Today, famous Robert Reich, in the NYT, discussed the prevalence of “American Bile” and how it allegedly differs from the past: “Add in the fact that most Americans no longer remember the era, from the Great Depression through World War II, when we were all in it together …”
We were never all in it together. And Robert Reich was two years old in 1948.
There just weren’t the modern communications networks to show the historic cracks, divisions and spectacular life-defining hates. Ask George McGovern how the nation came together to vote for Nixon. Oh wait, we can’t. Ask Hunter Thompson, oh wait … Ask Honest Abe, oh never mind.
To be fair, Reich mentions the Civil War once but in an odd way, in reference to pre-Civil War actors the “Know-Nothings” and the “anti-Masonic movement,” demonstrating Richard Hofstader’s “paranoid style in American politics.” It rather understates matters.
Mostly, Reich’s NYT piece makes the argument that if the economy wasn’t so rigged and most doing so badly, maybe he would not have been called a “Commie f—bag” by a Fox News watcher who approached him in the airport on one of this celebrity speaker jaunts and people would be more courteous with their tribal hates, keep the anger to themselves and we’d again come together as a nation.
All of this is in time to promote Reich’s new documentary, Inequality for All.
The trailer is sincere, spiced with just the right mix of the poignant and uplift in its music.
In the last five years the US has spawned an entertainment niche industry for the superstars of the left, one where they get to be the millionaire master explainers for the many Americans who have never been so fortunate.
(At this point I’m getting anywhere from three to sometimes a dozen daily e-mail solicitations from Obama for America, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DailyKos, MoveOn, and a couple others — including for the last two days — Robert Reich, which purport to say something urgent but which always come with a micro-donation button. It’s the same as spam and it has its category: Give money to the professional superstar left.)
Robert Reich, no matter what he does, would never be allowed to fail in America, just like the rest of the 1 percent. Making a documentary movie of him teaching and speaking about American inequality, being the master explainer from a position of renown, had less risk than me writing “The National Anthem” and hoping a couple thousand people would listen to it.
But Reich will gets lots of great reviews for being great and allegedly telling us something we didn’t know already.
I didn’t quite grasp the enormity of its disaster but Michael Moore’s Roger & Me, back in 1989, told the same story, better, first. The segment of it with the Beach Boys’ “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” with the street drive-by of the ruins of Flint, Michigan, is and was devastating movie-making. And Moore was not a member of the elite left when he made it.
Fuck the celebrity professional left edutainment and collections machine.