I am not entirely objective, for Mr Moore seems oddly kindred.

Not that on the surface we have much in common. Michael Moore, unlike me, is enormously wealthy, and ironically became wealthy chronicling the  erosion of the middle class. Michael Moore, unlike me, is enormously enormous, and needs to go on a diet and exercise. And though it doesn’t seem fair, Michael Moore apparently does not have heart problems, though I hasten to add that my cardiologist says that apart from these pesky cardiovascular issues I am in great shape, trim and fit.

On the other hand, Michael Moore is around my age and, like me, had a dad who worked in the auto factories of Flint, Michigan, where he, like I, was born. Michael Moore grew up in Davison, a suburb northeast of Flint that used to be a small town. I grew up in Fenton, a suburb southeast of Flint that used to be a small town. Michael Moore was educated by nuns at St John’s Catholic school  in Davison; I was educated by nuns at St John’s Catholic school in Fenton. Michael Moore was active in the local anti-war movement in the late 60s and early 70s, and edited the Flint “underground” newspaper. I was active in the same network and read the paper, and no doubt somewhere along the line heard him speak or otherwise crossed paths.

And Michael Moore, like me, has a complicated love/hate relationship with the industrial culture of his home place, and mourns its tragic demise.

I relate to his anger, his sarcasm, and his frustration.

All the while recognizing the validity of the criticisms he so easily attracts.

That said, this is one of his more right-on rants, though I present the written text rather than the video, as his arguments look better written than delivered live, where there is more than a touch of demagoguery: http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/mike-friends-blog/america-is-not-broke

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Mr. Berry Reflects

A talk with Wendell Berry:

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Almost twice as many terror plots since 9/11 have been committed by non-Muslims as by Muslims: http://thinkprogress.org/2011/03/09/king-muslims-plots-terrorists/ When you factor in the number of Muslim plots that were suggested by federal agents, which probably never would have formed otherwise,  the number is even smaller

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A very cool panoramic tour of the Russian monastery (text is in Russian): http://www.optina.ru/panoramic/monastery/

(Thanks to Byzantine TX)

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