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Bowling for Columbine: Stunt Righteousness

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You gotta love Michael Moore, America’s Hardest Working Populist. “Bowling for Columbine” is as lovable. And just as sloppy.

It’s a movie as shambling as Moore’s own shuffle. It’s almost always entertaining and occasionally touching. It’s also incoherent, willing to sacrifice its argument for the sake of a righteous stunt.

It’s easy to be for gun control and against racism as this movie surely is. But it’s heartening to see a movie that also cares about little ol’ things like the way big companies casually get rich off of human misery and about the increasingly rigid class structure in the US. It’s good to have the argument over crime expanded to include a peek into the life of a single mom forced by welfare “reform” to abandon her 6 year old child for 12 hours a day.

And yet, “Bowling for Columbine” poses a focused question and squanders itself on stunts that work against its answer. For example, the single mom works for a restaurant chain owned by Dick Clark. The restaurant gets a tax break for hiring welfare recipients. So, Moore chases Clark down and gets the door slammed in his face when he presses Clark on why he hires welfare moms for lowing paying jobs. The chain of causes is getting pretty slack by the time we get to Clark. Is his crime paying minimum wage? Taking the tax credit offered him? Hiring people on welfare? Does Clark have some special obligation because he’s a celebrity? If not, then why pick on him instead of someone either abusing the system by paying less than minimum wage or someone responsible for voting in the hideous welfare “reform” act in the first place? Moore collects door slams the way others collect autographs.

He’s at his worst in the movie’s climactic encounter with Charleton Heston. Moore has labored to widen the context for understanding why America has so many murders by gun. If sometimes it seems like a stretch, on reflection the stretches often seem less stretchy: Yes, our willingness to launch missiles probably does have something to do with our casual attitude towards guns, for example. And Moore makes a special point of showing that the mere presence of guns can’t explain why so Americans shoot other Americans. In one of the most effective sequences, Moore visits Canada. a country with almost no gun violence even though it has 10M homes and 7M guns.

So, why pick on Charleton Heston? Yes, Heston has twice gone to communities to hold NRA rallies just weeks after horrendous gun murders. Despicable. But when Moore wangles an interview with Heston, we see a confused, pathetic old man being challenged by a thesis that Moore has already dismissed: that gun ownership accounts for gun murders. In fact, Heston gives the answer that Moore seems to favor: America has a history of violence. But that answer wouldn’t enable Moore to wave in Heston’s face a photo of a six year old shot to death by another six year old. Moore looks like a bully. In fact he exposes himself as worse than that. He seems terminally smug.

Self-righteous, scolding, self-contradictory, rambling, predictable? Sure. But also entertaining, brave, hilarious, truthful and touching. We forgive Michael Moore his excesses because we need him so badly.

For more on the film see here and here.

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About David Weinberger

  • Karl

    In the review for Bowling for Columbine by David Weinberger, the author claims: “In fact, Heston gives the answer that Moore seems to favor: America has a history of violence. ”

    Apparently, Mr. Weinberger doesn’t have very good comprehension skills as Moore clearly debunked that ridiculous notion prior to the Heston encounter and during the actual interview. Every nation has a violent history. Japan and Germany are responsible for some of the worst atrocities ever, as Moore points out, and even Canada shares the same bloody history as the USA. Moore never buys into the notion that our history of bloodshed ties into our current problem with murder.

    BTW, one thing the Heston interview did clear up, that man is shockingly racist. Beyond revulsion I never felt pity for that priveleged, ignorant hypocrite.

  • I have mixed feelings about Michael Moore (I haven’t yet seen “Bowling for Columbine” since I just wait for movies to come out on DVD), I think what he does is thought provoking, which is a nice change from the static of almost all ‘murrican propaganda (Joss Whedon excepted).

    TVNation was one of the funniest shows on teevee, and the movies have been worthwhile. The cult of personality is off-putting (but if it can get someone to coin the phrase “fat, commie, fucknozzle” to describe Moore, I can live with that. What I don’t buy is his portrayal of Canada. In the past two weeks there have been about eight shootings here in Toronto. Is life that hellish in the US of A?

    And lastly, if you had to pick one to represent on-screen pranks, would it be Michael Moore or Johnnie Knoxville? (remember it will go in your permanent record)

  • Paul Elverud

    You say:
    “So, why pick on Charleton Heston? Yes, Heston has twice gone to communities to hold NRA rallies just weeks after horrendous gun murders. Despicable.”

