Skip to comments.BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE(MICHAEL MOORE ALERT)
Posted on 11/29/2002 7:32:42 PM PST by Sparta
Bowling For Columbine is the latest documentary from Michael Moore, the left-wing multi-millionaire provocateur in his usual cunning disguise as an all-American lardbutt loser baseball cap, unkempt hair, untucked shirt. This time, the nominal subject is American violence, but, by now, connoisseurs of Roger And Me and Moores TV work know that, whatever the subject, the routine never varies: He turns up at company headquarters unannounced and demands to see the chairman. The receptionist says hes not available, and Moore merrily films the stand-off before moving on to some other target. If he showed up to see me without making an appointment, Id tell him to piss off and then fire a warning shot. If I showed up to see him unannounced and accompanied by a camera crew, his people would do the same.
But, usually, folks are nicer than that. And so you cant help noticing that, for a champion of the little guy, he goes to an awful lot of time and effort to make the little guy look like a chump. Moore has no interest in digging deep into his subjects, when all the funs to be had on the surface of American life the squeaky receptionists, the bored security guards, the bland PR women, the square company guy in the suit, the State Police trooper with the infelicitous phrasing, the bozo in the pool hall His vision of America as a wasteland of gun kooks, conspiracy theorists and perky brain-fried mall clerks will doubtless have them rolling in the aisles in London this weekend. In New Hampshire, there were only four other moviegoers in the theatre. But Moore, a great favourite with the BBC, now does his shtick with an eye to the non-American market.
That may explain the extraordinary amount of sucking up to Canada in this movie, which, while gratifying to insecure Canucks and self-loathing Americans, may be of less interest to third parties. Moores thesis, such as it is, is that Americas murder rate is the consequence not just of the countrys love of guns but of deeper currents of paranoia and fear in the American psyche. To that end, he crosses the Michigan border into Ontario, where one Canadian after another tells him that they dont lock their doors. The level of guns per capita in Canada is similar to America but the murder rate is much, much lower. Ergo, it must be because Americans are living in fear while Canadians are much more socially progrssive.
Whatever, dude. Unlike Moore, I have homes on both sides of the border and its the Quebec one I keep locked. By the time you read this, Ill be in New York, but my home in New Hampshire will be unlocked, and so will my car at the airport, the key in the ignition. By contrast, in Quebec its illegal to leave your car unlocked, even if you stop for a pee on an ice floe up by Hudsons Bay. Pace Moore, Canada has vastly lower rates of handgun ownership. Long gun ownership is much closer, but, statistically, Canadians are slightly more murderous than Americans in this sphere: in the US, there are 1.7 homicides per 100,000 long guns; in Canada, its 1.9. So British visitors to North America should be aware theyre more likely to be killed by a homicidal Canadian rifleman than an American one. On the overall murder rate, if Moores interested in cultural differences, it seems odd that he should avoid the most obvious one: Alberta Reports Colby Cosh, a braver man than I, points out that black Americans are 13% of the US population but commit over half the murders. Once you factor those out, non-black Americans murder at about the same rate as Canadians.
But by now Moores waddled on in search of other targets like, er, American foreign policy, the subject of a zippy little montage set to Louis Armstrongs What A Wonderful World, Satchs final Oh, yeah coming as the second plane slices through the World Trade Center and the caption informs us: Osama bin Laden uses his expert CIA training to murder 3,000 people. This is so glib, so pat, that I wouldnt be surprised if it doesnt elicit bursts of applause in British cinemas.
His finale is more problematic. Moore doorsteps Charlton Heston, President of the National Rifle Association, and, sportingly, Chuck invites him in for a chat. The tubster starts badgering Heston to apologise for appearing at a campaign event held in Flint, Michigan, a few days after young Kayla Rolland had been shot at school by a fellow six-year old. Heston resists, but Moore, the bullying pacifist, keeps on at him, until Heston politely ends the interview and walks away. If you can identify any point to this stunt, let me know.
I dont mind a bit of selective manipulation, but heres what Moore, touting his picture of poor dead Kayla as a badge of his compassion, doesnt tell you: the boy who killed her had been dumped by his drug-addicted mother and moved into his drug-dealing uncles crack house, where the young lad didnt have a bed of his own and so curled up on a pile of blankets under which he happened to find a stolen gun. The uncle was wanted for theft: no cops troubled him. The crack house rang with gunfire every night: nobody bothered to investigate. The woman, whom Moore paints as the victim of Michigan welfare policies, was an unfit mother, but the states fetishisation of biological parenting ensured that nothing Mommy did to the kid would persuade them to remove him from her care. I dont think Kayla Rollands murder has much to do with a culture of fear or gun control or Charlton Heston or any of Moores other diversions. But shes served her purpose, and now we know where Michael Moore stands: every child has the right to grow up in a gun-free crack house.
Yep, and in terms of 9/11 he says it's all our own fault, so I guess every child has the right to blame the USA for 9/11, too.
If you were to hire someone to make the left look stupid, Michael Moore would be your man.
Mike Peddling his craft of obese flatulism
RUDE, OVERBEARING, IGNORANT JERK!!
Bowling for Columbine is disjointed but moderately effective agit-prop, that gets a C-plus grade.
Some parts were highly effective, like the interview with the obviously psychotic lunatic Nichols brother (the unindicted brother of Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols).
Most of the movie is ridiculous deceitful propaganda. The picture of Canada as a paradise on earth where citizens never lock their doors was preposterous.
The movie's "climax" was an attack "interview" with the polite, decent (but obviously very frail) Charleton Heston at his own home, whom millionaire lard *ss Moore had been stalking. Despite his Alzheimer's and despite the obvious editing by Moore of the inerview, I thought Heston handled Moore's rude attack with dignity and intelligent answers.
Molon Labe !