Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"Michael Moore+NYC Cops=Tru Luv 4-Eva"

Well, THIS was unexpected:

Over lasagna, he told me about an incident that occurred while he was filming that exemplifies how the economic crisis cannot be looked at through a left vs right prism.

It happened while he and his crew were shooting the climax of the movie, where Michael decides to mark Wall Street as a crime scene, putting up yellow police tape around some of the financial district's towers of power.

While unfurling the tape in front of a "too big to fail" bank, he became aware of a group of New York's finest approaching him. Moore has a long history of dealing with policemen and security guards trying to shut him down, but in this case he knew he was, however temporarily, defacing private property. And his shooting schedule didn't leave room for a detour to the local jail. So, as the lead officer came closer, Moore tried to deflect him, saying: "Just doing a little comedy here, officer. I'll be gone in a minute, and will clean up before I go."

The officer looked at him for a moment, then leaned in: "Take all the time you need." He nodded to the bank and said, "These guys wiped out a lot of our Police Pension Funds." The officer turned and slowly headed back to his squad car. Moore wanted to put the moment in his film, but realized it could cost the cop his job, and decided to leave it out. "When they've lost the police," he told me, "you know they're in trouble."

I'm looking forward to the Moore film. They're incredibly polemic, but I'm not exactly in a position to fault him for that, and he drives the point home.

The only problem is that the majority of Americans almost certainly agree with him. Popular rage against the banks and their masters is still inflamed, a year after it was revealed how badly they betrayed everyone. But because of the way the system has been designed, it doesn't really matter how much the public hates them: the "Commanding Heights" are held by them and theirs. That's one of the reasons there's so much inchoate populist anger in the United States right now—anger that's only going to get worse as the "jobless recovery" continues.

It looks like the cops are no exception. Bully for them.

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