    This is simply incorrect. Among a variety of creative editing (read: lying) Moore loses all credibility with this film. Why is it so beloved then? People want to believe what Moore is preaching without having to check his “facts.” Don’t love and accept someone like Moore till you look behind the curtain. He and his lies are what are despicable.

  • Jon Hensel

    How can a man who fabricates facts(ie, lies) for an entire move be given an award for a documentary?
    Heston appeared in Denver after the Columbine tragedy because of an annual NRA event that had been scheduled for years in advance. They cancelled most everything except the annual meeting portion. The law requires it to be held or advance notice given, to put it off until a different date. Hard to do on short notice with 4 million members.
    Heston didn’t go to Michigan right after the Flint shooting as Moore would have you believe. It was 8 months after and it was a ‘get out the vote’ rally having nothing to do with the NRA.

    This movie is full of lies and fabrications and doesn’t even qualify under Academy definition as a documentary.

    What we have is a fictitious Director making a fictitious movie full of fictitious ‘facts’. Shame on YOU Mr Moore.

  • Rob

    We need to hear this kind of criticism and commentary on our country and it’s hisotry of hysteria. I agree Moore doesn’t offer a definitive answer to the problems raised but I’d hardly call him sloppy and a liar. Doing that just ignores the reality he’s exposed.

  • Tim Carroll

    Michael Moore is nothing but a Socialist. I still gasp at the gullibility of the Michael Moore supporters and the Academy. His movie is obviously a fabrication, an amazingly Self-righteous fabrication. Anyone with a 5th grade education and 10 minutes on the internet can denounce most of his claims.



  • Oscar Alvarez

    Oooh wow he’s a socialist? Now I’m angered. How dare he? Socialism is BAD. Any god fearing individual with a 3rd grade education can tell you that.

    Grow up man and stop the name calling. Are you seriously attempting to disparrage someone by calling them a *gasp* socialist? What’s next Moore is a witch?

  • Mark

    Moore is nothing but a filthy lying propagandist. I’d say Joseph Goebbels would be very proud of Mr. Moore. Try http://www.hardylaw.net/Truth_About_Bowling.html for the truth about this drivel.

  • Mark

    Hestin a racist? What planet are you on? During the 60’s he was heavily involved in the civil rights movement. He picketed discriminating restaurants. He worked with Martin Luther King, and helped King break Hollywood’s color barrier. He led the actors’ component of King’s 1963 march in Washington, which set the stage for the key civil rights legislation in 1964. He put his life and reputation on the line for civil rights. All so some moron who reads or watches Moore’s lies can say, “. . . that man is shockingly racist.” Don’t take anything Moore says at face value, it will only prove to people just how stupid you really are.

  • dutchmen

    i would like to make a statement on behalf of the entire dutch nation:
    STOP BOTHERING THE WORLD (and mind your OWN buisness) -> you DON’T own the world!!
    we all hoped sep 11 would have learned you SOMETHING, but i guess we were all wrong…

  • Doctor Slack

    Moore strikes me as being so caught up in the game of polemics and counter-polemics with the American right that he’s also starting to replicate their creative approach to reality itself.

    BUT, that’s the sort of thing that’s not often said out loud by the progressively-minded, mostly for reasons of partisanship. Careful, nuanced critiques of Moore strike a lot of people as being largely worthless when the other side of the debate is FAR more flagrantly dishonest and devoted to empty, echo-chamber yammering than Moore himself. (Just take a look up the thread here, where Goebbels has already been evoked.) IOW, the lies of Bush, Fleischer, Wolfowitz et al — not to mention the much more venomous lies of Coulter, Falwell, Savage and their ilk — are a higher priority for many people than those of Moore. And I don’t blame them in the slightest.

    I myself won’t go out of my way to be a Moore detractor, but based on what I know of BfC, I don’t think he’s entitled to a “documentary” award either. Nor do I have a copy of “Stupid White Men” on my shelf. I do enjoy his brand of “protest theatre” and the fact that he’s prepared to dissent, but the quality of his thinking and reporting is just too dodgy for me to embrace him beyond that.

  • I must admit, reading the comments here, especially by a person named Mark, I’m with the dutchmen here. More or less. And that’s not only because the Netherlands are right next to my country. Well, left to my country, to be correct.

