Skip to comments.Tim Blair: The awful truth? It's a crock (Bowling for Columbine)
Posted on 12/29/2002 5:19:30 PM PST by beckett
Tim Blair: The awful truth? It's a crock
December 30, 2002
CHILDREN'S television is quite an art. It's not just a matter of throwing together simple tunes, basic storylines and bright colours. Successful children's TV also requires the presence of a large, formless creature, an entity usually combining equal elements of human and bovine. The cow-beast is crucial.
So it is with Bowling for Columbine, Michael Moore's Cannes-winning documentary on the wrongs of guns, capitalism, and America, now screening in Australia. The simple tunes and basic storylines are in place. Moore himself plays the Dorothy the Dinosaur role, clumsily loping about in pursuit of Bad Guys. It's a kid flick for the adult anti-American market.
Moore manipulates this market so expertly that you anticipate fans squealing "Go Mikey!" every time he plods smugly into frame. Fans like The Age's Stephanie Bunbury: "Isn't that great, you think with a huge sigh of relief as you see him bearing down, amiable but inexorable, on the next feral gun owner or racist lunatic. Go Mikey!"
Yay! Margaret Pomeranz of SBS's Movie Show awarded Columbine five stars, and also got into the toddler spirit: "Moore shambles around with his baseball cap on, his stomach hanging out; almost a teddy bear figure, Moore seems to encompass so much that's terribly important in the world today with the United States on the brink of yet another international gun expedition." Movie Show co-presenter (and film reviewer for The Australian) David Stratton detected vast importance, too: "It's a sobering film, but never a dull one, thanks to the brilliance of Moore's sometimes scatological approach to a profoundly important subject."
The subject is obviously so profoundly important that no local reviewer has been bothered to report the controversy in the US over Columbine's inaccuracies and distortions. Journalists have a damned nerve charging people money for less information than is available free on the internet. Writing about Columbine without addressing its flaws is like writing about Michael Jackson without mentioning that these days he looks like an albino bat.
A mind given to conspiracy theories might conclude that an element of cover-up is involved. For the record, and because you apparently won't read it elsewhere in the Australian press, here is a brief list of things believed wrong about Columbine, from sources ranging from Salon.com and Forbes to London's Sunday Times (these and more may be found at www.moorewatch.com):
No wonder Moore is so popular in France, where Thierry Meyssan's book Effroyable Imposture (which argued that September 11 was engineered by the American government) became a bestseller.
Some of his reviewer/fans share Moore's accuracy problems. Bunbury claimed that "he bails up the entire management of Kmart and confronts Charlton Heston on his own front veranda" although he meets only a few Kmart management types and interviews Heston inside his house; and The Australian's Jane Cornwell wrote that Columbine's vile three-minute cartoon history of the US, written by Moore and made by animators FlickerLab, was produced "by the guys from South Park".
Just as wrong are reviewers' standard lines about Moore "taking on big business" and "standing up for the little guy". Moore usually stands up to the little guy, bullying sales staff and humiliating small-town folk. At the cinema where I saw Columbine, a typically open-minded and compassionate inner-city crowd giggled indulgently as Moore (aided by sneaky editing) made fools of police, PR flacks, the unemployed, the undereducated and the working class.
Millionaire Moore who is to working class as French is to resistance, despite once spending one entire day on the Buick assembly line in his hometown of Flint, Michigan is waging a class war, but it's against the rubes and hicks he claims to represent. They are mere joke fodder in his deceitful Playschool morality play. Go to hell, Mikey.
Missle. Launch vehicle. What's the difference :)?
In the old days, they called those very same, identical "devices" Titan and Atlas missiles. I don't know if they've changed the name, now that they're attaching TV satellites to them, but if you did a nose count of all the Titan and Atlas-derived "devices" that are still in existence, today, most of them still have a nuke attached, inside the tapered part on top.
I haven't seen the movie and have no plans to, but this guy is spinning the same kind of "kiddie fable" he accuses Moore of... As if the difference in American and Canadian body counts is rendered moot by one nutjob in Montreal. Give me a friggin' break.
I'm not particularly pro- or anti- gun or NRA, but I have strong doubts about any real progress being made in reducing violent crime, as long as the focus of public debate is centered on the 2nd Amendment issues, and not on the actual people pulling all those actual triggers.
At one time, since the dems wanted more gun control and the government was ignoring drug dealers and other riff raff that were openly using guns, the NRA thought it would be wise to demand the government stop passing gun control and start enforcing the laws on the books. For a single mili-second, it was a brilliant PR move. That is until the government continued to ignore street gangs and started to jail anyone with a restraining order and a gun. Now, anyone who gets a divorce, loses their gun collection. It was the opening the anti-gun crowd needed. They get to jail people who never broke a law before and gunowners who would never join the NRA anyway have an excuse not to.
There are some critics who claim that this film should get "Best Picture" at the Oscars. While I hardly agree with the sentiment, I must say that it is more worthy of "Best Picture" than "Best Documentary" as it is a work of fiction.
You would find that none of them are in service as nuclear weapons delivery devices. The Atlas and Titan are both liquid fueled rockets; USAF,for very good reasons, withdrew all liquid fueled rockets from service years ago. Atlas was withdrawn from ICBM service in 1965. The Titan ICBM force was deactivated in 1987.
I very much doubt that. Atlas and Titan are very old technology, and I believe (though am not absolutely certain) that those missles were phased out of the arsenal long ago. Being fueled by liquid propellants (usually involving liquid oxygen), they were much harder to keep on standby than solid fueled launch vehicles.
All current US ballistic missiles (both ICBM and SLBM) are, of course, solid fueled.
big Bump and PING!
He's rich? :)
It's why the global market loves him so (France, Australia, England, Canada, etc...).
It puts a familiar face on the stereotype and he uses his boorishness to confront American industry and conservative politics.
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