When the film maker Michael Moore first moved to Traverse City, Mich. there was a lot of ruckus made about his intention to improve T.C. Some were optimistic about his arrival, others not so much.
We had letters to the editor of the local Record Eagle News paper almost every day for months. We heard things like, “He’s going to wreck our nice town, bringing in the Hollywood types!” And, “We like things the way they are and nothing good is going to come from a hypocritical, pompous ass!”
Apparently Moore’s documentaries have caused some strong reactions and his fight against wrongdoers of capitalism does not sit well with many. An article I read on www.slate.com stated, “Moore is a silly and shady man who does not recognize courage of any sort even when he sees it because he can not summon it in himself. To him, easy applause in front of a credulous audience is everything.” Credulous audience? Mmmm….. guess that means if you like Michael Moore’s work you must be stupid! Michael Moore has been accused of betraying his craft, being untruthful and one-sided. Yes, I believe Moore is being one-sided, the side of “have-not’s” because the “haves” are not letting him in! The “haves” might feel poorly treated by Moore, but have any of them stepped up to prove that the capitalistic systems are just and morally correct? Nope, none that I’ve seen!!
Michael Moore’s intentions were to clean up the abandoned downtown area of Traverse City and hopefully bring more middle class jobs back to the area. Well that sounded wonderful to me, being one of the many that live in the area making poverty, or below, wages. As far as I was concerned, he was to be deemed a hero! (Yeah for someone wanting to make things better!) Michael Moore did make things better. The State Theater got a facelift, per se, and offered free movies in the summer to the local kids. The Opera House got revamped and looks great. Traverse City now has a “Winter Fest,” a bonfire and beer tent in sub-zero temps. without a football game – imagine that! The latter was reason enough to bring lots of folks to the downtown area. There was something about freezing your ass off, with beer in hand, that makes it fun. Little shops and cafes opened up in the downtown area. Michael Moore was coming through for the Traverse citizens. At one time, Traverse City was considered a snow-covered ghost town along the bay of Lake Michigan. Now open in the winter months – that’s amazing.
I asked a co-worker of mine what she thought of Michael Moore. She said, “Pfff….What an ass!!” I was surprised at her response. She continued: “ Rich, hypocritical ass, that’s what I say!” And then I replied, “Don’t you like what he has done to the downtown of Traverse city?” She responded, “Yep, looks good but any rich guy could of done that!” Well, yes, any “rich” guy could of but Michael Moore did!!! He invested in us; we the little people; the “credulous audience”; the town that pretty much closed up for winter. Michael Moore was trying to give us a fighting chance! He was out to save the “Bay”!
Michael Moore’s embodiment as a spokesman for the working class, revealing the mendacity of the wrongdoers of capitalism and thus saves us from those wrongdoers of capitalism. Moore is willing to chase down his opponents and continuously question them mercilessly, usually hurling them into the limelight of justice! A favorite move, of his, is to suddenly show up just under a much larger capitalistic corporation’s chin and throw a blinding flurry of verbal punches that leaves the enemy reeling – much like the cartoon character Mighty Mouse.
The early operatic Mighty Mouse cartoons often portrayed heroic cheese-chomper as a ruthless fighter. He would dole out a considerable amount of punishment, subduing opponent cats to the point of giving up their evil plan and running away. Mighty Mouse would then chase down the escaping cats, and continue beating them mercilessly, usually hurling or punching them miles away to finish the fight. A favorite move is to suddenly fly up to just under a much larger opponent’s chin and throw a blinding flurry of punches that leaves the enemy reeling. Did Michael Moore grow up watching Mighty Mouse?
I can see the similarities between the cats of Mighty Mouse episodes and the wrongdoers of capitalism that Moore takes on. Cats play with their prey, often stalking, torturing and dragging them out of their homes before killing them to eat. Capitalist wrongdoers set their prey up to be penniless, toy with them about what they can have, and then take it all away by dragging them from their homes to leave them destitute, fighting for survival!!
Michael Moore is a big man with an even bigger Heart, possibly, or maybe just a mastermind at pissing off the “right” people to make it profitable. Either way, Traverse City appreciates what you have done, and Mighty Mouse would be proud of you Michael Moore!