Movie Review: Sicko (2007)

Typical slicko Michael Moore fare still strikes nerve (7/10)
Written and Directed by Michael Moore

SickoMichael Moore: So there was actually one place on American soil with free, universal healthcare.
[cut to aerial picture of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba]
Michael Moore: That’s all I needed to know.

To say that Sicko tugs at your heart strings is like saying an aircraft carrier leaves a wake. Moore is a master of both sob-story revelation and factual selectivity in the service of powerful messages, whether it’s corporate perfidy (Roger and Me), national politics (Fahrenheit 911)[1], gun policy (Bowling for Columbine), or health care issues (Sicko). Sometimes, as with the Charlton Heston footage in Columbine[2] the selectivity is outright fraudulent. But even when he crosses the line, Moore excels at generating sympathy for real people.

The primary technique for creating misimpressions that I’ve seen, however, in Moore’s movies and other mockumentaries from left or right, is to trick the emotional-perceptual mechanism. For example, the movie The Corporation I reviewed had a sequence describing a plant that was generating toxic waste… then during the narration we’re shown video images of white sludge coasting on dirty water. No attempt is made to connect this water to that specific plant, and most viewers see the vile image (perception) and have the immediate emotional reaction of righteous anger toward the owners of the plant… for which no actual evidence has demonstrated its culpability. It’s just pictures and feelings. Continue reading

Brian’s Column: Healthcare Cider House Rules

Suppose they gave a law and nobody came
by Brian Wright

This column was originally written and posted on March 22, 2010, and you can see not much has happened to date the analysis. Obamacare isn’t even in place yet, but everyone knows it’s going to be pure hell:

Lots of activity on the Web, as you might expect, following the rather “intravenous heading toward Pluto” outcome from DC yesterday. My goodness, HR 3962 “Health Care Nationalization” passed by a 219-211 vote. What’s a mother to do?
— bw Continue reading

Brian’s Column: Obamacare and the Constitution

“You don’t have the power, Droneboy!”

Many of us Apollo 13 fans remember the exchange between the young lead engineer played by Loren Dean and Gene Cernan (Ed Harris) during heated discussions about how to get the astronauts of that mission back to earth safely. Basically, the plans everyone had for moving and navigating the ship, maintaining radio communications, powering the instrumentation, hydraulics, lights, and life support, etc. presumed an amount of power that simply wasn’t there… i.e. “we don’t have the power, Gene!” Continue reading

Brian’s Column: Omamacare V

“…I was sick and you visited me.” — Jesus

[Omamacare IV]

Omamacare V5Ms. Phyllis Joy Wright (85), aka Mom, lives with me in my condominium in Novi, Michigan. She’s a special-needs senior who has a genetic ailment called polycystic kidney disease (PKD), which has required hemodialysis three times a week since September 2009. This is the fifth in a series of seven columns that I have written or will be writing for purposes of:

  1. recording a ‘you are there’ diary of care for a real person in a representative yet relatively upscale healthcare system in contemporary America Continue reading

Brian’s Column: Omamacare I

Obamacare vs. Omamacare
Don’t throw Mama off the dialysis machine
By Brian Wright (originally published 2009-09-07)

You can look at this story as a continuation of “Don’t Throw Mama off the Turnpike.” That’s when she and I caravan my 2002 “Free State Audi” with her 1997 Mercury Villager into the middle of New York State for the purpose of selling said Audi to an unlikely buyer. (Note Omamacare has become a series of columns.)[a]        [Go to Omamacare II]

Roughly 10 days ago, Mama Bear went in for a checkup with the kidney doctor.[1] Whoops! Blood pressure is far too high, other symptoms conclusive of renal failure. [Now I’m kicking myself for pressing her into duty as my “wing man” on the long-range, Continue reading