    I really can’t understand how this film, and the person Michael Moore, can start such a hysteria and name calling in the US. For me it seems to be a sign that you don’t have a real culture of critical discourse. The main point of Bowling for Columbine for me is the big question, why do people in the US shoot each other? He’s not even giving an answer, nor is he in any way antiamerican (which seems to be a deadly sin). Can anybody please explain to me where the problem is? All the hysteria about the film just implies that people want to shut their eyes to the fact that even the USA might have the one or the other problem. And that’s not limited to highschool shootings.

  • luxovius

    Fuck all of you right-wing conservative freaks…you sound more militant that the people you accuse of being terrorists…I am an American and I openly admit that we must sound like hopped up raving lunatics to the rest of the world…all those of you pro-American propagandists are why so many people hate us…you seem to think we can do no wrong…I mean you go along making up stuff about how Michael Moore made everything up in this movie…you in fact are the liars…how can you deny so many facts…America did supply weaponry to the Taliban during the moronic “cold war” era. America did fund many middle-east radicals thinking they would help us take out “commies.” We are responsible for unsupported bombing and slaughtering of innocent people all over the world…just because someone realizes that we are all imperfect…yes, ever our precious “infalible America” can commit wrong acts does not mean he is some terrorist or anti-American looney. Being an American who has to deal with people giving my nation this image I am fully disgusted by your pathetic one-sided, naive, overly loyal arguments that make you look completely blind to concrete truth…America has and can be mistaken like the rest of the world…we are no better than anyone else.
    Oh yes…an a side-note…what the hell kind of insult is calling a person a socialist…what in the world makes you feel that socialists are evil…Oh no, someone wants equality for people economically and socially…they will burn in hell because they are sick of poverty, racism, and capitalistic hogging of wealth…they must die for believing no one should have to live in a ghetto while watching as people live like kings. I can’t believe anyone would be socialist and actually show some simpathy for the less fortunate…
    I am so sick and tired of standing by while my “fellow Americans” fanatically preach their overbearring, overly capitalistic, propoganda horse manure. Michael Moore is a better supporter of “American-Democracy” than any of you blind goverment-loving sheep. He actually promotes the true ideals of America…he actually shows his strong beliefs in free speech, liberty, equality, say-in-the-government, and most of all FREEDOM. Good God people…

  • HERE, LET’S MAKE A HYPERLINK to The Truth About Bowling for Columbine page. It’s good. Read it and find out about some of Moore’s deliberate falsehoods and misrepresentations.

  • cool! can we have similar links for Savage’s The Savage Nation, Hannity’s Let Freedom Ring, Coulter’s Slander and Treason and Mona Charen’s Useful Idiots?

  • Tris

    So, we’ve all decided Mr Moore is a liar because we’ve read a website which says he is. Is it any wonder Americans are quick to defend themselves, after all, the film makes them, and their elected leaders, look pretty bad. Yeah sure Mr Moore would have exaggerated facts and used media clips which supported his argument, but it’s obvious that Moore was trying to make a point, not provide a un-biased overview of the situation. The fact that the USA is one messed up country is obvious to anyone (apart from most Americans themselves, apparently).

    The film is a refreshing change from most of the drivel spewed out by Hollywood and the American media because it accepts there is a problem, and doesn’t pretend that Americans are world-saving heroes. It seems that America has been so shocked that a film which made them look bad won an award, they will now try to prove it all wrong by picking apart Moore word by word.

    It’s funny, sitting on the other side of the Atlantic, watching you guys panicking because you’ve been insulted in a succesful film. We in Britain have a serious problem too – we’re America’s closest allies, something we should be panicking about.

  • Eric Olsen

    America may be “one messed up country,” if you expect, say, perfection, but it is the least messed up country on earth, which should count for something. Moore should not have to distort, prevaricate, twist and just plain lie to make a point, and if he does it isn’t a “documentary.” He is free to make any film he wants from any perspective he wants, but if he lies to further that perspective he should be called on it. And I am by no means pro-gun – I attach no romance to weapons of any kind.

