I had the lucky opportunity to watch Sept. 21 Michael Moore exercise his First Amendment rights at UCLA.
Moore is on tour promoting his new book, “Here Comes Trouble: Stories from my life;” of course, his tour would not be complete without wretched cries of disdain for all things conservative.
Michael Moore with UCLA cap
To fill the auditorium, Associated Students UCLA, a private entity that operates much of the campus commerce, gave away about 70 tickets. To attend Michael Moore’s speech normally cost $12; books on sale cost $29.35–somewhat pricey for a constant critic of profit and capitalism.
Outside the main hall, the Revolutionary Communist Party demonstrated and sold books for $10. They denied making any profit, claiming that proceeds would go to printing more materials. This non-student political organization regularly displays on campus.
An anonymous RCP partisan said to me that she liked and supported Michael Moore, but he does not offer any solutions to overthrow the current exploitative system in which we live. She grew exasperated, moving on to proselytize others when she realized I would not buy her Marxist reading material.
One gentleman, a veteran in the film industry, drove over 100 miles to listen to Michael Moore. He asked that his name be withheld due to pending partnership with Moore’s production company.
This industry veteran said it is very complicated for filmmakers in the US to air documentaries on TV because most stations are private, unlike Canada and Great Britain.
When asked whether he thought Michael Moore would have reached such great success without the private production and distribution industries, the film aficionado did not answer.
Greeted by overwhelming cheers and standing ovations by film enthusiasts, political science students, and other academics, Moore finally came on stage to preach to the choir.
Moore expressed disgust at Georgia’s judicial system for sentencing Troy Davis to death after killing a police officer. “No civilized country on Earth has capital punishment,” he said.
As Moore rallied for activists to prevent Davis’ death, he implied murderous intentions on the part of the whole state. “There’s less than 20 hours until they inject the drug that will kill him in the name of the state.”
His call to action received a round of applause.
Moore also suggested that the American political process seems to be controlled by the South and red states. “Why exactly did we want to keep the South?” he asked the roaring audience.
Following up, Moore said that after the emancipation of the slaves, the newly freed blacks should have killed the former slave owners. “Masters’ heads could have come rolling right off the road and we’d now have an African American nation on our border.”
Democrats’ repudiation of “violent rhetoric” was nowhere to be found.
After Georgia’s judiciary, Moore next targeted Wall Street financers, the banking industry, and Republicans. In short, everyone should be arrested, including George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld.
Despite his anger, Moore did take pains to omit a swear word once when descrying those responsible for the economic crisis: “Republicans F-ed this place up.”
Moore praised Obama’s kindness for putting up with these rotten, close-minded Republicans. Moore said Obama was extending an olive tree to Republicans: apparently no one told him Obama passed a $787 billion stimulus package and healthcare bill with essentially no Republican support.
Speaking of opposition–Moore was not met with any during his speech, nor were any hard questions asked of him during the Q & A portion.
Moore’s presence was good for UCLA. Though Michael Moore is a bitter narcissist of a documentary-maker, his speech reminds me why this country is so great—freedom of speech is an unbelievable privilege, enjoyed even by those who describe other people in language that would make anybody’s grandma blush. Somewhere between dropping out of college and making biased documentaries, Moore became a sought-after expert. Only in America could a man like Michael Moore achieve such prominence by bad-mouthing his own country.
If only conservative students had the same freedom to listen to their favorite speakers say anything they wanted without repercussions.
Michael Moore spoke at UCLA on Tuesday, Sept. 21 to a crowd of about 500-600 people. The venue did not permit any photography.
Outside the auditorium where Michael Moore was speaking, the Revolutionary Communist Party displayed gruesome pictures advocating for some radical change. “You can’t change the world if you don’t know the basics,” the sign reads. After some conversation with them, how they would like to change the world remains unclear.