"Dude" #1, Three Weeks in a Row, on New York Times Bestseller List
I'm back home after visiting 39 cities in 23 days on my book tour and I want to thank everyone who came by to see me. It was our biggest tour yet, with five to ten thousand people a night filling basketball arenas and county fair grounds across the country. In many cities there were thousands more of you who couldn't get in (4,000 people pounding on the door in Baltimore was quite a sight!). Next time we do the football stadiums!
The book went immediately to #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. And it is still at #1 after three weeks! It is also #1 in the L.A. Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle and most other lists in the country.
It took one year for "Stupid White Men" to sell a million copies in the United States. It took "Dude, Where's My Country?" just three weeks. That should give you some indication of the level of concern/frustration/anger in the country right now over what the Bush administration is up to.
All over America, this is what I saw on the tour: Tens of thousands of average Americans who don't like their commander-in-chief lying to them in order to start a war. Not a night went by where I didn't have parents or siblings of soldiers in Iraq coming up to me, many of them in tears, pleading with me to "do something" to help bring their loved ones home from this war without end. It was heart-wrenching, and I never knew quite what to say except to tell them that they were not alone and that all of us are doing our best to get rid of George W. Bush. But that's a year away. How many more of our children will be sent to their deaths for another no-bid multi-billion dollar Halliburton contract in the next 12 months?
What was amazing to me on this tour was that some of the biggest and most enthusiastic crowds were in hard-core Republican areas like Stockton, California and Wooster, Ohio. I get it when 13,000 show up and try to squeeze in as they did at Berkeley's Greek Theatre. But when five or six thousand show up in places like Pullman, Washington (on the Idaho border) or Ypsilanti, Michigan, I'm convinced that there has been a shift, a real shift, in public opinion, and the only question now is what are WE going to do?
This week the Senate gave Bush the $87 billion he was looking for to continue the debacle in Iraq. But the Republicans knew that voting for this might come back to haunt them, so they asked the Democrats if they could just have a "voice vote" so no one's name would have to be recorded as having voted in favor of sending the nation into permanent debt (a debt that may not be paid off in our lifetime). The Democrats, afraid of appearing ćunpatriotic," agreed to the deal. This was actually a compliment to all of YOU, as both parties know that the people are simmering and the only way they can get away with continuing this war is to do so in hiding (like the way they hide the body bags from public view as they return home). What they don't get is that we are not going to let them off the hook so easily, and we will force them to take a stand sooner or later. How many more deaths will it take?
Not many, if what I saw this past month on the road across America is any indication. I have many stories to tell you about the people I encountered, the things I saw and heard, and the strange hope and optimism I now have that we can turn things around. I'm sorry I couldn't keep the diary I wanted to on my web site, but we were traveling to two cities on most days and I was lucky to find time for a few hours sleep. Fortunately, our webmaster has been able to put up lots of good stuff each day and I hope you have a chance to visit it from time to time.
I'm off to Europe tomorrow for the book's release in the UK, Ireland, Germany and Austria. If you live there, come on by to one of the events. In the middle of all this I've been shooting my next movie, "Fahrenheit 9/11," and I'm happy to report that it's looking good and is on schedule for release late next summer.
Thanks for granting me the privilege of, once again, having the #1 book in the country. I am grateful for the support and I am buoyed by how large -- and how deep into mainstream America -- our little "community" has grown. Don't despair -- we will stop this war, we will create a better life for those who struggle every day, and we will reclaim our White House. Not a bad to-do list for the next 12 months!