  • This seems a bit lightheaded. I wouldn’t agree totally with the “one messed up country”, because it’s a generalization, but please how would you define “least messed up”? And don’t start with “land of the free” blabla “created equal” and so on. Other countries have that, too, you know;-) When I see that the US even still have the death sentence along with a few other South African countries (or which messed up part of this world was it?), I’m a bit sceptical. But this is just to emphasize my point and not to start a new discussion…

  • kristen

    Personally I don’t care how Americans are portrayed in a MOVIE but it does bother me somewhat when the person who makes the movie deliberately misleads to prove a point. Yes, there is a problem with guns, but i don’t think we should try to make up people’s minds for them on the problem. If somebody could just tell me ALL the facts, not just the ones for or against Michael Moore, then maybe i would decide one way or the other. Not that it really matters for one movie. I just like to have my facts straight.

    Oh, and if you are going to call people names, socialist might not be the best one. I guess if i make a movie about gun control, i’ll be a socialist too…?

    By the way, maybe half the americans are stupid, but the rest of us resent that. I don’t CARE whether or not i’m insulted in a movie, but please don’t make the mistake of being (well, for lack of a better word, racist) and saying that all Americans are stupid.

  • kristen

    oh, and no, i’m not trying to “pick apart Moore” because he insulted americans. I, personally, have never seen a gun in my life, other than at a store. I’m just insulted that Moore would lie to try to insult me. If he’s right, then that’s fine, we have a problem. But if he lied, then i don’t think he should have gotten an award for lying.

  • John
  • I love how all of the Moore debunkers just link back and forth to each other’s web sites…Now I’m convinced!

    And Tim Carroll claims “Anyone with a 5th grade education and 10 minutes on the internet can denounce most of his claims.” This is how research should be done, huh?

    I think the few inaccuracies in BFC are nothing compared to the readily available torrent of lies, myths and misleading information all over the internet (how quick some are to assume any of Moore’s inaccuracies are intentional–they seem benign to me)

  • Tris and Michelle have it right.

    We have almost nothing reflecting elevated dialogue in the US these days, by God just look what kind of narrow minded obstructivists we have in the administration!

    There was opportunity to engage in dialogue instead of attacking Iraq, but Bush can barely read a speech correctly, heaven forbid he try to engage in interactive dialogue!

    The idiot flag-waving morons have stolen the day.

    It is frightening and embarassing.

    …and the US has the potential to be as sophistocated and enlightened as any European country, but (sigh) we are never likely to overcome our hate and fear enough to get rid of the death penalty (the only economically powerful Western country to practice such a barbaric act).

    How can we say this is one of the least messed up countries? We had the sympathy and support of the entire world when we were a victim two years ago, but it was squandered in some violence-crazed rage…we need people like Michael Moore just to get us taling about how and why we are so incredibly violent.


  • Cannie

    It’s amazing the idiocy of people. Especially across from the Atlantic. Let’s not forget who started 2 World Wars – but they seem to look down on America. And for the angry socialists – go to Russia, China, or Cuba if you hate America. For the Europeans – too bad it takes the European Union to match the United States in anything you do.

  • Timmy

    In regards to the death penalty – I guess we are sick if you we put to death people that kill other people. But I guess it’s better than putting to death people that are still in the womb. Maybe our respect for human life is nonexistent because hell we are the only species to kill our unborn due to inconvenience. If you are pro-choice then I guess it won’t insult you to say that your mom should have aborted you. Just a thought

  • bob

    Everyone who supports Moore is blind!!! Everything about this movie is FALSE!!! nothing in it is true. why not try doing a little research of your own and find out the facts behind the movie instead of just believing it. “h it’s a movie, it must be true, hollywood is so smart” WRONG!!!

  • Quentin Beck

    Dutch! Didn’t the Dutch invade South Africa and impose aparthied on the majority of the people there? Hmm. Sounds peaceful to me.

  • Sigh

    1). It is possible to love America without loving its leadership. Republicans hated Clinton for eight years and no one called them anti-American. Now that people on the left are disparaging Bush and company, they’re called anti-American. That’s not fair.

    2). It took the United States years to get involved in both world wars because isolationists wanted nothing to do with Europe. The only reason the US got involved in both wars was because self-interest was involved. This notion of the US “riding to the rescue of Europe” is bunk. So is the idea that Europe has a right to feel morally superior to the US. Europe’s history (including that of Holland) is drenched in blood. Let’s not forget Indonesia, “dames en heren.”

    3). Whatever else, Moore’s film is provoking discussion. In a free society, that is a good thing.

