June 29, 2007

Kurt Loder Reviews SiCKO
— Ace

Or someone calling himself "Kurt Loder," at least. Surely this cannot possibly be the dude from MTV.

You've got to read this. The guy stops reviewing SiCKO halfway through to start reviewing "Dead Meat," a short documentary about people who've died on Canada's hospital waiting lists.

Seriously, read this. You'll learn a little about how stupid Michael Moore is. You'll learn a little about how awful Canada's health care system is. It's free, and you get what you pay for.

But mostly you'll be shocked to read Tabitha Soren's former co-host writing stuff like this:

Moore's most ardent enthusiasm is reserved for the French health care system, which he portrays as the crowning glory of a Gallic lifestyle far superior to our own. The French! They work only 35 hours a week, by law. They get at least five weeks' vacation every year. Their health care is free, and they can take an unlimited number of sick days. It is here that Moore shoots himself in the foot. He introduces us to a young man who's reached the end of three months of paid sick leave and is asked by his doctor if he's finally ready to return to work. No, not yet, he says. So the doctor gives him another three months of paid leave — and the young man immediately decamps for the South of France, where we see him lounging on the sunny Riviera, chatting up babes and generally enjoying what would be for most people a very expensive vacation. Moore apparently expects us to witness this dumbfounding spectacle and ask why we can't have such a great health care system, too. I think a more common response would be, how can any country afford such economic insanity?

Kurt Loder. Who knew.

Old Assessment of Kurt Loder: Total douche

New Assessment of Kurt Loder: Not a total douche

No h/t to Allah. I got it from the same place he did, from Google News. See, I find stuff myself sometimes. I just take a while to post them.

Posted by: Ace at 05:46 PM | Comments (31)
Post contains 349 words, total size 2 kb.


"I think a more common response would be, how can any country afford such economic insanity?"

Common?  I don't think so.  America has turned into an entitlement society where the only response, ever, is "what's in it for me?" 

Posted by: Elisa at June 29, 2007 05:58 PM (pn4lg)


Maybe Kurt's getting crochety in his old age.  That's the only reason I can think of for him pwing Moore like this.  Not that the legion of brain-dead teenage morons that watch MTV would care about any of it.

Posted by: Chris at June 29, 2007 06:01 PM (vwTAZ)

3 Yeah, I read this earlier and had to check to make sure it was not a joke. He really does nail Mr Chunks to the wall.

Posted by: mbruce at June 29, 2007 06:08 PM (LLCm9)

4 It always amazes me that liberals praise Canada's healthcare system without asking any actual Canadians about it. 

Posted by: Slublog at June 29, 2007 06:17 PM (jXijA)

5 Like you, Ace, I find this review utterly incomprehensible coming from Loder.  I do know that he's always taken himself seriously as a journalist despite working for MTV News, but let's be honest: that's like taking yourself seriously as a "features" writer for Juggs magazine. 

Posted by: Jeff B. at June 29, 2007 06:18 PM (oRT5o)

6 But I do take myself seriously...

Posted by: wahhaw at June 29, 2007 06:22 PM (KyHUV)

7 Kurt Loder is not a total douche... in french that just means a shower, and I had a difficult time finding the words to explain to my french gf why that is an insult.

Posted by: wahhaw at June 29, 2007 06:51 PM (KyHUV)

8 Not that surprising, Kurt Loder has some pretty distinct libertarian tendencies.  Read an essay that included this in Egger's old Might magazine quite awhile ago.  Other tidbit, he's super into old fucking blues music.

C'mon, that's too easy, bring on the
Riki Rachtman trivia!!!!

Posted by: I'm just saying at June 29, 2007 06:57 PM (oho+d)

9 You can find the article in this anthology, which I'd actually recommend because the whole book is pretty entertaining.

Posted by: I'm just saying at June 29, 2007 07:04 PM (oho+d)

10 I have to think that's tmi3rd and he's too embarrassed to admit he's in the Kurt Loder Super-Fan Club.

Posted by: CNN at June 29, 2007 07:06 PM (1UCRY)

11 WOW!  Who'd a thunk it???  Kurt sounds like a libertarian.  I was watching the  Ebert & Roepert review of "Sicko" last week (minus Ebert of course, though I'm sure he loved "Sicko" also) and they raved over it.  I remember reading a blog review of "Fahrenheit 911" and the reviewer basically said it was horrible.  His biggest point was that because pretty much every print or tv critic was a liberal if Michael Moore made a movie of someone taking a shit the critics would pronounce it genius.  Sadly, I think that's the case.  Nice to see a critic separate himself from the herd.

Posted by: huck at June 29, 2007 07:12 PM (QJdFz)

12 Hey, thanks. In Oregon we're dealing with the rise of the Second Paris Commune. If Lefties weren't such pussies they'd already have the guillotines in place.

Instead, they'll just put us into safety belts and store us in dry places.

