Working for the clampdown

Michael Moore fires off more pointed criticisms in “Dude, Where’s My Country?”

by Katrina Wilber

T“Ö It is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security Ö” – The Declaration of Independence, 1776

The United States has long been upheld as a model of democracy. But according to some, underneath the glory is a beast that conjures the feelings of George Orwell’s “1984” and its vision of a government that knows no limits.

“Dude, Where’s my Country?” is filmmaker, author and activist Michael Moore’s ironic look at the Unites States under President George W. Bush. Moore takes the Declaration of Independence to heart in his attempts to save his country from what he sees is its own worst enemy. But sometimes he seems like a little kid who didn’t get that awesome bike for Christmas and gets revenge by calling his parents names behind their backs.

The funny thing is that Moore almost didn’t get a chance to write this book. The first printing of his first book came out Sept. 10, 2001, and the book’s release was delayed for five months because of its anti-Bush sentiments. A New Jersey librarian overheard Moore discussing his predicament, and she told other librarians that Moore’s book was banned. The publisher offered Moore a meager three-city tour, but the book was in its ninth printing within five days.

An entire chapter is devoted to God, who tells his story in a way that’s suspiciously similar to Moore’s writing, but that’s probably just a coincidence. He apologizes for arena football and Atlantis, and then adds a few amendments to the Ten Commandments to help everyone agree on everything. This God isn’t the kind old man kids learn about in Sunday school; this is a straightforward God who doesn’t mince words and isn’t afraid to announce that George W.’s job in the next world will be to park cars “in Hell’s VIP lot” for all eternity.

Another of Moore’s suggestions is that Oprah Winfrey should run for president. He claims that U.S. citizens would be smarter and healthier because of it, since she’d get everybody up in the morning to work out and then have them read one book a month. She wouldn’t have to quit her show; she’d just tape it in the White House and solve everybody’s problems from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. instead of Chicago.

Moore has done extensive research to back his claims. It increases his credibility and, considering his subject matter, he’s lucky to have such an impressive bibliography.

His liberal diatribes, complete with Burger King allusions and tales of the stock market bubble, would be better presented in a plain, to-the-point manner. The pages are peppered with exclamation marks, words in bold font, words in all capital letters, italicized and underlined words. Government is a touchy subject, and a less obvious tone is preferable to beating an idea into someone’s head with a baseball bat or running someone over with a Mack truck.

The book is full of rhetorical questions, and after a couple of pages of this near-constant battery of questions, one wishes he’d just say what he wants to say and get it over with. He’s on the right track, and if liberals call him a hero and conservatives find him a diabolical anarchist, so be it.