I have to admit to being a fan. I’ve long wanted to write him and explain the fundamental reason he sees what he does is because the US has always been at war and that reality has worked its way into its’ consciousness.
In one of his documentaries, he tries to answer the question of why there is so much gun violence in the US. He compares the number of guns and quantifiable things like that but misses the larger picture.
Generations have been raised in the paradigm of having an ever present enemy who must be destroyed.
Us vs them. There has to be an ‘other’. They’ve created a ‘dog eat dog’, ‘live and let die’ mentality. Debates about who should pay for health care, but not that it is a right… Live and let die, literally.
So, he couldn’t quantify it in the number of guns. Because the attitude is more about being combative. It is possible to own a gun without choosing to be at war with others.
In stark contrast to this, he travelled the world looking at what other countries have gotten “right”. For instance, he shows how meals are formally served at lunch, with napkins and silverware to school children in France. A variety of gourmet level dishes are served, all with at least one local cheese.
Not only are the French teaching manners and etiquette they are introducing the children to the best and most nutritious meals. All of this supporting the local producers. They are teaching the children about the finer things in life, like conversation.
So even though, Michael’s documentaries could benefit from a narrator, explaining what it all means, for those of us who get it, the documentaries have the power to change our point of view. When my twelve year old couldn’t get it, in light of what she did get at the time, she would have benefited if it had been explained simply.
No point I guess, just rambling about how the attitude of a country manifests in different ways: gourmet meals or mass shootings.