Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

"Outstanding…Moore Triumphs! Publishers Weekly

Mike's Letter

August 1st, 1999 12:00 AM

Airports

The "dog days of summer" takes on a whole new meaning when you're stuck inside a Northwest jet on the runway a La Guardia (as I am right now) in 90 degree plus heat for an hour and half, the air circulation system broke, the temperature inside a suffocating 100 degrees.

A mother has stripped her baby naked and is asking to be let off the plane. If she had left that infant locked in a car with the windows rolled up for this period of time, she would have been arrested. When Northwest does it, they win last month's "on-time" award from the FAA.

I'm sitting behind Geoffrey Feiger, the attorney who saved Dr. Kevorkian from five murder raps and beat Jenny Jones this year for contributing to the death of a gay man who was a guest on her show. He is now representing two of the victims families in the Columbine High School shootings. He tells me we will all be stunned when the truth comes out about what happened that day.

It matters not that Geoffrey Feiger (or for that matter, your humble narrator) are on this Northworst sauna. We've just been told that they're going to go over and "borrow a part" from a Delta plane. Say what?

It's just one big used junkyard at the airport these days.

Either that, or Northwest has found a way to increase their profit margin by torturing its customers.

But I guess I'd rather have that part from the Delta plane than fly without it. I've thought a lot these past few weeks about the death of John Kennedy, Jr. (note to cynics, you should stop reading at this point). I knew him, but not closely. He had contacted me a few times, and invited me to lunch and, later, to a party he was having. He also asked me to contribute a piece for a book he was compiling (just published, it's called "250 Ways to Save America").

One day, over lunch, I asked him how he was able to handle all the invasions of his privacy -- especially from New York's tabloids which, that day, had run headlines claiming John's wife had cut him with a knife. His hand was in a splint and bandaged up, thanks to an accident he'd had in the kitchen, slicing a tomato.

He said, "Our mother told us when we were young that we should see our lives as if they were being lived on this bridge, and that beneath the bridge there flowed a never-ending river of sewage. She told us that the river would never touch us because she had placed us on this bridge where we would be safe. The dirty river would always be there, though, but we would always continue on our own journey, safely, on her bridge." It was a poignant image, and you could see that it mattered not to him what the tabloids or anyone else had to say. When we finished, he put on a ratty-looking scarf and stocking cap and rode off down the street on his bike into the January wind.

Nothing you have seen on TV with its initial "All John-John, All The Time" coverage will ever convey who John really was or what his life was about. The media has made much about his "reckless decision" to fly at night. The truth is John had gone out to the airport in New Jersey at 4pm to fly with his wife and sister-in-law up to Massachusetts, during the light of day. He specifically wanted to fly in daylight. His sister-in-law, according to all accounts, ended up working late at Morgan Stanley Dean Whitter where she was a vice president and an investment banker. These are, after all, incredible economic times.

So Lauren and Carolyn arrived three hours late for the trip. We've all been in a similar spot (usually on the ground). For whatever reason someone shows up late, the weather has worsened, and we are stuck, trying to decide, "Should we still go? Well, we're all here, why not, let's give it a shot." So we hop in the car, off into the dark or the storm.

Only hypocrites would call him "reckless." Every day is a risk for all of us. We make a calculated move just getting out of bed each morning, hoping for the best. I guess it makes us feel somewhat smug about our own survival that WE wouldn't fly a single-engine plane at night with a bum foot. No, the rest of us are SMARTER than that! All we do is eat bacteria-infested chicken and chemically-altered tomatoes, yak for an hour with a 900mgh cordless phone placed against the soft part of our brain, and then go and sit in front of a radiation-emitting computer screen for hours on end. And when we die before our time with colon cancer, brain tumors or strokes, we can rest assured that no one will write about how "reckless" we were.

I've heard some people say they don't understand why so many people are upset over Kennedy's death. I think it's because, at least for those of us old enough to remember watching his father die, we feel a collective sense of guilt about a kid who grew up without a father, his head blown off in Dallas for a reason nobody still knows the answer to. I think we've all had this shared sense of responsibility that, even though it was all downhill for America since that November day (Vietnam, Watergate, 40 million people permanently poor, the creation of MSNBC), we all hoped that it would turn out at least OK for that little boy.

It looked like it had. Then that hope got ripped from us, too.

***********************************************************************

Well, it's three hours later and I've arrived in Detroit (actual time in air: 59 minutes). I get off and notice a headline in one of the (scab) newspaper boxes: "Man Arrested for Leaving Dog in Car." The lead paragraph tells of how a Michigan man had run into a mall for 45 minutes and someone called the cops to report he had left his dog in the car. The police arrived, tracked him down in the mall, and arrested him.

If only that dog had been sitting next to me on the plane.

Yours,
Michael Moore
http://www.michaelmoore.com

You must log in to comment.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Log in | Register

If you have a moment today, I hope you can read the obituary for my father Francis (Frank) Moore, who died this past Saturday at the age of 92: Francis...

