September 8, 2001
3:55 PM   Subscribe

The operation is quite simple: we should all donate a buck to Bill Gates.
"Why is that?", you ask. Because small charities are robbing the poor guy, you silly!
posted by kchristidis (18 comments total)
I love Michael Moore. If I could have dinner with one celebrity, it might be him. His method of pointing out idiocies, hypocrisies, and injustices with humor is both brilliant and good.
posted by stevis at 4:34 PM on September 8, 2001

Michael Moore might be funny to me if he ever once had an opinion I agree with. Alas, that hasn't happened yet to my knowledge. This particular issue is no different. Apparently, we're all supposed to ridicule a company that insists on enforcing its copyright even when charities are the pirates. Sorry, I don't buy it. It isn't even as if he has a reasonable argument here -- it seems to be basically "Bill Gates has lots of money and the charities have none." Yup, brilliant guy that Mr. Moore.
posted by mw at 5:10 PM on September 8, 2001

charities, regardless of their size, are not above the law. they could have asked microsoft to legitimate their software licenses.
posted by mcsweetie at 5:17 PM on September 8, 2001

Yes, because that "evil capitalist" just hordes all his money. Michael Moore is funny, but he fits the bill of the "irrational liberal" to a tee.
posted by owillis at 5:26 PM on September 8, 2001

Michael Moore is funny, but he fits the bill of the "irrational liberal" to a tee.

Tu quoque.

Not you owillis. Michael Moore to evil capitalists that is.
posted by crasspastor at 5:29 PM on September 8, 2001

Feh. Moore is a windbag...if he concentrated solely on humor, perhaps he would be amusing, but he honest-to-goodness wants to be taken seriously.

If the site provided a genuine link to donate a buck to Bill Gates, I'd click it.
posted by davidmsc at 6:16 PM on September 8, 2001

You guys are right. What an asshole Michael Moore is, trying to help out a children's charity and all. Man, what a prick.
posted by Doug at 7:43 PM on September 8, 2001

Hmm, everyone seems so willing to give away small amounts of money these days, perhaps I should get in on the act.

A famous DJ here in the UK recently started a 'give me money' campaign on the air, and HUNDREDS of people have sent him money through the post. One person even sent him a lottery ticket, which then won $15! But why give money to someone who is already well off?

Hmm, can't wait for a decent micropayment system, I'm gunna be rich baby.
posted by wackybrit at 8:05 PM on September 8, 2001

Thanks owillis, skallas- was going to point out the Gates Foundation if you folks hadn't- pointed this out in a different thread two days ago; apparently the Gates Foundation is one of those mini-memes that appears on MeFi every now and then. :)
posted by hincandenza at 11:18 PM on September 8, 2001

Hell. The more I think about it, what a poingnant insult it would be for Gates to get mail from the poverty stricken that included a dollar of their hardscrabbled change. That's the point obviously. I got it before and I get it now of course. Its just I let the anti-Michael Moore sentiment flow as though it were warranted. Now, upon late night reflection, it makes more sense than ever. Michael Moore, love him or hate him, he's not stupid or clueless.

Here's a dollar you billionaire prick.

Gates' foundation is for his own hand picked charities. Ostensibly those that would be the most publically visible for a man who has everything to gain from being liked. He clearly isn't about to be outdone by some needy rogue OS leeches. Heaven forbid, from his business standpoint of course, that there are alternate personal operating systems at all. Can't have that. Squash Linux! Yet, when they're using unlicensed MSFT products, when a viable, legal and free OS exists, which he just so happens to hate, fear and demonize, should be a feather in his cap. Brand awareness.

Have two dollars you billionaire prick. That's all the more you'll ever get out of me!
posted by crasspastor at 3:26 AM on September 9, 2001

At least you're not bitter about it.
posted by mrbula at 10:56 AM on September 9, 2001

i think we should just feed the poor children to microsoft.
posted by Satapher at 11:45 AM on September 9, 2001

crasspastor: Gates' foundation is for his own hand picked charities. Ostensibly those that would be the most publically visible for a man who has everything to gain from being liked.

