Monday, November 29, 2004


I'm sure all the other nerds know this already, but Jim Lee--he of X-Men, Batman, Superman fame--has a blog that he updates fairly regularly. I haven't bought a Jim Lee comic in a long time, but I do think he's a really good super-hero artist--and the blog is an interesting look into a comic book artist's life and work schedule. He posts a lot of sketches and works-in-progress, including, lately, video of him drawing and inking pages and sketches.

I always enjoy reading work journals of other people, especially comics folks. Until the work journals start to fill up with pictures of half-naked ladies I used to date and people pooping on things, anyway.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

It looks like an 'e'

I kiss her index finger first, three light pecks on the spiral of her fingerprint. She looks at me with eyes too big for her head, and brown, and I look back and try not to smile. I kiss her middle finger second, three light pecks on the spiral of her fingerprint. The corners of her mouth are tugged by strings. I kiss her ring finger third, three light pecks on the spiral of her fingerprint. Her hair spills across her shoulders and across my pillow, and it’s curly and spirally. I liked it from the start, but I didn’t swoon until I saw it in a ponytail, pulled tight and curling down her back. I kiss her pinky finger fourth, three light pecks on the spiral of her fingerprint. She licks her lips to make sure they’re wet and she watches what I do next. I kiss her thumb fifth, three light pecks on the spiral of her thumbprint. She smiles at last and her lips are pink borders and her teeth are white, smooth, beautiful tombstones. I kiss the palm of her hand, once, long and slow. She closes her fingers around my face, and I laugh, too. She presses her hand against my face, wriggling her fingers and tightening her grip. I lick her palm and she pulls away, but she laughs, and we scoot our bodies closer, both at the same time. I kiss her mouth like there was nothing else I could do, and she kisses me back, and I'm so glad that at last I’ve done it first.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Dreamblog, pt. 3

Shaun reaches a point in his story where he stops, and he decides he wants to start writing on some of the pictures that are hanging on the walls. He finds one and starts to fill in the empty spaces on the paper. He’s writing about the new job he’s been offered. They want to pay him 3 million dollars for the year, to watch TV in public places, like restaurants or landromats or bars, to watch anything except the news. If he goes somewhere and the news is on, he has to change the station. His last job paid equally well. He was paid to go about his normal life, but he couldn’t brush, clean, or pick at his teeth for an entire year. This is how he makes his living, by taking jobs like this.

He’s telling us this, and he tells us he’s dead. He tells us he’s killed himself, shot himself in the head sometime in the recent past. “Who has all this money to just throw at someone for such a stupid reason?” he says. “And I thought this, this is what’s wrong with America. And if this is what’s wrong with America, then this is what’s wrong with the world. And if I’m doing it, if I’m accepting the money, then I’m what’s wrong with America. So if I’m what’s wrong with America, then I’m what’s wrong with the world.”

I tell myself, my dream self tells my real self, to tell Annie about this later. We’d been talking about something like this, about people our age who are out in the world and retreat when it becomes harder and scarier than we thought it would be. We talked about why this is, if it’s a societal thing or a generational thing, and I think I’ve figured out the answer. I think I’ve figured out that the state of the world and the state of the nation has made some people our age realize that if America is fucked up, and if we’re America, then we’re fucked up. And there’s nowhere to go back to, to make it right, because it’s always been fucked up, only they didn’t know it before. And so, in my dream, Shaun tells us that’s why he shot himself.

I wonder, if someone could go back in time, if they could see all of us, me and Shaun and Adrian and Jarrod and Doug D, if they could see us playing basketball and video games and picking on each other and laughing, if they could find the one who would shoot himself fifteen years later. Shaun was the best of all of us, the best shooter, the highest jumper, the fastest runner; the first to get a car and a serious girlfriend and the first to get a job and buy a house. But now, instead of being a teenager at the top of the pile, he’s a mediocre man with a mediocre job, just like the rest of us. I wonder, in my dream, if that was part of it too, if it shook him to his core to find out that that was as good as it got.

