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The Responsibility of Déclassé Intellectuals

Chris Hedges used the term Sunday afternoon, and it definitely applies to me.

The Déclassé Intellectual

By Marlana Eck and James K. Anderson

every day that goes by it all seems the same

people work and people slave and piss their lives away

people taking and never getting it’s all the same old shit

while everything around us is crumbling bit by bit

Defiance, “No Future No Hope”

What fosters revolution is not misery, but the gap between what people expect from their lives and what is offered. This is especially acute among the educated and the talented. They feel, with much justification, that they have been denied what they deserve. They set out to rectify this injustice. And the longer the injustice festers, the more radical they become.

Chris Hedges, “Colonized by Corporations”

In his 1967 essay, “The Responsibility of Intellectuals,” Noam Chomsky, writing amid the US assault on Vietnam, noted intellectuals in the West were part of a “privileged minority,” with relative power and…

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There is No Spoiler

Why people who use the spoiler claim are either liars or are mistakenly parroting lies.

Be Freedom

nospoon

Also find this article at Counterpunch

There is no spoiler.  Its just the machine’s fear of democracy.

Spoiler arguments are part of an interlocking set of social control discourses that too-often govern our thoughts and actions regarding elections and representational democracy.

While “the spoiler” is deployed on the wing of the “lesser of two evils” and “electability/inevitability,” it most resembles corporate-inspired arguments about austerity.

Spoiler arguments are the political analogue to the “austerity” claims enforced so ruthlessly by corporate elites. Under austerity “we are broke.” But, we must add: except for the trillions of dollars in cash that the big corporations and billionaires are sitting on — at the peak of their wealth — in the richest country in the history of the world. This artificial scarcity is then imposed on the people who, the 1% insists, will have to sacrifice their jobs, incomes, pensions, social…

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Maloney’s Green Party opponent has been homeless for years

This is what happens when you interview someone taking notes instead of using a tape recorder–the gist is right, but there are plenty of mistakes, particularly when it comes to specifics.

Town & Village

Scott Hutchins has applied for 3,000 jobs since becoming homeless and has worked at seven. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Congress Member Carolyn Maloney, who recently bested an East Village hospitality executive in an unusually competitive primary, must still face two opponents in the upcoming general election. Neither opponent is well known or well-funded, and this is especially true of Green Party candidate Scott Hutchins, who’s been in New York’s shelter system for the past six and a half years.

Still, this isn’t the first time Hutchins, 42, has attempted to run for office, and since he has bounced from shelter to shelter in recent years (though not by choice), he has done so in more than one district.

When he filed his petition, he was staying in a shelter in Long Island City, but he has since been transferred to a hotel in Bushwick. Hutchins initially attempted…

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More Proof Meritocracy Is a Lie

IMG_20181005_090340

If meritocracy were real, the people responsible for copyediting this ad would be homeless, and I would be employed in their jobs. In effect, they’ve stolen my housing from me through pushing a competent person out of a job.

Want a Job with that English Degree?

Corrigan Literary Review

If you want to major in English, you might feel some pressure. Folks might warn you against it. Folks might tell you that you can’t get a job with an English degree, might advise you that a “practical” degree is the safe bet in a rough economy, might crack jokes about you working at Starbucks while writing a novel in your parents’ basement.

Now, many college majors are vocational degrees, which do prepare students for specific jobs: nursing, teaching, accounting, counseling, social work, etc. Many people declare these majors because they really want to. They want to study and work in these fields. That’s great, for them.

But what about you? What if you would rather study the humanities or liberal arts? What should you do if you love English—or art, or anthropology, or history, or philosophy—but also want a job?

Well, you could listen to the naysayers, play it safe, and major in something you’re not interested in. If you do, with a little luck (jobs aren’t automatic…

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Human Resources Software Is Absolute Rubbish

Today LinkedIn sent me a job posting for an Editorial Copywriter at Revolve in Cerritos, California. The ad needed me to include a link to my blog, so I added it to a specially saved version of my resume. Then the next screen showed how Taleo.Com’s ludicrous software imported the information from my resume.

