Michael Moore  

In addition to his work as a mega-bestselling author, Michael Moore is an award-winning director. He lives in New York City.

THE BOOK Глупые белые люди (Политика и институты государственной власти)

Описание: The government has been seized by a ne''er-do-well rich boy and his elderly henchmen . . . Our great economic expansion is unraveling faster than a set of Firestones . . . Our water is poisoned, the ozone''s in shreds, and the SUVs are advancing like a plague of locusts.

The strangest thing about Michael Moore is the way American liberals seem to spend so much energy coming up with reasons to hate him. From here, it looks like he''s the only American fighting back at all, or at least the only one who''s fighting to win. Why hate somebody who''s on your side and wins battles when all your other champions have abandoned the field? I asked my friend Eileen, one of the smartest and bravest people I know (and one of the few who still lives in the US) about this, giving the example of a friend of mine who rejected Moore because he made fun of working-class people in the Rabbit Lady episode of Roger and Me. I could never improve on Eileen''s answer, so here it is:

"I''m sickened but not surprised that your friend repudiated Michael Moore because of the Rabbit Lady. We''re going to see many, many reasons to repudiate Michael Moore in the coming months. He''s too bold, too outspoken, too smart, too effective--he really hits a nerve. And Lefties can''t handle it. He isn''t a statue of a long-dead Lefty saint, so he must be neutralized! (Never realized that Lefties had such an Irish tendency to kill the imperfect and inconvenient modern-day hero living right amongst them.) Just wait''ll his next movie comes out, which is going to be a merciless, feature-length drawing-and-quartering of George W. Bush. Then we''ll see some fast and furious repudiations, lemme tell ya!

"I go around praising Moore wherever I go, and I know. Even the ones who agree with him in general tend to react to Michael Moore in an ''amused'' way--they''re really too balanced and mature for that sort of sloppy outspokenness, but he is amusing, isn''t he? That''s the kind of reaction that''s got one eye on the exit all the time. When the tide REALLY shifts, it will take a split-second for those people to decide he''s gone too far and become ''unamusing.''

"Or else it''s Rabbit Lady syndrome. Just last week I was talking to a Lefty who felt Moore was too in love with himself, always patting himself on the back, and on those grounds couldn''t take him seriously. Next I expect to hear he can''t be taken seriously because his hair''s messy. Any excuse is a good one. Because he''s giving the call to arms, and nobody wants to hear it. That means we might all have to be, at least, brave and outspoken in a world of suddenly serious consequences. If Peter Arnett can be fired for a few moments of outspokenness, nobody''s safe."

Read it and blush. You know she''s right, all of you with "one eye on the exits." You hate Moore because he''s likely to drag you into a streetfight. That''s what happened at the Oscars: Moore took the podium and used it as a weapon. He bludgeoned Bush with that Oscar, right there in front of everyone, until the crowd booed him off. And they didn''t boo him because they were "conservatives," either. I''d bet that the loudest booers were classic H-wood liberals. They booed because when Moore started fighting, they felt ashamed, then angry -- because in some vestigial corner of their minds, they knew they should have been standing with him.

As a lifelong coward, I know the feeling, the shame of watching someone fight your fight for you--and I know that it''s not your tormentors you hate most. No, it''s your champion, your damned officious champion, whose courage only throws your cowardice into relief, that you hate most--after yourself.

So let''s get one thing straight before I talk about his book: as far as I''m concerned, Moore is Michael Collins resurrected: a god-damn hero who smites all the right people with style.

I say this because in my experience, heroes'' books are not worthy of their authors. That''s what I feared with Moore: that I wouldn''t be able to admire him after reading his book.

Even the title made me uneasy. Stupid White Men is, first of all, a phrase from a Jim Jarmusch movie, Dead Man. An Indian says it every time he encounters another S.W.M. And Jarmusch...well, he''s just wrong. Even when he''s good, he''s a wrong person, a wrong director.

Then there''s the awkward fact that Moore''s white. And I''m white. Hell, my whole family is white. It''s a tricky business.

Ah, but you see? You see what''s happening to me? I''m retreating, "one eye on the exits," to the nearest available quibble with Moore''s book.

It''s interesting to observe this process: why have I not spoken yet about Moore''s beautiful attack on Bush in the first fifty pages of his book? Why do I jump to the one part that makes me queasy, his race chapter?

Put it this way: Moore hates well and loves poorly. His hates are always dead right; his attempts to love or just lighten up are inferior. So when he proposes his solution to America''s racial problems, he fails. When he tries to sum up the things men do wrong in their dealings with women, he''s just plain awful, like -- God help me -- Dave Barry or something. And when he says how he loves "this big lug of a country," he annoys me; why love it? I used to love it too, when I was all alone defending America on Sproul Plaza, but...how, why, love this sick evil mess it''s become? What is this, a Civics class? No, I won''t love America any more, and I don''t like Moore loving it. (By the way, he DOES love America. That much is very clear to anyone who reads Stupid White Men carefully.)

But when Moore is free to attack, when his glorious hatred has scope to play over the target-rich environment which is contemporary America, he comes in glory to judge the living and the dead, and he has no equal. It''s been a long time since America saw anything like righteous rage with this sort of media savvy, and it has terrified everyone -- as it should.