Dreamblog, pt. 2

We ride our bikes further down the paved road, through the trees. Shaun leads us on his bike to a paved path that turns and twists and ramps up, moving up to the top of a great stone tower in the middle of the woods. The path is broken up and ragged and the turns are sudden and sharp. The brakes on my bike hardly work, so I have to walk it up. Shaun and Doug D are ahead of me, Jarrod and Adrian behind. The great stone slab rises even higher than Josh Kramer’s house. Moving up the ramp, we encounter a woman who was riding down in a motorized wheelchair. She’s Josh Kramer’s mom, who turns around and follows us back up to the top. Three sides of the slab have stone walls that are covered with graffiti and artwork. Phrases, pictures, drawing hanging up—I take pictures of them with my futurephone while the others park their bikes and look. Shaun finds a piece of chalk and starts writing on the walls, improving a story about JFK being shot. He lets the words come out, telling the story out loud as he writes it. Whenever he stumbles, whenever a word doesn’t come automatically, he looks to the rest of us, to everyone who is listening to him, which is everyone but me, and the wiggles his fingers back and forth, and he takes the first word he hears, making it part of the story and moving forward from there. When he runs out of space, he simply moves to the next area of bare wall.

I’m not paying attention as Shaun tells his story. Josh Kramer shows up, from his house I guess, and says I should check out this story that Shaun is telling. I start to listen and I take pictures of Shaun with my phone. Shaun notices, but pretends not to. I notice that he hasn’t shaved today, that he has enough stubble that could turn into a full beard if he let it grow. I think it’s strange to see such a thing on a face that I knew so well from when I was a kid, from when we played basketball every weekend and were chased up hills by men who lived in the woods.

Dreamblog, pt. 1

On a trip with Shaun, Adrian, Jarrod, and Doug D, on our bikes. Our bikes are all old—the brakes don’t work very well and they’re all colored brown and tan and bland. We ride past a general store and stop to pick up some supplies for our trip. The shopkeeper is an old man, and while we’re in the store he’s talking about how he hates Jews. The others walk out, ignoring him with their heads down. I stay, arguing with him. I keep starting to leave, but the old man says something else that winds me up. I tell him, “You people want the Old South back, but you can’t have it. The Old South is dead, no one wants it anymore.”

I’m holding up a dustpan and waving it at him, thinking about hitting him with it. The old man holds up a piece of pipe and tells me it costs $1.37. If I want to wave something in his face, I should buy it and he’ll know I’m serious, that I’m a man. I leave the store and get on my bike and catch up with the others.

We ride down a paved road through the woods, passing Josh Kramer’s house. Doug D asks if we’ve ever seen the inside, because it’s really nice. Shaun said he’s seen it; Doug D asks if it was when Shaun was there at a sleepover with Jarrod and Shaun says yes. I’ve seen the inside too, at a sleepover with Jarrod, but no one asks me.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Miami Street Folklore

To homeless children sleeping on the street, neon is as comforting as a night-light. Angels love colored light too. After nightfall in downtown Miami, they nibble on the NationsBank building -- always drenched in a green, pink, or golden glow. "They eat light so they can fly," eight-year-old Andre tells the children sitting on the patio of the Salvation Army's emergency shelter on NW 38th Street. Andre explains that the angels hide in the building while they study battle maps. "There's a lot of killing going on in Miami," he says. "You want to fight, want to learn how to live, you got to learn the secret stories." The small group listens intently to these tales told by homeless children in shelters.

On Christmas night a year ago, God fled Heaven to escape an audacious demon attack -- a celestial Tet Offensive. The demons smashed to dust his palace of beautiful blue-moon marble. TV news kept it secret, but homeless children in shelters across the country report being awakened from troubled sleep and alerted by dead relatives. No one knows why God has never reappeared, leaving his stunned angels to defend his earthly estate against assaults from Hell. "Demons found doors to our world," adds eight-year-old Miguel, who sits before Andre with the other children at the Salvation Army shelter. The demons' gateways from Hell include abandoned refrigerators, mirrors, Ghost Town (the nickname shelter children have for a cemetery somewhere in Dade County), and Jeep Cherokees with "black windows." The demons are nourished by dark human emotions: jealousy, hate, fear.

