Life is not so bad if you have plenty of luck, a good physique and not too much imaginationChristopher Isherwood
- Well I failed to bring Roger to Flint. As we neared the end of the twentieth century, the rich were richer, the poor, poorer. And people everywhere now had a lot less lint, thanks to the lint rollers made in my hometown. It was truly the dawn of a new era.
- Roger & Me (1989)
- White people scare the crap out of me... I have never been attacked by a black person, never been evicted by a black person, never had my security deposit ripped off by a black landlord, never had a black landlord... never been pulled over by a black cop, never been sold a lemon by a black car salesman, never seen a black car salesman, never had a black person deny me a bank loan, never had a black person bury my movie, and I've never heard a black person say, "We're going to eliminate ten thousand jobs here — have a nice day!"
- Many families have been devastated tonight. This is just not right. They did not deserve to die. ... If someone did this to get back at Bush, then they did so by killing thousands of people who DID NOT VOTE for him. Boston, New York, D.C., and the planes' destination of California — these were the places that voted AGAINST Bush.
- Statement of 12 September 2001 attributed to Moore, as published in "Michael Moore, Humbug" by Kay S. Hymowitz in City Journal (Summer 2003)
- I can't even think about this movie. I don't WANT to think about it because if I think about it I will have to face an ugly truth that has been gnawing through my head...
This started out as a documentary on gun violence in America, but the largest mass murder in our history was just committed — without the use of a single gun! Not a single bullet fired! No bomb was set off, no missile was fired, no weapon (i.e., a device that was solely and specifically manufactured to kill humans) was used. A boxcutter! — I can't stop thinking about this. A thousand gun control laws would not have prevented this massacre. What am I doing?
- In response to the 9/11 attacks on New York City, in "Tears Down the West Side Highway" (22 September 2001)
- Librarians see themselves as the guardians of the First Amendment. ... You got a thousand Mother Joneses at the barricades! I love the librarians, and I am grateful for them!
- On the role of outraged librarians protesting when publisher HarperCollins insisted he rewrite Stupid White Men to be less critical of President Bush. "Muzzling Moore" Salon (7 January 2002)
- I'm a millionaire, I'm a multi-millionaire, I'm filthy rich. You know why I'm a multi-millionaire? 'Cause multi-millions like what I do. That's pretty good, isn't it? There's millions that believe in what I do. Pretty cool, huh?
- As quoted in the Arcata Eye (3 March 2002); and in "Moore Lies, Moore Fun at Stanford" by Joe Fairbanks in the Stanford Review (17 April 2002)
- You know he's there illegally. You know he was not elected either by the popular vote or by the vote in Florida.
- On President George W. Bush in "BuzzFlash Interviews Michael Moore" (13 March 2002)
- We know all those facts about Florida and what Katherine Harris did, and the private firm that took African-Americans off the voting rolls and prohibited them from voting. But I've been surprised in this first week how many average Americans were not aware of all of the trickery and deceit that took place in the year before the election to fix it for George W. Bush.
- "BuzzFlash Interviews Michael Moore" (13 March 2002)
- It was the morning of April 20, 1999, and it was pretty much like any other morning in America. The Farmer did his chores. The milkman made his deliveries. The President bombed another country whose name we couldn't pronounce. Out in Fargo, North Dakota, Cary McWilliams went on his morning walk. Back in Michigan, Mrs Hughes welcomed her students for another day of school. And out in a little town in Colorado, two boys went bowling at 6 in the morning. Yes, it was a typical day in the United States of America.
- Bowling for Columbine (2002) [released 11 October 2002]
- These bastards who run our country are a bunch of conniving, thieving, smug pricks who need to be brought down and removed and replaced with a whole new system that we control.
- Hey, here's a way to stop suicide bombings – give the Palestinians a bunch of missile-firing Apache helicopters and let them and the Israelis go at each other head to head. Four billion dollars a year to Israel – four billion dollars a year to the Palestinians – they can just blow each other up and leave the rest of us the hell alone.
