Michael Moore's 48th Birthday Party
posted by Chad on 4/25/02
Michael Moore’s 48th birthday party was last night, held at the Vogue Theater in downtown Vancouver. Well, Vancouver was actually the final stop on his book tour, but it fell on his birthday, so what can you do? He was speaking on his birthday, and the atmosphere in the theater was more of a party than of an “author reading.” And exactly who is Michael Moore (for the five of you that don’t know)?
The author of bestseller “Downsize This.” The man behind films “Roger & Me” and “Canadian Bacon.” He’s had his hand in an assortment of short run TV Series. His latest work is “Stupid White Men,” a look at all the bullshit that is George W. Bush.
As for the new book, I’ve just began to read it while waiting to hear him speak - three hours in line outside and two more inside. The public reaction and support to his book is exceptional, especially considering the complete lack of mainstream media coverage. For the last month, “Stupid White Men” has sat atop the NY bestseller list without a single review or plug from any national broadcast network or newspaper. And how did this happen?
The internet, plain and simple. Michael Moore’s website kept fans informed, and within 24 hours of the book being released, it was the top selling book on Amazon.com. And as the word of mouth continues to grow and spread, the sales continue to increase. But the road to publication was not easy…
”Stupid White Men” was written well before September 11th. In fact, the first 50,000 copies of the book were printed on Sept. 10th, and were to be shipped the next day. For obvious reasons, the shipping date was pushed back after New York literally collapsed. But as days turned into weeks, and weeks into months, Michael Moore began to wonder when his book was going to be released. And yes, I am going to refer to him as “Michael Moore” throughout the entire article, because I love alliterations. Here’s the silly story saluting the spectacular salvation of his big bad bodacious book.
With the world as we knew it lost after the events of September 11th, the publisher HarperCollins demanded changes be made to Michael Moore’s “Stupid White Men.” The first chapter is titled “A Very American Coup,” exposing the multiple instances of fraud and great lengths taken by the Bush campaign team to win Florida in the most illegal of fashions. The UN has bombed countries for less… but the citizens of the America were swept up in the rightwing media coverage surrounding the election. With the validity of the nation’s leader completely undermined from the get go in “Stupid White Men,” the publisher decided that the entire manuscript needed to be reworked given America’s “new political landscape” post Sept. 11th, which supposedly unanimously supports good old Georgey boy.
Asking Michael Moore to change his opinions is like asking me to sit down and listen to the new Celine Dion album. I’m sorry, but it’s simply not going to happen.
Over the course of two months, HarperCollins and Michael Moore sat in deadlock. Contract obligations stopped Michael Moore from taking the book to another publisher. After all hope was seemingly lost, Michael Moore read a couple of chapters from the unreleased book to an audience of 90 people, telling them that they would most likely be the only people to experience the book due to his conflict with the publisher. One of the people in attendance was a librarian… and as HarperCollins soon found out, you don’t fuck with the “shhhh” people.
The librarian took the news of Michael Moore’s censorship to librarians everywhere via online chatrooms, and as it turns out, librarians are a very motivated group of social anarchists. Nearly a thousand letters poured into the offices of HarperCollins from pissed off librarians within a week… and two days later, the book was sent unchanged to bookstores instead of the pulper.
Those 50,000 copies of “Stupid White Men” already printed were all sold online before the book was officially released. As I write this, “Stupid White Men” is now in its 21st printing. Despite “80% Bush approval ratings,” there seems to be a very large portion of the population that has other opinions of the Leader of the Free World. Proof of this has been seen at every city on the book tour, as people have turned out by the thousands. At the Vancouver reading, the final stop on his book tour, I was the 708th person in line, and was at most 50 yards back from the front door. The line-up continued behind me, wrapping around the corners of the block… and eventually ended right at the front door of the building. It is no exaggeration when I estimate there was a turnout of more than 10,000 people to see him speak at the theater which seats 1,100. When also considering that on the same evening, Ozzy Osbourne had a show and the Vancouver Canucks were playing the Detroit Red Wings in a pivotal 4th game of a playoff series that has literally swept BC into madness, the 10,000 on hand serves testimony to the words Michael Moore speaks and writes. All of this support in Vancouver, the most kicked back of Canadian cities, for a book based on American politics.
The event itself was fantastic, as his talk covered the book’s road to publication, his feelings on the current American political landscape, and how change finally seems to be approaching. Amazingly, he’s also the funniest public speaker I’ve ever seen, with him spending just as much time laughing as talking. One of the highlights of the event was the sneak preview from his new film that should be premiering in fall this year, called “Bowling for Columbine.” A movie that deals with America’s gun obsession, it begins with him at a bank getting a free gun for opening up a bank account. Yes, hilarity does ensue.
As his talk wound down into a Q&A period with shockingly few extremist left-wing grandstanding speeches, I rushed to the front of the stage to get my book signed. Of course, the book signing was in the back of the building, so I was near the end of the line by the time the theater vacated… or would have been if I didn’t butt my way to the front.
Yeah… Michael Moore wants me. And this blurry picture.
As previously mentioned, I haven’t finished reading the book itself: but from what I’ve read so far, I’m itching to get back at it. The first chapter is shocking and yet still humorous with the enlightening events of Florida truthfully unfolded, showcasing the multiple scams Bush and his family members pulled to win the state. The second chapter is an open letter written to GWB that asks three simple questions: 1. George, are you able to read and write on an adult level? 2. Are you an alcoholic? 3. Are you a felon? While it is a book about the corruption of American politics, it doesn’t stop at just being informative. It’s witty, brilliant, and despite Michael Moore’s harsh feelings on the current USA administration, it’s a fun read.
You’re robbing yourself of a great book if you don’t pick up Michael Moore’s “Stupid White Men.” Click here to buy it on Amazon. Go and buy that book, or else I’ll have to share the XXX pictures Michael Moore and I took later on. They’re ENORMOUSly HOT!! And blinding! AND JUST AS BLURRY!!
-Chad “fouff loves the big man, but hates the white man”