DON'T GO SEE MICHAEL MOORE'S NEW MOVIE SICKO IF YOU DON'T LIKE CRYING IN THE MOVIE THEATER
You've probably never dreamed about lining Republican lawmakers and propagandists up against a wall, shoving a last cig into their faces and yelling, "Ready, Aim..." I didn't need to see Sicko for those images to getting buzzin' 'round my brain. They're never far away. And when Moore used the refrain from the Rolling Stone's "Street Fighting Man"... well, there was a visceral reaction. Just after the turn of the century, when I used to have trouble sleeping-- before I switched to a raw food diet; now I fall asleep in less than a minute-- I never counted sheep. I always counted dangerous threats to my country... swinging from lamp posts. Yep, I'm heartless. I had to get up halfway through the movie and go stand in a dark corner so I could cry without embarrassing myself in front of everyone.
The first time I met Howard Dean, then the little known, ex-governor of Vermont and a long-shot presidential candidate who no one was taking seriously, I had already endorsed John Edwards and written his campaign a check. Dr. Dean came over to my house for breakfast and I served him a variation of what my friends-- and their friends-- call a Howie breakfast, in this case, half a papaya with blueberries, pomegranate seeds, strawberries, lemon juice, freshground flax seeds and pecans. Then we talked about health care; well... he talked and I listened. His vision for a not-for-profit health care system-- a system for health instead-- didn't make me think any less of John Edwards. I just never thought about him or any other candidate again-- until after the public media assassination of Dean in Iowa. (And then the dream was over and it was back to politics as usual and I voted for Edwards in the California primary. Hillary can count on me on the first Tuesday of November to vote for her less evil ass than whatever more evil ass the fascists put up.)
Anyway, Moore uses Sicko to get across that same vision. He does it really well, although you can count on every reactionary asshole you ever heard of crawling out of the woodwork to attack him for it. People's true colors will come out, believe me. His film is truly revolutionary and it will be incumbent on all those desperate to maintain the status quo-- regardless of political party-- to attack it, and attack it with a fury. Their hatred and fears will fall on Moore in the next week like a ton of bricks, like a million tons of bricks. Google is even using the fear of it to sell advertising to health care companies! "We can place text ads, video ads, and rich media ads in paid search results or in relevant websites within our ever-expanding content network. Whatever the problem, Google can act as a platform for educating the public and promoting your message."
Take a look at what one of the Republican Party's highest paid
The movie is everywhere in L.A. and it was sold out all over town. I had to go to three theaters before I found one that could sell me a ticket-- and that was for a showing 3 hours later. It was worth the wait. I just wish I had brought some kleenex. It'll probably be the biggest grossing opening for a documentary since Fahrenheit 911-- and that'll drive the corporate health care industry and their paid political whores-- of both parties, but especially of the far right party-- into a frenzy of attack and recrimination. I loved the part about how the government in France fears the people-- so they do things the people want-- unlike here where the people fear the government-- so the government serves the interests of insiders and paymasters. Here's the preview:
UPDATE: MOST OF THE REVIEWS COULD HAVE BEEN WRITTEN BY P.R. FLACKS FOR THE GOP OR THE "HEALTH" CORPORATIONS, EXCEPT ONE THAT SAYS MOORE DIDN'T PAINT A BLEAK ENOUGH PICTURE
Tomorrow's Washington Post has an article by a Chicago doctor, Thomas Fisher, who points out-- as Moore did early in the film-- that Sicko isn't about the millions of Americans without health insurance; it's mostly about the millions of Americans with health insurance, health insurance designed to screw them over and make them die. Dr. Fisher works with poor people and poor people of color who have no health insurance and grossly inadequate health care. And they're much worse off than the folks in Moore's movie, the ones whose stories made me cry for two hours and then sent me running to the shooting range so I could get my frustrations out and not do something sillier than writing a blog post.
Here's the view from the front lines: Hospital waiting times of 10, 12 hours. Emergency rooms so packed that ambulances must be turned away. People suffering from ailments ranging from organ failure to psychotic breakdowns, all preventable.
These issues affect not only individuals, but whole communities and the health outlets serving them. I sympathize with those who are unhappy about the quality of their insured care, but I'm more worried about those with no insurance at all. The bigger problem is that we all want the finest of health care, and as a result, many of us -- largely black and brown -- are left with nothing.
One scene in Sicko does deal directly with race: A white woman questions whether her husband, who is black and has kidney cancer, would receive better care if he were white. I can't speak to their situation, but my experience is that the influence of race and racism on health care is rarely that obvious. But it is unmistakable, nonetheless.
Although not for the people of color who work for the man in the Big House, like Condi, Clarence Thomas and Ken Blackwell.