Michael Moore,
Dude, Where's My Country?
(Time Warner, 2003)

Even if you do not consider yourself a person interested in politics, you probably know some of the personalities that make up the ultra-right conservatives (Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh) as well as the ultra-left liberals (Michael Moore, Al Franken). These people have a way of getting their opinions heard. Whether you agree with their opinions or not, you can see that they truly hold to their convictions. And if you do not agree with them, then you are wrong. The "facts" will prove it.

Michael Moore continues on with his tirade against the Bush administration in the audiobook Dude, Where's My Country?, read by D. David Morin. This followup to his bestseller Stupid White Men is a mission to affect regime change. Moore wants nothing more than to remove a man from office who did not, in reality, win election in the first place. (This "fact" can and has been disputed). Over the course of seven hours, you can listen to the unabridged version of this book.

In short, you will hear Moore spout statistics pointing out that the majority of the citizens in the United States are pro-choice, pro-environment and anti-war. He will point out that there is more unemployment now than before W. took office, and that the recent tax cuts -- which benefited the rich more than the common folk -- are going to cause more harm than good in the long run. Michael will show a connection between the Bush family and the Saudi royal family. This will be followed by the fact that the majority of the 9/11 terrorists were Saudi citizens. He will further explain why there is not a connection between Saddam and Osama as the current administration would have you believe. And have you noticed nobody has found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq yet? In other words, Moore will bring up many issues that will make you go "hmmm?"

What is interesting is that the right and left can take "facts" (sometimes the same ones) to prove their points. Who are you to believe? Most of us will not 100 percent agree with either side. They can both be so convincing, what is the point of listening to a book like this (or one from the other camp)? The point is to get you thinking about the direction your country is going. The point is to determine for yourself which "facts" you are going to believe. And most importantly, you need to vote based on your beliefs as to what is better for the country. As Moore points out, when you are apathetic and don't take the time to vote, an individual not duly elected by the majority of the citizens is going to take office and he/she surely isn't going to enact the wishes of the masses.

While Moore states some of the sources for his "facts" on the audiotape, he provides a more complete list at his website -- www.michaelmoore.com -- and, of course, in the printed version of Dude, Where's My Country? He is practically daring or asking you to follow up on his research to see for yourself. As many "facts" are open to interpretation, your conclusions may or may not agree with his. And, to be fair to yourself, check out what the other side is saying too. Pick up a book by O'Reilly or hit the anti-Michael www.moorewatch.com website. At a minimum, you can be entertained by the two extremes attacking each other. In the end, make up your own mind. Do not blindly follow one camp or the other because of family/peer pressure or because one side bashes the other in a more convincing manner.

I found this audiotape to be amusing, annoying, interesting, intriguing, boring and sometimes scandalous depending upon which tape was in. Moore brought up many issues I had not thought of before. While I certainly do not agree with his opinion on everything, I was glad to be thinking about these items, especially with this being an election year. Regardless of your political opinions, this book has the ability to make you laugh, nod your head in agreement, as well as think Moore is a nut case.

I will close stating that I am very curious to see if Moore will succeed in getting his dream candidate to run against Bush in 2004. While I seriously doubt this has even the remotest possibility of happening, I had to agree (after I finished chuckling at the absurdity of it) that Oprah probably would beat Bush in a landslide victory.

- Rambles
written by Wil Owen
published 17 January 2004

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