Moviemaker Michael Moore (search) is entitled to his opinion.
I even respect his audacity. I mean, come on? Who else has the guts to make up such garbage about any sitting president (unless you believe that former President Bill Clinton is innocent of sexual harassment — in which case Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers (search), Monica Lewinsky and Juanita Broaddrick are all just as audacious).
I'm not going to sit here and point out the inaccuracies in Moore's film. You can get that on any number of Web sites or news stories.
Look, "Fahrenheit 911" is an overwhelming success, considering the historical market for documentaries. It's the highest grossing doc this side of Moore's last, "Bowling for Columbine." So, congratulations Mr. Moore. Like I said in the "Less Is Moore" Grrr column a few weeks ago, I was sure it would be well-made and entertaining (in spite of his childish response to the Grrr!).
What Grrrs me about Moore's success is the majority of people who believe the anti-Bush hype without having their own opinion. The people who just nod in agreement with the loudest person in the room.
I've heard so many comments about the movie from people who didn't see it, or have no intention of seeing it. "It's amazing. It's hysterical. He's brilliant," etc. Well, did you see the movie? "No, but I heard from my friend, and he/she knows everything about politics." Politics? Isn't Moore a satirist?
These are the same people who say President Bush is a horrible president, but didn't bother to vote in the last election, pawning off their rights because "somebody else will vote for my guy."
Or when confronted with the fact that Moore plays with timelines or simply makes stuff up, these folks simply cannot comprehend. They are blinded by some vast, liberal conspiracy against our country (yes, that's a joke — but I strongly believe that what goes around comes around — and I do not consider myself a conservative in the traditional sense of the term).
Ask these same far-liberal minded people to contribute 10 percent of their after-tax income to the homeless or to welfare, and all of a sudden they're no longer interested. They have their own problems to deal with.
But it's not just liberals who are guilty of being blind. The same can be said for conservatives. The same can be said for Democrats and Republicans. How many people do you know who would vote on party lines, even if Ronald McDonald was awarded their party's nomination?
Preaching to the choir is not art. It's called capitalism. The very thing that seems to make Michael Moore and the rest of his ilk go Grrr!
Postscript: Much was made in the media about how "Fahrenheit 451" author Ray Bradbury was upset with Moore's "borrowing" of his famous book title for his latest movie. Conveniently, a new collection of stories (both old and new) from Bradbury was released the same week Moore's film made big news and boffo box office.
I don't know about you, but I came down with the last snowflake.
It's an Onion's World, I'm Just Living in It ... Grrr!
What part of "no onions" don't you understand?
Why do restaurants automatically assume that everybody likes onions? I took a big bite out of a pepperoni calzone the other day, and while I was expecting some ricotta, mozzarella cheese, sauce and pepperoni, I got a mouthful of red onions. Now, I am a former pizza guy, in fact, it's pretty much how I spent my summers on the Jersey shore during college, and I've never put onions in a calzone. Who puts onions in a calzone?
But it's not just calzones. Nooooo. People put onions in salad, on hamburgers, in pasta dishes, on chicken, on steak, in Chinese food, you name it. Onions are everywhere!
What's worse is when a restaurant takes the time to list every ingredient of each entree on a menu, and you choose an entree based on those ingredients — or lack thereof in the case of onions — and you still have to pick the onions out of the dish. Which doesn't help anyway because once the onion is present, it contaminates the entire dish with onion yuckiness!
This all stems back to my childhood when I mistook an onion for a peeled apple.
July 4th Fireworks ... Grrr!
You ever notice the people who set off illegal fireworks are people you try to avoid making eye contact with while you're mowing your lawn? It's always the idiot in the crowd with the fireworks. I'm not talking about the professional pyrotechnicians involved with the big show. I'm talking about you. Yeah, you, the guy who is about to send off an e-mail to me about how you're safe with fireworks and that you have every right to set them off because you're "patriotic."
You, who exercised his right until 3 a.m. because you think nobody should be asleep on July 4. You, who impressed the pre-teens with your masculine demonstration of pyro-expertise by standing the beer bottle — which you just emptied into your oversized gut — on the street, and inserted a bottle rocket into it. You're the same person who rides an ATV without a helmet late into the night, and uses a loud leaf blower where a broom is sufficient. You're the same guy who flies Old Glory from his car antennae and seriously believes he won't be pulled over for speeding because you're a proud American.
You are an idiot. And please, before you fire off your e-mail, go outside and pick up your fireworks debris from the middle of your block. And save me the delete time, and don't bother hitting send.
Now for Your Grrrs
Gene T. in Dallas, Texas: My GRRR is the Democrats' all-out assault on Ralph Nader. Hey, if the guy didn't get the signatures needed, then fine. But, you and I and every rational thinking American knows that the Dems are just out to get rid of him. Where do they get off? This is not their election. It is "the people's" election. If we want to vote for Ralph, then we should be able to.