Apr 22nd
6:33 PM
Read More

My father, Francis (Frank) Moore, passed away this morning a few months shy if his 93rd birthday. He was a great dad I am blessed to have had him in my life. I...

Apr 20th
2:58 AM
Read More

Time to put the cuffs on Chris Christie -- not for the bridge scandal, but for this: Chris Christie's $300m pension proposal broke state anti-corruption...

Apr 18th
7:31 PM
Read More

George W. Bush Debuts New Paintings Of Dogs, Friends, Ghost Of Iraqi Child That Follows Him... www.theonion.com President Bush has a new hobby -- painting! --...

Apr 17th
7:28 PM
Read More

Big new story from David Sirota and Pando on top Christie adviser and appearance of corruption at New Jersey's pension fund: REVEALED: Gov....

Apr 17th
12:41 PM
Read More

FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States www.theonion.com WASHINGTON—The FBI announced today that it has uncovered a...

Apr 15th
3:28 PM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel's top donor bought stock in Marriott just before it was awarded huge contract pando.com As schools are closed and pensions cut,...

Apr 9th
2:00 PM
Read More

I'll be at First Time Fest today in New York City at the screening of my first film, Roger & Me. Loews Village 7 at 12:30 pm. Come see it on the big...

Apr 5th
9:48 AM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel cuts public pensions, diverts money to benefit campaign donors pando.com If you've read the financial news out of Chicago the last...

Apr 4th
2:19 PM
Read More

Please take a moment today to think of Casey Austin Sheehan, son of Cindy and Patrick, who was murdered by U.S. foreign policy in Sadr City, Baghdad ten years...

Apr 4th
2:00 PM
Read More

ICYMI - I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence...

Apr 3rd
7:38 PM
Read More

I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention...

Apr 2nd
8:27 PM
Read More

I am opposed to the death penalty, but to every rule there is usually an exception, and in this case I hope the criminals at General Motors will be arrested...

Apr 1st
3:55 PM
Read More

How Long Some in the US Will Survive Under New Health Law ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com Those who must access care to live and can afford it are not...

Mar 31st
10:13 PM
Read More

Last night, The Good Wife on the East Coast started 40 minutes late due to the overrun of the NCAA basketball game. If you had your DVR set for the show, you...

Mar 24th
5:41 PM
Read More

Watching films today, looking for the ones I'm going to pick for my film festival this summer. I (and a whole bunch of others!) have this thing we put on...

Mar 23rd
4:48 PM
Read More

When the U.S. Health Care System Keeps Killing, Who Cares Enough to Fight? ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com We have largely forgotten that people are at...

Mar 21st
5:56 PM
Read More

Tell the White House not to give up on Dr. Vivek Murthy's nomination as Surgeon General despite the ferocious opposition from the NRA: Don't give...

Mar 21st
5:38 PM
Read More

This criminal would never see a jail cell, nor would his cronies. In fact, they'd later be rewarded with re-election: Presidential Address on War with...

Mar 19th
9:40 PM
Read More

The crime of the century -- our invasion & slaughter in Iraq -- started 11 years ago tonite in this 7pm (ET) hour, March 19th, 2003: CNN Coverage of...

Mar 19th
9:08 PM
Read More

Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa ...by Nick Turse www.michaelmoore.com Nick Turse is an award-winning journalist, historian,...

Mar 17th
4:59 PM
Read More

"I think democracy is the most revolutionary thing in the world." -- Tony Benn, 1925-2014 Tony Benn in 'Sicko'

Mar 14th
10:07 AM
Read More

RIP Tony Benn, one of the UK's greatest leaders: Tony Benn, veteran Labour politician, dies aged 88 www.theguardian.com Former cabinet minister died at...

Mar 14th
9:53 AM
Read More

Please read this important story from K. Ford K.: Am I the Face of the New American Middle Class? www.huffingtonpost.com I began to feel I had slipped so low...

Mar 13th
2:24 PM
Read More

Yesterday Dianne Feinstein revealed that the CIA has been spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee. This is all about the report the committee has produced...

Mar 12th
6:48 PM
Read More

Health Care for All Colorado has brought Mercy Killers, a show written and performed by Michael Milligan about our murderous for-profit healthcare system, to...

Mar 10th
1:08 PM
Read More

Health Care Dramas that Sting and Why We Have to Watch ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com The realities Milligan has written into the show cut deep into...

Mar 10th
1:02 PM
Read More

Did you know the Lehrer Newshour on PBS has been produced for 20 years by a company owned by conservative cable billionaire John Malone? Me neither. After...

Mar 7th
8:39 PM
Read More

Mr. Obama, if int’l law is so damn crucial . . . | RootsAction.org act.rootsaction.org The Russian intervention deserves criticism. But let’s be clear. The...

Mar 6th
1:21 PM
Read More

Subscribe to Mike's Blog RSS

Click here to suggest an article

Mike's Blog

See More Blogs

Vew the archives

View older articles