Monday, December 30, 2013

Dude, Where's My Country?

2004 update from 2003, published by Warner Books
Michael Moore
Dude, Where's My Country?
Bought newish for $14.95
Worn paperback

It's been awhile since I've seen Dude, Where's My Car?, so correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the car actually physically missing?  And in this book, Moore says you can't have a war with a noun, like "terror."  I think he means an abstract noun, but maybe he doesn't actually know what "country" means.  I'm not questioning his patriotism.   He's probably more patriotic than I am, since he actually gives a shit, while I've spent the dozen years since 9/11/01 doing my best to not follow the news, although feeling guilty about it and sometimes compensating with purchases such as this.  (Ironically, I first saw the attacks in Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, since I've never hooked up my TV to anything but my VCR and DVD player, and I bought them all earlier in 2001.)  I just think he's again chosen a bad title.

This time he of course addresses that War on Terror, as well as the war against civil liberties at home.  He's still very confrontational, but arguably less so.  (2003 was, however, the year he made his "fictitious" speech at the Oscars.)  He thinks that there's a great deal of consensus in America, and you can make common cause with your conservative brother-in-law, provided you admit that liberals are wrong about some things, like MTV.  (What happened to MTV being hated by feminists?  Now we find out that the liberals are to blame?)  Oh, and "your children do not have a right to privacy and you better pay attention to what they're up to."  Yes, parents should be involved, but guess what?  Kids (especially teens) have legal rights, including to privacy.  (Or does pro-choice Moore want to argue for parental consent laws for abortion?)

In Googling Moore before writing this review and the previous one, I saw that he's been criticized for portraying himself as a working-class hero, when he's actually "rich."  Well, I guess it depends on how you define "rich."  He's no Trump, but he's financially comfortable, as he tells us in this and Stupid White Men, like in the chapter here called "Woo Hoo!  I Got Me a Tax Cut!"

Moore seems to be one of those love-'em-or-hate-'em divisive sorts that I can't get too worked up about either way.  (Madonna is my ur-example for music.)  I find him somewhat entertaining and informative, if taken with a grain of salt, but after following his career from roughly '02 to '05 I lost track of him and didn't really care.  Revisiting that time through these books has taken me back a bit, and I will rewatch Fahrenheit next year for its tenth anniversary.

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