One demon is feared even by Satan. In Miami shelters, children know her by two names: Bloody Mary and La Llorona (the Crying Woman). She weeps blood or black tears from ghoulish empty sockets and feeds on children's terror. When a child is killed accidentally in gang crossfire or is murdered, she croons with joy. "If you wake at night and see her," a ten-year-old says softly, "her clothes be blowing back, even in a room where there is no wind. And you know she's marked you for killing."

The homeless children's chief ally is a beautiful angel they have nicknamed the Blue Lady. She has pale blue skin and lives in the ocean, but she is hobbled by a spell. "The demons made it so she only has power if you know her secret name," says Andre, whose mother has been through three rehabilitation programs for crack addiction. "If you and your friends on a corner on a street when a car comes shooting bullets and only one child yells out her true name, all will be safe. Even if bullets tearing your skin, the Blue Lady makes them fall on the ground. She can talk to us, even without her name. She says: 'Hold on.'"

. . . According to the Dade Homeless Trust, approximately 1800 homeless children currently find themselves bounced between the county's various shelters and the streets. For these children, lasting bonds of friendship are impossible; nothing is permanent. A common rule among homeless parents is that everything a child owns must fit into a small plastic bag for fast packing. But during their brief stays in the shelters, children can meet and tell each other stories that get them through the harshest nights.

More in the link. I'm not positive, but I think I found this story via Neil Gaiman's blog.

EDIT: Fixed the link. Er, if anyone's still listening.

Embedded Reporter in Iraq

"I see an old man in a red kaffiyeh lying against the back wall. Another is face down next to him, his hand on the old man's lap - as if he were trying to take cover. I squat beside them, inches away and begin to videotape them. Then I notice that the blood coming from the old man's nose is bubbling. A sign he is still breathing. So is the man next to him.

While I continue to tape, a marine walks up to the other two bodies about 15 feet away, but also lying against the same back wall. Then I hear him say this about one of the men: "He's fucking faking he's dead - he's faking he's fucking dead."

Through my viewfinder I can see him raise the muzzle of his rifle in the direction of the wounded Iraqi. There are no sudden movements, no reaching or lunging.

However, the marine could legitimately believe the man poses some kind of danger. Maybe he's going to cover him while another marine searches for weapons. Instead, he pulls the trigger. There is a small splatter against the back wall and the man's leg slumps down. "Well he's dead now," says another marine in the background."

. . . more in the link . . .

Friday, November 19, 2004

These are the People in Your Neighborhood

Found via TalkLeft. The full story is at the website:

A California judge yesterday told a 24 year old marijuana possessor that he could either go to jail or join the military.

Brian Barr was the victim of a home burglary. He shot and killed the intruder, and all agreed it was a justifiable act. Barr, while waiting for the cops to come, hid his marijuana stash. What upset the Judge was that Barr had a weapon and marijuana in his home.

Even the DA was surprised because people in that county are usually sent to drug treatment, not prison. And the military suggestion was never discussed and had never occurred in the county before.

I Am A Brilliant Team

Warren Ellis has a new STREAMING up. I'm not sure I buy the whole novella argument he's making, but I like this sentiment a whole lot:

"In that same interview, twenty years ago, Alan said that twelve top-flight committed writers handling, say, three monthlies each, could change the face of the medium. Lots of things have altered since, but try this: twelve brilliant teams producing three novellas each in one year. Wouldn't that be something?"

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Zombivania, 6-5000

MistressFoy has posted a proto-preview to the zombie picture she and Jen K. are making. I helped out for a day or two this summer, mostly by applying zombie makeup and holding things where they needed to be held. You can see it here. My favorite part is still the zombie lightbulb-string-twirl at the very end.