  • BB

    Moore (like many satirical humorists) uses serious topics for material. His shows are meant for entertainment purposes and should be left at that. Lighten up folks. I know he’s laughing (all the way to the bank).

  • Mariko

    I just HAVE to respond to Cannie. That’s right. Lump EVERY nation across the seas together. They hate America, everyone of them, and deserve to die because we saved their asses. Right? Your logic is immature and narrow, but your critize the movie’s message? Does this mean that everyone in Europe gets to group all the America’s together? Let’s throw Cuba in as long as you brought it up. “All those Americans killed the Mayans and are cutting down the rainforest!” Doesn’t feeel so relivent now, does it? Learn your history and geography, take the faded flag sticker off your bumper and grow up.

  • ian


    Bowling for columbine is not about abortion, it is not about capital punishment, it is not about Europe, it is not about Bush and Quale. Bowling for Columbine is very simply a movie that was made with the express purpose of sending a message! It is propoganda I admit, BUT even though he uses decidedly BIASED facts and examples. NONE OF HIS EXAMPLES ARE UNTRUE!!!!!!!
    I personally think Moore is a pansy who throws attrocities in peoples faces. K-Mart is not at fault, Lockheed is not at fault, the government is not at fault. BUT Moore’s movie is incredibly accurate in all of its messages and points. Yes he is biased, but who is’nt? HIS MESSAGE IS THAT AMERICA IS A COUNTRY OF FEAR, we are terrified of our own shadow, and he is dead on accurate!!!!!!!! You all need to stop throwing “oooo, but its not technically a documentary, so he shouldn’t have gotten an award” WHO CARES?????? What we should be talking about is whether he makes sense, and he certainly does.

    and on a personal note: Gregling you are an idiot the state exists for one sole purpose. To ensure the survival of the state. War is a legitimate extension of diplomacy, and in my opinion fuck iraq, iran, and the whole middle east. If they attack us why should we say, ” Oh, please sir, dont do that again, it was mean” We need to have a policy similar to Israels. “If you attack us thats your right, go ahead, but be prepared to pay the price. We will revisit on you 100fold what was done to us.” Get a clue gregling, if someone hits you with a lead pipe, do you say “stop, that hurts”? or do you strike back before you are crushed. My point exactly. pussy.

  • Eric Olsen

    Good points Ian, although I don’t think – even after 9/11 – the country is really awash in fear.

    But as to your opening: life is off-topic.

  • brown_boognish

    Critics of Moore seem to contend that because there are some grey areas regarding a few of his facts we should therefore dismiss everything presented in the film. A great deal of the facts in Bowling for Columbine are painfully true.

  • Geoff

    While Michael Moore never outright lies in his documentary, his manipulation of the facts is inexcusable. As the author of the oft-linked “Truth About Bowling” page states, “Moore does not inform his readers: he plays them like a violin.” This is not a documentary. It is a political piece that I would liken to a smear ad around election time; it twists facts, “creatively” edits speeches and quotes, and does everything it can to lead the blind public to its intended conclusion. Before someone attempts to flame me on here, let me make this clear: My issue is not with Moore’s beliefs or political views. My issue is with how he expresses them. Unfortunately, this issue is far more widespread than most people realize. From Paul Revere’s engraving of the “Boston Massacre” (a single incident of scared British soldiers firing into an angry mob) to the negative campaign ads we’ll see until November, misleading media always has and always will be part of American politics. Go read the Truth About Bowling page… but after you’re done, take a few minutes and think about how this has been going on for hundreds of years, in every form of media, and on every subject you’ve ever learned anything about. Scary, isn’t it?

  • Since employees are slaves, I’d say Michael Moore does a good job of showing it. He just doesn’t ever SAY it because he doesn’t really THINK we’re all still slaves for wages.

  • Eric Olsen

    isn’t “slave for wages” an oxymoron?

