This weekend, I attended Michael Moore’s book-signing in San Francisco to promote his new book Here Comes Trouble
, a personal memoir that will give long-time fans a new and different perspective on the filmmaker. In the book, which is a collection of short stories, Moore writes about how he was elected to the School Board at 18 years old (and his tenure as a troublemaker on that body), how a high school speech against the Elks Club gave him national attention and how crucial help from veteran filmmakers made “Roger & Me” possible. “It was really cathartic writing it,” explained Moore – as he announced that his website will hold a contest for the best short-story memoirs.
The last time I met Michael Moore was 1997 in Berkeley – when he came to promote his first book Downsize This!
. Back then, it was an intimate setting at a local church – and Moore casually walked off the street. Now, Moore has security detail from former Navy SEAL’s – who keep him safely away from anyone. But after you read the first chapter in Here Comes Trouble
, which details how Moore has been the target of right-wing death threats since his Oscars speech in 2003, you will appreciate why he now does this.
In fact, the book starts with a quote from Glenn Beck – who announced in 2005 on his radio show: “I’m thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I’m wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it … No, I think I could
.” After reading the first chapter in Here Comes Trouble
, it is infuriating how the Right gets away with their demonization of Moore – how a CNN reporter could ask him live in 2004 after “Fahrenheit 911” what he had to say about people who want him dead.
Due to the throngs of people lining up to get their book signed on Saturday, as well as safety precautions, the bookstore handed out a list of “rules” for the book-signing. We were instructed not to engage in conversation with Michael Moore – just get our book signed, and move on - and there would be no personalizations. But Moore was clearly uncomfortable with that format (although I'm sure it's the same at every one of his stops), and I did get to chat briefly when I came up to his table. “You haven’t changed a bit since 1997,” I told him.