Look at this insane cut and paste job for yourself:

application education

So here, Taleo decided I earned a Ph.D. in 2011, something I never claimed to have on my resume.

application work 1

Here, Taleo claims that my most recent position was as a proofreader at Picture the Homeless, something that I never claimed. It lacks a start date, and a bunch of gobbeldygook was lifted from all over my resume and shoved together:

Legal New York, NY Clients included MTA New York City Transit, Summit Financial Printing 02/15 – 06- 16 Compared contact information from submission papers to computer records. Proofread legal contracts made on EDGAR relating to pharmaceutical products and real estate. Public Relations Picture the Homeless 10/13 – Met with press and represented the organization. Quoted in stories published or aired in outlets including The Riverdale Press, Democracy Now ! Jacobin, Liberation News, New Bloom Magazine Discussed urban homelessness and low-income housing at conferences hosted by Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture , Planning and Preservation, New York City- sponsored event Talking Transition, American Planning Association, New York University Law School, United Nations High School, Hunter College School of Social Work , The Bronx Museum. Represented Picture the Homeless in meetings with policymakers such as Steven Banks (New York City Human Resources Administration), Gilbert Taylor and Lorraine Stephens (New York City Department of Homeless Services ), Jumaane Williams (New York City Council Subcommittee on Housing and Buildings), Louisa Chafee (New York Governor of Health and Human Services), Elizabeth Brown and Sarah Stefanski (New York City Independent Budget: Housing, Budget, and Infrastructure), City Council Members Mark Levine and Stephen Levin. Co- developer of the board game, Trustville; co-author of the whitepaper, The Business of Homelessness, and the comic book, Fighting to Save Our Communities.

application work 2

So for my next most recent position, it claims that I was an Editor/writer from January 2003-January 2018 for an unknown company. Another word soup grabbed at random from my resume is placed in the description box:

Write about topical themes for trade publications. Themes span real estate, medical sales and technology and public health trends higher education and career development. Topics also include film scores and film. Clients have included Colorado Spaces Institute ( , ), Arachne ( , 2016), Hopes & Fears ( , 2015), DOTmed Business News ( , 2007-8), The Baum Bugle ( , 2004), Film Score Monthly ( , 1998). Generated SEO- driven content. Bolt Web Solutions ( , 2012), Best Real Estate Service ( , 2012), and Remilon / Education- Portal.com ( , 2010). Authored bibliographic citations for Medical Debt Resolution / RIP Medical Debt (The Patient, the Doctor & the Bill Collector), published , featured on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: https: / http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxUAntt1z2c. Wrote on medical issues for DOTmed.com and Always Your Choice . Currently doing same for second book (2018). 69 Productions; researched film festivals online, researched doctoral dissertation for company president. Motéma Music; Researched African and Asian Studies departments at universities throughout the world for tours by Randy Weston and A Moving Sound. Wikipedia: Created and expanded numerous articles as described at https: / en. wikipedia.org / wiki / User: Scottandrewhutchins Film / Television / Video and Web Production Research, Writing, Directing, Editing, Composing, and Web Design Clients included R. L. Migdal Creative Multimedia / Bank Street Bookstore ( , NY, 2012), 69 Productions / Maruti Transit ( , 2012); Motéma Music ( , 2011), JB Productions ( 2005), WFYI- PBS (Indianapolis, IN, 2003) Produced, wrote, and edited segment for Across Indiana, WFYI’s Peabody award winning documentary series The PBS segment On the Trail of John Hunt Morgan, aired February 3, 2003: http://www.wfyi.org/acrossIndiana/segments.asp?episode=-1916013356 Edited video and audio content with Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere. Created websites using Unix editors, FrontPage, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, and Flash Placed advertising segments in day time television programming. Edited and revised master’s level material into doctoral dissertation. Theatre Production and Playwriting Wrote three stage plays, five screenplays, a novel, an opera, and shorter works of fiction, non- fiction, and drama. Researched and wrote on a variety of topics including film, literature, juvenile literature, music, hooliganism Directed and assistant directed stage productions.

