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Stupid White Men

Posted May. 18, 2002 10:19,   


`Stupid White Men`

Written by Michael Moore. Translated by Kim Hyun-Woo.

336 pages, 9,500 won. Tree And Forest

`Bush has stolen the presidency. The present U.S. administration is occupied by `rich kids` and crafty whites, and these individuals are supporting greedy corporations to exploit poor weak people, while insisting to protect them.`

The writer of such bitter anti-Americanism is a white American man himself. The author is a famous writer and film producer, who earned the Emmy Award for his TV series `TV Nation`. The book is full of American humor, wits, and satire. First glance will show no intellectual logic or fair rhetoric. However, the fact that this book has topped the bestseller lists at online bookstore `Amazon` and influential newspapers like New York Times and Washington Post for 8 weeks only within a month of its publication show American people’s negative attitude against the society.

The author talks about systematic irrationality and close ties between politics and economy within the American society, and wonder about who is infringing the human rights of women and African Americans for what reason. One may find that although the author’s self-reflecting view is directed towards America and its upper class, its contents are common issues that exist in all human societies.

Some may define American paradigm as `global standard`, but the U.S. is actually suffering from the problems of human rights for aliens, women, and blacks, the heartless judicial system, the profit-centered politics and economy, pollution, etc.

`The U.S. administration is occupied by rich masters and crafty oldsters, the gigantic economy is deflating faster than firestone tires, tap water is polluting, the ozone hole is expanding, and SUVs are being over-produced.`

The author records the controversial presidential election between Bush and Gore in details like a documentary to attack Bush. Under the title `A Very American Coup`, the book reveals what happened during the ballot counting process and what Bush and his administrative figures were like in the past, even calling them `rebels`. He also sarcastically says that an opportunity for forgiveness should be given to them, and if that does not work out, `laser show` is the answer just like what America did to Iraq.

The author insists that all American systems are discriminating women. There had been 21 presidential elections ever since 1920, but female candidacy occurred only once. Women’s seats in Congress only count 13 per cent of the whole, and 40 per cent of divorced women between 25 and 34 are suffering from poverty. Women’s income against men’s average income of 1 dollar is 76 cents and women have to work for 16 months to raise their annual income to the same level of men’s.

The book is filled with American satire and the author’s genius of dealing with sensitive issues in lucidity.

Mun-Myung Huh angelhuh@donga.com