- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 30, 2004

Big little guy

“Here comes Michael Moore, filmmaker, author, political activist, global phenomenon. …

“Moore, the king-sized millionaire, walking testament to American consumption, is a master of making himself appear [to be] the little guy. …

“Moore is arguably the most ideological and emotive editor since Sergei Eisenstein, the Soviet propagandist who developed a kind of didactic montage. Juxtaposing heroes and villains, he cuts between political comedy and tragic reality with intoxicating glee. …

“Although he has lived in the rarefied neighbourhood of Manhattan’s Upper West Side for the past 14 years, Moore very rarely lets an interview go by without referring to himself as ‘working class.’ In fact, he grew up in a middle-class suburb of Flint, in a two-car family. His father was an auto-plant worker who played golf, retired in his 50s and was well-off enough to send his three children to college. …

“His former manager, Douglas Urbanski, has said that Moore ‘was the most difficult man I’ve ever met. … He’s money-obsessed …”

Andrew Anthony, writing on “Michael and me,” Sunday in the Guardian

Pomp’ and zzzz

“Sometimes when I can’t sleep, instead of counting sheep I count graduation speakers. As soon as I imagine the opening strains of Sir Edward Elgar’s stately ‘Pomp and Circumstance,’ a great somnolence settles over me. Dum, dum da dum, dum dum. In my mind I am sitting on a folding chair under a sleepy sun. Instead of white sheep jumping over a fence, I see black academic robes swaying slowly in monotonous procession down an endless aisle. A speaker is introduced, and he steps to the lectern holding a thick sheaf of paper. He thanks a dozen people. Then he tells a joke and begins his speech. Time passes. The valedictorian hasn’t even started yet. More time passes. The speaker is on his third point. An idle bee bumps against the edge of the stage. The speaker drones on and on.

“I am asleep.

“This is graduation season. Over the next few weeks, the country will be swept by the tassel-flipping, hood-wearing, degree-receiving, speech-giving, alumnae-honoring orgy of congratulation, which is billed as a rite of passage, but sometimes seems more like a weird naptime ritual.”

Susan Cheever, writing on “Wake me when it’s over, grads,” Wednesday in Newsday

‘Bizarre worldview’

“Al Gore is proving to be the most irrelevant, comically absurd former vice president since Spiro Agnew. This blustering ‘Saturday Night Live’ caricature is no longer a serious political figure. …

“In Al Gore’s increasingly bizarre worldview, [National Security Adviser] Condoleezza Rice is a bigger threat to the world than [Osama] bin Laden or the butchers who kill our soldiers in Iraq. As our troops are in harm’s way overseas, Gore’s contribution to war-on-terror strategy is the idea that we should upend our entire national-security apparatus and go through a half-dozen or so contentious confirmation hearings this summer. …

“Sean Hannity appropriately called for a moment of prayer in the opening of his radio show yesterday to thank God Al Gore isn’t running the country. We can only hope the Democratic Convention will prominently feature the coalition of the unhinged.”

Barbara Comstock, writing on “Gore’s Gone Wild,” Thursday in National Review Online

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