Saturday, June 30, 2007

Movie Review: SiCKO

I drove up to Tulsa yesterday because SiCKO is not showing in Oklahoma City until July 6 (and it will only be shown at the AMC 24 theater at Quail Springs Mall according to Michael Moore's website).

Most of the ideas have been shown in clips, but he goes into detail on how much better things are for ordinary working class people in other countries in regards to health care and other benefits that people have in other countries. He even debunks the canard that Canadians want to abolish their Medicare system and the argument that they have to wait weeks to get emergency medical care.

The movie clearly demonstrates the madness that is the American private, for-profit health care and health insurance industry. Americans spend more money and get less care than anyone else in the western world.

I am reminded of a stanza from Mark Heard's song Orphans of God:

But they have packaged our virtue in cellulose dreams
And sold us the remnants 'til our pockets are clean
Til our hopes fall 'round our feet
Like the dust and dead leaves
And we end up looking like what we believe

And the politicians sound like another stanza:

We have bought from the brokers who have broken their oaths
And we're out on the streets with a lump in our throats

Michael Moore is right and I have written about this before: the moneyed interests and the politicians want to keep us scared, sick and broke. They try to keep us in fear so that we will not pay attention to their misdeeds. And they want us to stay heavily in debt so that we will be afraid to lose our jobs (and our health care and pensions). That way, we won't be able to afford to march in the streets to protest our treatment.

Michael Moore points out how having a national health care system empowers the working class. He shows how often the French people march in the streets when they see a failure of their leaders to respond to their needs. Nicholas Kristof makes the same point in another way. Here is a passage from a book review that I have written about before:

Even when middle-class or wealthy families were displaced in, say, New Orleans, they mostly figured out how to get what they needed. For a start, they demanded it. Loudly. Insistently. But the people stuck in the shelters, black and white, were typically not only poorer but also less demanding, less assertive, less skilled in negotiating their way through the system. Poor families in the shelters were neglected precisely because they were suffering so patiently. After that experience, I caught myself thinking that the problem is not that the poor riot, but that they don't riot enough.

It makes you wonder why we don't have national health care. Maybe the reason is because we don't complain enough. Loudly. Insistently. At least Michael Moore's new movie is a good start. Go see it. The movie will make you mad. Maybe even mad enough that you will start complaining and vote for change. To turn a phrase that Jack Nicholson said as the Joker in Batman: this country needs an enema.

1 comment:

deha said...

I was so disappointed that the film isn't showing in OKC yet. I'll go see it when it finally arrives.

I appreciate your work on this. It's so heartening to hear from like-minded Okies (there are so few of us!).