Thinking Out Loud

October 21, 2008

Michael Moore — Comedian, Artist or Prophet?

Filed under: books, election, Humor, issues, politics — Tags: , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 6:25 pm

So what’s a Canadian doing spending $13.95 to read Michael Moore’s take on the U.S. election?   A few times, I wasn’t sure.   Basically a pocket book without any picture plates, and with a larger print that I could read without my glasses, I thought about it a few times before taking the plunge.   Having finished this morning, here’s a few quick observations.

First of all, the minute someone posts a comment on this, I am going to be in way over my head because I don’t understand all the nuances of what’s going on south of the 49th Parallel.    So trust me, I’m not taking sides.  I know Moore is very biased.   I’m not trying to wade in on the vote itself.  We had our election here last Tuesday, I voted, and that’s about all I can say.

Secondly, while I may or may not agree with the man’s politics, I really like his style.   Or lack of style.   The book is written with a sharp wit.   Or by a half wit.   Hey, I’m just trying to preemptively anticipate what some of y’all are thinking; which is what Moore himself does in an appendix where he takes chunks of his own book out of context to save his critics time misquoting him.

Thirdly, this guy is a producer of several investigative and documentary films.   He sees the upcoming through the lens; the eyes of a filmmaker.  He’s a journalist.   He’s an artist.    He’s two Mikes in one.  The filmmaker in him starts with a wide shot and then slowly zooms in on particular features.   The journalist does the necessary research and is prepared to back up his criticisms with hard data on how life plays out in places outside the U.S.A.   (And lets be honest here, for some of his readers, it will come as a major surprise that there are places outside the U.S.A.)

Fourthly, more importantly, and truer to the reason why I bought the book; Moore is a visionary.   He clearly sees the world differently, yes.  But mostly, he sees another set of possibilities.   An entirely different world that might have been, or could yet be.   Or at least an entirely different United States of America.   He marches to the beat of his own drummer.   He makes no bones about the fact that for him, the issue is not whether or not he loves his country per se, but whether he loves its people.   Which he does.

Finally, and most importantly, I bought a copy because Moore makes Canada look very, very good.   And also, France; which I have to admit came as a bit of a surprise.  But I only spent a week there.  On a high school trip.   So for me, this was a feel good read.   The last 25% of the book was lost on me, since it concerned itself with individual state races for congress.

And while I hate to rub it in, I want to remind you all that up here, from the time the election was proclaimed, to the time we finished counting the last ballot was all of 36 days.   We just got the whole thing over with very quickly.   As Moore points out, with a vast land mass, spread out over six time zones, and voting using only #2 pencils, we had final results within a few hours of the polls closing.  And now we’ve moved on.

(Did you like the use of “y’all” in the 3rd paragraph?   Just trying to fit in.)

Graph, not entirely related to this post,  from

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