The third position it got more or less right:

applicattion work 3

The purpose of this software seems to be to winnow the applicant field by filling the application process with unpaid busy work rather than allowing the job seeker to move on to do productive work applying to other relevant positions. It also leads me to wonder about all those jobs I apply to where there isn’t an option to edit what I’ve given them. Has my resume been similarly ripped up and patched back together with overtly false information as stitching? It would certainly explain why my response rate is below 1%.

Because of formatting issues, I haven’t updated the most recent version of my resume on WordPress to the page (tabbed above). I paste it here to show how badly misrepresentative of what I submitted Taleo made. You can argue that I could have spent the time doing the busy work Taleo wants from me, but considering how common this problem is, and how many times I have gone ahead and done the busy work, I think it’s appropriate to broadcast how dishonest the application process is. As far as I’m concerned, Taleo and companies using Applicant Racking System software are intentionally misrepresenting applicants to employers and ought to be shut down. No human being being shown what Taleo did to my resume would consider me for a job, and no human being seeing my actual resume would interpret it the way Taleo did. By becoming a middleman between applicant and employer, ATS software commits fraud, and therefore, the company responsible for that fraud needs to be shut down.

Scott Andrew Hutchins
[address redacted from blog]
scottandrewhutchins@yahoo.com
https://scottandrewhutchins.wordpress.com
SKILLS SUMMARY

Months after the publication of my article, “Cyberspace Without Living Space” in December 2015, Arachne editor Dorothy Howard wrote, “I think it’s one of the most vital articles Arachne has published.” (https://twitter.com/anacreon_club/status/853288052482912256, April 15, 2017). To supplement my income, I temped for King Teleservices as a customer service representative and did office work for MTA, including significant proofreading. I formatted the endnotes for Robert Goff and Jerry Ashton’s The Patient, The Doctor, & the Bill Collector (2016), a vital text in the health care reform movement and am doing the same for their second. I have temped as a legal proofreader for Summit Financial Printing, proofread liner notes for Motéma Music and was an adjunct professor of English for Boricua College. I have written for stage, screen, television, trade and academic journals, zines, and SEO, and have produced and edited segments for PBS and Bank Street Bookstore. I have represented Picture the Homeless before members of the city and state government as well as the press. I am Adobe Certified in three web design applications and have bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

EXPERIENCE

Editor/Writer/Researcher, 2003 – present
• Write about topical themes for trade publications. Themes span real estate, medical sales and technology and public health trends higher education and career development. Topics also include film scores and film. Clients have included Colorado Spaces Institute (Boulder, CO, 2018), Arachne (Seattle, WA, 2016), Hopes & Fears (Brooklyn, NY, 2015), DOTmed Business News (New York, NY, 2007-8), The Baum Bugle (San Francisco, CA, 2004), Film Score Monthly (Los Angeles, CA, 1998).
• Generated SEO-driven content. Bolt Web Solutions (Brooklyn, NY, 2012), Best Real Estate Service (Great Neck, NY, 2012), and Remilon/Education-Portal.com (Mountain View, CA, 2010).
• Authored bibliographic citations for Medical Debt Resolution/RIP Medical Debt (The Patient, the Doctor & the Bill Collector), published February 2016, featured on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxUAntt1z2c. Currently doing same for second book (2018). Wrote on medical issues for DOTmed.com and Always Your Choice (2007-2008).
• 69 Productions; researched film festivals online, researched doctoral dissertation for company president.
• Motéma Music; Researched African and Asian Studies departments at universities throughout the world for tours by Randy Weston and A Moving Sound.
• Wikipedia: Created and expanded numerous articles as described at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Scottandrewhutchins

