Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tokens of the 2000s: Copies of Michael Moore's books on an otherwise sensible bookshelf

There is nothing quite as bittersweetly humanising as seeing copies of Stupid White Men and Dude, Where's My Country sitting embarrassed and alone on bookshelves across America and around the world. Nobody in their right mind will ever read them again but what else are you going to do with them? Are they reminders of the Michael Moore Moment, that time when this cavorting oaf came back into our lives and was totally necessary and had some embarrassing moments but these were still outweighed by his good points? Or more of a liberal hairshirt, a memento mori, a reminder that when the going gets tough, white people kind of fall to bits if there's not an Obama to vote for? Yes.

What will we do with all our Michael Moore books? It would feel like too much to rid ourselves of them. After all, we can say, we still agree with Michael Moore, do we not? Do we not still feel that big business is not our friend? Are we not now still of the opinion that George W Bush was an unremarkable President? If we rewatch Bowling for Columbine, is it not a well-made documentary, marred only sporadically by foreshadowings of the buffoon-with-a-blowhorn schtick Moore would soon make his stock-in-trade? Do we not think that men ought not put soap in their ass, even if we are not sure why Moore feels the need to lecture them on this last point in Stupid White Men's pagecount-propping later pages?

And so we keep our Michael Moore books, cherishing the incompleteness of our collection, reasoning that the absence of The Farenheit 9/11 Reader or Will They Ever Trust Us Again? represents our ability during the 2000s to sip but discerningly on Moore's embarrassingly earnest brew, because he did have some points, after all, did he not, and he was in The Corporation alongside Klein and Chomsky, so obviously he's not an idiot, is he?

Maybe in a parallel universe, we reason, Moore might have written a funnier book instead of Stupid White Men, and then maybe Dude, Where's My Country might have been replaced by a tome that was less funny than its predecessor but also a lot less shrill and blunt and choir-preaching than any of Moore's books; and we entertain a ridiculous fantasy that Moore, the TV clown, might have put his money where his notoriously capacious mouth was and become himself a politician! Maybe he might then go so far as to get so aggressively democratic as to have John McCain throw a hissy fit at him for disturbing the "comity of the Senate!"

Don't be silly. Michael Moore's just a putz off tv, we can't expect miracles from him.


someonefromsometime said...

I can see one Moore book on my shelf. I suppose we all had a "Micheal Moore Moment" at some point.

ontic5 said...

I will keep Moore in mind as an absolutely necessary phenomenon during the Bush years. Just so you could remind yourself that Bush didn´t represent the whole of America.

I don´t need to get rid of a book though. I only bought one of his and somebody stole it.