Tag Archives: Michael Moore

The Rangers survive to play another day. Fallon and Krasinski lip-synch the hits. The 11-year-old who filmed his school cafeteria.

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I’m a little hoarse from screaming, and I wasn’t even at Madison Square Garden yesterday.
Yeah, Sunday afternoon’s New York Rangers-Washington Capitals Game 6 was a little stressful at my house.
Just about every game of this excruciatingly-close hockey series has been stressful; a bounce here or there and five of the six games played so far could’ve gone the other way.
Sunday was no different: Maddeningly, the Blueshirts that I’ve rooted for for 30 years still couldn’t score on the power play; as the saying goes, right now they couldn’t score in a whorehouse with a fistful of $20’s.
But at least they generated tons of chances, Rick Nash, who I have to hope is playing hurt otherwise he’s really, really shrinking from the spotlight, was terrific, and oh yeah, the Rangers have the best goalie in the world on their side.

There aren’t enough superlatives to describe Henrik Lundqvist; Sunday, he was the best player on the ice in an elimination game that the Rangers had to have.
In the final few minutes, I just felt confident he would stop every puck. He’s carried my team for at last six years and he’s carrying them now, and maybe, just maybe, he can carry them through to Game 7 tonight.

And so Monday will be a very, very long day for yours truly and the other Rangers fans, as we anxiously await the 8 p.m. puck drop. I truly don’t have a clue who’s going to win; I know Alex Ovechkin is due for a goal, and Caps goalie Braden Holtby can’t possibly keep playing this well (can he?), but I have no idea how the Rangers are going to win if they can’t score at least 2 goals.

Playoff hockey is the best. There were times Sunday during the thrilling Rangers-Caps game where I literally held my breath for what felt like minutes.

Game 7. The two best words in sports. Can’t wait.

**Haven’t written about a Jimmy Fallon skit in a while; not because they haven’t been funny, but nothing has come across my radar by the future “Tonight Show” host.
This, though, could not be ignored. “The Office”‘s John Krasinski and Fallon had an awesome and intense three-song Lip Sync-off on the show last week. To me, Fallon’s first song and Krasinski’s last are the best, but the whole thing is hilarious.

**Finally today, I just love this story, and not because I’ve seen some of what is served in New York City cafeterias. An 11-year-old boy named Zachary Maxwell was fed up with the lunch being offered in his elementary school cafeteria, and told his parents he wanted to bring lunch.

When they told him that the lunch displayed on the school website looked healthy and nutritious, Zachary took things to a new level. He secretly filmed footage of the cafeteria for six months, then with the help of his dad, cut it into a 30-minute movie that’s playing at the Manhattan Film Festival in June.

In the movie, Zachary shows that what’s advertised is very rarely what’s served they kids.

Here’s the trailer for his movie (above); this kid is like Michael Moore and Morgan Spurlock all rolled into one. I love him.

A crushing, crushing Jets loss. And a so-so Michael Moore movie reviewed

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Most of this time, I try to entertain or make you think on this blog.

Today, though, today is not for that. Today is for me and the rest of Jets nation to wallow in the feeling of being crushed, and having our guts ripped out.

Fortunately for us, it’s a feeling we’ve come to know quite well. Doesn’t make it any easier to cope with, but we’re used to it.

Consider this my therapy. If it helps you, great. If not, well, I’ll feel better in a few hundred words (I think.)

A loss to the Miami Dolphins is one thing. A loss to the Dolphins on national TV is another. But a loss to the damn Dolphins with six seconds left? After the Jets supposedly “strong” defense allows Miami to march down the field and then score the winning touchdown when Ronnie Brown, who I swear ran for 150 yards Monday (actually only 74), busts in from the 2? Just brutal.

It was a hell of an exciting game, sure. It reminded me of so many classic Jets-Dolphins games from my youth.

And before I start pointing out the bad, I have to point out a few positives: 1, Mark Sanchez throws a hell of a deep ball. It wasn’t a great game for the rookie QB, but he tantalizes us sometimes by showing how good he can be. Those overthrows in the first half and missed reads? All is forgiven after the gorgeous deep ball to David Clowney (welcome to the team, sir) and the perfectly thrown pass to Braylon Edwards.

Man, Sanchez is going to be great once he figures out what he’s doing.

2. Braylon. Wow. I’d call that a pretty good debut! One touchdown, should’ve had another (that was a terrible overrule on his second TD; yes his knee was down but he hadn’t been touched yet!), and he drew a pass interference penalty that set up the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth. I am utterly excited to see what Edwards and Sanchez can cook up after a few weeks of practice. He’s already the best Jets receiver since Keyshawn Johnson.

3. The running game looked a lot better. Still not great, but they got the tough yards when they needed to; Thomas Jones had a little burst, and Leon (who didn’t get the ball enough, again; 11 touches???) Washington looked good, too.

OK, now for the bad. The defense. Just awful. I don’t know which was worse, the run defense of the pass defense. Chad Henne, a quarterback making his second career start, threw 20 of 26 for 241 yards. That’s unacceptable. I understand Lito Sheppard is hurt, but come on. Darrelle Revis and the safeties got burned like fingers trying to take a plate out of the oven without mitts on (OK, that didn’t really work, but go with me here) by Ted Ginn of all people. Ted Ginn, who couldn’t catch a cold the last few weeks.

The pass rush? I didn’t see it. Tackling? Nowhere near as good as it has been; Calvin Pace, in his first game back, whiffed quite a few times on Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams.

And still, as bad as the defense was, they just needed one or two stops on the final drive. To me, the game was as good as over on that 3rd and 10 when Henne hit, I think Camarillo on the pass wide by the sideline for a first down. ONE STOP is all the Jets needed, and couldn’t get it.