Film/Television/ Video and Web Production
Research, Writing, Directing, Editing, Composing, and Web Design 2003 – present
• Clients included R.L. Migdal Creative Multimedia/Bank Street Bookstore (Bronx/New York, NY, 2012), 69 Productions/Maruti Transit (Jacksonville, FL, 2012); Motéma Music (New York, NY, 2011), JB Productions (New York, NY 2005), WFYI-PBS (Indianapolis, IN, 2003)
• Produced, wrote, and edited segment for Across Indiana, WFYI’s Peabody award winning documentary series
The PBS segment “On the Trail of John Hunt Morgan,” aired February 3, 2003:
http://www.wfyi.org/acrossIndiana/segments.asp?episode=-1916013356
• Edited video and audio content with Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere.
• Created websites using Unix editors, FrontPage, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, and Flash
• Placed advertising segments in day time television programming.
• Edited and revised master’s level material into doctoral dissertation.

Theatre Production and Playwriting
• Wrote three stage plays, five screenplays, a novel, an opera, and shorter works of fiction, non-fiction, and drama.
• Researched and wrote on a variety of topics including film, literature, juvenile literature, music, hooliganism
• Directed and assistant directed stage productions.

Proofreader/Legal Proofreader New York, NY
• Clients included MTA New York City Transit, Summit Financial Printing 02/15 – 06-16
• Compared contact information from submission papers to computer records.
• Proofread legal contracts made on EDGAR relating to pharmaceutical products and real estate.

Public Relations New York, NY
Picture the Homeless 10/13 – present
• Met with press and represented the organization. Quoted in stories published or aired in outlets including The Riverdale Press, Democracy Now! Jacobin, Liberation News, New Bloom Magazine
• Discussed urban homelessness and low-income housing at conferences hosted by Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, New York City-sponsored event Talking Transition, American Planning Association, New York University Law School, United Nations High School, Hunter College School of Social Work, The Bronx Museum.
• Represented Picture the Homeless in meetings with policymakers such as Steven Banks (New York City Human Resources Administration), Gilbert Taylor and Lorraine Stephens (New York City Department of Homeless Services), Jumaane Williams (New York City Council Subcommittee on Housing and Buildings), Louisa Chafee (New York Deputy Governor of Health and Human Services), Elizabeth Brown and Sarah Stefanski (New York City Independent Budget Office: Housing, Budget, and Infrastructure), City Council Members Mark Levine and Stephen Levin.
• Co-developer of the board game, Trustville; co-author of the whitepaper, The Business of Homelessness, and the comic book, Fighting to Save Our Communities.

Freelance Adjunct Professor/Tutor (English Composition) Brooklyn, NY
Boricua College , Champion Learning Center 09/09 – 02/10
• Tutored students in English composition.
• Promoted to adjunct professor in 10/09, teaching one first year composition course.

EDUCATION and CERTIFICATIONS

Certificate in Web Page Design from New York City Department of Education 2011
Master of Arts in Cinema and Media Studies (GPA: 3.5) 2005
The College of Staten Island/The City University of New York
Bachelor of Arts in English (GPA: 3.5) and Communication Studies (GPA: 3.0) 1999
Indiana University – Purdue University at Indianapolis
Adobe Certified Associate, for Adobe Dreamweaver, Flash, and Photoshop

PROFICIENCIES

• French literacy and moderate speaking fluency; study of Latin and etymology
• HTML, UNIX; Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, Chyron, Movie Magic Screenwriter; Quark Xpress
• Microsoft Office Suite: Word, Excel, Access, Outlook, PowerPoint, FrontPage

HONORS

The Frederick E. Otto Fiction Award, The International Wizard of Oz Club Away from the Prosaic Gas-Light: A Theatrical Celebration of the Works of L. Frank Baum 2001