  • Chris Beck

    Moore clearly distorts the truth in an attempt to support an extremist position. This is the most dangerous type of individual there is. The fact is that every nation has gun problems and furthermore America’s gun laws are rooted in the constitution. Every man shall have the right to bear arms. This is not an outdated statement or an oversight by the initial writers, this is a timeless inheritance of all men for all times. No one should be persecuted for bearing weapons, and no amount of slander, distortion, and fallacy by some nut job popular writer should ever challenge the virtue of the Constitution. Moore’s opinion is laughably insignificant and the fact that the media and the left are so consumed with his mantra really says something about America. I don’t care if he confronts an old man with Alzheimer’s and a conscience on his doorstep and asks him inane questions. There is even the possibility being raised that part of that scene was faked. That man is clearly not a racist and Moore has slandered him so thoroughly that it’s disgusting. He willingly distorts that facts and makes up whatever he can think of to support his shaky case. He has clearly and tragically misled every one of you. Moore denounces the media for being hysterical and untruthful, but he embodies the worst of what he criticizes in his willful distortion of the truth and careful devious lies to the American public. American culture today is quick to reject its elected officials and authority figures, and while this position may have some advantages, certainly one of the greatest disadvantages is the susceptibility of society to attacks and lies at the hands of conmen and liars such as Moore.

  • “The fact is that every nation has gun problems… ”

    Please site your source for that fact.

  • Dwaine AKA Scooter AKA D.J.

    Great blog, Dave. I never thought of the documentary that way.

  • HJ

    Europe has no right to look down its collective nose at the US..

    and they are rather like the kids you went to highschool with that are jealous of so and so because so and so has the cutest boyfriend or girlfriend, and all they can do is whine about it.

    except, in this case, Europe will never grow up to be successful or handsome, or realize that they still have quiet a bit to learn.

    oh well…

  • Vasiliy

    I went to see BfC and I went into it with an open mind. After all, documentaries are supposed to reveal the truth. The film was easily digested, yet quite boring. People get killed by guns every day. They also get killed in traffic accidents, and drownings. Are we to examine our aqua-recreation habits and conjure the evil corporate hand of Yamaha and Sea-doo simply to scare people? I was prepared to accept the facts in the movie, but if it’s true that many of the facts were twisted or are plainly false, then how can the movie be a documentary? In the 1920s Eisenstein made a number of ‘documentaries’ like this for the Soviets. I’ve seen them, and was amazed at the simplicity, and rather unbelievable nature of the films. In another 80 years, will our great-grandchildren look at Bowling and have a good chuckle, wondering how we could be so gullible?
    This is off track, but in light of some of the previous posts, I thought it to be appropriate. I love America. I love Europe. (These facts will probably confuse half of you.) It’s funny. We in the developed countries on earth will squabble over the reletively benign issue of guns, or welfare, and yet completely ignore the atrocities in the surrounding world. I saw millions protest the removal of Saddam, a man who executed over 300,000 people, but where are the demonstrations condemning the genocide in Rwanda? Or Sudan? Why is Bush evil for getting rid of a mass-murderer? The answer I hear to that last question is that ‘he lied about the WMD,’ or something along that line. But the same people who call Bush evil for this are the same people who laud Moore for his blatant disregard for the truth as well. Consistency, my fellow man, consistency.

  • Eric Olsen

    very important points Vasilly, thanks! Balance is one of the glaring things missing from most of our political debate

  • QC

    Can we STOP posting this lie by Michael Moore! HeEston did NOT hold an NRA rally “just WEEKS” after the Flint shooting. The footage shown was EIGHT MONTHS LATER, and it was an ELECTION CAMPAIGN for Bush.

    Can we pleaes leran to think for ourselves rather than follow Moore like blind little sheep?

  • QC is right, and as Paul and Jon pointed out above, after Columbine, the NRA had their annual meeting planned in Denver years in advance. The NRA is a NY-based organization, and NY state law mandates an annual meeting. As the meeting was scheduled years in advance, the only option was to change the venue. According to NY state law, if a meeting venue change is to take place, a 10 day notice has to be given to all members in writing. Since Columbine only happened 11 days before the NRA meeting was to be held, there was no way on earth the millions of NRA members could have been notified in time. In order to comply with NY state law, the meeting was held as planned, and anything not mandated by NY state law was cancelled. No vendor booths, etc.

    All it takes to refute nearly anything Michael Moore says is a few Google searches. In fact, don’t believe what I’ve just said, do the research yourselves. The information is not that hard to find.

    What I’m waiting to see, is that since F9/11 was aired on a Cuban TV station a few weeks ago, if the Academy will forgo their own rules, which stipulate that in order for a documenatary to be elligible for an Oscar, that it cannot be shown on TV in any country in the world for nine months after its initial theatrical release. Being on Cuban TV invalidates F9/11 for an Oscar. I guess we’ll see if the Academy’s rules stick, or if they’re ignored for Michael Moore’s sake. If they are, that speaks volumes.

