Mike Farrell to Speak at Chaucer’s
Actor of M*A*S*H Fame Discusses New Book
Monday, June 22, 2009
Mike Farrell, most famous for his role as B.J. Hunnicutt in the TV show M*A*S*H, is at the tail end of a promotional tour for Of Mule and Man, his second book. It’s a folksy, readable, stop-by-stop account of his tour to promote his first book, Just Call Me Mike: A Journey to Actor and Activist.
Because Farrell’s publisher, Akashic Books of New York, is committed to supporting independent bookstores, Farrell will be stopping at Chaucer’s Books rather than at the chains. His appearance there is being cosponsored by Death Penalty Focus, an organization that Farrell has served as president for more than 15 years.
Of Mule and Man reads like a homey, wildly unpretentious version of the social pages, in which the names dropped are of activists who show up for his appearances in various cities. These are no socialites, debutantes, or magnates—well, maybe a few—but the faces behind organizations such as Veterans for Peace, Public Citizen, the Southern Center for Human Rights, the ACLU, the Service Employees International Union, Greenpeace, and People of Faith Against the Death Penalty.
The minor frictions arising from Farrell’s relationship with his car, a rented Prius (the “Mule” of the title) provide about as much tension and drama as you’re going to find in Of Mule and Man. Even so, it’s a good read—an easygoing narrative studded with descriptions of the sponsoring organizations.
Farrell spoke to me from his hotel room in Capitola.
On these tours, do you ever feel like you’re preaching to the choir? I think the choir needs to be preached to. It’s good to be reminded that there are a lot of people out there working on these things, and the reasons why. And in fact, because of M*A*S*H, the extraordinary embrace the show enjoyed, a lot of people show up who have no particular awareness or interest in these things.
- When: Sunday, June 28, 2009, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- Where: Chaucer's Books, 3321 State St., Santa Barbara
- Cost: Not available
- Age limit: All ages
Full event details
You repeat the mantra or principle a few times in your book that people need “love, attention, and respect.” Where does that come from? That’s something I talk about at great length in the original book. As a result of the breakup of an early marriage I was in great emotional pain, and a friend directed me to this half-way house organization, because I was floundering. It was one of the great experiences of my life. The people I was interacting with were drug addicts and alcoholics, people out of prisons and mental institutions, you name it. What I learned was that all human beings want the same things-love, attention, and respect-and they put themselves through all kinds of terrible psychological, emotional, and spiritual contortions in order to find some semblance of those things.
Mike Farrell visits Chaucer’s Books on Sunday, June 28, at 3 p.m. For more information, call 682-6787 or visit chaucersbooks.com.