Video
• Editor, promotional videos, Bank Street Bookstore/R.L. Migdal Creative Multimedia, October 2012: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkFtwsyWPiBj1xKfKTtzbPh4aQdxeLSTM
• Editor, promotional videos, Motéma Music.
• Writer/Cinematographer/Director/Editor, 2005 16mm short film, “Broken Panes,” starring Jacqueline Milena Thompson
• Writer/Director/Videographer, Oz En Gage, 2004 documentary featuring Mimi Kennedy, John Fricke, and Sally Roesch Wagner
• Writer/Producer/Editor, WFYI/PBS segment, “On the Trail of John Hunt Morgan,” February 3, 2003:
http://www.wfyi.org/acrossIndiana/segments.asp?episode=-1916013356
• Crew, Unity of New York: Manifesting Miracles (John Howard Swain, 2011) http://youtu.be/rHFmM-1cR4Y?t=6m46s
• Crew, Playing Doctor (Jazzmyn Banks, 2014 [shot 2004]) http://youtu.be/XucHgDIKOJg?t=1h7m59s

Articles
• “Cyberspace Without Living Space.” Arachne. December 8, 2016. http://arachne.cc/issues/03/cyberspace-without-living-space-scott-andrews-hutchins.html
• “A Revised and Expanded Oz Filmography” [edited by Marc Berezin] The Baum Bugle 48: 1 (Spring 2004), 11.
• “Who Says Obscure Video Is Dead?” Video Watchdog 106 (April 2004), 80.
• “Ease on Down the Groove” Film Score Monthly, July 1998.
• “Trapped in the Kafka-eqsue Revolving Door of the NYC Shelter System” Hopes & Fears, April 28, 2015. http://www.hopesandfears.com/hopes/city/city/168899-homeless-essay
• DOTmed.com
o Old Into Gold column in DOTmed Business News, November 2007-February 288.
o “UK Scientists Laud Proposed Four-Year Delay in Implementing the EU Physical Agents Directive”: http://www.dotmed.com/news/story/4966/
o “Surgeons Say Teo is Full of Himself”: http://www.dotmed.com/news/story/4099/
o “Hospital CEOs Anxious–Doctor and Nurse Numbers Low”: http://www.dotmed.com/news/story/3910/
• FilmScoreMonthly.com, 1999-2000:
o Review, Pryde of the X-Men soundtrack album: http://filmscoremonthly.com/articles/2000/12_Oct—CD_Reviews_Shanghai_Noon_Pryde_of_the_XMen.asp
o Review, The Brave Little Toaster score: http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/articles/2000/16_Mar—The_Brave_Little_Toaster.asp
o Review, The Fearless Vampire Killers score: http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/articles/1999/10_Nov—The_Fearless_Vampire_Killers.asp
o Review, Il rosso segno dellafollia score: http://filmscoremonthly.com/articles/1999/02_Nov—Rosso_Segno_della_Follia.asp

SiCKO Film Review: Titicut II

This was written on request for, and rejected by, DOTmed News, June 25, 2007. It was believed that my review would be offensive to some current or potential clients, and I was not given the opportunity to redo it. At least it was written while on the clock.

Intro (this would have shown before the article was clicked on):
Michael Moore’s SiCKO may be the most important health documentary since Titicut Follies, if even a tenth of the reform that film brought about comes to pass.

Body (the article as it would have appeared once clicked on):
In 1967, Frederick Wiseman made a documentary called Titicut Follies. The title referred to a variety show performed by the patients, but the real follies depicted were the harsh and inhumane conditions at a mental hospital in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. The film’s existence led to a great deal of reform within the health care industry, though the film itself was banned from viewing by all but specialists until 1992, when PBS brought the great shame of Bridgewater before the community at large. Even before it was banned, Wiseman was forced by the Supreme Court to state that “Changes and improvements have been made at the Bridgewater Mental Facility since 1966,” which he presented on a card preceded by another card stating that the Supreme Court required him to include the next card.

