In the closing paragraph of his epilogue to the book Stupid White Men, Michael Moore writes "I want us all to face our fears and stop behaving like our goal in life is to merely survive." Telling us we've got to stop being jerks and pull our fingers out is a common theme in a lot of his work, and it's in his stage show too. Back in November, I went with my fat friend (for he is fat, and my friend) to see Michael Moore Live, a one-man show which more or less consisted of him ranting for two hours. The problem is, while what he says is often true, at times funny, uncomfortable and poignant, he doesn't offer a lot of solutions. But then again, maybe that's the point, and we should stop relying on others to do the hard work for us. Either way, I enjoyed the show, which also included an impromptu game show called Stump The Yank, which took a Brit and an American from the audience and tested their general knowledge, particularly on the subject of geography. Taking part on the night I was in the audience was a British guy called Tim and some American who came across as being incredibly obnoxious.
Moore seemed to sense this too - at one point taking three points off her for "being arrogant" - and it was satisfying to see her struggle to name three counties that border Iraq. Off the top of my head, there's Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria. Smarty! Other highlights of his show included Moore getting audience members to throw away their loyalty cards (reward cards for shopping at a particular store) and letting him cut them in two on stage. Before that, he'd gone through a list of items he'd managed to get through security which are meant to be banned - including hand grenades and dynamite. Funny set pieces in a funny show. I first thought it was going to be pretty lame when he kicked off the show with a (albeit very funny) clip from his television series The Awful Truth, and prepared for a night of clips n' chat. Instead, he kept going for two hours (with an interval) on subjects from war in Iraq, Bush, Blair, Israel, school shootings and September 11th. A joke song he made about Osama Bin Laden flying into buildings failed to get many laughs, but he gives across such a strong "I'm amiable, but fuck you, I'm right" vibe, so I doubt he cared in the least.
Anyway, it was a good show. I've always liked Moore's work - and was pleased to hear stories that complemented his previous work such as Roger & Me and TV Nation. I especially enjoyed the fact Moore revelled in his own laziness - at one point conducting the show from the comfort of an armchair, armed with only a bag of potato chips. Although there's always that sneaking suspicion he puts in rather more effort into his work than he'd have you believe. Still, it's a moot point, because the end result of his labours (no matter how slovenly) always tend to win. Now for the stupidity! I'm typing the rest of this for no reason other than to have a super-fast change in tone in the article, and to show how what a bad idea it is to drink any kind of alcohol at any time, ever. Especially in my company. Joe learned this lesson. NOW YOU CAN TOO! Ask me how! Well, here's how, don't ask...I went with my fat friend to a bar, and we drank a bottle-and-a-half of wine each. Then we set out into London again. Big mistake. Our first stop was a gay bar - not because my friend swings that way (he doesn't), but because it was the nearest one. Honest! Then we decided to find a nightclub. Fun, eh?!?!
With the wine taking total effect, we decided to go to the University of London's main student nightclub. Only problem being the club was quite a distance from where we were. One option would have been to take a bus. But because we're both dense fuckwits, we didn't do that. Instead, we accosted someone driving a modern rickshaw - essentially a bicycle with a sheltered trailer - and get a lift that way. Fine. But once we set off in the wacky contraption, things got worse. For no real reason, both of us started shouting profanities at the many people we were zooming (yes, quite literally zooming) past. My obnoxious friend felt the need to shout "HOOKERS!" at a group of women, just as the bike came to a stop. Thankfully, our Swedish friend (or nemesis) was soon pedalling again through the streets of London, weaving in-between lanes of traffic and generally trying to get us killed. When he really picked up speed - mostly because of his illegal riding skills - we had the perfect opportunity to shout various obscenities at passers-by. Most popular that evening were the comedy gems "cunt" and "anus face". As you can see, the levels of both humour and maturity were in excess that night.
Divine retribution reared its ugly head when we arrived at the club. Turned out they'd already let in their limit of 300 people, so along with several other disgruntled, drunken people, we stood around not knowing what to do next. Pleasantries were exchanged with the amiable bouncer before we went on our merry way home. Well, back to the hotel. This time we got a bus. On the way, I needed to pee, so I broke into a small fenced-off building site and went in the portable toilet. You see the respect I treat London with? I don't piss on the streets! Oh no! Emptied of urine, I joined my fat friend on the night bus back to the hotel, having a bizarre conversation with two South African people who were very racist, very sexist, very drunk and very tempting to smack in the mouth. I know I must come over like a right royal cunt in articles like this, but at least I'm not a right wing, sexist, bigoted clownboat like these two were. Mercifully the bus soon arrived at our stop, me and my fat friend stepped off, went back to the hotel and slept in our separate beds. I snored. Badly. My friend hit my face with a pillow. I fell asleep again. I snored more. Even worse. Then about ten hours later I woke up, got on the train with my fat friend (just so you know, he has a real name) and went home. Good show, dull night. HOOKERS!
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