I have written before about the affinity I feel for filmmaker and muckraker Michael Moore. We were contemporaries, teens in the late 60s and early 70s, growing up in small towns near Flint, where our fathers, World War II veterans, worked in the auto factories. We attended Catholic schools, were altar boys, and later young rebels, stirring up trouble in our high schools and getting involved in the anti-war movement.
But when I saw his autobiography, Here Comes Trouble, at the library I picked it up.
It was a mostly enjoyable read, though I don’t think he should quit his day job; his prose leaves a lot to be desired, though he certainly evokes the time and place of our childhood and adolescence quite well.
And while his thirst for justice and outrage over oppression are obvious, so is his massive ego, a fact that he seems blissfully unaware of as he writes.
And of course, like many on the Left he has a huge blind spot regarding abortion, as inexcusable in a Catholic as the blind spots on the Catholic Right for just about every other evil except abortion (my new nickname for this crowd is “FU Catholics”, after Franciscan University).
And then there is the strangeness of in one breath calling himself a pacifist and in the next bragging about the damage his bodyguards -former Navy Seals- have done and will do to anyone who threatens him. That may be understandable, as his life has been many times threatened, his property vandalized, and he has a family to consider. But calling yourself a pacifist while hiring armed men to protect you? And the pacifist label also wears thin a paragraph later, when he brags that he is now buff enough that you will break your hand if you hit him, and if that doesn’t work he will sit on you (at least I think that is what he is implying).
But aside from the occasionally annoying tone of the book, it was a good read, though I’m not sure how much it would interest someone who did not grow up in the world of postwar Michigan that he describes so well.
I guess you had to have been there.