Similarly, Michael Moore is now in legal trouble related to the climax of his new film, SiCKO. Through the course of the film, he demonstrates that the current health care system rewards thieves, maimers, and murderers while true heroes are left to rot, unable to pay their bills. The culmination of this fact is that inmates at Guantanamo Bay get free state-of-the-art medical service. When he brings a load of 9/11 rescuers with health problems to Gitmo, their presence on what is legally U.S. soil is ignored, so he takes them to Havana Hospital and asks them to get the same care an average Cuban would get, which is all free and better than they could get in the States. For this humane act, Moore is facing federal charges, for little reason other than, as argued in the film, that the U.S. government dislikes Castro, while in Canada, Tommy Douglas, who began the socialized medicine system, is regarded as the most important Canadian of all time. If Moore is able to bring about a tenth of the reforms in the health care system that Wiseman, who ultimately regarded his freshman film as ineffective and trying too hard, brought about, we will all be much healthier.

Is Humana Humane?

Moore has selected a much bigger target than Wiseman did in choosing a single facility, and in doing so, his argument is necessarily diffused over a broad spectrum. The most heinous organization presented in the film is Humana, in which the doctors themselves were given quotas of patients to turn down, and given bonuses for turning down more patients. Linda Pino, who rose to the highest position and eventually resigned in disgust, testifying before Congress to the fact in material from C-Span 2 in addition to being interviewed directly by Moore. The film makes clear at the beginning that the film is not about people without insurance, as it details horror stories of an uninsured man who lost two fingertips in a woodworking accident and could afford to have only one replaced, such horrors are carried out more indirectly on those “living the American dream” with health insurance.

Moore’s principal argument in the film is that socialized medicine is as necessary as a socialized fire department, police department, post office, schools, and libraries — all essentials that should not have a market price, even though the postal service is certainly supplemented by one. The case against socialized medicine is presented by clips from Red Nightmare, one of the most ludicrous propaganda films ever made, and by a vinyl record made by Ronald Reagan. The reasons they despise socialized medicine are all the things we have with HMOs — inability to choose a doctor, one-size-fits-all care, etc.

Public Enemy #1 — Richard Nixon and Kaiser Permanente

Moore traces the origins of the current health system to March 17, 1971. Nixon is shown in black and white footage saying “I like that” to a private health care plan offered to him by Kaiser Permanente that makes more money the fewer people it serves, then shown looking brazen on television the next day, calling it a plan for “all Americans.” Rush Limbaugh used to present a treatise on taxing the poor because they contribute the least to society, but, according to his book, The Way Things Ought to Be, would append it saying that “only those in Rio Linda,” his favorite target of a place of low intelligence, would take it seriously, but Moore asks us if this is much different from what is going on with HMOs.

Throughout the film, Moore visits other countries in the free world with socialized medicine, saving the strongest praise for France, where the taxes are extremely high, but where the average citizen’s purchasing power is much higher than in the U.S, and the government even provides people to wash citizens’ clothing free of charge. The doctors in these other countries are appalled by a system that would force a man to choose which finger he keeps and which is buried in a landfill. In contrast to the inaptly-named Humana, at NHS a very wealthy doctor tells him that “the better we do for our patients, the more we get paid.” Who could argue with such a system, save perhaps a minority of people with a great deal to lose? Indeed, in such countries, pre-existing conditions cause doctors to take especial care, rather than eliminating care entirely. Moore shows that some insurance companies claim transient, minor health conditions from coughs to yeast infections for dismissal of charges on pre-existing grounds.

