Michael Moore sez/
- From: "Mr. K" <georgeswk@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 17 Nov 2011 12:26:15 -0700
In article <n_Kdnf_OduqM0FnTnZ2dnUVZ_uqdnZ2d@xxxxxxxxxx>,
"John Winston" <johnfw@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Subject: Michael Moore.thanks , again John for your efforts.
Nov. 16, 2011.
This shows how Michael Moore thinks. I can't say that I agree with
him completely but it's one way of looking at things.
A voice from the fringes, but one I whole-heartedly support.
From: Michael Moore
Sent: Thursday, October 27, 2011
Twenty-two years ago this coming Tuesday, I stood with a group
of factory workers, students and the unemployed in the middle
of the downtown of my birthplace, Flint, Michigan, to announce
that the Hollywood studio, Warner Bros., had purchased the
world rights to distribute my first movie, 'Roger & Me.' A
reporter asked me, "How much did you sell it for?"
"Three million dollars!" I proudly exclaimed. A cheer went up from
the union guys surrounding me. It was absolutely unheard of for
one of us in the working class of Flint (or anywhere) to receive
such a sum of money unless one of us had either robbed a bank
or, by luck, won the Michigan lottery. On that sunny November
day in 1989, it was like I had won the lottery -- and the people I
had lived and struggled with in Michigan were thrilled with my
success. It was like, one of us had made it, one of us finally had
good fortune smile upon us. The day was filled with high-fives and
"Way-ta-go Mike!"s. When you are from the working class you root
for each other, and when one of you does well, the others are
beaming with pride -- not just for that one person's success, but
for the fact that the team had somehow won, beating the system
that was brutal and unforgiving and which ran a game that was
rigged against us. We knew the rules, and those rules said that we
factory town rats do not get to make movies or be on TV talk shows
or have our voice heard on any national stage. We were to shut
up, keep our heads down, and get back to work. If by some miracle
one of us escaped and commandeered a mass audience and some
loot to boot -- well, holy mother of G-d, watch out! A bully pulpit
and enough cash to raise a ruckus -- that was, an incendiary
combination, and it only spelled trouble for those at the top.
Until that point I had been barely getting by on unemployment,
collecting $-- a week. Welfare. The dole. My car had died back in
April so I had gone seven months with no vehicle. Friends would
take me out to dinner, always coming up with an excuse to
celebrate or commemorate something and then picking up the
check so I would not have to feel the shame of not being able to
And now, all of a sudden, I had three million bucks! What would
I do with it? There were men in suits making many suggestions
to me, and I could see how those without a strong moral sense
of social responsibility could be easily lead down the "ME" path
and quickly forget about the "WE."
So I made some easy decisions back in 1989:
1. I would first pay all my taxes. I told the guy who did my
1040 not to declare any deductions other than the mortgage
and to pay the full federal, state and city tax rate. I proudly
contributed nearly 1 million dollars for the privilege of being
a citizen of this great country.
2. Of the remaining $2 million, I decided to divide it up the
way I once heard the folksinger/activist Harry Chapin tell
me how he lived: "One for me, one for the other guy." So I
took half the money -- $1 million -- and established a
foundation to give it all away.
3. The remaining million went like this: I paid off all my
debts, paid off the debts of some friends and family members,
bought my parents a new refrigerator, set up college
funds for our nieces and nephews, helped rebuild a b-ack
c-urch that had been burned down in Flint, gave out a
thousand turkeys at Thanksgiving, bought filmmaking
equipment to send to the Vietnamese (my own personal
reparations for a country we had ravaged), annually bought
10,000 toys to give to Toys for Tots at Christmas, got myself
a new American-made Honda, and took out a mortgage on
an apartment above a Baby Gap in New York City.
4. What remained went into a simple, low-interest savings
account. I made the decision that I would never buy a share
of stock (I didn't understand the casino known as the New
York Stock Exchange and I did not believe in investing in a
system I did not agree with).