- Dude, Where's My Country? (2003)
- Whoa. On behalf of our producers Kathleen Glynn and Michael Donovan from Canada, I'd like to thank the Academy for this. I have invited my fellow documentary nominees on the stage with us, and we would like to — they're here in solidarity with me because we like nonfiction. We like nonfiction and we live in fictitious times. We live in the time where we have fictitious election results that elects a fictitious president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons. Whether it's the fictition of duct tape or fictition of orange alerts we are against this war, Mr. Bush. Shame on you, Mr. Bush, shame on you. And any time you got the Pope and the Dixie Chicks against you, your time is up. Thank you very much.
- The majority of Americans — the ones who never elected you — are not fooled by your weapons of mass distraction.
- About President George W. Bush, in "A Letter to George W. Bush on the Eve of War" (17 March 2003)
- I think the United States, I think our government knows where he is and I don't think we're going to be capturing him or killing him any time soon.
- Should such an ignorant people lead the world? How did it come to this in the first place? 82 percent of us don't even have a passport! Just a handful can speak a language other than English (and we don't even speak that very well.)
- There's a gullible side to the American people. They can be easily misled. Religion is the best device used to mislead them.
- Maybe it's a sick fantasy of mine, but I am really looking forward to a debate between a general and a deserter. Plus, I really want to hear President Bush have to say, "Yes, General, No, General."
- I'm going to do damage with it. I'll make sure that my work gets out. That no publisher will ever be able to tell me to take things out. Because I'll put it out myself. The more money I earn, the less they can stop me. Where I come from it's called fuck you money because I don't have to take an ounce of shit from anybody.
- Upon being asked by Brian Reade if money and success have gone to his head, quoted in "The Awkward Conscience of a Nation" in The Daily Mirror (3 November 2003) - Full text available at Highbeam Research (paysite)
- They are possibly the dumbest people on the planet... in thrall to conniving, thieving, smug pricks. We Americans suffer from an enforced ignorance. We don't know about anything that's happening outside our country. Our stupidity is embarrassing. National Geographic produced a survey which showed that 60 percent of 18-25 year olds don't know where Great Britain is on a map. And 92 percent of us don't own a passport.
- On the American public, as quoted in "The Awkward Conscience of a Nation" in The Daily Mirror (3 November 2003); also partly quoted in "The company they keep" by Michael Barone, in U.S.News & World Report (12 July 2004)
- A lot of political people, especially people on the left, have forgotten the importance of humor as an incredible weapon, and a vehicle through which to affect change.
- The Corporation (2004)
- I would like to apologize for referring to George W. Bush as a "deserter." What I meant to say is that George W. Bush is a deserter, an election thief, a drunk driver, a WMD liar, and a functional illiterate. And he poops his pants.
- Halliburton is not a "company" doing business in Iraq. It is a WAR PROFITEER, bilking millions from the pockets of average Americans. In past wars they would have been arrested — or worse.
The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not "insurgents" or "terrorists" or "The Enemy." They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow — and they will win. Get it, Mr. Bush?
- There is a lot of talk amongst Bush's opponents that we should turn this war over to the United Nations. Why should the other countries of this world, countries who tried to talk us out of this folly, now have to clean up our mess? I oppose the U.N. or anyone else risking the lives of their citizens to extract us from our debacle. I'm sorry, but the majority of Americans supported this war once it began and, sadly, that majority must now sacrifice their children until enough blood has been let that maybe — just maybe — God and the Iraqi people will forgive us in the end.
- "Heads Up... from Michael Moore" (14 April 2004)
- Stop this war! Shame on you Hobbits! Shame on you! This is a fictitious war! This Lord was not elected by the popular — [a computer-generated Oliphaunt steps on Moore, crushing him].
