I've been thinking about a comment I read regarding Michael Moore from Victor Davis Hanson for a few weeks now.
Dr. Hanson was speaking to an interviewer about general US political matters when he was asked about Michael Moore. I'll paraphrase what he said, as the gist of it is what I've been turning over in my mind. Have you ever wondered why you seldom see Michael Moore in a candid interview, he asked. The interviewer noted that this was true - Michael Moore is seldom seen in a candid interview.
"He's completely uneducated," Dr. Hanson said. Then he gave a few phrases of typical Michael Moore-isms, like, you know, man, ya gotta stick it to the man, man. Dr. Hanson correctly pointed up that Michael Moore can't complete a sentence.
So, I started to think about what it means to "be educated." I not only relate to Victor Davis Hanson because of his family background on a Northern California farm, I relate to his approach and worldview, although I'm not a classicist by a long shot. I am not nearly as well-educated as Dr. Hanson, but . . . I can complete a sentence. I teach critical thinking so I do have some rudimentary grasp of the discipline.
Calling someone uneducated is far different from calling someone "stupid." Michael Moore is far from stupid. He's made himself a multimillionaire from being Michael Moore. He obviously eats well.
To quote one of my favorite Brit expatriates, Christopher "Still Alive" Hitchens, "Europeans think Americans are fat, vulgar, greedy, stupid, ambitious and ignorant and so on. And they've taken as their own, as their representative American, someone (Michael Moore) who actually embodies all of those qualities."
That's an international ad hominem analogy if I've ever heard one - first-rate, as one might expect from Hitchens. The best I can come up with is stating that Michael Moore is a super-sized hypocrite.
There's a whole blog that deals with Michael Moore-isms. Mr. Moore reportedly sent these bloggers a check to cover their health insurance, reaping tremendous publicity for his film Sicko. Michael Moore is clever and canny . . . but he's still uneducated.
I don't think Michael Moore's problem can be remedied by education, and it's just as well, even for him, that he dropped out of the University of Michigan-Flint, after his freshman year. Nothing he has done requires any type of formal education.
After several weeks of thinking about what Victor Davis Hanson said, I have come to think that education prepares us for useful work and gives us the tools to make better decisions. If a person spends his entire life as the most irritating, knowitall kid in school, then it's possible, although highly unlikely, he'll end up rich like Michael Moore. More likely someone will beat him up, shoot him dead, or end up unemployed in a trailer park.