michael moore’s “slacker uprising”

OK, so here’s the story… I heard that Michael Moore was going to be in Ann Arbor on Thursday, speaking at the Michigan Theater as part of the U-M Art School’s Penny W. Stamps lecture series, and showing his new film “Slacker Uprising.” So, I went and got in line. I stood there for an hour listening to crazy old townies talking about Fascism, and then got into the theater, where I sat for another hour, surrounded by silly little art students, whose attendance was mandatory. Then Moore spoke for an hour or so about the election, Sarah Palin, and the new film, which follows him on the tour he made of college towns in swing states in the run up to the ’04 election. I’d gone and seen him on the Ann Arbor leg of that tour four years ago, and I wanted to know what he made of the experience. Anyway, by the time I got out of the theater, it was way past 9:00, and I realized, after thrusting my hands into each of my pockets at least ten times, that my car keys were locked in my office.

As I didn’t know what time the last bus left for Ypsi, I sprinted across town to catch the #4, knowing that, if I missed it, I’d have to either stay up all night in a coffee shop, or, God forbid, ask a friend for help. Fortunately, there were people waiting at the bus stop, so I knew I didn’t miss it. I stood and waited for another half hour, all the while listening to what I imagine must have been some kind of sexy sorority initiation ritual. I hadn’t eaten in 10 hours by this point, and the chanting and screaming were getting to me. But, the bus finally came, and took me back to Ypsi. And, at some point during the trip, I remembered that that, earlier in the day, I’d parked my car in a space reserved from 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM for registered car pool vehicles. So, if I didn’t want my car ticketed and towed, I had to be back before 6:00 the following morning with Linette’s copy of the car key. So, I got home after 10:00 PM, and started cleaning house, in preparation for my mother’s visit on Friday. Linette and I cleaned toilets and folded laundry until 2:00 and I set my alarm for 5:00, when I’d get the whole family up to drive me back to Ann Arbor.

It was a colossal pain in the ass, but it all worked out. I walked into the parking structure at two minutes till 6:00, just as the guy with the ticket book was approaching my car. I moved the car over a few spaces, and headed to work, where I thought I’d wait until my coworkers started showing up at 7:30. It was only a few minutes until I was sound asleep, curled up in the doorway like a feral cat on a warm patch of sidewalk. I guess I was asleep for about an hour when I awoke to see two coworkers standing above me, probably thinking that I’d been out all night drinking or something, afraid to go home and face Linette…. But everything worked out… Here, now, are a few random comments on the “Slacker Uprising” world premier.

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  1. Posted September 21, 2008 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    I suggest that all MM readers read this:


  2. mark
    Posted September 21, 2008 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    A note from MIchael Moore:

    As you may have heard, I’ve decided to make my new film, “Slacker Uprising,” available for free to everyone in the United States and Canada. It is the first time ever that a major feature-length film is debuting as a free download on the internet — legally. I am doing this for two reasons:

    1. Next year it will be 20 years since my first film, “Roger & Me,” so I’d like to give those of you who’ve supported my work over the years a thank you gift in the form of a brand new movie; and

    2. I hope the release and wide distribution of this new movie will help to bring out millions of young and new voters on November 4th.

    “Slacker Uprising” takes place in the wake of “Fahrenheit 9/11,” during the run-up to the 2004 election, as I traveled for 42 days across America, visiting 62 cities in a failed attempt to remove George W. Bush from office. My goal was to help turn out a record number of young voters and others who had never voted before. (That part was a success. Young adults voted in greater numbers than in any election since 18-year-olds were given the right to vote. And the youth vote was the only age group that John Kerry won.)

    What I encountered during the tour and the filming was both inspiring and frightening, so I thought, hey, this might make for a funny and enlightening movie! Each night, thousands would show up to volunteer in the Slacker Army against Bush. This drove local Republicans nuts. In one state they tried to have me arrested. At two colleges, rich donors offered to donate more money to the college if they would ban me from campus. Nearly a half-dozen universities kept the Slacker Uprising tour off their campuses. But there was no stopping this movement. By the time we got to Florida, 16,000 people a night were showing up.