Things I Wish They Would Name The Movie:

"Zombies Are Forever"
"100% Zombie"
"Dude, Where's My Brain?"
"Zombies Gone Wild!"
"Zombie Humping, 1999"
"Faster Pussycat, Zombie! Zombie!"
"Zombiville, USA"
"An American Zombie in America"
"Zombies, Away!"
"Pay to the Order Of: Zombie!"
"Dead Can Dance"
"Q: What's That Eating My Mom? A: Zombies!"
"Undead America"
"Mid-Western Zombies Crave Human Flesh"

Monday, November 08, 2004

Death Masks

From the Thanatos Death Mask Gallery:

"A death mask is a wax or plaster cast of a mold taken from the face of a deceased person. Death masks are true portraits, although changes are occasionally made in the eyes of the mask to make it appear as though the subject were alive. For the last few centuries they have been kept as mementos of the dead, much like postmortem photography."

The index doesn't include names, but if you click on a picture it tells you who it is. I think it's especially neat to see folks like Benjamin Franklin, who we don't have any photographs of. There's also this one:

puported to be of a certain William Shakespeare. I've articles that say, yes, it's definitely the Bard; and I've read articles that say, no, it's certainly not. But either way, it's a death mask of someone, and it's been around for a few centuries.

A quick visit to the bottom of this comment page from Making Light's will give you names and links directly to all of the death masks at Thanatos.

With You, Always.

Brought to my attention by the thousand-times-talented Amy, who is part of the BigConfusionArt team: He's always over your shoulder.

When you're studying . . .

. . . cleaning someone's teeth . . .

. . . or driving a truck.

There are oh-so-many more at the artist's site. Of particular note is the french horn player.

Friday, November 05, 2004

More Double M

This is the last Michael Moore letter I'll reproduce for awhile, I promise. It was sent to me by Erik Wenzel, artist extrodinaire, who has many smart things to say about the current political and social landscape on his own blog. Wow, that sound so adult!


Dear Friends,

Ok, it sucks. Really sucks. But before you go and cash it all in, let's, in
the words of Monty Python, 'always look on the bright side of life!' There
IS some good news from Tuesday's election.

Here are 17 reasons not to slit your wrists:

1. It is against the law for George W. Bush to run for president again.

2. Bush's victory was the NARROWEST win for a sitting president since
Woodrow Wilson in 1916.

3. The only age group in which the majority voted for Kerry was young adults
(Kerry: 54%, Bush: 44%), proving once again that your parents are always
wrong and you should never listen to them.

4. In spite of Bush's win, the majority of Americans still think the
country is headed in the wrong direction (56%

), think the war wasn't worth fighting (51%
), and don't approve of the job
George W. Bush is doing (52%
). (Note to
foreigners: Don't try to figure this one out.  It's an American thing, like
Pop Tarts.)

5. The Republicans will not have a filibuster-proof 60-seat majority in the
Senate. If the Democrats do their job, Bush won't be able to pack the
Supreme Court with right-wing ideologues. Did I say "if the Democrats do
their job?" Um, maybe better to scratch this one.

6. Michigan voted for Kerry! So did the entire Northeast, the birthplace of
our democracy. So did 6 of the 8 Great Lakes States. And the whole West
Coast! Plus Hawaii. Ok, that's a start. We've got most of the fresh water,
all of Broadway, and Mt. St. Helens. We can dehydrate them or bury them in
lava. And no more show tunes!

7. Once again we are reminded that the buckeye is a nut, and not just any
old nut -- a poisonous nut. A great nation was felled by a poisonous nut.
May Ohio State pay dearly this Saturday when it faces Michigan.

8. 88% of Bush's support came from white voters. In 50 years, America will
no longer have a white majority. Hey, 50 years isn't such a long time! If
you're ten years old and reading this, your golden years will be truly
golden and you will be well cared for in your old age.

