Sunday, February 26, 2006

Johnny Rumble:
Michael Moore...

Ultimately, we must ask ourselves why Michael Moore wrote Stupid White Men. We also must ask why it was included in our reader Rereading America. I believe I found the answer with in Moore’s own text, Idiot Nation. It is because, in fact, America is a nation of idiots. Fortunately for those people, Moore lays it out plain and simple, and in his typical fashion, proceeds to blame the government, in turn blaming the people who voted them in, and somehow in the end makes himself out to be an almighty deity sent down from the heavens to educate our illiterate asses. To this I say, “Fuck you, Michael Moore!”

But I digress. Moore does have some solid points of view, if not a little skewed. He is correct in saying that America’s schools are crumbling and everyone wants to fix it, but nobody is willing to step up to the plate. Having myself attended a, for lack of better words, shitty and corrupt school, I have seen Moore’s views first hand. The school was run down, cracking at the seams, and run by a morally corrupt principle whose only concern was moving up the job ladder. The text books were from the mid 1980’s and the science equipment was cracked and broken. The teachers were trying to make the best of the worst and were suffering from de-moralization. To boot, just as Moore had wrote, the school boards only concern was the test scores from the state mandated tests. I remember the kids going home stressed, beat down and exhausted. I would be lying if I said the Cumberland County school system was tolerable.

While I do understand Michael Moore’s reason for writing this excerpt, he never provides a solution to the problem at hand. He even takes a few lines to bash President Bush about the election of 2000, his school grades and his overall intelligence. Why this in the excerpt is not fully understood until the entire book Stupid White Men is read and understood. Moore even provides a list of ways to subvert the school system, after providing us with his personal rebellious history. Again I ask why? He blames the government for every little thing that is wrong with the school system, but he never takes the time to actually think that maybe it partially his (and others like him) fault for constantly interrupting, subverting, and distracting the schools faculty from doing their jobs of teaching the students and improving the education system.

What’s worse is Moore goes off on a tangent of how he was bumped up to the second grade because he was so smart in first. And yet again I ask, what does this have to do with America being this so called Idiot Nation? While the little anecdote is interesting, it leaves me to wonder what its purpose is in the larger context of the writing. Is this an attempt to prove to the larger audience that he is in fact, smarter than the rest of us? Unfortunately for Moore, I believe that most Americans can see through this. But I might be wrong considering how well Moore’s orchestrated lie Fahrenheit 911 did in the theaters.

Moore does provide lots of facts and figures. Just two being: Forty-four million Americans cannot read or write above a forth grade level and a test given to 556 seniors at fifty-five American universities. Dealing with the first “figure,” Moore conveniently forgets to add how many of them are recent immigrants or mentally handicapped His “figure” should have been paired down to Americans who cannot read above a forth grade level that have at least completed elementary school. I would bet my bottom dollar that the figure would be much, much smaller. While I have no reason to doubt his second figure, the lack of a name or source is very disturbing indeed. How do I know he did not just make the figures up off the top of his head? Another factor is this: most of those tests lie. In my own research, I have found that most students will lie out their ass on test that do not count for a grade, are state run and are cutting into time that could be used for something better. I remember a high school run “What have you done?” survey. Questions that were found on this test ranged from “What drugs have you used?” to “How many times a week do you have sex?” Well Edmond North, not that it’s any of your business, but I have done cannabis (lie), cocaine (lie), heroin (lie), and methamphetamines (lie). I have unprotected sex ten times a week with five different girls (lie). In the end the school had to throw the test out after it was discovered how many students severely embellished or outright lied on the survey. Teenagers are not to be trusted.

Overall, after cutting though the fat and bad meat, Michael Moore’s text, Idiot Nation, does provide a fairly clear view of how bad the America’s school system really is. Capitol Hill should stand up and take notice of what Michael Moore is telling us. But if they can’t even answer some questions about their constituents, I don’t believe they will understand the message.


  1. We'd all be a bit smarter and more educated about the problems of our schools if we listened to Bill Cosby and William Raspberry rather than Michael Moore. Moore's grasp of the problems of America rely on really one point...If we got rid of Bush and elected Democrats the world would be OK. Moore is a heavyweight entertainment icon with a lightweight mind.

  2. I think Michael Moore is brilliant. He, for one, is not afraid to show the cold hard truth about the crooked American politics, regardless of the fact what his political motives might be. I respect him very much. He receives life threaths every day, through his website and privately. Yet, he keeps going on, not afraid to tell the truth. He is one of the few Americans I respect. Sorry if I insult anybody, but John already knows my point of view in this and I know he does not mind.
    Cheers, Aletta aka princess Nina.