Michael Moore: Portrait of a Gamma
My first introduction to Michael Moore was serendipitous; my sister and I were at a theatre in Texas, intending to watch The Pianist, but we showed up late. The only movie yet to start was Bowling for Columbine, a film which we’d both heard something about, so we got our tickets and strapped in for the ride.
The movie wound up being a watershed moment in my intellectual development.
For those of you who don’t recall, it was Moore’s Magnum Opus on Gun Control: it was filled to the brim with his hatred of guns, his hatred of Republicans, and his hatred for America. It was the “must see” Gun Control movie of its era, and I walked into it with the credulous eyes of a 21 year old Canadian. I was skeptical of the peaceniks – the anti-Bush, anti-Capitalist protesters who periodically took control of the streets – but when it came to Canadian values such as Gun Control and Socialized Medicine? Well, that was just common sense, wasn’t it?
Moore’s film is what turned me around, and started me down a path of questioning the existential questions of my society – because make no mistake, Gun Control and Free™ Healthcare are deeply rooted in the Canadian identity that Pierre Trudeau manufactured for us back in the 70s – as deeply rooted as the Second Amendment is in these United States. I’d like to think I would have become a free thinker regardless of what happened, but this movie guaranteed that I’d never be a milque-toast Canadian Conservative ever again.
So how did a movie advocating Gun Control open my eyes to that old Viking truth? That you can recognize a freeman by the sword on his hip? It opened my eyes because it isn’t in favour of Gun Control. The author certainly was – the venom dripping from his tone is palpable (and “righteous” in the eyes of your typical mistaught 21 year old) – but the evidence presented is the exact opposite. Moore engaged in some deceptive practices in the film (mischaracterizing an NRA meeting as being an attack on a recent shooting in a community, when in fact the two were entirely unconnected), and yet he was forced to conclude that guns had nothing to do with violent crime. He demonstrated this on the Detroit border, showing that Canadians owned nearly as many guns as Americans, and yet left their doors unlocked, while on the other side of the border, paranoia and violence reigned supreme.
His ultimate conclusion in the movie was that irrational fear of Blacks was the reason for higher crime rates in America. I needn’t point out the flaws with this conclusion, but it certainly points away from the guns themselves. While most of those who walked out of the cinema came away in favour of Gun Control, most of them just hadn’t been paying attention – the same thing would happen with Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth a few years later. Both films undermine the very premises they sought to prove, and both of them put me on the path to skepticism.
A pure propaganda piece would have been much simpler – and far more effective – than what Moore actually put together; so why did he do things in this way?
Michael Moore’s recent speech on Donald Trump (4 minutes and well worth a listen) has a similar effect. Moore is one of the few Liberals who can see the writing on the wall… and he hates it. Another example of Moore’s insight is his critique of the American education system: he points out the solution that Finland came to, the elimination of homework:
I don’t doubt his critiques in the least; in fact, I strongly suspect that the man might be a genius. This leaves us with a question of how he can be so right while still being so wrong? Why does he champion causes such as Gun Control and Socialized Medicine, while proving how ineffective they are? Why does he go on to champion a positive modification to the Educational industry?
It’s because deep in his soul, he’s a maelstrom of self hatred.
The core premise dominating all of Moore’s work is a hatred for his homeland. A deep viciousness towards the country of his birth, he’s filled with the envy and resentfulness of a man who feels that he’s been slighted. Michael Moore is the very portrait of a Gamma Male, the Secret King whom nobody acknowledges, and his condition is made all the worse by the fact that he’s actually smart enough to prove himself right – about everything except his own neuroses.
He is smarter than everyone he meets; and yet he’s so ugly and toxic on the inside that nobody wants to listen to him, nobody would ever vote for him. He’s the embodiment of anomie and alienation, and it seeps out into his physical features, turning him into a terrifying, shambling wreck of a man, who does nothing but hate and resent others for their beauty and virtue.
Pity the poor fool. His intellect allows him to rationalize his failures, and his obsession prevents him from enjoying his successes. But while you pity, you should also listen. He’s right about all the facts; his error is in the twisting of his soul.
Michael Moore is a walking study in why humbleness and forgiveness are so important. Kill your ego before it kills you.