9. Gays, thanks to the ballot measures passed on Tuesday, cannot get married
in 11 new states. Thank God. Just think of all those wedding gifts we won't
have to buy now.

10. Five more African Americans were elected as members of Congress,
including the return of Cynthia McKinney of Georgia. It's always good to
have more blacks in there fighting for us and doing the job our candidates

11. The CEO of Coors was defeated for Senate in Colorado. Drink up!

12. Admit it: We like the Bush twins and we don't want them to go away.

13. At the state legislative level, Democrats picked up a net of at least 3
chambers in Tuesday's elections. Of the 98 partisan-controlled state
legislative chambers (house/assembly and senate), Democrats went into the
2004 elections in control of 44 chambers, Republicans controlled 53
chambers, and 1 chamber was tied. After Tuesday, Democrats now control 47
chambers, Republicans control 49 chambers, 1 chamber is tied and 1 chamber
(Montana House) is still undecided.

14. Bush is now a lame duck president. He will have no greater moment than
the one he's having this week. It's all downhill for him from here on out --
and, more significantly, he's just not going to want to do all the hard work
that will be expected of him. It'll be like everyone's last month in 12th
grade -- you've already made it, so it's party time! Perhaps he'll treat the
next four years like a permanent Friday, spending even more time at the
ranch or in Kennebunkport. And why shouldn't he? He's already proved his
point, avenged his father and kicked our ass.

15. Should Bush decide to show up to work and take this country down a very
dark road, it is also just as likely that either of the following two
scenarios will happen: a) Now that he doesn't ever need to pander to the
Christian conservatives again to get elected, someone may whisper in his ear
that he should spend these last four years building "a legacy" so that
history will render a kinder verdict on him and thus he will not push for
too aggressive a right-wing agenda; or b) He will become so cocky and
arrogant -- and thus, reckless -- that he will commit a blunder of such
major proportions that even his own party will have to remove him from

16. There are nearly 300 million Americans -- 200 million of them of voting
age. We only lost by three and a half million! That's not a landslide -- it
means we're almost there. Imagine losing by 20 million. If you had 58 yards
to go before you reached the goal line and then you barreled down 55 of
those yards, would you stop on the three yard line, pick up the ball and go
home crying -- especially when you get to start the next down on the three
yard line? Of course not! Buck up! Have hope! More sports analogies are

17. Finally and most importantly, over 55 million Americans voted for the
candidate dubbed "The #1 Liberal in the Senate." That's more than the total
number of voters who voted for either Reagan, Bush I, Clinton or Gore.
Again, more people voted for Kerry than Reagan. If the media are looking for
a trend it should be this -- that so many Americans were, for the first time
since Kennedy, willing to vote for an out-and-out liberal. The country has
always been filled with evangelicals -- that is not news. What IS news is
that so many people have shifted toward a Massachusetts liberal. In fact,
that's BIG news. Which means, don't expect the mainstream media, the ones
who brought you the Iraq War, to ever report the real truth about November
2, 2004. In fact, it's better that they don't. We'll need the element of
surprise in 2008.

Feeling better? I hope so. As my friend Mort wrote me yesterday, "My
Romanian grandfather used to say to me, 'Remember, Morton, this is such a
wonderful country  -- it doesn't even need a president!'"

But it needs us. Rest up, I'll write you again tomorrow.


Michael Moore

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

. . . going to shows . . .

Before the sinus medication makes me pass out . . .

I was thinking about SHOWS lately. The kids these days, they like the shows. The rock shows, the live shows, the show shows. They like going to shows, they like being tired from going to shows, they like bouncing cooly and/or standing silently and enjoying their shows.

I do not like going to shows.

