Where to Invade Next

I woke up and watched CBS Sunday Morning. I waited for the segment on Jennifer Jason Leigh. My parents phoned me to talk about the sale of my brother’s house. While checking my credit card balance, I saw that my FICO score was 850. I walked over to Trader Joe’s to buy some groceries. I returned home to watch episodes of Star Trek: The Animated Series, All in the Family, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and M*A*S*H. It was the M*A*S*H episode “Tuttle” that was one of my favorites. I saw two episodes of The Partridge Family, the first with Harry Morgan, and the other with John Banner. That was the end of the second season in 1972. I broke with my Sunday morning routine of going to Jack London Square, and I walked to a theatre to see “Where to Invade Next,” the latest Michael Moore film. He traveled to nine different countries in search of ideas to bring back to the United States. He started off with Italy, where the workers had more paid vacation time, with employers who appeared to be glad to give them that time off. I did think of one thing afterwards, which was that American workers use a lot of sick days as vacation days, which doesn’t seem right. They also waste quite a bit of time on the job. Moore goes over to France, where the students in public schools get better food for lunch. Moore didn’t mention the cases of giving schools vegetables for lunch which made them throw away their food and go out for pizza. Has Moore thought about whether any of things concepts stands a chance of taking in America? He goes off to Finland to look at the education system there and tells us that teachers shouldn’t give students homework, particularly work to prepare them for standardized tests. Again, I’m not too sure that an idea abroad would translate here. Too many students in this country aren’t working with any standards at all, and they’re graduating without knowing much of anything. They’re dragging their feet as it is. I would like to see the teachers from Finland come to an American school and deal with the rudeness, self-absorption, and apathy here. It’s one thing for Michael Moore to visit countries like Italy and France to look at the why things are done there, but then he goes over to places like Slovenia and Tunisia. In Slovenia, college students aren’t charged tuition, and thus don’t carry huge amounts of debt. Of course, if hordes of American students watch this film and flood the schools there, they would be forced to see things differently. The structure could change over time. The other four countries Moore visits are Norway, Portugal, Germany, and Iceland. Moore tells us that we should stop arresting people for possession and use of drugs, do away with the death penalty, and elect female leaders. I did find some of his reasoning questionable. Not everything connects. I also got tired of watching Moore himself being the star of his own movies and telling us all how we should run the country. I thought this was supposed to be a documentary rather than one long commentary. I felt like this man from Flint, Michigan should have done a film on the water situation in Flint. He’s going around the world eating food and meeting political leaders while urgent things are going on back home. I noticed that he didn’t go to any Asian countries. Didn’t he care for anything in that part of the world? He’s not concerned with doing things more efficiently, necessarily, but a lot of high-minded principles. It seemed that at certain moments he shouldn’t have been wearing the Tigers or Yankees cap. People are polite to him with the cameras rolling. Would there be anything to the possibility that he was shown what people wanted him to see? That was what I thought about during the Cuba sequence in “Sicko.” What was happening behind those closed doors for those 45 minutes when the crew was hushed out of the room? Also, did Moore talk to any Americans about how any of these concepts might work in this country? It seems that perhaps too much time has passed between movies for Moore. This latest project hasn’t been attracting ticket buyers. Maybe people have become tired of him. During this election year, a lot of people are looking to something like Bernie Sanders. I think the film market has a documentary glut, and I think Moore should be making a hard-hitting film about an actual issue than a film that is really about himself. He still has a strong following in my hometown. Some people in the theatre applauded the film at the end. I think he can almost do no wrong around here. In a time when there is a possibility that Donald Trump could become the president of the United States, it was hard to pay real attention to Michael Moore. I made my way out of the theatre feeling very tired, needing to take a nap. Back at home, I listened to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Times program on KCSN. Robert Hilburn was playing one of his name games, playing songs by B.B. King, Albert King, Freddie King, Ben E. King, and Carole King. Two of the songs I enjoyed hearing where “Spanish Harlem” and “Jazzman.” I went back to watching the Tonight Show with Charlie Finley, George Peppard, and Charlie Callas. Finley showed his orange baseballs and had a crisis with the contracts of Vida Blue, Joe Rudi, and Rollie Fingers. The Columbo episode had Ruth Gordon in it. I had seen the episode a few times before, and Ruth Gordon was very good in it. It was pretty remarkable that she was in both “Rosemary’s Baby” and “Harold and Maude,” making a strong impression on us. I fell asleep and awoke to see the Tonight Show with Charlie Finley again. Some of the people who died on February 22 include Florence Ballard (1976), Alexander Scourby (1985), Andy Warhol (1987), John Fahey (2001), and Chuck Jones (2002). Today is a birthday for Kyle MacLachlan (57) and Julie Walters (66). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for February 22, David Crosby’s album “If I Could Only Remember My Name” was released in 1971. In 1983, the Journey album “Frontiers,” featuring the hits “Faithfully” and “Separate Ways,” was released. Also in 1983, the Styx album “Kilroy Was Here,” which included “Mr. Roboto,” was released. Marni Nixon has turned 86 today.

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