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Tomarken.com » A letter to Michael Moore
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To the future in reverse...
Polar bears are left handed.
Tomarken.com > Criticism > A letter to Michael Moore (06-28-04)
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A letter to Michael Moore
Daniel P. Beckmann, Moderator of Letters
06.26.04-New York City, NY

Dear. Mr. Moore,I’m a long time fan, first time writer and I saw your film today, but something about it bothered me. But hold on a second…this letter was not inspired by the likes of Hannity and Combs nor the hates of Barbara Streisand nor do I wish to aid them in their mass-lobotomies. We can also throw out the fact that you rip your titles ala Al Franken and for the moment, even put aside that you never seem to provide any precise solutions to the problems that you so eloquently illustrate. I think what’s worth mentioning for me at this point is that as you’ve grown in popularity, your significance in my mind has indeed faded-you’ve forgotten your roots and your latest movie only provides further evidence to this effect.

I come at you with a unique perspective… I grew up in Toledo, OH, a town that as you know mirrors Flint, MI as being the same distance away from Detroit, but to the south (sure, Ohio is indeed sunnier, but yet suffers from a similarly unsustainable economy). I understand where you come from literally-I’ve been there and you know where I’m comin’ from too. Mike, it seems to me that now as you’ve got your big-city movie type friends, putting it most positively, you’ve failed to sufficiently give back to those Midwestern roots that both your pocketbook and career have profited so much from.

We all know your breakthrough effort, Roger and Me, in which it now appears you essentially profited from the misfortunes of your people of Flint of which they were happy to oblige. Since then you have continued to go back home throughout your career, returning to get your hometown’s unique perspective, expanding to issues larger in range than that of the local auto factory closing down.

But while Flint has plummeted even further down beneath the basement of Money’s list of most desirable places to live, you’ve reportedly grossed over $ 34 Million from the documentaries leading up to Fahrenheit and live in a $1.6 million home in New York City? where your offices are also located. Other reports say you don’t even drive your own American-Made car.

If you have such a problem with General Motors and their betrayal of the Flint employment market, why haven’t you done a damn thing to directly and positively effect the employment situation in Flint-why aren’t your offices located there? Why can’t you be a stand-up guy and spread your wealth of opportunity back home? NYC’s got plenty of filmmakers, they don’t need your help and they probably don’t even notice the minimal effect you’ve got on their economy, but Flint would give you tax breaks! Is it because you’re really just too cool for Flint when it comes down to it to actually live there…or is it because you just want to continue to preserve Flint as your wholesome down and out laboratory of pain and suffering?

Let me tell you a brief story now that I may have your attention. In March of 2003, I came to New York City from Toledo to look for a job in media. I slept on a fold out sofa bed with my friend in the living room of her family’s one bedroom apt…her dad slept and did other things in the bedroom next door. I had no fucking clue how to get a job here and you know its not like the media posts any jobs that are actually open even if they have a jobs website.

During that period I went with my friend to a swank, Soho bar to watch the Oscars with some of her friends from Fairfield, CT-you know, the affluent community where Angela Bower hired Tony outta Brooklyn to be her housekeeper on Who’s the Boss? ßBet you didn’t know this, John Mayer also went to her high school too. Of the Fairfielders we met up there were two fellows, one lackey sort of chap that attended Vassir which got him into work at VH-1® and this other shlub sorta guy of whom held the pretense of having my friend saying he was cute with the ladies back in Fairfield high–This was a kid who was offered the chance to go to college, was throwing it away and went through high school cute to boot. The truth was that he totally had that luxury to blow off his free trip to college and could fall nicely onto his connected contacts back home in Connecticut any time he wanted to.<--I guess now I finally understand what Mayer was referring to in his song about reality outside of high school-BTW I wonder how Mayer got where get got today? Anyway, this was the night that you made those brief, yet abruptly cut off comments about Bush when this shlub, followed by his lacky friend stood up and started leading the room in cheering you on...trying desperately in a public way to attach himself to you-his now ideological hero. You said what he needed to attach himself too at the moment-it wasn't all that in-depth what you said, but it captured what this guy was truly all about.

The story continues...

Later in the fall of that year, after I eventually did get myself that job in the media, I somehow found myself at this party on top of a roof in which there was a bone fine forest in the center of Greenwich Village, Manhattan. There were of course girls jumping off naked into this lighted swimming pool with a view of the whole city in front of them–In attendance at this party was none other than the likes of the novely fucked up legend, Farah Fawcett. Guess who else was in attendance, that shlub and his lacky…and guess who they worked for now-YOU! You’re the flavor of the hour sir, and I must say, these two aren’t the only treasures who’ve inflicted their associated righteousness on the world… you’ve also given space to several other people from those opportunity deprived, affluent suburbs that surround the New York Metropolitan area. Good for you Mike-UAW proud as they say!(By the way, where exactly are you hats made>?)

Now I’m sure that you have some explanations for all of this…or maybe I don’t have all the facts? But we can’t all be perfect and I guess that’s part of my point. In the end, I know many people who are often attracted to your films, and similar to the Bush they abhor, they see it as you’re either "with us or against us". They probably won’t like me attacking you their hero, their savior, their one that’ll "say it like it is" and galvanize their force, but whether its Boosh with his Richie Rich recovering alcoholism that leads to the death of thousands or Moore with his support of a corrupt hiring system and a lack of any systematic solution whatsoever, righteous in any form leads to hypocrisy.

I generally enjoy your movies and like the way in which you expose your enemies. But if you’re connected underlings had a roll in shaping your latest film it certainly showed (which may account for your general departure from normal Moorish antics to only reading the patriot act and trying to sign up senators sons). You, have indeed become one of the haves that you report to be so much against–a corrupt industry and you well know it. Even now that I have found a job in the big city, I am personally disgusted at the corrupt hiring practices of the entire media industry and if indeed I somehow become half as prominent as you are, I will at least have the balls to break these systems down at least in my sliver of the world that I control-I don’t fucking care, this is an issue almost as personal to me as your vendetta with GM was to you, I simply will not tolerate if it comes my turn. If you criticize the media for not fighting the corruption of other industries, how do you expect it to do so when even you know of its corrupt hiring practices, but continue to propagate them? Hiring practice is at the center of this issue.

I’ll actually give you an actually fair and easy solution on this one Mike, which is more than you gave to GM,…1) post job listings that are genuine and open to the public in an extremely public way in a transparent scheme to hire people who’s daddy’s lack convenient entrance to friends and, more importantly 2) Don’t be too cool for your home, if indeed you are actually from there. You and I both know that the people who come from our part of the country are the salt of the earth. They may be weird, dogmatic, and say they’re sorry before asking for the ketchup, but you’ve got money and NYC is 2 hours by plane away and if you really are from Flint, why don’t you give something back to the community that gave so much to you by putting it on the map as the "documentary making center" of the Midwest. That way, they’ll actually have jobs that people would enjoy having, as opposed to working in a factory, and if your brand of film really takes off, so too, will the town of Flint sparkle again if you think that it should.

Now lets see if you actually answer this letter or if I’ll have to stand outside your swanky apartment and read this with a megaphone.

Best Regards,

Dan Beckmann-fellow "Rust Beltor", Moderator of Letters-tomarken.com

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