During his lecture on Friday afternoon, filmmaker and author Michael Moore demonstrated an acute sense of his audience and location. Not only did he acknowledge that Georgetown has been or will be host to such conservative figureheads as Karl Rove and Ann Coulter, but he drew a political parallel that would make Hoyas from any corner of the political spectrum crack a smile. When discussing the voting patterns of young people, he explained why so few 18- to 25-year-olds bothered to vote in the 2010 midterm elections.
“[Obama]’s been playing it like Georgetown football,” he said. The crowd erupted with laughter, whoops, and applause.
That kind of situational awareness was a big part of what made Moore’s presentation, entitled “Here Comes Trouble: An Evening with Michael Moore,” so engaging. During the lecture, which was sponsored with its share of public chagrin by the Georgetown Lecture Fund, Georgetown Program Board, and the Student Activities Commission, Moore was equal parts cynically joking and unsettling serious as he discussed public policy, Christian values, and America’s financial and social woes. He structured the entire evening with such a smooth narrative arc and call to action for young people to repair the nation that it reminded the crowd why he has an Oscar lying around somewhere in his house.
Since he is, of course, the maker of such politically-minded, left-bent films as Farenheit 9/11 and Sicko, Moore spent a good deal of the speech addressing the what he believed to be the flaws and hypocrisies inherent in America’s version of “21st Century capitalism.” He launched into this by bringing up the recent Occupy Wall Street campaign, and expanded into the mortgage crisis, job crisis, and other financial woes by summing up the problem with a single, unifying source.