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Book Reviews

Milt Gross Book Review: "Stupid White Men" by Michael Moore
By Milton M. Gross
May 12, 2013 - 12:05:37 AM

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Michael Moore, although having written Stupid White Men a dozen years ago, caught my attention recently when I read it. Among other topics, Moore's straightforward comments about how badly blacks have been -- and are being -- treated in the U.S. amazed me. No one has sued him for telling the truth. Milt Gross photo.
Stupid White Men is an old, parts-of-it-outdated, book, having been copyrighted in 2001 as a hardback and in 2004 as a paperback, but most of it is quite relevant today.

The out-of-date part is about George W. Bush having been selected over Democrat...uh, what was his name. Moore spends time on how the election results were taken from the voters and given to W.

He quotes W. as saying on June 14, 2001, "It's amazing I won. I was running against peace, prosperity, and incumbency."

Moore wrote this book before September 11, 2001. His publisher, HarperCollins, wanted him to rewrite it, but he didn't.

So, it misses that terrible attack on the U.S.

But he did write about the leadership of the U.S in his foreword to the paperback edition, "The worst way to defend our freedom is to let our leaders start taking away our freedoms! It is exactly during times like these that we need more freedom of speech, a strong and critical independent press, and a citizenry that is not afraid to stand up and say that the emperor has no clothes and even less of a brain."

He writes about the cynical way of power politics, the good-old-rich-buddies' bulldogging their way over common sense and voters' wishes.

The rest of the title is "...and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation."

The titles of his chapters give you an idea of what he wrote about, "Dear George," "Kill Whitey," "Nice Planet, Nobody Home," "One Big Happy Prison," "Democrats, DOA," and more.

Among other topics Moore addresses in his typical cynical but straightforward way are how the rich white guy thinks he is in charge of the world, the blacks are held down to a lower strata of society, the Democrats act just like the Republicans in seeking favors from the rich and powerful, another party is needed to speak for most Americans, and other topics about which I'd never before read.

About the giving the presidency to W., he wrote, "I did not vote for Al Gore, but I think any fair person would conclude that the will of the people in Florida clearly went his way. Whether it was the counting debacle or the exclusion of thousands of black citizens that corrupted the results, there is little doubt that Gore was the people's choice."

Moore provides his own biographies of those who brought W. to power and who guided that administration along, Dick Cheney, John Ashcroft, Paul O' Neill, Ann Veneman, Don Evans, Don Rumsfeld, and Spencer Abraham. Hey, I didn't know all that negative stuff about that happy bunch, I don't recall hearing most of it on the TV news or reading it in the newspapers.

Probably a good thing I didn't. What I knew was frightening enough.

About the wealthy corporations, Moore wrote, "Forbes magazine estimates that corporate tax shelters cost us average Americans over $10 billion dollars a year (and we have to make up the difference, by paying more taxes or by losing services). Next time you can't afford to fix the furnace or replace the computer, you can thank all those fat cats who've got you repeating the line 'the economy isn't doing too well right now.'"

"There is no downturn," Moore states, then goes on to explain his view. He writes in part that in 2000 (I think that's the year, since he uses language which doesn't state that it was.), GM's profits were down 73 percent..." He continues, "Even with that 73 percent drop, GM will still pocket over $800 million profit in the first half of 2001."

Moore writes about "Whitey's" unreasonable fear of blacks. "I have never been attacked by a black person, never been evicted by a black person, never had my security deposit ripped off by a black landlord, never had a black landlord....."

"...and I've never heard a black person say, 'We're going to eliminate ten thousand jobs here -- have a nice day.'"

He wrote, "Every mean word, every cruel act, every bit of pain and suffering in my life has had a caucasian face attached to it."

In one chapter, Moore lists ten ways W. "...dealt with the rest of the world:" I won't list them, because you've heard or read them elsewhere. I will say that Moore states W. committed these ten in his first four months in office.

He criticizes former President Bill Clinton, who Moore wrote encouraged much which Republicans were pushing, by such statements as, "He has accelerated drilling for gas and oil on federal lands at a pace that matches, and in some areas succeeds, the production level during the Reagan administration."

He concludes this section with, "Yes, you'd have to agree, considering all of his above accomplishments, that Bill Clinton was one of the best Republican Presidents we're ever had."

In telling us so much I didn't know, Moore uses lots of sometimes cynical humor, such as about meeting with Governor Jeb Bush and other incidents.

I think the humor kept Stupid White Men from being really frightening, since much about which he writes continues today. Without that humor, I'd be really frightened, more than by Stephen King's meaning-to-frighten novels.

Yes, it's an old book, but, also yes, if you haven't read it, dig around some place and find a copy and read it. See if you chuckle while being frightened.

As I did.

Other than the fame he gained from his movie, Fahrenheit 9/11, I knew little of him. I knew he used humor to drive a lot of politicians to displeasure. I have never seen the movie, only ads for it. But it must be great.

Wikipedia told me so much about 59-year-old Moore, I can't digest it all, let alone copy it here.

A summary states, "Moore's written and cinematic works criticize globalization, large corporations, assault weapon ownership, U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, the Iraq War, the American health care system, and capitalism."

Wikipedia continues that Moore was born and raised in Davison, MI, a suburb of Flint, by parents Veronica, a secretary, and Frank Moore, an automotive assembly-line worker.

That narrative continues, "Following the Columbine High School School massacre, Moore acquired a life membership to the National Rifle Association (NRA). Moore said that he initially intended to become the NRA's president and dismantle it, but he soon dismissed the plan as too difficult. Observers such as Dave Kopel noted that there was no chance of that happening; authors David T. Hardy and Jason Clarke wrote about how Moore failed to discover that the NRA selects a president not by membership vote but by a vote of the board of directors.

"In 2005 Time magazine named Moore one of the world's 100 most influential people."

I won't list the 13 films he wrote or directed, his TV work, his music videos, seven books, or tons of information Wikipedia reveals about him.

I will only say I'm glad I made my trip to the town recycling center when I did, or I might have missed this great book.

Another great reason for recycling. Thanks, Michael Moore.


Milt Gross can be reached for corrections, harassment, or other purposes at lesstraveledway@roadrunner.com.

Milton M. Gross Copyright 2013


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