"Leaning together

"Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!

"Our dried voices, when

"We whisper together

"Are quiet and meaningless

"As wind in dry grass

"Or rat's feet over broken glass

"In our dry cellar"--T.S. Elliot

Posted by: OregonGuy at June 29, 2007 09:03 PM (KLoEu)

13 I guess Loder stopped following Madonna everywhere she went and grew up.

Posted by: eman at June 30, 2007 03:46 AM (FWrFx)

14 I thought this was the best line of the piece:

As a proud socialist, the director appears to feel that there are few
problems in life that can't be solved by government regulation (that
would be the same government that's already given us the U.S. Postal
Service and the Department of Motor Vehicles). In the case of health
care, though, Americans have never been keen on socialized medicine. In
1993, when one of Moore's heroes, Hillary Clinton (he actually blurts
out the word "sexy!" in describing her in the movie), tried to create a
government-controlled health care system, her failed attempt to do so
helped deliver the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives into
Republican control for the next dozen years. Moore still looks upon
Clinton's plan as a grand idea, one that Americans, being not very
bright, unwisely rejected.

Posted by: scout at June 30, 2007 03:56 AM (eD51V)

15 Kurt Loder is not a total douche... in french that just means a shower. and I had a difficult time finding the words to explain to my french gf why that is an insult.

I could make a joke about the french and showers, but it's been done...

Show her what we call a douche here...Take her to CVS and pick up a bottle of feminine hygene product.

Remember, that "bukkake" also means shower in japanese.

Posted by: cheshirecat at June 30, 2007 03:56 AM (chANV)


Well, that was just....devastating.


"What's the problem with government health systems? Moore's movie doesn't ask that question, although it does unintentionally provide an answer. When governments attempt to regulate the balance between a limited supply of health care and an unlimited demand for it they're inevitably forced to ration treatment."

Posted by: N. O'Brain at June 30, 2007 04:13 AM (l6Hcc)

17 Kurt Loder is not a total douche... in french that just means a shower. and I had a difficult time finding the words to explain to my french gf why that is an insult.

Is that because they don't take showers?

Forget about Loder, what ever happened to the bald guy from Headbangers' Ball?

And does anyone remember when MTV had that show "MTV Blocks"? They would play thirty minutes of nothing but one band's videos. Back then Americans had a pretty long attention span, I guess.
Nothing was better than when MTV Blocks would come on and Guns n Roses was the featured band.

Posted by: chinotex at June 30, 2007 04:25 AM (1gV87)

18 Martha Quinn is hawking Time/Life music collections on infomercials now. I think she still looks good.

Posted by: John F Not Kerry at June 30, 2007 04:56 AM (7FgWm)

19 How short everyone's memories are.  Whenever the subject of socialized medicine comes up, especially involving France, I just remind them of the summer of 2003, where a heat-wave killed 14,000 frenchman.  Why did they die?  Energy policies make air conditioners too expensive, disintegration of the family means no-one checks on their parents anymore, all the doctors were on vacation (holiday) during August, and could not be forced to return early, and hospitals lacked basic equipment (air conditioners, ice machines) to treat victims.

Ah, yes...that's exactly what we need....

Posted by: Grimaldi at June 30, 2007 06:24 AM (Rx9GP)


There are clearly advantages and disadvantages to all systems of health care.  The U.S. is the world's leader in developing new drugs, yet those drugs are sold to pharmacies in other countries at a far lower price than U.S. pharmacies - essentially forcing Americans to subsidize drugs for the citizens of other countries.

While I am, in principle, against over-regulation, I have to wonder why there is such a big push for legislation to allow the importation of cheaper medicines from other countries (that is, to allow Americans to buy the drugs that were sold by U.S. companies to other countries at a discount price) instead of a push for legislation to force the pharmaceutical companies to even the playing field in terms of the prices they charge?  Anyone know?

Posted by: Elisa at June 30, 2007 07:12 AM (pn4lg)


Loder is the last holdout at MTV from the early days. I think they keep him there for some kind of cred.

Posted by: bmac at June 30, 2007 07:34 AM (iKVT4)

22 Maybe Kurt's got some elderly relatives and realizes what kind of nightmare they might be forced into if this nonsensical pipe dream ever becomes reality.

Posted by: Roger Ebert's Lower Jaw at June 30, 2007 08:09 AM (AQ6dj)


Let's look at Tabitha Soren.


Posted by: CJ at June 30, 2007 09:22 AM (9KqcB)

24 Elisa @ #20,

I don't think your principle is very strong.

Posted by: Nom de Blog at June 30, 2007 09:33 AM (6cdFB)

25 "You'll learn a little about how awful Canada's health care system is."

Ace you bloody liar. Canada's health care system is not 'awful'. It is worse. Much worse.

