MICHAEL MOORE - FLINT NATIVE? -by Bill Hammond Purple Walrus Press contributor.
A continual theme expressed by Flint natives and expatriates alike is that Michael Moore never actually lived in Flint while growing up and shouldn't be taken by the rest of the world as speaking for "true" Flintstones. That his newspaper, "The Flint Voice" - know to be called "that rag" by many did not capture the sentiment of what was and is "Flint".
I worked for Michael Moore on "that rag". A characterization, by the way, that he wouldn't shy away from. In fact he would take it as high praise; to be in the same company of other fine "rags" over the years that helped point out the foibles of their respective communities. While it is true that Michael Moore didn't grow up in Flint proper he did live here, in Flint, for a few years.
What he depicted in his first film was still indicative of the experience of many who did live and work here in Flint. And, like most things, how we each see things is filtered through our own lenses. The points he was making about Flint and how the whims of the corporate world so completely dictated what happened here cannot be denied.
Today, with all that is currently happening here, his points have been borne out. The Water Debacle is just one more prime example of corporatism gone amuck.
The waste fields of what was once the sites of hundreds of acres of Automotive Plants bears silent witness to the scar that these symbols of American Might left on our collective soul.
Yet what else comes out in Michael's films about Flint the general public never talks about. The spirit of the People of Flint that is spread throughout is that we will adapt; we will survive! And indeed we are.
My suggestion is that you rewatch his films and this time look through the lens of Flint's spirit and see if you don't come away with a different perspective. And remember Art is always subjective. And when next you hear conversation about "Roger And Me" try and be a little more objective with your response.
Bill Hammond is a (nearly) lifelong resident of Flint and a Community Activist.