The Michael Moore era appears to be over - or at least needs to prepare for its Last Rites. And the Oscar winning filmmaker seems to know it.
It's one thing that his last two films ("Capitalism: A Love Story" and "Slacker Uprising") failed to haul in big bucks or the critical raves usually afforded his propaganda films. Some critics even started to call him out on his shaky grasp of reality - better late than never, gang!
Now, it appears Moore will say just about anything to generate press - assuming it will get him back in the public eye.
This week on "Real Time with Bill Maher," Moore told the HBO show's crowd that the McDonald's restaurant near Ground Zero had killed more people than the 9/11 terrorists
who brought down the World Trade Center.
Did he really say something that stupid? Yawn.
The filmmaker also went on record recently in support of the mosque planned for a site two blocks from Ground Zero. Moore would rather the mosque be built ON Ground Zero.
Nothing else will do for him, and the failure to build said mosque means America as he knows it is no more. He even offered to put up as much as $10,000 of his own money to support the mosque project.
So, not only is Moore's "vision" in sharp contrast with most of the country, he's a cheapskate, too. Surely, he has more "Fahrenheit 9/11" money to throw toward a cherished cause, right?
Once upon a short time ago such comments would have inspired headlines, op-eds and other cries of outrage. Instead, hearing another moronic Moore diatribe is like Lady Gaga tugging on an outrageous new hat. Been there, seen it, move on.
The filmmaker's plight isn't all his doing. The country has shifted, dramatically, to the right over the last two years after seeing the fruits of a liberal government in action. And having a far left Democrat in the Oval Office hurts Moore's Everyman shtick. It's hard to fight the Power when the Power's ideology aligns closely to yours. President George W. Bush was a Godsend to Moore, the perfect "villain" for him to target. President Barack Obama, with his soak the rich tax strategies, class warfare broadsides and inability to speak of America without apologizing for its actions, sounds like a trailer for Moore's next film.
Truly gifted people don't need obvious adversaries.
Consider Rush Limbaugh. The righty talker is on a serious roll these days with Obama in office, but Limbaugh's broadcasts were just as barbed before Obama's ascendancy. The conventional wisdom suggested Limbaugh's allure would fade after President Bush's narrow election victory in 2001, but nothing of the sort occurred. In fact, the talker signed a massive new radio contract in 2008
while Bush still called The White House home.
So expect more outrageous comments from Moore in the days and weeks to come. Just don't hold your breath waiting for said comments to spark much attention.
Moore's impact on film - and our culture - is in serious decline.