This is Michael Scott Moore, who edits Radio Free Mike.
His website went dark while he was a hostage in Somalia, a brutal ordeal which lasted two and a half years.
We’re happy to announce that the site is live again.
The title of this website is a sly reference to Radio Free Europe. “Radio Free Mike” is not some kind of nickname or handle.
His actual Twitter handle — @MichaelSctMoore — is of course a good way to keep up.
Mike is an author and journalist from California who’s lived in Berlin since 2005. He went to Somalia in 2012 to research — among other topics — a gang of ten pirates on trial in Hamburg for trying to hijack the MV Taipan, a German cargo vessel.
He did not go to Somalia to interview Jessica Buchanan, and he certainly didn’t travel alone, or without security, “as if his press credentials would keep him safe.”
Those rumors were published in the bestselling book Impossible Odds, by Jessica Buchanan and Erik Landemalm (with Anthony Fucco). In general the amount of innuendo and rumor published about Mike’s ordeal has been astonishing.
Mike’s first book is is not autobiographical. Too Much of Nothing is a satirical L.A. novel narrated by a ghost, featuring a lot of exaggerated drug use and ridiculous misbehavior. The fictional town of Calaveras Beach might remind readers of Mark Twain. But the book has nothing to do with mining towns or jumping frogs. The Spanish word calavera simply means skeleton, or skull.
Here’s a calavera:
“Happy Dance and Wild Party of All the Skeletons,” by José Guadalupe Posada
José Posada drew hundreds of these lively-skeleton cartoons to illustrate satirical sheets written around the Day of the Dead. These broadsheets — also called calaveras — made fun of editors, politicians, society matrons, musicians: people high and low who forgot they were going to die.
Our editor holds two passports. His mom’s German; his dad was American. His paternal grandfather was a mechanic from Cape Breton, Canada, named Daniel John Moore, and the grim simple dignity of those three names pleases him.
His friends just call him Mike.
All of us here at Radio Free Mike would like to thank the good people in the U.S. and Europe who worked for his release.