Maybe that fool Moore should talk to my mother in law. The old girl has been waiting years for an artificial hip. To replace the artificial hip that was incompetently put in a few years ago. She waited years for the first one. Oh, and the hip joint put in wrongly the first time, was 'discontinued' in the USA and therefore cheaper here in Canada. That's right, she got a defective  lousy outdated part rejected by you Americans, probably made from scrap metal in China.

Go ahead stupid Yankees, elect Hillary so you can get stuff that rich Mexicans don't want. I hope Moores artificial transplanted testicles were Canadian, serve him right.

Posted by: BlacquesJacquesShellacques at June 30, 2007 11:52 AM (A5R8Y)

I could make a joke about the french and showers, but it's been done...

Actually, there are many people here in France who don't take showers, but they are usually, shall I say, minorities. Okay, immigrants. Okay, North African immigrants. But it's not politically correct to mention details like that, so I'll not mention it.

I'll just say that if you're ever taking the metro in Paris, be sure to hold your breath and your wallet around certain people.

I was able to explain the 'douche' joke, though it took lots of "um"s, "erm"s, and "you know"s, since I'm neither as foul-mouthed or scientific as you lot.

Posted by: wahhaw at June 30, 2007 03:24 PM (KyHUV)


Geeze, doesn't anyone remember Loder was a well regarded journalist, albeit specializing in the pop music field, before he hired on at MTV? His day to day MTV duties don't provide much insight into his personal politics. He's coming up with stuff of interest to children.

It's like being surprised to learn that Capt. Kangaroo had a life beyond the TV show that included political discussion.

Posted by: epobirs at June 30, 2007 11:27 PM (eKZSy)

28 Canada is probably not as bad as your average European country in this regard.

In particular the vaunted Scandinavian health care systems are poison. I say this as a long-term former inmate of Norway. Old people bunk in corridors and wait forever for procedures. Dangerous psychotics are released and knife people on the street. Nobody can demand timely or competent treatment because, after all, it's not you who's the customer but 'society.' Doctors seldom can give you a convincing explanation of what is or isn't wrong with you if you have some odd complaint, they just tell you it's probably nothing (luckily for their credibility, most odd complaints are probably nothing; but Michael Moore should try the experiment of going to a Scandinavian doctor and saying, 'It hurts when I do this,' just to see if they say, 'Don't do that.' That's basically what they say.). Physical examinations are bored and perfunctory. I used to pay my old tired doctor something like fifteen bucks at the end of a checkup, which he put in a box in his drawer.

Fortunately for me I'm healthy as seven young oxen. But no thanks to socialized medicine. For some reason, Europeans think that it is an indignity to have to pay money for the one service that is really essential in life. The consequence of this is that they receive medical care that nobody would pay for.

Posted by: Seven Young Oxen at July 01, 2007 07:51 PM (V49fb)

29 Oh yeah. I forgot to mention that a significant proportion of Scandinavians are on long-term government-paid sick leave. This makes the already high unemployment figures in Scandinavia an underestimate.

Whenever somebody gets caught doing something a teensy bit fishy at work in Sweden or Norway and it gets in the newspapers, the first move by the party caught with pants down is to go on sick leave. Any Scandinavian doctor will happily give you a note saying your tender mental health would suffer if you were forced to go to work and face the scorn or ridicule of your colleagues.

Businesses do not oppose this generous policy on sick leave. On the contrary, they love it. It is their only way to get rid of useless employees. Firing people in much of Europe even "for cause" is a lengthy, cumbersome process -- it can take years of meetings and warnings and documentation, unless the employee gets caught stealing something or downloading porn. So, if they can't manage to catch the employee stealing office supplies or visiting a naughty site, employers are happy to get their dead wood to volunteer for sick leave, for which the government picks up the tab after a few weeks and potentially till death.

Posted by: Seven Young Oxen at July 01, 2007 08:03 PM (V49fb)


Canada's health care troubled? Yes. In trouble? Debatable. But probably close.

Someone earlier asked people who think the Canadian system is a good one, should ask some Canadians.

Actually Michael Moore did just that. Some early Canadian reports from Cannes slammed the film for its portrait of the Canadian system, they pointing out many problem areas.

At a Toronto press conference Moore was asked about this. He in turn asked for a show of hands of how many Canadians in the room would trade the Canadian system for the one in the U.S. Not one hand went up! That according to at least two reaports.

In the interest of full disclosure, yes I am Canadian. No I would not want to trade for the U.S. system either. As a journalist I would likely have pretty good overage in the U.S. -- but not what I think I have here. Or have have experienced.

Just seems to me if you have 45 million (more people than we have in Canada) people uncovered by insurance, and they are getting medical aid of some sort someone must be paying for it. Certainly they are in health terms.



Posted by: Jim Clements at July 02, 2007 01:27 AM (N9Vcx)


Posted by: TEST at July 03, 2007 05:57 PM (5oRVX)

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