- In a humorous sendup of Moore's previous acceptance speech for Best Documentary Feature at the 2003 Oscars. Moore himself delivered the lines in the opening act of the 2004 Oscars, while standing in front of a greenscreen which had the Battle of the Pelennor Fields scene from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King playing on it; a battle which was, itself, literally fictitious. (23 March 2004)
- He is probably choking on a pretzel or something. I hope nobody tells him that I have won this award while he is eating a pretzel. ... He has the funniest lines in the film. I am eternally grateful to him.
- Statement about US President George W. Bush, at press conference after winning the top prize at the Cannes film festival for Fahrenheit 9/11; quoted in Reuters reports (22 May 2004) and in "Moore scoops Palme d'Or with attack on US president" by Patrick Barkham in The Guardian (24 May 2004)
- I forgot out there on the stage to thank my cast. So if I could do that now, I want to thank Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld. I thought the love scene between Cheney and Rumsfeld brought a tear to my eye.
- Statement after winning the top prize at the Cannes film festival for Fahrenheit 9/11, quoted Reuters reports (22 May 2004), partly quoted in "Moore scoops Palme d'Or with attack on US president" by Patrick Barkham in The Guardian (24 May 2004)
- I don't agree with the copyright laws, and I don't have a problem with people downloading the movie and sharing it with people… as long as they're not doing it to make a profit off it as long as they're not, you know trying to make a profit off my labor — I would oppose that but you know I do quite well, and I don't know... I make these books and movies and TV shows because I want things to change, and so the more people who get to see them, the better. And so I'm…I'm happy I'm happy if that happens Should I not be happy?.I don't know, It's like if a friend of yours had the DVD of my movie — gave it to you to watch one night is that person doing something wrong? I'm not seeing any money from that, but he's just handing the DVD to you so that you can watch my movie, that he bought, and you're not buying it — and yet you're watching it without paying me any money you see, I think that's OK, I mean, that's always been okay right? — You share things with people and I think information, and art, and ideas should be shared.
- After being asked what he thought about his films being pirated on the internet, in a press conference (July 2004) (YouTube video), quoted in "Moore: Pirate my film, no problem" by Iain S. Bruce in Sunday Herald (4 July 2004) [Glascow, Scotland]
- Our young people who go off to war and who join the service, we need to honor them because they're willing to risk their lives to protect us, to defend us, so we can have this way of life. And the agreement that they make with us is that we never send them into harm's way unless it is absolutely necessary. I think most Americans — I just saw the latest poll today — 54% now believe that invading Iraq wasn't the wisest thing to do — it wasn't certainly in self-defense. You weren't threatened; I wasn't being threatened, and that's the only time, because ultimately if it was your child…would you give up your child to secure Fallujah?
- On the television program Late Night with Conan O'Brien (25 June 2004)
- The motivation for war is simple. The U.S. government started the war with Iraq in order to make it easy for U.S. corporations to do business in other countries. They intend to use cheap labor in those countries, which will make Americans rich.
- I would not use either of those words to describe myself. I would say I'm an Eagle Scout and I'm overweight.
- When asked what he thought about he thought about people who called him un-American and a traitor, as quoted in "Filmmaker rehashes politics in Dome speech" in The Daily Orange (23 September 2004)
- Nothing would make me happier than to have you share it with everyone you know. All surveys have shown that, the more people who see it — especially those still sitting on the fence — the more likely we will have regime change.
- On the DVD release of Fahrenheit 9/11 "Fahrenheit 9/11 Out On Home Video/DVD Today! Pass it Around..." (5 October 2004)
- There is no terrorist threat. Yes, there have been horrific acts of terrorism and, yes, there will be acts of terrorism again. But that doesn't mean that there's some kind of massive terrorist threat.
- As quoted in a review of Fahrenhype 9/11 FahrenHYPE 9/11: Morris vs. Moore" by Jim Emerson at the Chicago Sun Times (28 October 2004) - some indications exist that this was from a speech in Power Center, Michigan, promoting Dude (2003)
- Because it would be Un-American.
