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the state of the civilization

Michael Moore Deported To Canada

critical nonfiction by Kurt Halliday

saddam's in the way.

There's ol' Saddam, all surrendered up and getting de-loused by the hairless American hygiene guy in the rubber gloves all over CNN.

There's the political critics and media watchdogs already explano-interpreting why he'll never come to trial and shouldn't come to trial and will be Jack Ruby'd in any case.


Buried like a dictator in the desert, by all this State of the Empire business, is Michael Moore ethicist about town.

Moore, it seems, had the bad luck to be sneaking out of the very tanning salon the CIA was using to save money in its terrorist deportation program.

Then, when they realized they had Michael Moore (Paul Wolfowitz's "Jack of Clubs" in The Alternative Deck), the scramble was on to establish his Canadian citizenship and get him headed due north pronto.

News of America news analyst Arly Mudge caught up with Moore as he was being loaded into an unmarked Hummer this side of the Detroit-Windsor tunnel.

I interviewed Mudge for NOA while he was working on a story about the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS), located in Battle Creek, Michigan.


He drives a duck-yellow '62 Volvo and wears a faded field-green bucket hat that reads NEWFOUNDLAND.

The hat's how I found him. In the absence of stronger social ties, we both belong to The Organization For People Who Wear These Hats (TOFPWWTH).

He's a messy (or maybe that's merry) pudge, as we say in Canada, with Sally Ann satchel and ex-intellectual goatee in previously enjoyed earth colors.

We greet each other according to the protocols of the ancient & beloved Order of The Hat "Whoa, eh?"

We're at the only Starbucks in Battle Creek. It's in the only hotel.

Mudge comes back with a mocha and he vodkas her up an inch.

I get out Old Reliable, my lined canary newsprint pad (5 for $6.99 at Staples) and my Panasonic SV-AV30 ($336.87 everywhere), which comes Internet enabled.

"C'mon!" he says. "Half an inch!"

He's waving the Absolut.

I shake my head because I want to be on track for people postaling me through my blog later.

"Hey! I fergot!" he moans. "You people say centimeter!"

There's an ugly quiet in the room. The guy in the ten gallon hat holding up USA Today and looking totally personal about America's Mad Cow thing (connections to Canada always appearing in the first hundred words) lets a blast go out his nostrils and turns his one-piece upper body to look around there under the extra spicy buffalo head.

"Whoa, eh," I go.

Then we're into it.


Michael Moore's a pudgy patriot who has always seemed plain attractive, in the down-to-earth sense, to Mudge and News of America publisher, Wally Woodman.

He is described by the international media as a comedian and film-maker.

Bowling For Columbine, his effective exposé of American gun violence and its industrial / institutional sides, won an Oscar in the U.S. and a fifteen-minute standing ovation at Cannes.

In his Guardian interview he identified himself as being in the American mainstream. Most Americans, he said, are not Bushies.

NOA         So.

Mudge      Yeah.

NOA         You interviewed him.

Mudge      Sorta.

NOA         Wuttid you think?

Mudge      I dunno. It was kinda dark.

NOA         Detroit.

Mudge      Yeah.

NOA         But I mean.

Mudge      Yeah.

NOA         Where's it all headed.

Mudge      Yeah, eh?

NOA         Do you think Moore'll be assassinated?

Mudge      I think he's in the Mark Twain Kurt Vonnegut tradition.

NOA         Oh, yeah.

Mudge      Except now he's in Canada.

NOA         Did you know the Brits used to deport English Catholics to Newfoundland? That's what "The Rock" was. Australia for Papists.

Mudge      Whoa.

NOA         Totally.

Mudge      So.

NOA         How's he come back from Canada?

Mudge      He tries to get into the embassy.

NOA         Oh, yeah.

Mudge      Which is, like, a Civil War ironclad.

NOA         Okay.

Mudge      It's like. The stealth embassy.

NOA         Oh.

Mudge      I shit you not.

NOA         So.

Mudge      How's he get in?

NOA         Yeah.

Mudge      He's got buds up there.

NOA         Oh.

Mudge      John Ralston Saul. Toy boy for this Governor-General woman.

NOA         Really.

Mudge      Yeah.

NOA         What'd he do?

Mudge      He wrote The Unconscious Civilization, which is about corporations getting to be institutions.

NOA         I should do him.

Mudge      Totally.

NOA         Who else.

Mudge      Dan Aykroyd.

NOA         Oh.

Mudge      Margaret Atwood.

NOA         I'm reading The Handmaid's Tale.

Mudge      Really?

NOA            Yeah.

Mudge      Jesus.

NOA         Yeah.

Mudge      He's not coming back, is he?

NOA         Moore.

Mudge      Yeah.

NOA         No.

Mudge      It's like

NOA         Okay.

Mudge      They invented Canada.

NOA         Whoa.

Mudge      You know?

NOA         Yeah.

Mudge      Like.

NOA         Canada's a construction.

Mudge      Okay.

NOA         You go there.

Mudge      Yeah.

NOA         And you say to yourself.

Mudge      - ?

NOA         It's not real. It's too. Nice.

Mudge      Yeah.

NOA         Too. Quiet.

Mudge      I know.

NOA         I mean.

Mudge      Yeah.

NOA         They could of.

Mudge      Created it.

NOA         Like Wag The Dog.

Mudge      Yeah.

NOA         Disney.

Mudge      Yeah.

NOA         I mean.

Mudge      They've got thirty billion dollars a year.

NOA         The U.S Intelligence Community.

Mudge      Yeah.

NOA         And they've always field-tested mind-control there.

Mudge      Yeah.

NOA         And they did SARS.

Mudge      Yeah.

NOA         And they want the water.

Kurt Halliday will be survived in Kingston, Ontario by two near-novels, eighteen sorta-stories, creative non-poetry, wife Janet Anderson, sons Ross and Geoff, three cats and five computers

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