Skip to comments.Michael Moore confounds anti-corporate conventional wisdom ("Small businesspeople are rednecks.")
Posted on 03/19/2002 3:12:57 PM PST by John Jorsett
Tuesday night, March 5 Michael Moore appeared before a full house Arcata Van Duzer Theater at Humboldt State University. Moore, the famous filmmaker and political activist, talked about his new book, about "President" (a term he used with finger quotes) Bush and about how Arcata people might spread political activism.
Motivation, he said, is key, with discontent providing that motivation. "I'm so pissed off," Moore said, inspiring cheers. Moore encouraged everyone who who shared that feeling to combat oppression. "Don't just stay in Arcata and eat your granola, your gluten-free granola," he admonished the assembly.
Moore quickly made clear that he doesn't share some of the alternative culture doctrine held dear by many Arcatans. Asked about recycling, Moore said, "Recycling creates an illusion of saving the planet." He said he disapproves of simply recycling without knowing where recycleables go - they might be sent to a Third World country where people work under sweatshop conditions.
Asked about Arcata's pending cap on pattern restaurant expansion, Moore - widely recognized as a corporate antagonist - again confounded expectations. "Where will you eat?" he asked. "Can't you have at least one Jamba Juice?"
Moore said that the news media try to make people think that they are a small minority when they want to dissent from mainstream America. But, according to Moore, dissenters aren't the minority.
On request, Moore immediately endorsed Green Party candidate for State Assembly Doug Riley-Thron. "He first handed me a $20 bill, then he gave me another one, and another one," Riley-Thron said later. "Then he said Here, take it all,' and he handed me a bunch of ones." The total take: $80.
"I thought, Dang, that was worth doing,'" Riley-Thron said.
After a book-signing session in the lobby, Moore departed Arcata.
Small businesspeople are rednecks that suppress the town'
Disappointingly, the Van Duzer presentation barely touched on several current issues involving Arcata and corporations, and Moore was said to have ruled out interviews.
But he had to sleep sometime, and a late-night vigil outside Eureka's Carter House hotel yielded a further encounter.
Moore pulled up in the passenger seat of a Chevy van full of his entourage of family and friends. Looks of tired annoyance were on everyone's faces, but a request for an interview was granted.
Moore dismissed criticism over his purchase of a million-dollar home. "I'm a millionaire, I'm a multi-millionaire," he proclaimed. "I'm filthy rich. You know why I'm a multi-millionaire? 'Cause multi-millions like what I do. That's pretty good, isn't it? There's millions that believe in what I do. Pretty cool, huh?"
Asked about Arcata limiting the number of pattern restaurants to nine, Moore said he didn't think it was a good idea. But what if corporate dominance transforms Arcata into "Anywhere, USA?" "You are in Anywhere, USA," Moore said.
Moore seemed to embrace capitalistic Darwinism. "If the small businesses suck they'll be driven out of business," he said. "If they got a good restaurant, people will go there and eat. You know in my town the small businesses that everyone wanted to protect? They were the people that supported all the right-wing groups. They were the Republicans in the town, they were in the Kiwanas, the Chamber of Commerce - people that kept the town all white. The small hardware salesman, the small clothing store salespersons, Jesse the Barber who signed his name three different times on three different petitions to recall me from the school board. F**k all these small businesses - f**k 'em all! Bring in the chains. The small businesspeople are the rednecks that run the town and suppress the people. F**k 'em all. That's how I feel."
Asked about the proposed Arcata Bottoms cell phone tower, Moore interrupted the question at the mention of the words "cell phone," launching into a tirade about poor service like a junk food junkie who'd been served a soggy McMuffin. Pulling his phone from a jacket pocket, he complained, "I just opened it up and looked at it and there are 18 messages, I haven't turned it on for three days. I hate these things. They don't work - try to use one and your conversation will last 30 seconds and they'll cut you out and you're giving all your money to them." Moore said cell phones shouldn't be used until they're actually "invented," - which hasn't happened yet. "This is bulls**t. This is trying to suck money from you. These towers pollute the environment. Who knows what's going into your brains from the things?"
Moore was comparably impassioned about Sierra Pacific Industries' recently approved Timber Harvest Plan for Sunny Brae. "They shouldn't be cutting the trees down in the first place," Moore said. "Who is this company? How come this one company gets to decide, gets to own all this land? These are one of the biggest landowners in this country - no one individual should be able to own that much property. This is not his [SPI owner A.A. "Red" Emerson's] property, this is planet Earth and its inhabited by the people who live here and other living things and one individual should not have so much say and power cutting down trees that are that many years old. You know, it's absolutely outrageous, and so I'm executive producing a documentary. I'm funding it. A buddy back in Michigan is making a documentary about the situation with the trees and he's going to come out here and do some filming about what's going out here so we'll be doing that sometime during the coming months."
In obvious need of sleep, Moore and his bleary-eyed posse trundled off to their quarters to rest up for an appearance the next day at Arcata's independently owned Northtown Books.
There are only two types of People in this old world I really can't Stand...
Michael Moore is listed under both categories with multiple entries!
Amen. I say, ignore the clown.
That explains it all - Michael Moore admits he's a moron who's deathly afraid of his own cell phone.
Who the hell is mikey moore and why does anyone listen to him?....what?, he directed some film or films?.....who gives a shi
t and why would they?...What a bunch of crap.
Who IS this US Government? How come the US Government gets to decide, gets to own all this land? This is the single biggest landowner in the country - no government should be able to hold that much property.
Makes a lot more sense, don't you think?
And who are the pals of the CEOs and leaders of those big concerns, "moderate" pubbies and the "New Democrats".
Makes me think that Moore is not such a "radical" after all. He's mainstream.
More like "Moore, the one-hit wonder filmmaker, and blowhard."
Are there any words strong enough to describe this person?