I am not a professional theater critic. But I am a person, with a family I love, living though the faltering of our democratic republic and sometimes I need a little humor, brother/sisterhood, encouragement, and perspective to get me through the day. Micheal Moore's Broadway show "The Terms Of My Surrender" did exactly that.
He reminded viewers that folks with solid progressive values are the majority in our country and that hate is not majority position. He outlined how, contrary to popular messaging, getting involved is not that hard and can be fun. He empowered the audience by giving some ways to get involved and he provided some laughs and hope in this very uncertain time.
None the less, Christopher Kelly from NJ.com decided to bash the show and then other outlets like Raw Story decided to run with his insane perspective. He titled his piece "Michael Moore bashes Trump and GOP in new Broadway show" which is partially true, if you consider an honest discussion of deeds a 'bashing'. The title suggests selective listening on the part of the reviewer who is conveniently forgetting the whole first segment of the show in which Moore gives Trump enormous credit for using his TV skills and his deep knowledge of a certain segment of the American populace to beat the Democrats. Moore compassionately discusses Americans who's lives, health, wealth and well-being have been threatened over the past decades, many of whom voted for Trump. In fact, Moore took to task everyone who deserved it, including the Democrats who failed to appeal to these hurting voters.
Christopher Kelly, a Jersey native, took umbrage at a joke in the show about how "no good idea ever came out of Bedminster, New Jersey". Bedminster, New Jersey is an affluent township where President Trump is vacationing from his daily vacation from reality. Kelly failed to mention that a large portion of the show was dedicated to how an event in New Jersey and a work-a-day resident took a small action that had large consequences in terms of educating our entire nation about the malfeasance of the Bush Administration. I guess Kelly could only see, well, maybe what he wanted to see in the show.
Kelly went on to say "... the point of such a show -- an overlong sermon to an already converted choir -- remains a mystery to me."
Well, let me clear it up for ya. Micheal Moore's life experience is of interest to a large number of people who think he has done a great service to our nation and who relate to his working -class roots and sensibilities. So if he bases his own one person show on his own life (you know, the same way all one person shows are constructed), that is actually what we came to see. That and the laughter and companionship of a crowd who wants this country to return to sane humanitarian values whose elected officials would never knowingly poison and forever sicken 10,000 babies and children along with countless adults with lead filled water in Flint, MI, and give the money they saved to the state's billionaires.
How Kelly cannot see this, and why his coverage of the show was so widespread, is what remains the mystery to me.
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