With a rebel yell, she cried Moore, Moore, Moore
Just finished Michael Moore’s latest book, Dude Where’s My Country? Enjoyable and thought-provoking for the most part, although I think not as good as Stupid White Men. Although he makes very good points and raises issues which in any other country would have resulted in judicial enquiries and probably mass ministerial resignations at the least. However, an entire book which is basically a – justified – rant against Bush and his evil cronies gets a little wearing and one-note after a hundred pages. Stupid White Men had a little more variety in it and personally I felt Al Franken’s Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell Them (featured here earlier) was the better political book of this year.
At least Moore name-checked Greg Palliser and his excellent book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. He’s the Guardian journalist who broke the whole ridiculous Florida voting scam story that brought Bush into power unselected via political and personal chicanery. And indeed provided the subject for Moore’s previous book but he didn’t actually credit him, so at least he sorted that out. He also goes on far too much about we millions of readers being Mike’s Militia. Yes, I know it’s a pun on the Michigan Militia nutters of his home-state, but he uses these sorts of things too often – I get the distinct impression he’s starting to take his own hype too seriously and he needs to watch that. He’s one of the good guys now, but could a feeling of power corrupt him to the dark side? Besides his personal vendetta against Bush is simply getting too monotonous. While I agree with much of what he says there are other important issues which plague American society and, loath though I am to admit it, are not all the fault of Bush but are endemic of the American way of life and need to be addressed. And I am no friend to Bush, as anyone who reads this regularly will know.
I was also more than a little miffed at a couple of points he made. In a section where Moore lists points you can raise with your Republican neighbour to show where Liberals have gotten it wrong so you don’t sound too preachy when you try to convert them he makes a couple of rather uninformed statements. The one that really burned me up was where Moore says you should tell your right-wing neighbour that they are right, vegetarianism is unhealthy and we all need meat to have a healthy life. I’ve put up with that uninformed and frankly bigoted and stupid view point for years now. I’ve been a veggie for many years now and I’m not exactly a malnourished weakling. Actually I’m 17 stones of well-fed and healthy veggie and, although he is a big guy (too big in some places perhaps) I’m pretty sure I can bench press a much bigger set of weights than meat-guzzling Mikey with some ease. I reckon I can cycle further too and I doubt Meaty Mike would last a minute against me on the rugby field or match my relfexes on the fencing piste. And I look mor handsome too, obviously :-). Studies normally show that vegetarians normally live longer and healthier lives than most folk – probably because they are aware of nutritional needs and watch what they eat and are also more health aware in general. His bland statement was the kind of ill-informed bigotry I’d expect from the Republicans he normally lambastes.
He also asserts that while he is for the ethical treatment of animals – before he eats them – he does not believe animals should have rights. So anti-vegetarian and now anti-animal – and this guy is supposed to be a supporter of the Green Party??? I’m guessing there are a lot of pro-animal rights and veggies in the Green movement. Well, sorry to burst your bubble, Mike, but not everyone treats animals in a humane fashion and thus all civilized nations have laws governing the treatment of animals. And once you have rules enshrined in legislation then you have rights for those covered by them. Besides, a little sales point, Mike – we Brits are great animal lovers and have a hell of a lot of legislation to protect domestic and wild animals. Being anti animal rights is not a good sales strategy for your book in the UK.