By now, everyone probably knows the story of Michael Moore's new book Stupid White Men: how it was halfway through its press run on 9/11; how publisher HarperCollins got a bad case of "homeland security" jitters, warehoused the book, then went to Moore demanding a rewrite and new title because of the book's attack on Our Fearless Leader, George W. Bush; how Moore refused and launched his own free-speech media campaign; and how eventually HarperCollins relented and published it as is. It's finally in the stores ($24.95), and according to Moore went into its fifth printing after only three days.
The roly-poly working-stiff sage, filmmaker/TV host, and political jester from Flint, Michigan (he currently lives in New York) is hitting the hustings this month on behalf of his screed, meeting the folks he calls "the bottom ninety percent" and gleefully listing the crimes of Dick Cheney, the American educational system, the insurance industry, the Catholic Church, and the Democratic Party ("Bill Clinton was one of the best Republican presidents we've ever had"). Moore will be at Berkeley's First Congregational Church (2345 Channing Way, 510-848-3696, tickets $15) at 7:30 this evening, one of five Northern California appearances.
Speaking from New York, where he began the tour, Moore was circumspect about the White House's assault on civil liberties: "We must have hope. This is a pretty good country. They like their freedoms, and don't particularly like losing the same freedoms our armed forces are fighting for." But when the subject turns to the ongoing Enron congressional investigation, Moore breathes fire: "I hope it brings about the resignation of Bush and Cheney. This bastard company bought and paid for the Bush administration, plain and simple." Locally, Oakland A's fans are disgruntled that their hero, slugger Jason Giambi, was lured away by the big money of the New York Yankees. Detroit Tigers fan Moore offers this consolation: "It wasn't the money. This is a town where you can get Ethiopian food at 4 a.m., where you can order a mattress delivered at any time of night. New York is that kind of place. That's why Giambi came here."
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