5. Finally, I believed the concept of making money off your
money had created a greedy, lazy class who didn't produce
any product, just misery and fear among the populace. They
invented ways to buy out companies and then shut them
down. They dreamed up schemes to play with people's
pension funds as if it were their own money. They demanded
companies keep posting record profits (which was
accomplished by firing thousands and eliminating health
benefits for those who remained). I made the decision that if
I was going to earn a living, it would be done from my own
sweat and ideas and creativity.
I would produce something tangible, something others could
own or be entertained by or learn from. My work would create
employment for others, good employment with middle class
wages and full health benefits.
I went on to make more movies, produce TV series and write
books. I never started a project with the thought, "I wonder
how much money I can make at this?" And by never letting
money be the motivating force for anything, I simply did exactly
what I wanted to do. That attitude kept the work honest and
unflinching -- and that, in turn I believe, resulted in millions of
people buying tickets to these films, tuning in to my TV shows,
and buying my books.
Which is exactly what has driven the Right crazy when it comes
to me. How did someone from the left get such a wide
mainstream audience?! This just isn't supposed to happen (Noam
Chomsky, sadly, will not be booked on The View today, and
Howard Zinn, shockingly, didn't make the New York Times
bestseller list until after he d-ed). That's how the media machine
is rigged -- you are not supposed to hear from those who would
completely change the system to something much better. Only
wimpy liberals who urge caution and compromise and mild
reforms get to have their say on the op-ed pages or Sunday
morning chat shows.
Somehow, I found a crack through the wall and made it through. I
feel very blessed that I have this life -- and I take none of it for
granted. I believe in the lessons I was taught back in C-tholic
school -- that if you end up doing well, you have an even greater
responsibility to those who don't fare the same. "The last shall
be first and the first shall be last."
Kinda commie, I know, but the idea was that the human family
was supposed to divide up the earth's riches in a fair manner so
that all of Go-'s children would have a life with less suffering.
I do very well -- and for a documentary filmmaker, I do extremely
That, too, drives conservatives bonkers. "You're rich because of
capitalism!" they scream at me. Um, no. Didn't you take Econ
101? Capitalism is a system, a pyramid scheme of sorts, that
exploits the vast majority so that the few at the top can enrich
themselves more. I make my money the old school, honest way
by making things. Some years I earn a boatload of cash. Other
years, like last year, I don't have a job (no movie, no book) and
so I make a lot less. "How can you claim to be for the poor
when you are the opposite of poor?!" It's like asking: "You've
never had s-x with another man -- how can you be for gay
marriage?!" I guess the same way that an all-male C-ngress
voted to give women the vote, or scores of wh-te people
marched with Martin Luther Ling, Jr. (I can hear these
righties yelling back through history: "Hey! You're not bl-ck!
You're not being lynched! Why are you with the blac-s?!"). It
is precisely this disconnect that prevents Republicans from
understanding why anyone would give of their time or money
to help out those less fortunate. It is simply something their
brain cannot process. "Kanye West makes millions! What's he
doing at Occupy Wall Street?!" Exactly -- he's down there
demanding that his taxes be raised.
That, to a right-winger, is the definition of insanity. To everyone
else, we are grateful that people like him stand up, even if
and especially because it is against his own personal financial
interest. It is specifically what that B-ble those conservatives
wave around demands of those who are well off.
Back on that November day in 1989 when I sold my first film,
a good friend of mine said this to me: "They have made a huge
mistake giving someone like you a big check. This will make
you a very dangerous man. And it proves that old saying right:
'The capitalist will sell you the rope to hang himself with if he
thinks he can make a buck off it.'"
P.S. I will go to Oakland tomorrow afternoon to stand with
Occupy Oakland against the out-of-control police.
Join Mike's Mailing List | Follow Mike on Twitter | Join Mike's
John Winston. johnfw@xxxxxxxxx
I'll share this.
Karma, What a concept!
- Prev by Date: Re: Proper name for traditional High School Civics Political Spectrum
- Next by Date: a Poll
- Previous by thread: Proper name for traditional High School Civics Political Spectrum
- Next by thread: a Poll