Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Here Comes Trouble

I've been a huge Michael Moore fan since Amber and I watched his
take on health care in the United States. It was, in my opinion,
brilliant. Since then I've read or watched all the offerings in his
David vs Goliath engagements with corporations and other entities that
make human beings an endangered species. I've never failed to be
impressed. I feel that the man tells it like it is, no matter whom or
what (I'm not a believer in corporate personhood) he might offend.
Imagine my delight when I saw a toddler Michael Moore gazing at
me fro
the cover of his Here Comes Trouble: stories from my life on a new
acquisitions shelf at the Orono Public Library. A chance to learn
some about how this hero got his start in life? I snapped that up
like my Joey cat goes for tuna. (No disrespect intended, Michael.)
Moore does not pretend that he's going to deliver his
autobiography in perfect chronological order. Rather he offers up
twenty-four stories from his early years. They are stories in tone as
well as format. Reading them is like going out for a beer with an
acquaintance you'd like to know better. Check out this paragraph from
the first chapter:
"The phone calls to my house were actually creepier. It's a
whole different fright machine when a human voice is attached to the
madness and you think, this person literally risked arrest to say this
over a phone line! You had to admire the balls--or insanity--of
that." (I couldn't place italics where they belonged because my only
computer is my iPod touch).
As a school board member, my favorite of the stories was "twenty
names." In his senior year Moore was paddled by his high school
assistant principal. He decided that man would not be able to
assault other students. Taking a much more mature and demanding route
than most teens, he ran for a seat on his local school board. He
became the youngest person elected to public office in Michigan. As
for the vice principal's fate, you'll have to read the book to see
what goes down.
"Boys State" is another great one. When Moore was sent to that
week long exercise in teen democracy (which he first thought was a
summer reform school) he decided to hang out in his dorm, skip the
formalities, and pursue his own activities. On a snack run he
discovered a flyer about an Elks Club sponsored speech writing
contest. The theme was the life of Abraham Lincoln. In his speech
Moore denounced that fraternal organization for their endorsement of
segregation. Obviously he lived to tell about it. But beyond that--
to discover the very surprising ending--you need to read the book.
Did you know Moore tried to become a Catholic priest and
participated in an exorcism? Did you know that when, as a child, he
was lost in the Senate Bobby Kennedy helped reunite him with his
family? If you're a fan of his or appreciate the fact being stranger
than fiction genre, Here Comes Troubie is a must read.
On a personal note, this book makes me feel hopeful. If Moore can
start where he did and become a force for good in the world, imagine
how far an outspoken mom and school board member can go!
A great big shout out goes out to the cats, dogs, and other critters
who add so much to our lives with an admonition to remember their
special hot weather needs. I've been seeing too many dogs on
overheated cars recently.
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod

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