Todd P. in Doverton, Ohio: Hey Mike, I've got a couple of new definitions for you that I came up with. First are the "Poli-Ignorants," or "Polignorants." These are people that have very strong political opinions on issues that they know very little about.
This does not keep them from opining at length, however. The next group are the Politicrits. Politicrits practice the fine art of political hypocrisy, such as flying a 737 from L.A. to D.C., renting an SUV, and driving to an environmentalist rally. Another example would be an ImporTant Hollywood actor, who probably lives in a huge mansion that takes as much energy to air-condition as 10 normal homes, showing up to speak against the construction of a new power plant. It's a strange, strange, world.
J.A. Every-Clayton, Lt. Col., AUS, retired: FOX News did it again the other day in the caption of a photo showing a soldier watching Saddam's court appearance. Why identify him as a "U.S. Army soldier?" Is this to maybe distinguish him from a "U.S. Army sailor" or a "U.S. Army airman?" Or maybe the media is trying to distinguish him from "U.S. Navy soldiers."
Strangely, the branch of service is only used with soldiers. We never see "U.S. Navy sailors" or "U.S. Air Force airmen" used to describe members of the other services. We have U.S. sailors, U.S. airmen, U.S. marines, and U.S. soldiers. Stating a branch of service is redundant. It may be petty, but very annoying.
Giles in Japan: I'm a British resident of Japan, where consideration for others is on a higher level than most other countries — but we still get our Oblivions and ImporTants. I think they exist everywhere.
Rooney in Cyber-Space: My Grrr goes out to the Oblivions who feel that my ambulance is so unimportant and invisible with the lights and siren on that they will not pull over to the RIGHT. This is the law people, yield to emergency vehicles by slowing and pulling as far to the RIGHT as safely possible. This includes multi-lane roads. I just might be going to your house where your husband is having a heart attack or to a wreck with your kids in it, so pull the heck over and let me by. These Oblivions are the same ones who ask me when I walk into their houses, "What took you so long?" Thanks for letting me vent.
Rod in Charlotte, N.C.: My Grrr is for the perfume addicts of the world. My wife and I were celebrating our third anniversary with a leisurely meal at an Italian restaurant, when a middle-aged couple sat down at the table behind us. Our table was immediately awash in the stench of that lady's perfume; she must have taken a bath with it! My wife has allergies and she
and I had to switch sides so she could sit farther from the lady and be able to breath. Our dinner became more hurried; we just had to get out of there.
Larry B. in Jefferson, L.A.: I’m new to your column, but I have enjoyed it so far. Is there a glossary somewhere with “official” definitions of your lexicon and terminology?
— I'll put one up in next week's column, including Todd P's additions above.
Theresa C. Grrrs: I mailed my credit card payment on time. I can't help it if former President Reagan died and the mail stopped. So, Grrr to Capital One for charging me a late fee, which put me over my limit so they could then charge me an over the limit fee. I know what's in my wallet and it's a big GRRR!!!
Dave in Cyber Space: Just remember that air travel these days is a lot like divorce court.
Simply try to get through the experience with as little emotional and financial damage as possible.
Jeff Gir writes: Your “Grrr” blog is a blatant rip-off of my nickname, which I’ve had for 37-plus years. There’s only one Grrr! All the best!
—Jeff, I mailed the royalty the same day Theresa mailed her Capitol One payment. Must be still en route. :)
Wallace in Wisconsin says the Grrr is catching on: This week, while I was dropping my son off at his basketball camp, a father of one of my son's friends walked to the front of the line while talking on his cell phone. A man, already standing in line, started to say something to him when I said, "He doesn't mean any harm, he's just an oblivion." The man retorted, "better let Straka know about this."
And last but not least, Matthew Peterson writes to me: Grrr…you are a jackass.
The Cutting Room Floor
Check out the video section above for my "FOX Magazine" piece from July 4 on a Drive In Movie in New York City. The show is over now, but Natalie Portman, Zack Braff and Rosie Perez showed up for the premieres of FOX Searchlight's "Napoleon Dynamite" and "Garden State." By the way, little Natalie is all grown up!
Stupid Li'l Dreamers
Being the Stupid Li'l Dreamer as I am, allow me to pose a question? Do you think the Grrr would make a good radio segment? Let me know.
Until Next Week ... Grrr!
Mike Straka is the Director of Operations and Special Projects for FOXNews.com, and contributes as a features reporter and producer on "FOX Magazine," "Sunday Best" and FOXNews.com. As an actor, Straka appeared in the film "Analyze This," co-starred in the Off-Broadway hit "Tony n' Tina's Wedding," and has appeared in various TV commercials and programs.