Michael Moore Wants to Rile You Up

Photo by Warren Levinson.

Michael Moore has apocalyptic visions.

The superstar documentarian got standing ovations before and after speaking to a sellout crowd at the Montclair Art Museum on the last day of the Film Festival, so to say he was preaching to the converted would be an understatement.

But Moore insisted he wasn’t interested in comforting liberal Montclair.

He says he’d like to make movies about the things that scare him. Tops on the list: the world will run out of oil in this century. That’ll be trouble for transportation, he says, but we’ll solve that. The real question is how do we live without petrochemicals? “No more toothbrushes. Are you ready to go back to wooden sticks and horsehair?” There’s no refrigeration without plastics, he points out. “There is going to be a calamity the likes of which you can’t imagine.”

Photo by Michael Reitman.

The director of Fahrenheit 911, Sicko and Capitalism: A Love Story says the goal of his movies is first to entertain, then to rile you up. “I don’t want you thinking, `Damn! the world sucks!’ but to get angry and think, `Damn! I can do something about this.’ ”

He also worries about things we can’t do anything about. Solar storms that could fry the electric grid, for example.

Still, he’s optimistic about youth. Old people die and their prejudices — about race and sexual orientation, to name two — die with them. “Things do get better,” he says, “and it’s because of young people.”

Interviewed by festival director Thom Powers, Moore talked at some length about a film festival he runs in Traverse City, Michigan. It’s brought in a lot of culture and commerce to a place that really needs it. And you know that announcement every movie theater makes about turning off your mobile phone before the show. “In our theater, if we catch you talking or texting during the show, we ban you for life.”

It’s a muscular approach he’d like to see to see spread to politics. Conservatives win, Moore says, because when they get power, they use it.
When liberals win, they want to bring everybody along.

He laid down a challenge for his Montclair audience.

“If you think this is such a great place, what are you doing to lead New Jersey to a better place? I mean, your governor is a disgrace!”

That was the afternoon’s biggest applause line.

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  1. No, but he talked about it, referring to Frelinghuysen as a Congressman who’d been in office since the Civil War. It was a pretty funny bit.

  2. Yes things do get better,and it’s because of young people. But the old people I know never thought that racism or gay people wanting to get married where going to change their conservative values, as for the heritable traits associated with functional people who don’t think the world sucks, I’d have to disagree with Michaels liberal(idiotic) psychobabble. The world doesn’t “suck” when you can find answers to your personal problems and integrate them into business, this sexual and grotesque greedy insinuation is at the heart of what have been known as career hippies. Michael needs to grow up, and the rest of you damaged goods liberals can loath every STD free, intelligent, Conservative child when they find it convenient to play the liberal card. When the liberals hear a Conservative speak up without saying “Damn, the world sucks,” they can tune in to Michael or violate someone’s constitutional rights and boarder on being identified a “manor lord”(A.K.A. Manna Lord), socialist, and terrorist. It’s because of closet liberals that Wall Street turned into a breeding ground of moral corruption, and why qualified candidates are underemployed or worse, and some liberal do nothing fat cats espouse “the world sucks” audibly from their copy-cat level of functionality, low intelligence position. I apologize for not being available to commiserate with Michaels comrades, damaged-goods, cry-babies, social climbers, paranoid posers, estate fed idiots who act as though they’ve been forced to free their serfs, and unoriginal brute groups of subservient vassals who’ve been given a leg up. I’m glad that Michael was able to rile up the types of humble apocalyptic visions that unsettle and rouse his intellectual peers.

  3. Was Moore at least challenged about, in a world where we’re supposedly fast running out of resources, his own heft? His poundage, from looks alone a stone or three above Christie’s, is a disgrace too.

    It certainly says to me that he lives well off the suckers who go see his movies. Truly, the spirit of “epater les bourgeois” is alive and well in Moore’s gut. Along with pizza, pasta, cupcakes, cheeseburgers and, likely, terrifying cholesterol levels. Really, Michael, if you sincerely want to live yourself to see the “end” of prejudice” (anyway the kinds he dislikes, as opposed to the many kinds he practices), you’ve got to slim down and start working out.

  4. He laid down a challenge for his Montclair audience. “If you think this is such a great place, what are you doing to lead New Jersey to a better place? I mean, your governor is a disgrace!” That was the afternoon’s biggest applause line.

    And he doesn’t just want to comfort the audience?

  5. Of course, “epater” means to shock, not to eat, so the “gut” and ‘cupcakes”, etc. is a bad fit, so to speak.. We can count on cathar to be wrong in any number of languages.

    But I must agree that Moore is indeed a jackass.

  6. What would happen to Moore’s world view if as seems increasingly likley, the world is not running out of petroleum products. As horizontal drilling & Fracking ( liberals heads explode ) bring the US & other regions almost unlimited amounts of Nat Gas & increasingly recoverable reserves of oil.

  7. Well pete, this liberal’s head will not explode if you proudly televise yourself drinking the ground water freshly drawn from an area being fracked.
    Bottoms up !

  8. Frelinghuysen hasn’t served in Congress since the Civil War, but his family has been serving in Congress since long before the Civil War – his ancestor Theodore Frelinghuysen represented New Jersey in the Senate in the 1830s. Frederick Frelinghuysen was a senator and served as Secretary of State under President Arthur in the 1880s. His own father Peter was a congressman, and his dad was just in the news – his stamp collection was put up for auction.

