Michael Moore Talks About Corporate Greed, New Book at Lecture
October 3, 2011 – Award-winning documentary filmmaker Michael Moore talked about the three days he spent at the Occupy Wall Street protests against corporate greed in New York City during a student-sponsored lecture Sept. 30 at Georgetown.
Moore, who directed documentaries such “Bowling for Columbine” and “Sicko,” told the university audience that the demonstration movement, which began Sept. 17 in lower Manhattan, has drawn growing support from city bus and subway workers and the president of the AFL-CIO.
“…We as Americans have allowed a very small group of people to be incredibly skilled practitioners of one of the seven deadly sins and that sin of course is greed,” he said.
Sink or Swim
Moore also lamented that the United States suffers from a “me” instead of a “we” culture that benefits all citizens, and noted that 46 million Americans live in poverty and 50 million live without health care insurance.
In contrast, he said Canada and most other Western democracies, “have a basic belief that they all … sink or swim together” regardless of political opinion.
“We’re not going to survive this way, my friends,” said Moore, whose first film, Roger & Me, documented what happened to his native Flint, Mich., after General Motors closed its factories. “We’re all connected whether we like it or not. We are all in the same boat, we all have a responsibility to each other.”
Here Comes Trouble
Moore read from his new book Here Comes Trouble: Stories From My Life, which comprises a series of short stories about his childhood and the years before he started making films.
He told students that he became the first 18-year-old to be elected to public office as a member of his hometown’s school board. He decided to run after being paddled by his high school assistant principal in front of classmates in the cafeteria for not having his shirttail tucked in.
Moore said he got the requisite 20 signatures to have his name put on the ballot and eventually won a spot on the board and got the assistant principal fired.
“Change can occur and you can make some of that change occur,” he said. “If you’ve been told that it’s somebody else’s job, you’ve been told a lie ... you’ve got to think about getting involved and being a participant. This is not a spectator sport.”