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Michael Moore: Culture of Fear

Shortly after the release of Bowling for Columbine, Michael Moore's sly examination of gun-related violence, Moore delivered an address at Cambridge University. One male student stood in the back to ask a question. "You talk [disparagingly] about the culture of fear in 'Bowling for Columbine,'" he said, "so why do you have so much security?"

"Who said that I have so much security?" Moore replied.

"Well, you have actually quite a lot," the student insisted, whereupon someone in the front row pointed out three men in the room, each standing with hands clasped and legs apart, wearing khaki pants, white shirts, navy blazers, and small company badges. A small curly wire issued from each man's ear. "They assume that all these men are your bodyguards," he said.

"Why are they assuming that? Because they're black?" Moore asked, prompting a chorus of oohs, followed by clapping, from around the room. "I'm not in any jeopardy -- don't worry about me," he continued, pointing at his entourage. "One's my pilates instructor, one's my yoga instructor, that's my sister Anne, she's my bodyguard."

(The three men were, of course, security guards.)

[While performing at the Roundhouse in London in 2002, Moore criticized the security so bitterly that, at the last show, the staff refused to open the theatre's doors until he apologized. Why might Moore need security? Among other questionable comments, he once suggested that passengers on the 9/11 planes were too wimpy to resist because they were white!]

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