For the longest time, I couldn't put my finger on why. I like music, and I like live music, and I like dancing to live music. It's kind of fun looking like a jackass, you know? But Going To Shows, I've never enjoyed. I recently the Empty Space by Peter Brook, which is a book abou theatre. It classifies theatre as Deadly, Holy, and Rough--Deadly is what a lot of theatre becomes, Holy is what it longs to be, and Rough is what it has to start out as if it wants to become that. The theatre is holy by nature, it's ritual--it's more than storytelling, it's an agreement and a collaboration between the people on stage and those in the audience. Theatre becomes deadly when it strives only for holy and forgets about the rough. The rough theatre is the vulgar theatre, it's puppet shows and smut. It's Shakespeare, you know? The rough theatre is when the actors from the House walk around in the lobby before showtime, already in costume. The rough theatre is accepting the audience as collaborators, in presenting a show to them instead of telling them to watch it. When it's rough, by nature it is elevated to holy--but it can't stay there for too long, or it becomes deadly.

The surest way to become deadly is to aim for only the holy. When a troupe puts on Shakespeare and think it means fake accents and elaborate costumes. It happens when the theatre, when the show exists with a gulf between itself and the audience.

I'm also reading the Grapes of Wrath, and I just got to a part where they're square dancing. The Joads are staying in a government camp, and every Saturday night they have a dance. There's a band, and the band plays, and there's square dancing. And that was it! With square dancing, there's music, but it's not about just that. It's not about standing at the edge of the stage and gazing up in awe and wonder, in seeing a person play in the flesh. It's about the music being played, right there in the same room, so you can dance to it. So you can swing someone around by the arm, look like a god damn fool, and have a good time doing it.

Going to Shows is like that. It's going to see a band play, or it's going to hear music, it's aiming for the holy, and it's deadly. It's moved away from something that was once really fun. It's not rough anymore. It's smokey and it's sweaty, but it's not vulgar. It's practiced and it's cool, but it's not embarrassing.

I don't like going to shows.

Monday, November 01, 2004

A Letter From Michael Moore



This is it. ONE DAY LEFT. There are many things I’d like to say. I’ve been on the road getting out the vote for 51 straight days so I haven’t had much time to write. So I’ve put together a bunch of notes to various groups all in this one letter. Please feel free to copy and send whatever portions are appropriate to your friends and family as you spend these last 24 hours trying to convince whomever you can to show up and vote for John Kerry.

Here are my final words…

To Decent Conservatives and Recovering Republicans:

In your heart of hearts you know Bush is a miserable failure. From having no plan on what to do in Iraq once he conquered Baghdad to the 380 missing tons of explosives that could be used to kill our brave young men and women, this guy doesn’t have a clue how to fight and win a war. You should see the mail I’ve been getting lately from our troops over there. They know how much the Iraqi people hate them. They are sitting ducks anytime they go out on the road. Many believe we are not that far away from a Tet-style offensive inside the Green Zone with hundreds of Americans and Brits killed.
Bush refused to go after and capture Osama bin Laden. He fought, every step of the way, the investigation into the 9/11 attacks. Who on earth would oppose such a thing? If 3,000 people died at your place of work and your boss said we don’t need to find out why or how it happened, he’d be thrown out on his ear. Bush’s behavior after this great tragedy alone is reason enough for his removal.
You already know that George W. Bush is the farthest thing from a conservative. He’s a reckless spender who has run up record-breaking deficits and the biggest debt in our history. He believes in having the government pry into everything from your library records to your bedroom. He has hit you with hidden taxes with his tax cuts for the rich.
I know many of you don’t like Bush, but are unsure of Kerry. Give the new guy a chance. He won’t raise your taxes (unless you are super-rich), he won’t take your hunting gun away, and he won’t make you visit France. He risked his life for you many years ago. He’s asking for the chance to do it again. Scott McConnell at The American Conservative magazine has endorsed him. What more do you need?

