February 25, 2003
Bowling for Columbine
I celebrated my birthday yesterday by seeing the movie Bowling for Columbine. No, really. (Be sure to read Tim Blair's exhaustive fisking of the movie if you haven't already done so). My brief review is this. It's hard to tell exactly what Michael Moore was trying to say. He's a snide guy who likes to make fun of everything in his path. The movie was more or less an aimless collection of visual one-liners that were loosely related to the subject of guns and seemed to be designed to produce guffaws, without arguing an actual thesis. But reading between the lines I think Moore was trying to get me to accept the following positions:
1. Dick Clark was responsible making a six year old boy in Flint, Michigan shoot a 6 year old girl at his school.
2. The Columbine shooting massacre was morally equivalent to the concurrent NATO campaign to end Milosevic's genocide in Kosovo.
3. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold committed the Columbine massacre because the US doesn't have a Canadian style health care system.
4. Because of (1), (2) and (3) above, law-abiding Americans should not be allowed to own guns
But what the movie actually convinced me of was this:
1. I should buy a gun to protect my family
Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at February 25, 2003 12:24 PM
2. I should join the NRA in order to learn and promote responsible gun ownership.
3. The most humanitarian way for the US to end poverty and crime in this country would be to send our welfare recipients and convicted felons to Canada, where they will be transformed into responsible consumers of health care services.
LOL, love your conclusions. Personally, I have no intention of seeing Moore's propaganda piece. BTW, a belated happy birthday to you.
"But what the movie actually convinced me of was this:
1. I should buy a gun to protect my family"
You mean you don't own at least one gun
Go to www.kimdutoit.com/ and he will lead you to the best gun with some satire thrown in. But remember you live in the Peoples' republic of Kalifornia. Be carefull.
Actually, if you had read "Stupid White Men" you would certainly love "Bowling For Columbine" for its stringent story.
Moore's interest is not telling a balanced story.
And it's not just about the Columbine massacre. Moreover, as his success proves he has hit a chord with a lot of people who seem to feel something they can't really express. And he puts it in his unbalanced words, so they are heard.
The film did have a useful message in my opinion:
a) Moore claims that there is a much higher risk aversion in the US than in Europe which is responsible for a lot of paranoid behavior. I have to say, the current emotionalised American discourse regarding Iraq probably underscore this claim - if you want to see it that way.
b) Moore claims bluntly that this higher risk aversion is a consequence of what he claims is the central social cleavage in the US - an unresolved racial conflict based on ritualised and inherited slave owner vs. slave identities. It's a - possible - conclusion which I cannot really say a lot about. But I know it has been made by other, more informed, commentators as well. I remember reading a political science paper last year (can't remember who wrote it) that claimed that racial tensions are sufficient to explain the lack of a more pronounced welfare system in the US. And Charlton Heston made the same point in the film - and, if I remember correctly, that section was not even cut in a particularly distorting manner.
c) The rest of the film, including the continuous allusions to conspiracy theories are evidently rather weak and clearly made for those who want to believe. You obviously don't.
New comments may be posted only from the 'Comments' links at the bottom
of each entry on the blog home page
Please don't send any more bozos to Canada. The draft-dodger wave has done enough damage already. BTW, we have the same "risk aversion" safety fetish as the U.S., although we never had slavery and black people comprise about 1.1% of the present population.