You’re probably familiar with Michael Moore whether you realize it or not. He’s the guy who put on his own little sideshow when he won the Best Documentary Oscar for his latest film, Bowling for Columbine. He also wrote a book called Stupid White Men and is an exceptional attention grabber for his various agendas. I think he’s capable of being pretty funny and pretty smart, even though I tend to disagree with him philosophically a lot of the time. I’ve also smelled “poser” a little more every time I’ve seen him talk. He’s addicted to playing the underdog hero role, and he casts himself as a middle class Joe Everyman laying himself on the line for his fellow hard working, oppressed brethren in mainland America (oh, and for all the beaten down, oppressed people everywhere else). The primary problem with that is that he’s a spoiled millionaire who lives on NYC’s Upper West Side.
Anyway, he’s become sort of an unlikely hero for a lot of left-leaning Americans. Not surprisingly, his bit has played to even more receptive ears in Europe. Most who read here know I’m not as conservative as I used to think I was, and I’m not categorically opposed to Moore because he’s a liberal. His act is growing more and more tired, though, because he’s a liar and a publicity fiend. It seems his personal circus is finally being seen for what it is in many places, including Europe. This article in The Times (London) is a fascinating read on how that’s happening. [Note: Sometimes this link tells you that you need a subscription; sometimes it takes you to the article. If you fail at first, try again later. It’s a good read.]
Before the article went AWOL, I copied the following quote:
Richard Schickel, arguably America’s most distinguished observer of the cinema, was rather more forthcoming about Moore’s general approach: “I despise our gun laws in the States, too. But Moore’s tactics, I think, give aid and comfort to the enemy. In short, he’s careless with his facts, hysterical in debate and, most basically, a guy trying to make a star out of himself. He’s a self-aggrandiser and, perhaps, the very definition of the current literary term, ‘the unreliable narrator’. This guy either can’t or won’t stick to the point, build a logical case for his arguments. It’s all hysteria — but, I think, calculated hysteria.”