- Reply to a question as to why the standing down of the NORAD aerial forces on September 11, 2001 was not included in his movie Farenheit 9/11, as seen Martial Law: 9/11 Rise of the Police State (2005) by Alex Jones.
- No, Mr. Bush, you just stay the course. It's not your fault that 30 percent of New Orleans lives in poverty or that tens of thousands had no transportation to get out of town. C'mon, they're black! I mean, it's not like this happened to Kennebunkport. Can you imagine leaving white people on their roofs for five days? Don't make me laugh! Race has nothing — NOTHING — to do with this!
- How does it feel to know that the man you elected to lead us after we were attacked went ahead and put a guy in charge of FEMA whose main qualification was that he ran horse shows?
- You and your administration misled us into this war.
- Now, I know this is a bitter pill to swallow. Iraq was going to be your great legacy. Now, it's just your legacy. It didn't have to end up this way.
This week, when Republicans and conservative Democrats started jumping ship, you lashed out at them. You thought the most damning thing you could say to them was that they were "endorsing the policy positions of Michael Moore and the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic party." I mean, is that the best you can do to persuade them to stick with you — compare them to me? You gotta come up with a better villain. For heaven's sakes, you had a hundred-plus million other Americans who think the same way I do — and you could have picked on any one of them! But hey, why not cut out the name-calling and the smearing and just do the obvious thing: Come join the majority! Be one of us, your fellow Americans! Is it really that hard? Is there really any other choice? George, take a walk on the wild side!
- "Sorry, George, I'm In the Majority ...from Michael Moore" (19 November 2005)
- We are the richest country in the world. We spend more on health care than any other country. Yet we have the worst health care in the Western world. Come on. We can do better than this.
- The film that's leaked onto the internet is not taken at a movie theatre with a little home video camera, right? The way it's usually done? This is an inside job... Now, if you were a police detective, one of the first questions you'd ask is motive. Who has a vested interest in destroying the opening weekend's box office of this movie? If I were the police or the FBI investigating this felony that's taken place, that's where I would look.
Having said that, I'm glad that people were able to see my movie. ... I'm not a big believer in our copyright laws. I think they're way too restrictive. ... I've never supported this concept of going after Napster. I think the rock bands who fought this were wrong. I think filmmakers are wrong about this. I think sharing's a good thing. ... They said television would kill the movies, it didn't. They said VCRs would kill the movies, it didn't. Now they're saying this is going to kill the movies. It won't. People want to get out of the house and go to the movies! Nothing's ever going to kill that, and I really hope people will do that on opening weekend.
- On the posting of his film SiCKO on the internet, prior to its official release, as quoted in "Michael Moore Takes on His Pirates!" by Edward Douglas (19 June 2007)
- Jesus told us that we would be judged by how we treat the least among us.
- I just decided to make a movie. I had no training, no film school, but I had been to a lot of movies.
- As quoted in "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" (23 June 2007)
- You survive by having your fear compass calibrated correctly. Our compass is off now because we're being told to be afraid of everything. The things that we're frightened of, or told to be frightened of, are not necessarily the things that we need to fear.
- Interview with Michael Moore, NPR, All Things Considered, November 2002
- [W]hat the media are telling you to be afraid of are the wrong things... Fear is a necessary ingredient of our survival instincts.
- Interview with filmmaker Michael Moore, Rolling Stone, January 2003
- The stories of the pharmaceutical companies and the health insurance companies is told. My film acts as a balance. I exist to provide balance, and I tell you, it isn't much balance. They're on every day, all day. My film is two hours. If for two hours during this entire year, people are exposed to the other side of the story, isn't that ok? It's amazing how they go after me. You asked me back there, 'You're biased. You have only one side.' Well, yeah, I have a bias. I have a bias on behalf of the little guy who doesn't have a say. I'm lucky enough to be able to have this bully pulpit, to be able to say the things I say, on behalf of the people who don't have a voice. The pharmaceutical companies and corporate America, they've got their voice. They own the networks and they can say whatever they want, all the time, and they do. So can we just have two hours for this side to have their say? I hope so, I think so. That's what I'm trying to do.