Unfounded cynicism; first, of course his charities are "hand-picked" by him- uh, what else would they be? If you give money to charity, do you hand pick which ones you give to, or do you just toss a handful of cash in the air and figure it'll make it's way to someone useful? He's put 22 big ones into that charity, so naturally he'll want to have some say about what charitable causes that money helps. Since his focus isn't on some self-promoting techie charity like computers in every classroom but instead things like eradicating 3rd-world illnesses through funding vaccinations and research into curing malaria et al, I'm not sure what you're complaining about. In fact, when I really went off about the Gates Foundation in this thread, it was to point out that Gates has done more than say Mother Teresa- who is on the fast track to sainthood, so guess that puts Gates in rarified air.

Also, don't forget that Gates != Microsoft; the decision by MS lawyers to go after those charities was legally founded if a bit tactless (and hey, as has been noted before Linux is available), but we don't even know if that decision was one Gates et al were aware of or involved in- a company that big makes too many decisions for the top brass to be involved in all of them.

But more importantly, you seem to assume he's put that much money into a charity simply to bolster his image- right, because never in the history of the world has someone found themselves with a lot of money and decided to donate it to the public good. Never happened, because everyone with money is just pure evil. Oh, and I'll assume then that crasspastor has never done anything to help anyone else, has never done anything altruistic- and if he has, that it was purely to bolster his image or get him laid or some other purely self-absorbed reason. Seems fair, to just assume that...

Here's a dollar, you prick. :)
posted by hincandenza at 3:50 PM on September 9, 2001

i agree Hincandenza, there seems to be a bit of depersonalizing when it comes to celebrities/rockstars/big rich icons etc etc....

the "hand-picked charties" statement was a bit silly.

its like "selling out"

the only reason stupid kids hate it when their favorite underground band wants to eat regularly and pay for things etc, is because it makes them (in their own heads) instantly less cooler than they were before, because hey : they arent some underground band anymore so JoeBlow aint so cool anymore.

just another example of depesonalization, i suppose..... becuase seriously if you wrote some song in your underwear one morning and all of a sudden GAP wants to pay you $4 million to use it in a commercial, why the hell wouldnt you?
posted by Satapher at 4:31 PM on September 9, 2001

You know, I regret attacking crasspastor as much as I did above; went over the line there. However, Satapher is right that we depersonalize celebrities, and Gates should be cheered for what's he doing- even if on the off chance he is really doing it for personal glory. But most likely he isn't, since I hope that most people if they become fabulously wealthy will at some point turn to the question of using their wealth to better mankind.
posted by hincandenza at 11:48 PM on September 9, 2001

Wow hincandenza! I mean. . .you're my neighbor. Neighbors, I didn't think talk to each other that way. Unless they're shooting heroin under your window eh. ;-)

Anyhow. I personally draw a line between what a person does as a livelihood and what he does because his livelihood has made him so successful he *has* to form a charity named after himself. Of course he didn't have to form the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Yet he did.

So where is my problem? It's the inconsistancy of it all. I mean, if you're about empowerment for all, you don't simultaneously hoarde billions for yourself. He's not a natural humanitarian. No billionaire, by nature is a humanitarian.

Fault me readers all you will. But I, crasspastor, would never allow my personal worth to even approach a billion. As, if you've got that much for yourself, somebody ain't got shit. But that's my problem. And it's also the problem I have with billionaires. Aye. . .kill me if you must, but:

There is no reason in this country for there to exist billionaires and multi millionaires when men and women who have worked decades for companies are laid off and can no longer pay their bills. That's because I'm a humanitarian first and an underhanded capitalist 4,892nd. The reverse for Bill.
posted by crasspastor at 12:35 AM on September 10, 2001

crosspastor: ...if you've got that much for yourself, somebody ain't got shit.

Wrong, wrong...our society is NOT a zero-sum game. By that logic, if you have an annual income of $50,000, then sombody else ain't got shit, too. And the lower-income person who makes $20,000 annually also means that somebody else ain't got shit, too. And so on. Where, exactly, do you draw the line, crosspastor? At what income level or amount of wealth do you believe a person becomes responsible for taking food out of the mouths of those less fortunate? And what is your proposed remedy for redistribuing the wealth of those who fall above the line?
posted by davidmsc at 5:07 AM on September 10, 2001

Whoooo hoooo!! Might makes right! Might makes right! Fight! Fight! Fight! Baaaa! Baaaa! Baaaa!

PS - Sorry kids, but The Gates Foundation != Microsoft. Please play again.
posted by badstone at 1:51 PM on September 10, 2001

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