War of Words and Magic Bullets

Moore indirectly cites and utilizes the “magic bullet” psychological theory that films such as Red Nightmare were made based on — that the message goes directly to the receiving person and is accepted as true. “Cuba is where Lucifer is. That’s what we’ve been told for over 40 years,” for example. Editing back and forth from Red Nightmare to a Soviet musical featured in the documentary East Side Story is used to show American socialism by other names in the name of socialized medicine. Moore probably does not expect us to take his message as a magic bullet, but his detractors argue that he manipulates his material to have such an effect. Certainly, the scope of the topic requires omissions, but what he did use brought in a great deal of applause in the Upper West Side audience with whom I viewed the film.

Who loses? Based on what is shown in Moore’s film, only the drug and insurance companies have anything to lose from such a plan. With the state paying for everything, doctors in England and France have plenty and live lifestyles as lavish or more so as American doctors. Although medical equipment manufacturers and dealers were not directly dealt with, being subsidized with state funds appears to be something that would benefit such people as well. The spending cap for UK patients on medicine, no matter what the quantity, is £6.55, roughly $10 U.S., and the cashier at the hospital pays out transportation expenses and collects no money. Moore includes the story of a little girl named Mychelle who dies because her mother could not provide her with car transportation to a Kaiser Permanente hospital, since her local hospital could not treat her under her insurance policy. Moore argues that this is tantamount to murder.

He presents a take on Americans faking common-law marriages in order to get free medical care from Canada that echoes the morality expressed by Charles Chaplin’s final speech in Monsieur Verdoux — echoed by Moore as, “We’re Americans. We go into other countries when we need to, and it’s allowed.” This section of the film does strain his argument a bit-he depicts American news footage discussing how long Canadians have to wait for bypass surgeries with people simply waiting at clinics where such procedures are not done emphasizing how brief their wait time actually is. This raises a red flag, but it is also an inevitability given the sheer number of facilities that he, unlike Wiseman, is taking on.

Human Values or Monetary Values?

Moore presents a lesson in the form of former British parliament member Tony Benn, who tells how that National Health Service formed out of a desire to help one’s fellow citizens in the years following World War II, after the British had been experiencing the equivalent losses of 9/11 on a daily basis. Rather than go after “potential” threats far and wide, “If you can find money to kill people,” says Benn, “you can find money to help people.” Bush, not unexpectedly, is readily brought up to blame. At one point, Moore uses the technique of sound advance, placing much of Bush’s voiceover on an image of a dog looking in a window of the previous interviewees. Noted early in the film is that Bush’s Medicare act supposedly to help seniors got its fourteen largest Congressional backers positions at health insurance companies for which they resigned their government posts. Even in dealing with those affected most directly by 9/11, New York Governor George Pataki is shown giving a speech at Ground Zero listing restriction after restriction leveled against the health benefits to 9/11 workers and calling it “fair,” which Moore presents as being limited only to those employed by the state.

Moore places a large emphasis on values. He begins subtly by positioning Kelly Malles, an employee in an HMO call center who breaks into tears about how much of a “bitch” she is on the telephone in order to stave off the emotions associated with denying people in need, in front of a nativity scene. Subtle references toward civic and religious values are culminated in images of community rebuilding after storms and enormous search parties to find lost children, asking what makes medical care any different from these. One of Moore’s biggest detractors would have been forced to shut down his hate page because of his wife’s medical bills, so Moore sent him an anonymous check. Unfortunately, noting as such in the film gives him the effect of self-aggrandizing for which he is already accused.

Moore’s bullet may not be magic, but it is an important volley giving the government and the insurance companies a great deal to answer for. A core argument not to be overlooked in Moore’s film is that the American government keeps the U.S. in fear and apathy, while in other free countries, the government is afraid of the people, and responds to mass protests to avoid revolution. The purpose of the Second Amendment was to protect against a corrupt government, not to defend fearmongering. In the words of Mary Shelley, “it is by words that the world’s great fight, now in these civilized times, is carried on.” Insurance companies have been challenged to their right to exist, but should be glad that the people’s current defender is a Michael Moore, but prudent, lest their actions give rise to a Tyler Durden.