- New York press conference, CommingSoon, June 2007
- [T]he French, the British and the Canadian stuff that's in the films is through my American eyes, and I'm comparing it to America, and I'm not saying they don't have problems. But those aren't for me to fix. Trust me, from an American point of view, the Europeans look pretty good. You need to preserve what you have and fight to get back that which you lost.
- Interview with Michael Moore by Jay Harris, The Brag, August 2007
- There are problems in all health-care systems, but at least [Europeans] have a health-care system that covers everyone, and it's not my position or my right or my responsibility to point out the flaws in [your] health-care system - that is your job - it is your job to fix those problems.
- Casa del Cinema press conference, Rome, Italy, August 2007
Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
- Comments about the movie, and from it:
- Fahrenheit 9/11: The temperature where freedom burns!
- Controversy... What Controversy?
- Humorous lines of various advertisements for the film, some showing doctored pictures of Moore walking hand in hand with George W. Bush.
- They serve so that we don't have to. They offer to give up their lives so that we can be free. It is, remarkably, their gift to us. And all they ask for in return is that we never send them into harm's way unless it is absolutely necessary. Will they ever trust us again?
- Comments by Moore, about the men and women in the U.S. Armed Services. Fahrenheit 9/11
- George Orwell once wrote: "And it's not a matter of whether the war is not real or if it is. Victory is not possible. The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous. Hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. This new version is the past and no different past can ever have existed. In principle the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects and its object is not the victory over either Eurasia or East Asia but to keep the very structure of society intact."
- Paraphrased quote from Orwell's story Nineteen Eighty-Four.
- For once we agreed.
- Michael Moore after Bush is shown saying "You can't get fooled again."
- You've got the Bush Administration using that event in such a disrespectful and immoral way — using the deaths of those people to try and shred our civil liberties, change our Constitution, round people up. That's not how you honor them, by using them to change our way of life as a free country.
- On the use of the September 11th attacks to expand governmental powers and diminish civil liberties, through "The Patriot Act". - CBS interview (June 2004)
- I may be preaching to the choir, but the choir needs a good song.
- USA Today (20 June 2004)
- Clearly something has happened here that no one expected. And there aren't words to describe how any of us feel this morning on hearing this news.
- I want to thank all the right-wing organizations out there who tried to stop the film, either from their harassment campaign that didn't work on the theatre owners, or going to the FEC to get our ads removed from television, to all the things that have been said on television. It's only encouraged more people to go and see it. We are happy to announce that the efforts of the small-minded few have failed miserably.
- On the movie Fahrenheit 9/11 breaking box office records. - Zap2it.com (27 June 2004)
- Early talk was that anti-Bush people would go see it and pro-Bush people would stay home, and that's not the case. Most people do not go around with labels. A lot of Republicans have open minds.
- On the movie Fahrenheit 9/11 - Zap2it.com (27 June 2004)
- If the small businesses suck they'll be driven out of business... If they got a good restaurant, people will go there and eat. You know in my town the small businesses that everyone wanted to protect? They were the people that supported all the right-wing groups. They were the Republicans in the town, they were in the Kiwanas, the Chamber of Commerce — people that kept the town all white. The small hardware salesman, the small clothing store salespersons, Jesse the Barber who signed his name three different times on three different petitions to recall me from the school board. Fuck all these small businesses — fuck 'em all! Bring in the chains. The small businesspeople are the rednecks that run the town and suppress the people. Fuck 'em all. That's how I feel.
- As quoted by Cory Ratzlaff, Eye Correspondent
Quotes about Moore
- When Michael Moore makes a movie these days, all hell seems to break loose. It gets to a point where whatever message he's trying to communicate is drowned out by all the media attention, knee-jerk reactionaries, and general resentment.
- Film critic Brian Orndorf, June 2007
- Michael Moore is a screwed asshole, that is what I think about that case. He stole my title and changed the numbers without ever asking me for permission.
