Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Stupid White Men

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After seeing Bowling For Columbine in cinema and reading a bit about Michael Moore, Cover of 'Stupid White Men' book I also got myself a copy of Stupid White Men - and other sorry excuses for the state of the nation.

He mainly describes features of today's USA, including the Bush coup, racism, glass ceilings, lack of education for the children, criminalisation of large parts of the population or the stock exchange madness. Although he draws most of his examples from the USA, many of them can be found in other countries as well.

What I find very astonishing is how Michael Moore can dig up that much shit about the world we live in while keeping is overall positive attitude and not becoming a complete cynic. Managing that seems quite an achievement to me.

I found rather depressing the foreword describing how his publishers (Harper-Collins, a subsidiary of News Corp.) tried to suppress the sale of the book - which was already printed and ready for distribution at that stage - after the World Trade Centre attacks. A nice try at corporate censorship which seems the way to go in the future as unlike state censorship it isn't unlawful but only 'business reasons'.

In short, a book worth reading - why not start with the free chapter offered on Michael Moore's website to get a better idea?

For most of us, the only time we enter an American high school is to vote at our local precinct. (There's an irony if there ever was one - going to participate in democracy's sacred ritual while two thousand students in the same building live under some sort of totalitarian dictatorship.) The halls are packed with burned-out teenagers shuffling from class to class, dazed and confused, wondering what they're doing there. They learn how to regurgitate answers the state wants them to give, and any attempt to be an individual is now grounds for being suspected to be a member of the trench coat mafia. I visited a school recently, and some students asked me if I noticed that they and the other students in the school were all wearing white or some neutral color. Nobody dares wear black, or anything else wild and distinct. That's a sure ticket to the principal's office - where the school psychologist will be waiting to ascertain whether that Limp Bizkit shirt you have on means that you intend to shoot up Miss Nelson's fourth hour geometry class.

So the kids learn to submerge any personal expression. They learn that it's better to go along so that you get along. They learn that to rock the boat could get them rocked right out of the school. Don't question authority. Do as you're told. Don't think, just do as I say.

How spot-on. I also noticed the colour scheme thing in One Hour Photo. Oh, and I was happy to see that Michael Moore's Roger and Me is on in Lumière later this month.

[Buy at amazon .com, .uk, .de]

Bookmark: 15-09-2002, flight KL1902 Hannover to Amsterdam, seat 5A.

February 3, 2003, 21:34

Tagged as book, michael moore, stupid white men.

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