Thursday, July 26, 2007

Sicko: The Aftermath

My mother and I went to see Sicko this past Saturday. Before and since, I looked into some of the rhetoric, for and against, and thought about a lot of it. I'll keep my comments short, because my reaction was simple and not hardly as entertaining as what you'll find on Moorewatch or other sites.

As I was watching, the same thing kept popping into my head:

Matthew 25:44-46 (New International Version)

44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

Moore certainly delivers a potent message, but perhaps not a complete one. His defense of the facts presented is comprehensive and admirable. It's the facts he leaves out that appear to be a cause of concern for many.

The only thing I knew something about that didn't sit well with me was the little girl who needed a Cochlear Implant. We have many friends who have received these implants after being profoundly deaf since birth, and the perceptible improvements are significant. The following red flags popped up:
  • I'm surprised that the family's insurance company would have even paid for one implant. Jan was evaluated for one a number of years ago, and while her hearing would not have been measurably improved with it, Rocky Mountain specifically excluded them for coverage at the time, along with hearing aids.
  • Implanting both ears is a relatively new concept. It wouldn't surprise me if it was considered experimental at the time, and as a result been denied, probably no matter what country you were in.
The rest of the facts presented seemed, for the most part, plausible, and presented in an engaging and entertaining manner, which is something Moore does quite well; he makes you laugh at things that perhaps you really shouldn't.

By far the most impressive part of the film was Moore's interview with the retired but active British politician Tony Benn. Some of his contribution is excerpted here:

The most interesting review of the movie came from a unique, and perhaps unlikely, source; Kurt Loder of MTV. It was the most fair and balanced (ugh..sorry) assessment I could find of what was presented. Loder even used a word that I was previously unfamiliar with to describe the film; meretricious. I think I will use that one on somebody who deserves it someday, and see if they mistake it for a compliment.

After that, I don't have much more to say, other than my original recommendation stands. It's an enjoyable film and one that will educate, stimulate debate, and get us thinking about things, and from thought hopefully comes action. Like it or not.

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