    It was clear that young people were the ones who were going to save the day — just as they are in this year’s election.

    On Tuesday, September 23rd, you will be able to stream, download, or burn a DVD of “Slacker Uprising,” free of charge. The distribution is being organized by Robert Greenwald’s Brave New Films (they’re the great people behind “OUTFOXED: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism” and “WAL-MART: The High Cost of Low Price”).

    To sign up for the download of “Slacker Uprising,” click here. You have my blanket permission to share the movie with your friends, to set up screenings in your communities or theaters, to show it on your campuses — all at no charge. I encourage you to rally voters with it, to raise funds for your favorite candidates, to air it on your local cable access channels or web broadcasts. You can also click here to request a free DVD of “Slacker Uprising” for your school or university library.

    As I said, this is a movie for you, my fans — a little 97-minute digital treat that I think you’ll really enjoy. I hope you’ll check out SlackerUprising.com and download it a week from today, next Tuesday, September 23rd.

    Thanks again for coming to my movies all these years. It’s meant a lot to me. I feel very privileged and blessed, and I am honored to be in this “virtual” community with you as we try to reclaim our beloved country.

    Michael Moore

    P.S. The world premiere of “Slacker Uprising” will take place in one of the great slacker capitals of this country, Ann Arbor, Michigan, this Thursday at 5pm at the historic Michigan Theater. Admission is free on a first-come, first-served basis. If you’re in the neighborhood, hope to see you there!

    P.P.S. If you live outside the U.S. and Canada, I’m sorry that I don’t own the rights to make this film available to you for free. But it will be coming to a theater, video store or television network near you soon.

    P.P.P.S. If you are not part of the “downloadable” generation, I am making a low-cost DVD of “Slacker Uprising” available at Amazon, Netflix and your local stores in October.

    [Sorry that none of the links work.]

    [And thanks for the link, Dude. I’ll check it out. When I can understand George Saunders, I like him.]

  3. Doug
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Thanks Mark for this post. I enjoyed it. I’m surprised it took until this close to the election for me to feel fired-up. I felt until pretty recently that McCain was going to miraculously win by 6 votes, but in the last few days I’ve actually been approaching optimism.

    Thanks to Dude for that link. I really enjoyed that.

    Thanks to Michael Moore for the movie that I will download tomorrow and watch with friends.

    And thanks to my chickens for our first dozen eggs this week.


  4. Lisa
    Posted September 23, 2008 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    Wow, Mark, you are in the running for the worst-day-of-the-year award. Thankfully my experience was a bit more benign going to this event.

    One thing you didn’t mention was Michael’s quite long riff on the Vietnam War – reminding people why exactly we got into it, how skewed the odds/results were in our favor, and how we still lost. And of course, reminding us that McCain was busy bombing electricity-generating plants in heavily-populated areas when he got shot down (not weapons facilities), and that he was saved by Vietnamese people when he crashed. While I certainly do admire people who are willing to offer their career and their life to help defend American people, I think it is really helpful to reframe the issue and remind people that while it is noble to defend your country, that isn’t what we were doing in Vietnam (and Iraq). Somehow that doesn’t seem to get discussed a lot.

    Hopefully the fact that the Democratic candidate is actually inspiring to some people (especially young people) will actually help this year…I couldn’t help think of how different things might have been if more people had been excited about the Democratic candidate in 2004.

  5. Ol' E Cross
    Posted September 23, 2008 at 12:17 am | Permalink

    I deeply enjoy Moore.

    Still, given that the famed youth revolution of the 60s grew up to give us Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush … I’m guarding my optimism. Especially since I’d never heard of Moore’s revolutionary campaign until he told us about it.

    And, it is good to see that Rosanne, REM, Joan Baez and Steve Earl still get the kids all fired up, though. Even if they think people old enough to know who they are, are, “Ewwwwwwie.”

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