Tuesday, October 07, 2003


First, an interview from the London Guardian via ZNet:

The Capped Crusader

But for all that, looking back on it, he does not see how he could have not said anything. "I did not make a film about birds or insects. I made a film about American violence. Let's turn the clock back and it's 1936 in Berlin and you got a theatre award: would it be inappropriate if you say something then, or do you just accept the award because 'You don't mix up politics and theatre'?"

Berlin in 1936 is a fairly good analogy for where Moore thinks America is at the moment. Not that he is comparing Bush to Hitler, but because he believes America's democracy is in peril, as Germany's was in the years following the burning down of the Reichstag. "Since 9/11, the Bush Administration has used that tragic event as a justification to rip up our constitution and our civil liberties. And I honestly believe that one or two 9/11s, and martial law will be declared in our country and we're inching towards a police state." He admits "it's not happening tomorrow", but some well-placed suicide bombs or terrorist attacks, he believes, could change everything. "At that point, you will find millions of Americans clamouring for martial law. I'm not talking about a takeover by Bush and his people. They won't have to fire a shot. The American people will be so freaked out they will demand that the White House take action, round up anyone and everyone. That's what I fear. It won't happen with a bang but with the whimpering sound of a frightened nation."

Click here for the entire interview.

Next, also from the Guardian, the first part of three excerpts from Dude, Where's My Country, Moore's new book:

How to talk to your conservative brother-in-law

Let's face it, almost every family has at least one rightwing reactionary of its very own, and there's not much you can do about it. It's a statistical certainty that for every two liberals, there will be one person who longs for the days of Strom Thurmond and legally accepted date rape. I seem to have encountered most of these guys in the past year. Many of them have written me long letters filled with a passion rarely seen on our side of the political fence. Some stop me on the street. A few of these times I have asked if they would like to sit down and have a cup of coffee with me (though I don't even drink coffee, and they themselves clearly have had way too much of it). I don't engage them in argument but, rather, listen to them rant and rave about Bush, liberals, towelheads and welfare queens. It's quite a spiel.

Just one note. I don't agree with everything Moore says here, especially his remarks about Mumia Abu-Jamal and his ideas about kids. However, the excerpt is still great reading. Click here.

Part two:

Answers please, Mr Bush

I have seven questions for you, Mr Bush. I ask them on behalf of the 3,000 who died that September day, and I ask them on behalf of the American people. We seek no revenge against you. We want only to know what happened, and what can be done to bring the murderers to justice, so we can prevent any future attacks on our citizens...

1. Is it true that the Bin Ladens have had business relations with you and your family off and on for the past 25 years?

2. What is the 'special relationship' between the Bushes and the Saudi royal family?

3. Who attacked the US on September 11 - a guy on dialysis from a cave in Afghanistan, or your friend, Saudi Arabia?

4. Why did you allow a private Saudi jet to fly around the US in the days after September 11 and pick up members of the Bin Laden family and fly them out of the country without a proper investigation by the FBI?

5. Why are you protecting the Second Amendment rights of potential terrorists?

6. Were you aware that, while you were governor of Texas, the Taliban travelled to Texas to meet with your oil and gas company friends?

7. What exactly was that look on your face in the Florida classroom on the morning of September 11 when your chief of staff told you, 'America is under attack'?

For Moore's explanation of these questions, click here.

Part three:

Face it, you'll never be rich

The fear drug works like this: you are repeatedly told that bad, scary people are going to kill you, so place all your trust in us, your corporate leaders, and we will protect you. But since we know what's best, don't question us if we want you to foot the bill for our tax cut, or if we decide to slash your health benefits or jack up the cost of buying a home. And if you don't shut up and toe the line and work your ass off, we will sack you - and then just try to find a new job in this economy, punk!

The other drug is nicer. It is first prescribed to us as children in the form of a fairy tale - but a fairy tale that can actually come true! It is the Horatio Alger myth. Alger was one of the most popular American writers of the late 1800s. His stories featured characters from impoverished backgrounds who, through pluck and determination and hard work, were able to make huge successes of themselves in this land of boundless opportunity. The message was that anyone can make it in America, and make it big.

We are addicted to this happy rags-to-riches myth in this country. People in other industrialised democracies are content to make a good enough living to pay their bills and raise their families. Few have a cutthroat desire to strike it rich. They live in reality, where there are only going to be a few rich people, and you are not going to be one of them. So get used to it.

I decided in my mid twenties that I would never be rich. I've been supporting liberals and leftists ever since. Click here.