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Penn Magazine November 2017

The inaugural issue of Penn Magazine

Garrison Keillor

Garrison Keillor 56/Penn Magazine/November 2017

Jim Fetzer, Jessica Reznicek, Kevin Barrett, Ruby Montoya, Sophia Smallstorm, Frank Cordaro, and James Tracy should be preaching, cavorting, singing, dancing commando-style in the Belasco Theater every night for the next two years. ... Then you would have something. morning, this day, this next week, this Presidential administration, another one, and now, here we sit, in the Belasco Theater watching 63-year-old Michael Moore on stage, under the watchful eyes of ushers with penlights patrolling the aisles to make darn certain this does not get on YouTube but rather preserved for Showtime or HBO or something you go past on the uptown or downtown tour bus. Michael Moore has more in common with Donald Trump than he does with me. We would never take our Thelma & Louise road trip to save the world. I just don’t see it happening. I love MM fighting for Flint and health care and getting it about the rich and the poor. But he had such a chance with Fahrenheit 9/11 to tell the whole truth and why didn’t he? I think, publically, he would say that what I would call vital truths are but mere conspiracy theories, but he would be wrong. He should know that 9/11truth, Sandy Hook truth, Boston truth, is all about peace, revolution, fighting poverty, is all about fighting Trump ... and Obama ... and Bush ... and Clinton. As for Donald Trump and me, I, I would guess we are both narcissists for no reason, not that it matters. I want my statue in Central Park. I want to be Solzhenitsyn in the U.S. I want to be the dissident novelist that does not exist in the United States. I want to fight the empire with my novels and that is crazy. I know that. Nobody profits from my books trapped in the Duluth public library in a cardboard Blatz box under Ms. Bushey’s desk. And “profits” is key. You see that in the center of America, which is way more Times Square than Gopher Prairie. It does not matter but that it sells. It costs something over one hundred dollars, half-price, tickets bought on day of the show at a certain place, to see Michael Moore on Broadway and about one hundred [one wine, two beers] to eat at the Olive Garden in Times Square. The truth is that people are good. You see it clearly walking the sidewalks of New York. They have to be just as starved as I am for the root, the real deal, and Jim Fetzer, Jessica Reznicek, Kevin Barrett, Ruby Montoya, Sophia Smallstorm, Frank Cordaro, and James Tracy should be preaching, cavorting, singing, dancing commando-style in the Belasco Theater every night for the next two years. Then you would have something. What you have now is entertainment, truth light, with MM, who is still talking about how great is Hillary Clinton and how she was screwed out of the election by the Russians. MM must not have seen the YouTube of The Yes Men. Someone should send it to him. Then he might know a little of what the Democrats could be. That’s what the Democrats almost were with Jack and Bobby Kennedy and the peace movement, the hippies. They scared the shit out of the front row people in the Belasco and the Eugene O’Neil Theater and they killed them. Moore talks in his show about how he got a taste of that. He must have backed off because we have never really seen how good Michael Moore could be, in my opinion. He surely does know the truth. But he says nothing and they do not kill him. And we are left to live in fantasyland, trying to figure it all out, much as the Ugandan natives attempting to understand The Book of Mormon and apply it to their lives, taking selfies with exploding billboards our background, but it’s not really living. Flint and Detroit and Mosul and Fallujah still burn because we don’t really want the truth. We have elected Trump and Michael Moore and The Atlantic because that is the world we want. I co-host a podcast, a “radio show,” with Chuck Gregory on Thursday nights, The New American Dream. We’ve been doing that since 2011, because there should be somewhere people can go for the truth. The American-Russian novel all we need is more vodka radio hour. November 2017/Penn Magazine/57

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