Wednesday, July 06, 2005

30 Days In The Hole: I spent a good portion of Saturday night arguing with a friend who, though a charming and lovely gal when not showing her fangs, is a thoroughgoing socialist who appears to buy into any and all hype that might cast a pall on Bush, Republicans, capitalism and America. Our argument ranged all over, spending way too much time on the Patriot Act. Typical weekend fun for a lone conservative in a sea of liberalism.

I bring this up only so I can mention how enthralled my friend was with the new tv show 30 Days, created by Morgan Spurlock, of Supersize Me fame. His movie, made to shame McDonalds for selling too much food for too little money (how shocked would our forebears be at that horror) was so intellectually dishonest it should have been screened at Live8 to enhance the multimedia aspect of the anti-capitalist mind meld. His new show's premise is to take people out of their normal life and force them to live in a different environment for a month. The example given was putting a bible thumping Christian male (who, naturally, thinks all Muslims are al Quaeda operatives, because don't all white men think that) and put him in the home of an American Muslim family and force him to adapt to their life, religion, etc. This was meant to promote cross-cultural understanding, naturally. Antoher episode apparently makes a millionaire live on minimum wage for a month. The horrors of basic cable and, oh yeah, supersized fries.

I'd have no problem with Spurlocks premise, 'cause you know I'm all about understanding, if I detected at least a little intellectual balance. For instance, what are the chances that he'll do a show where a radical Wahabi potential shoe-bomber gets to spend some time with a typical American family, so full of cultural tolerance and moral equivalence that he might see the error of his ways. Wouldn't that kind of understanding do more good. Or how about an episode where a minimum wage family gets a month in the Hamptons. Encouragement to work hard and be successful, maybe, a nice vacation at least.

But the point, no matter what Spurlock says, isn't understanding, it's shame. Upper class, white Christians should be ashamed at their material excess. And for having a religion that doesn't demean women, or not enough anyway. Or, I guess, the point is really Spurlock making a buck by participating in the same capitalist system he denigrates and selling out to the same big businesses he loathes.

How delighted I am, then, to see the new Morgan Spurlock Watch, a blog by none other Fauxpolitik favorite Radley Balko. I'm looking forward to this with great anticipation. Let the debunking begin.

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