I’m not going overboard, though, like many on the Jets message boards I just checked out. Some of those people on there are insane, bashing Rex Ryan and wanting to get rid of everyone and all that idiocy.

Would I have taken a 3-2 record after five games, back on Sept. 1? Of course. But that’s the problem with raised expectations. Once you go 3-0, you’re not supposed to be 3-2.

The Jets will get the defense fixed. I’m confident of that. I’m confident they can beat the two JV teams on the schedule next, Buffalo and Oakland.

But tonight, as I type this in what Frank Sinatra called “the wee small hours of the morning,” I’m just feeling empty, with a bit of bile and one request:

I don’t want to hear the word “Wildcat” for at least a week.

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*** So I went to see the Michael Moore movie “Capitalism: A Love Story” on Sunday. (By the way, the geniuses at my local cineplex spelled the first word of the title “Capitolism” on the marquee. The epidemic of bad spelling in this country is really staggering).

My verdict? Pretty good, not great. It has most of the Moore-movie hallmarks: Outrage at big shots, some new revelations of unethical business practices (life insurance policies on employees was an eye-opener for me), and some funny bits.

I guess I expected more, though. Problem is, Moore is too famous to ambush anyone anymore; nobody who would make a good “gotcha” subject is willing to talk to him. I also thought the movie dragged a little in the middle, and was a little too “all over the place” at times. We pinballed from topic to topic quite a bit.

Still, it was worth my seven bucks. I just feel like Moore is now acting like the person we all expect him to be, and he’s losing a little genuineness in the process.

Michael Moore’s lack of empathy, and watching a newspaper die, from the inside

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Two things sparked this post (I don’t know, sometimes I figure you people might be interested in how my mind works…)

One is Michael Moore, who I generally regard as a brilliant satirist and filmmaker. I’ve loved Moore’s movies since someone in high school told me I should rent this new film called “Roger and Me,” about one guy trying to take down General Motors.

It was hilarious and smart, and since then I’ve seen all of Moore’s movies, including the underrated “Bowling for Columbine,” and “Fahrenheit 9/11,” which, despite its intended purpose, did not rid us of the scourge of W. in 2004.

Moore has been a powerful voice on the left, and while occasionally he goes too far and defeats his own purpose, he’s still one of the good guys in my mind.

Anyway, Moore’s got a new flick coming out about capitalism, and at a press conference in Toronto the other day he somehow got on the topic of newspapers.

He spouted most of the same lines many of us have used when talking about the slow decline of my industry; corporate greed, profits over people, etc. None of it remotely surprised or affected me.

But then he went a little further. He said “good riddance,” about the death of newspapers. And he predicted that in “one year, or two years,”  there will be no more daily papers.

Well you know what, Michael? “Good riddance?” Screw you.

I say that because newspapers, at their best, expose scandal and malfeasance and bad people doing bad things to good people, and isn’t that what you’re about? Isn’t that why you first started making “Roger and Me,” because you wanted Roger Smith of GM to explain to you why his hard-working factory employees were being laid off by the thousands in Michigan?

And now you’re saying good riddance, and, basically, who cares if newspapers die in a year or two. Who do you think writes stories and uncovers scandal that motivates you to do documentaries? Who do you think is keeping an eye out for the public good, about things like automobile safety and rule-breakers in government and athletes cheating to get ahead? Dedicated newspaper reporters, sir.

I don’t know, I’m probably so charged up about this because the last 36 hours have been horrible at work, which is the other reason I’m writing this.

For the fourth time in two years, the Daytona Beach News-Journal laid off a significant portion of the staff. These cuts hit me harder than the other ones, and I think it’s because we continue to lose good, talented, honest people who bleed for this business and never wanted to leave. We’ve run out of people who didn’t care about the job and now they’re firing indispensable parts of our staff.

Friends of mine, people I care about, got an email from our corporate receivership leader at 4 p.m. Monday (it’s a long story, we’re in the process of being sold and the court has put an outside manager to run us in the interim. Of course, “the interim” has lasted a hell of a lot longer than anyone thought it would).

These people got an email at 4 p.m. (hey, might as well get a good day’s work out of them) saying they had to show up at 11 Tuesday morning and meet with human resources, and bam, that was it.

Long-time employees, newer employees, journalists of great skill and people who put in an honest day’s work for a story; it doesn’t matter.  One email, a handshake, and a few week’s severance pay. And what was once a vibrant, passionate voice shining a light in this community gets just a little dimmer.

It is heartbreaking watching a living, breathing organism like a newsroom slowly, excruciatingly die. People I respect and trust were walking around like zombies today, trying to keep working, but dealing with the feelings of surivor’s guilt and helpless anger at the same time.

Many more talented writers than I have been writing about the breath being slowly expunged from this business we love; I can’t put it nearly as eloquently as they have.

But let me just say that watching it from the inside has been even more painful than I could have imagined.

I’ve been trying to come up with an analogy of what it feels like, and the best way I can describe it is this:  It’s like watching a beautiful mural on a wall that you helped paint, slowly being chipped away and chipped away, and as each piece falls to the floor a little piece of you falls with it. And you can’t stop it, or rail against it, you just have to stand there and watch.

Look, I know Michael Moore does have empathy, and I know he’s really railing against the corporate monsters like Gannett and Tribune Co. for putting profits over people when he says “good riddance.”

But there were people crying and hugging and not wanting to leave at my office today, trying to hold on to one last moment of being a part of something bigger than themselves. As I said goodbye, I was grateful I wasn’t joining them.

But watching them leave, I was sad all over again.

And I think if Michael Moore, or anyone else who has been gleefully dancing on the tombstone of newspapers  had been there, maybe they’d feel a little differently.