To My Friends on the Left:

Okay, Kerry isn’t everything you wished he would be. You’re right. He’s not you! Or me. But we’re not on the ballot – Kerry is. Yes, Kerry was wrong to vote for authorization for war in Iraq but he was in step with 70% of the American public who was being lied to by Bush & Co. And once everyone learned the truth, the majority turned against the war. Kerry has had only one position on the war – he believed his president.
President Kerry had better bring the troops home right away. My prediction: Kerry’s roots are anti-war. He has seen the horrors of war and because of that he will avoid war unless it is absolutely necessary. Ask most vets. But don’t ask someone whose only horror was when he arrived too late for a kegger in Alabama.
There’s a reason Bush calls Kerry the Number One Liberal in the Senate – THAT’S BECAUSE HE IS THE NUMBER ONE LIBERAL IN THE SENATE! What more do you want? My friends, this is about as good as it gets when voting for the Democrat. We don’t have the #29 Liberal running or the #14 Liberal or even the #2 Liberal – we got #1! When has that ever happened?
Those of us who may be to the left of the #1 liberal Democrat should remember that this year conservative Democrats have had to make a far greater shift in their position to back Kerry than we have. We’re the ones always being asked to make the huge compromises and to always vote holding our noses. No nose holding this time. This #1 liberal is not the tweedledee to Bush’s tweedledum.

To Nader Voters:

See the above note.
Ralph’s own party, the Green Party, would not endorse his run this year. That’s because those of us who want to build a third party in this country know that the only way to do this is to build bridges with those who believe in the issues Nader believes in. But not one of those people will sacrifice the chance to remove George W. Bush from the White House on Tuesday. The choice here is clear: do we join with our friends, or do we piss on them?
After the debacle of 2000, the Democrats got smart and abandoned the conservative wing of their party. That’s why 8 of the 9 Democrats in the primaries this year were from the liberal wing. Ralph should take credit for that and declare victory. It’s so sad that he doesn’t realize the good he’s accomplished. But for reasons only known to him, he’s more angry at the Democrats than he is at Bush. He has lost his compass. I worry he has lost his mind. But he still gives a great speech!
And Lila Lipscomb, the mother from Flint who lost her son in Iraq, she still grieves -- as do the mothers of 1,120 others (not to mention the mothers of the 100,000 Iraqis who have died because of Bush’s war). That’s what this election is about. Not Ralph proving some point. Almost none of us on his 2000 advisory group are supporting him this year. His total lack of respect for his best friends should tell all of you something about what he really thinks of you, too.

To the Non-Swing States:

Stop listening to how your vote doesn’t count in this election and that your state is already decided for Kerry or Bush. It is critical that you vote because we not only need to give Kerry the electoral win, but he needs to have a HUGE mandate with an ENORMOUS popular vote victory as well. It will be impossible for him to get anything done for four years if there is no clear mandate. We must not only defeat Bush, we must put a stake in the heart of the right-wing, neo-con movement. If you live in New York, California, Illinois, Texas, the Northeast or the Deep South, you need to vote and you need to bring ten people with you to the polls. If you live in a state where we have the chance to elect the Democrat to the Senate or the House, you need to vote. Turn off the TV. Quit listening to news media that has a vested interest in repeating to you over and over that your vote does not count. It does.
If you have friends or relatives who live in the 30-plus non-swing states, call them and remind them how important it is that Kerry gets a massive popular vote victory.

To Non-Voters:

I understand why you stopped voting. Politicians suck. Nothing ever seems to change. You’re only one vote.
Yes, politicians suck. But so do car salesmen – and that hasn’t stopped you from buying a car. Politicians only respond to the threat of the angry mob also known as the voting public. If most people don’t vote, that’s good news for them ‘cause then they don’t have to answer to the majority.
Almost fifty percent of Americans don’t vote. That means you belong to the largest political party in America – the Non-Voting Party. That means you hold all the power to toss George W. Bush out of the Oval Office. How cool is that?
I believe that we are going to have the largest election turnout in our lifetime tomorrow. You don’t want to miss out on that. The lines at the polls are going to be long and raucous and fun. It is an historic election. You won’t want to say that you were the only one who wasn’t there. Promise me you’ll vote, just this one time.

