Michael Moore was interviewed by David Germain of AP at the preview of his new film, "Capitalism: A Love Story" at the Toronto film festival this week, and made a startling statement. The country's best-known documentary filmmaker said he might be done with the genre, and might concentrate exclusively on fiction films in the future.
The most interesting part of the interview concerned how he felt like he'd been leading a protest for too long that had had insufficient public attention:
"I think people will be maybe somewhat disappointed because there's so many things we need to deal with right now, and they wish I would make a film about it. But I want other people to make those films," Moore said.
"I am tired of feeling like I'm doing this alone. All through the eight years of Bush, you Google `Bush' and `nemesis' and I'm the first name up. And there aren't a whole lot of other names," Moore said. "It doesn't work with Michael Moore and Sean Penn and Ted Kennedy and a few others. The people have got to get involved in their democracy."
That's certainly right. As Bill Maher said the other day, if we want this stuff to happen (health care reform, and energy policy, net neutrality, a reduced influence for corporate lobbyists and corporate cash), we'd better get busy. And if we don't want to see any progress we do make rolled back after the next election, we'd better get organized for that too.
Conservatives have spent years successfully selling the idea that we can't solve many of our problems, and those we can solve can only be solved by privatizing the solution. They've been successful at that sales pitch in part because they've been remarkably successful at sabotaging any government attempt to solve any problem; "first they accuse politicians of incompetence, then they get elected and prove their point."
That sales pitch and the resultant government we've had over the last thirty years has been a disaster, and if we don;t want to see more of it (at an increasingly critical time for our country and the world), we'd better get organized and involved with our democracy. Moore's right, and so was President Obama during his campaign; "We are the people we've been waiting for."