Oh, there''s plenty of rage. It''s the staple of talk radio. But it''s a contemptible rage, fifty million morons too chickenshit to admit they hate their lives, projecting their misery onto an imaginary "liberal elite" which was scared into hibernation decades ago.

Even gaudily psychotic ranters like Ann Coulter, who would be drawing with blunt crayons in a padded cell had she been born anywhere else in the world, seems banal when you see how her sickest spittle-laced rants serve no function but distracting dyspeptic commuters from their wretched lives.

Moore''s hate is something else: a left hook like Tyson''s. When he hits people, they fall down. And that horrifies everyone. The American left has been throwing fights longer than any bum in Don King''s stable. To find one of their own fighting to win is the one thing they won''t stand.

And Moore''s point, in this book, is that the Democrats threw the fight. In the first chapters of Stupid White Men, Moore tells what happened to the 2000 election in Florida. He doesn''t pretend to be "balanced"; if he did, he''d be crazy. Anybody who could tell this story as if it were an NFL game, with a balanced appreciation of both teams, is a traitor. (That is to say: the mainstream press are traitors.)

Moore''s a great storyteller. He starts fast, like the true-crime writer he is: "The coup began long before the shenanigans on Election Day 2000. In the summer of 1999 Katherine Harris...who was both George W. Bush''s presidential campaign cochairwoman AND the Florida Secretary of State in charge of elections, paid $4 million dollars to Database Technologies to go through Florida''s voter rolls and remove anyone ''suspected'' of being a former felon. She did so with the blessing of the governor of Florida, George W.''s brother Jeb Bush -- whose own wife was caught by immigration officials trying to sneak $19,000 worth of jewelry into the country, a felony in its own right. But hey, this is America. We don''t prosecute felons if they''re rich or married to a governing Bush."

The tale goes on from there. It''s stunning, most of all because, though I''d bet every reporter in Florida knew all this, none of the cowardly, slimy bastards ever put it all together and said it stinks. It''s a classic African banana-republic tale, in which the local oligarch''s family steals the election and crushes all opposition -- except our press is not as brave as the African press, so our oligarchs didn''t have to threaten the local press with death or torture. All you have to do, it seems, to make the American press repeat any lie you wish is to threaten not to let them ride on Air Force One.

We are a contemptible people. And that''s what Moore, poor heroic loyal bastard, won''t get. He really is some sort of fool patriot. He can''t do what any vain intellectual would do: shake the dust of America from his sandals and become a bitter expat. He really thinks that he can give the corpse of the Republic CPR.

That''s really the only weakness of the book. Every section begins with magnificent denunciations and ends with pitiful Civics-class first-aid lessons. It hurts to see him proposing hopeless save-a-tree remedies after he''s demonstrated very clearly that we are owned, gag and gaggage, by a handful of pigs. After showing that the Florida debacle was nothing less than a coup, he ends with a section called "How to Stage the Countercoup." It starts with this suggestion: "Contact your representatives on a weekly basis...." Oh, come on! Contact them with a manila envelope full of twenties and they might listen; contact them with Biblical gibberish and they''ll at least pretend; but contact them with mere argument? My representative in the House is one Bill Baker, (R-CA), a born-again Republican geek who won on an anti-abortion platform. I''m supposed to believe he''ll listen if I tell him to leave the Arctic Wildlife Refuge alone? Like most of my friends, I can''t even stomach living in the US any more -- is he going to listen to an email from Moscow? He probably thinks Russia''s still Commie. My people have left, or are trying to find a way to leave. Face it: Bush IS America.

The parallel Eileen drew between Moore and Collins is all too close. Collins loved Ireland, but Ireland wasn''t worth his love. Moore loves America...well, I just hope we don''t kill him. But if we do, you can be sure that every Leftist in the country will go out of his or her way to write a thoroughly "balanced" obituary.

(By John Dolan)

LONDON, (AFP) - Michael Moore''s controversial "Stupid White Men," a blistering critique of the current US administration by the award-winning film-maker, received Britain''s book of the year prize Monday.
"Stupid White Men and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation" beat out Yann Martel''s "The Life of Pi" and an autobiography by Manchester United''s Roy Keane.

Moore''s book, which rakes over the coals US President George W. Bush and his team, was carried to the top spot by telephone votes from the public, which were for the first time counted alongside those of the official jury.

"It looks like a very strong anti-war vote both from insiders in the book business and the public," awards organiser Merric Davidson said.

"The Keane book got a lot of public votes from the Manchester area, but Moore''s book proved nationally very popular."

"Stupid White Men" raised controversy before it ever hit the stores. Originally scheduled to appear in late 2001, its publication was delayed when the US publisher balked at releasing it, with its virulent anti-Bush stance, after the September 11 attacks in the United States.

The publisher, HarperCollins, relented when Moore, who claimed he was told to tone down his message, publicized the row on his web site and generated a well of support.

The book quickly shot to the top of best-seller lists in the United States and Britain, where it has sold more than 300,000 copies.

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