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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Michael Moore finally picked a villain that we can all agree on burning in the public square: the U.S. health care system. In his latest propaganda piece, Sicko, Moore explores the policy behind our current health care model, lots o tear-jerking anecdotes recounting times when the system has failed Americans and, finally, an analysis of so-called “socialized medicine.”

Sicko could have been nothing more than a collection healthcare horror stories. However, Moore manages to transcend the realm of shock schlock and use the anecdotes to show that for-profit healthcare dehumanizes patients and is ineffective (ranked at No. 37 in the world, "just slightly ahead," Moore says in that disbelieving voice, "of Slovenia.").

There are lots of lovable Michael Moore stunts in Sicko, including a scene in which Moore takes a group of suffering 9/11 rescue workers to Guantanamo Bay because “it’s the only place in the U.S. where people can get free healthcare.” Poised at the gates, Moore hilariously intones, "We don't want any more care than you're giving the evildoers. Just the same." When Gitmo won’t let them in, they go to Cuba and get medical care for the cost of a shiny new whistle.

Clearly Moore is being selective about the situations he shows us. Furthermore, he paints an unrealistically rosy picture of Europe’s healthcare system. Despite these broad strokes, however, Moore does make a cogent argument for “socialized medicine.” Moore still uses the shifty manipulation that has become his calling card, but in Sicko he is less concerned with influencing the vote and more concerned with getting the audience to adopt a new perspective on one of the United States’ most important issues.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Economics, Rational Choice Theory, Fall Television!

The average American works more hours a week than ever before, yet there are more television shows this season than ever before. Clearly there aren't enough hours in the week to watch everything, which is why we put our trust in critics, advertising, promotional spots and websites like Television Without Pity. We, the viewers, are reluctant to invest a valuable resource (time) without some promise of utility maximation (entertainment). Fear not, gentle reader; let Celluloitering aid in your tough decisions this television season!
Here is a preliminary list of the television shows I plan on watching and reviewing this season:

Boston Legal--and I promise that I won't spend the whole post writing about how much I love James Spader

Dexter--If it's anything like the first season, I'm all over it like Dexter on a child-murderer

House--with the irritating half of the cast gone, this show can only get better.

Project Runway--Tim Gunn is staying, which means I'm still watching.

Ugly Betty--yes I still watch it and it is still totally over-the-top awesome.

Weeds--possibly the coolest sitcom of the decade. Seriously.

I'm also going to be catching up on "The Shield," as well as watching and reviewing the second half of "Damages."

Stay tuned for reviews, behind the scenes information, sountrack listings and more...