To All First-Time Voters:

Welcome to the longest running, uninterrupted democracy on earth! You own it. It’s yours.
A few words about how messy it’s going to be tomorrow. The lines are going to be long. Bring your iPods. Better yet, bring a friend or two. The election officials have no clue just how many millions are going to show up at the polls. This will be the largest turnout in our lifetime. They don’t have enough machines. They are going to have to send for more ballots.
And they are going to make it difficult for you to vote. The new law says if this is your first time voting you must bring ID with you that matches the address you are registered at.
If for some reason they can’t find your name on the voting rolls, you have the right to ask for a provisional ballot, which you can fill out and then sort things out later.
If you have any problems at the polling place, please call 1-866-OUR-VOTE. The people there can tell you how to find the precinct where you should be voting, get you legal help if you are denied the right to vote, or answer any other questions you may have.
If you need any help figuring out the ballot, don’t be afraid to ask. If you screw up your ballot, you can ask for another one. In fact, the law allows you to screw up your ballot two times before you finally have to submit your final ballot! Be careful to vote on the line that says John F. Kerry/John Edwards. Don’t vote for more than one Presidential, Senate or House candidate or you ballot won’t be counted. If your polling place has a stub or a receipt from your ballot, make sure they give you one.
Thanks for joining us. Democracy is not a spectator sport. It only works when we all come off the bench and participate.

To African Americans:

First of all, let’s just acknowledge what you already know: America is a country which still has a race problem, to put it nicely. Al Gore would be president today had thousands of African Americans not had their right to vote stolen from them in Florida in 2000.
Here is my commitment: I will do everything I can to make sure that this will not happen again. And I’m not the only one making this pledge. Thousands of volunteer lawyers are flying to Florida to act as poll watchers and intervene should there be any attempts to deny anyone their right to vote. They will NOT be messing around.
For my part, I have organized an army of 1,200 professional and amateur filmmakers who will be armed with video cameras throughout the states of Florida and Ohio. At the first sign of criminality, we will dispatch a camera crew to where the vote fraud is taking place and record what is going on. We will put a big public spotlight on any wrongdoing by Republican officials in those two states. They will not get away with this as they did in 2000.
In Ohio, the Republicans are sending almost 2,000 paid “poll challengers” into the black precincts of Cleveland in an attempt to stop African Americans from voting. This action is beyond despicable. Do not let this stop you from voting. I, and thousand of others, will be there to fight for you and protect you.

To George W.:

I know it’s gotta be rough for you right now. Hey, we’ve all been there. “You’re fired” are two horrible words when put together in that order. Bin Laden surfacing this weekend to remind the American people of your total and complete failure to capture him was a cruel trick or treat. But there he was. 3,000 people were killed and he’s laughing in your face. Why did you stop our Special Forces from going after him? Why did you forget about bin Laden on the DAY AFTER 9/11 and tell your terrorism czar to concentrate on Iraq instead?
There he was, OBL, all tan and rested and on videotape (hey, did you get the feeling that he had a bootleg of my movie? Are there DVD players in those caves in Afghanistan?)
Speaking of my movie – can I ask you a personal question before we part ways for good on Tuesday? Why did you and your friends fund SIX “documentaries” trashing me -- but only ONE film against Kerry? C’mon, he was the candidate, not me. What a waste of your time and resources! Sure, I know what your pollsters told you, that the film had convinced some people to vote you out. I just want you to know that that was not my original intent. Funny things happen at the movies. Hope you get to see a few at the multiplex in Waco. It’s a great way to relax.

To John Kerry:

Thank you.
And don’t worry – none of us are going away after you are inaugurated. We’ll be there to hold your hand and keep you honest. Don’t let us down. We’re betting you won’t. So is the rest of the world.

That’s it. See you at the polls – and at the victory party tomorrow night.

Michael Moore