- It's a free country, so he's free to say whatever he wants, but I don't appreciate it. I don't like it.
- To have to answer anything about what that slimeball says is just too much.
- George H. W. Bush New York Daily News (31 May 2004)
- I find it difficult to forgive George W. Bush a lot of things — mostly having to do with not telling the truth about important public matters, and then pretending it was no big deal that he had mislead — and, come to think of it, that's pretty much my problem with Michael Moore, too ... although one is a clown who makes movies and the other is, well, President of the United States. ... we live in the age of the false dichotomy, an old propaganda trap (and logical fallacy) that says, for example: If you're not for the President's way of fighting terrorism (even if you'd like him to provide more information about what, exactly, that is), you are automatically assumed to be on the side of the terrorists; or, if you find fault with Michael Moore's methods, you must be on Bush's side. Of course, neither of these propositions is necessarily true. ... You know how far the level of political discourse in American has fallen when people are asked to take the word of Dick Morris or Michael Moore at face value. So don't. And don't take my word for it. Do your own research.
- Jim Emerson in a review of Fahrenhype 9/11 FahrenHYPE 9/11: Morris vs. Moore" at Chicago Sun Times (28 October 2004)
- Post-war filmmakers gave us the documentary, Rob Reiner gave us the mockumentary and Moore initiated a third genre, the crockumentary.
- Jean-Luc Godard speaking at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival
- Europeans think Americans are fat, vulgar, greedy, stupid, ambitious and ignorant and so on. And they've taken as their own, as their representative American, someone who actually embodies all of those qualities.
- You know, the problem I have with Michael Moore is the problem I have with a lot of people who are fanatical and push really hard on things, which is not willing to say the other side is wrong. They have to be evil.
And what I'm looking for is him to just say, maybe people are making mistakes. But it's always this conspiracy thing. There's always a conspiracy out to get him and a bunch of people doing things that are evil and psychotic and not simply wrong. And he's so cynical. He's so incredibly cynical.
- It was so sweet backstage, you should have seen it — The Teamsters were helping Michael Moore into the trunk of his limo.
- Sicko, which takes on America's profoundly profitable and catastrophically inefficient health care system, is Moore's most assured, least antagonistic and potentially most important film.
Anecdotal in nature, Sicko shows what's wrong with our health care system by comparing it with those in Canada, England and France, where universal health care is as ingrained in the social fabric as their national anthems.
Asked what would have happened in England if Margaret Thatcher or Tony Blair had tried to dismantle the National Health Service, an elderly British statesman answers without pause, "There would have been a revolution."
- Moore attempts to ignite an essential democratic impulse among American citizens. He assumes the role of a provocateur who raises the consciousness of his audiences and offers a polemical voice to the power elite. Whereas Moore's advocates recognize his output as an admirable practical realization of the free speech principle, his adversaries often perceive him as a menace to democratic procedures. Considering the nationwide dispute and the popularity of his movies around the world, the director should be acknowledged as a significant phenomenon on the American political scene at the dawn of the twenty-first century.
- Have you seen Fahrenheit 9/11? Watch it,Theres an interesting scene where Bush thinks and waits seven minutes before acting against 9/11. don't pay attention to the fact it's biased or "propaganda" just see what's going on in the documentary and notice a man like Moore from a place like Flint has been researching and is trying to open our eyes.
- Lou Reed interview on Belgian Cable Ketnet giving his views on Bush
- Moore is making a fortune out of his anti-Americanism. And I don't blame the guy for making a buck, but he's not serious.
- Michael Moore's Official site
- Michael Moore at IMDb
- Michael Moore on YouTube
- BBC on Moore's Oscar Speech
- Moore's Oscar acceptance speech (YouTube Video)
Fahrenheit 9/11 Controversies:
- Fahrenheit 9/11 at IMDb
- Fahrenheit 9/11 Trailer
- Gagging Michael Moore
- CNN on 9/11 Controversy
- BBC on 9/11