Wednesday, August 23, 2023

A librarian happened to be in the audience

“I really didn't realize the librarians were, you know, such a dangerous group.
They are subversive. You think they're just sitting there at the desk, all quiet and everything. They're like plotting the revolution, man. I wouldn't mess with them. You know, they've had their budgets cut. They're paid nothing. Books are falling apart. The libraries are just like the ass end of everything, right?”

Michael Moore knows a thing or two about the power of one librarian with a listserv.

Michael Moore duscussed Harper-Collins' suggestion that he tone his anti-Bush rhetoric down in his upcoming book or they would scrap the project.

"She was on a librarian listserv [an early Web discussion group], and apparently she wrote a letter to the other librarians, telling them that Harper-Collins wouldn't publish the book, and here's why," Moore said.

"A few days later I got a call from my editor at Harper-Collins, screaming: 'What did you tell the librarians?' I said, 'I didn't tell the librarians anything!' 'Well they're out there picketing us. In Manhattan!'" the filmmaker said. "Essentially the publisher was afraid, because the message would be to other writers, if you sign with Harper-Collins, you're signing with a censor. You might not want to do that.

"Huge egg on their face," Moore said. "But the most important thing it did was to remind me that a single person can effect change. We should have a Rosa Parks holiday to tell people, don't just sit there, do something. We need to dispel the great lie that you can't do anything about things."