BEST READING OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS - 2002
More like an anti-reading, wherein our lovable, pudgy agent provocateur, Michael Moore, reads exactly zero words from his new bestseller, Stupid White Men. Instead, for two hours he improvisationally entertains and enlightens the overflowing crowd of Smart White Lefties. Highlights: 1) M.M. leads audience in camp-style sing-alongs while techies scamper around solving audio problems. 2) M.M. playfully harasses humorless video-camera man who comes too close, setting in motion a comic meta-narrative that M.M. returns to throughout the evening (where's that guy with the camera now?). 3) M.M. recounts his book's arduous journey (owing to post-9/11 "climate" concerns) before HarperCollins agreed to release original print run (i.e., legions of chat-room-organized librarians assault H.C. with accusations of censorship). 4) M.M. delivers five good questions on his mind these days (e.g., Why was a Saudi jet allowed into American airspace during the flight ban after 9/11 to sweep up members of the bin Laden family living in this country?). 5) M.M. leads a collective cell-phone call to the White House (Hello? Is George home?). 6) M.M. screens clips from his forthcoming film, Bowling for Columbine (must be seen to be believed). Then M.M. does the whole show again for the 600 folks who couldn't find standing space among the first show's 1,200-strong crowd. The Ruminator's best-attended reading ever--eclipsing even the turnout for Kurt Vonnegut--and there's M.M. still signing books well after midnight.