  9. Gifro220, what are you trying to express, to really say, in your hysterical, disjointed caterwauling?

    Cathar, you are an ill-tempered, ill-educated and arrogant little man; you may think you come off looking and sounding like Friedrich Nietzsche, but you in fact bear far closer resemblance to Donald Duck.

    I know not whether you are of like or differing genders, but if your reproductive circuitries permit, you could marry each other, mate and raise a litter or two of little crypto-fascists. I’m sure they’d be very cute and would have ever so much worthwhile to contribute to Baristanet.

  10. Ideally this should have been moderated by Jonathan Alter, and they could have had a butt kissing contest afterward. To me sitting through this would have been the equivalent of what the CIA subjected KSM to in order to get him to spill the beans on his future plans. There is only the finest of lines between Moore’s hate and fear mongering, and anti-intellectual realty programs that pander to a more diverse horde of the great unwashed. His audience is uncritical and absorbs his expostulations as gospel. He’s like the Shawn Hannity of the left. He’s figured out a masterful strategy of how to enrich himself by inflating and preying on certain people’s fears. My predictive powers tell me that the knee jerk response will be the same as to all liberal shibboleths, “he’s just telling the truth…” Baloney. But to Spiro’s point, fracking is not the panacea that it is being sold as. There needs to be serious scientific research and tight regulatory control. The consequences of polluting out aquifers would be truly horrific.

  11. Deadeye, much as I generally admire your posts and way oif thinking, I do think that using the word “baloney” (or indeed any mention of fat-laden pork products) in connection with Michael Moore is tempting fate.

    Croiagusanam, you really were desperate to have at me this morning, weren’t you? I know “epater” means “to shock, and I certainly feel Moore likes to shock. He’s probably just surprised that his Sidney Greenstreet-like size offends people. May even shock them. Still, the “secret” to much of Moore’s appeal probably lies in his prodigious belly. The ample fat only fuels the fire there.

    And while I know the truism that the TV or movie camera usually adds 10 lbs., these are photographs above, for God’s sake. The guy really is immense, and I would some day soon appreciate seeing an interviewer inquire of Moore about the connection between his politics and his girth. He even long ago passed the way Rush Limbaugh used to look. (Back in the day when Al Franken called him a “a big fat idiot.”) I await the chiding of someone posting here who objects to me calling Michael Moore a big fat (comically) dogmatic hypocrite and apparatchik for the worst excesses of the far left, who is also in quick need of a good haircut.

    “Your grace,” to be compared to the lovably irascible Donald Duck (compared to whom Mickey Mouse is a dork) is an honor, so thank you there. Feel free someday to share an entire box of Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets with Michael Moore. I’ll even pay for them. Without knowledge of your physical makeup, however, I’ll just confine myself to terming you an obvious fathead.

  12. Like most who struggle with the language and with any issues of substance, our cathar enjoys pointing to the physical attributes of those with whom he disagrees. So Moore is obese, Kathleen Turner is fat, and of course any number of people are scabrous, feeble, etc. etc. Name-calling is really all that he has to fall back upon, since he cannot formulate any sort of reasonable argument nor give voice to any “point”.

    Even an intellectual “lightweight” however, should be able to make the case for Moore as a dope and a hypocrite, without dwelling on his girth. But what can we expect from the author of posts dealing with such “weighty” issues as whether or not Korean restaurant owners should dare to offer Japanese dishes, given the nasty history between the two peoples.

    Hey, shouldn’t we start making fun of James Carville’s baldness next? I mean, that’s right up cathar’s alley!

  13. According to WikiAnswers, Michael Moore weighs in at 210 pounds. His Fatitude, our Lord Governor, weighs a bovine 280 pounds. This is easily confirmed by one’s eyes, assuming they are open.

    Which is not to say that Mr. Christie is far too liberal, a bad Catholic and should probably be deposed and exiled.

    Mr. Moore should simply be hung as a Bolshevik, with our good Mr. Cathar manning the gibbet. (Note to Mr. CAthar: you should show more respect for the clergy, even if they are idiots).

  14. Well, I’m no christie fan nor do I have any love for Moore, but I’d question those weights.

    If Moore is 210, then Christie must be 425.

    I think it more likely that Moore is the 260 range, while the guv exceeds 300.

    But what does it matter? They’re both buffoons, as far as I’m concerned.

  15. while i am a little late to “chime in,” i have to post to cathar: please keep your impolite comments re: one’s physicality to yourself. you should have learned as early as grade school it’s foolish to judge a book by its cover; or do they not teach that lesson from where you come?

    well said His Grace – and don’t be fooled by cathar’s phoney “thank you,” you hit the nail on the head there – Daffy Duck – tee hee!

  16. Keep smacking each other down blind alleys. The ruling elite loves it! You’re letting them divide and conquer all the way to the bank.
    The question is where will you be…come the revolution?
    How long have the Frelinghuysens been here?? Who cares!!

  17. Montclairnativegirl, the teletubbies of the world salute you for your defense above of Michael Moore’s obesity. (Though, oddly, you didn’t also defend Christie.)

    But the poundage of Moore very definitely hints at a less-than-sincere commitment to the, uh, “revolution.” He clearly neither works out nor survives on the leavings of soup kitchens and brown rice. He lives very, very well in other words. (Even as his former brethren in Flint comparatively starve.) So not only is he a slob, he is a hypocritical slob. And, based on the times I’ve seen him in TV lately, a short of breath, wheezing slob. One can only imagine his other bulk-related ailments. He may not in fact thus live to see the revolution.

    So you are much welcome to him.

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