  • Eric Olsen

    I finally watched BFC recently, and in addition to the factual issues, which have been well documented and I had decided in advance I would try to not let cloud my view of it as a movie, it was way too long, boring as hell, and accomplished one thing for me only: guns are dangerous. I was already aware of that.

  • I watched Bowling for Columbine just before it came out. For some people living in the urban centers of California, gun ownership is a hard topic for them to comprehend.

    Gun ownership in semi-rural and rural areas is a matter of protection. But having been at a firing range to learn how to shoot, I have seen two very bad examples of urban gun ownership: a guy shooting a gun too powerful for him to control and two women afraid of the small 22 they owned. Neither party was doing a good job at hitting the target (blank range).

    From the perspective of an urban dweller in a liberal-voting state, I think Bowling for Columbine showed what middle America was like in comparison.

    But I would like to point out that the appearance of Charlton Heston in Bowling for Columbine was probably the weakest part of this documentary. Although Heston has not hesitated to write or speak out (he has had a few letters to the editor published in the Los Angeles Times), he had just announced in August of 2002 that he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

    Bowling for Columbine came out in October of 2002.

    At least in Los Angeles, it made Michael Moore seem like little more than a bully, but I guess that’s the caveat for people who specialize in the ambush interview style.

    Heston made his announcement via video tape ending it with a line spoken by Prospero from “The Tempest:”

    “We are such stuff
    As dreams are made on, and our little life
    Is rounded with a sleep.”

    Of course, it was too late for Moore to cut out the parts with Heston, but can he really sleep so well knowing how he further victimized a man suffering from a tragic disease?

  • Eric Olsen

    exactly right PT, thanks, but even giving him a pass on that, it was still lame

  • Elizabeth

    I can understand what all of you are saying, but i have to ask you a question. He may have mislead his audience with his editing techniques. But isnt there a greater issue in his movie that needs to be addressed then just where he edited things out and not? He is right in some senses. Why is the US so violent? What is so different about the US that so many people die a year?
    Yes he was wrong to make Heston out to look like racist lunitic. But that wasnt what he was trying to get across. He was trying to point out that there is something wrong with this country when a six year old shoots another six year old in school. And there is something wrong in the US when nail clippers are considered a weapon. I guess if Sept 11 taught me anything, its that you can take yourself so seriously. The US thinks that it is invincable. And frankly your not. What did you think would happen when you provide a known terrorist with millions of dollars? That one day he would come after you? Frankly he got away with it.
    And really how sad is it, that michael moore is trying to open us residents eyes, and grown men sit at their computers and argue about whether or not its relavent. Grow up, look around you. Something is wrong with the world today, and Im proud that someone had the guts to stand up and say that.
    Maybe he should review his ethics though, because i agree editing out stuff is slimy.
    Age 16, Social 30

  • LightningHell

    Wow…many flames here…

    However I despise Moore’s extremely unethical twist-other-people’s-words and other editing techniques, I agree that there is violence to deal with. However, I do not believe it is of such an immediate concern that it would justify Moore’s editing. (A bit of confusing wording there.)

    And to think I’m in Hong Kong and 14 years old…

  • Reinhart

    Ultimately, here is the biggest point.

    How can anybody take someone who has to distort data to the point where it can no longer be relied on to reflect the truth, and all just to make a point?

    Technically, that is fabricating a lie to bolster a point that, because of it being backed by a lie, does nothing to make a valid point at all.

    But, it does one thing incredibly well: it sways those who are weak of mind just as well as conservative claptrap.

    Grow a brain, read up on the raw data yourselves, and make your own conclusions; don’t allow some other extremist bozo, left or right, make the conclusion for you.

    The biggest traitors of the country are democrats AND republicans. BE AN INDEPENDENT. – Reinhart

  • Floyd

    I just want to say that it is too bad that Mr. Wienberger and Karl and several other commentators didn’t come from David Hardy’s website as I did. They would have learned that Mr.Moore is each one liar extrodinare and that Mr. Heston is not now nor never has been a racist. They would have also learned that the NRA was NOT following tragic incidents around- quite to the contrary.
    But then socialists and left wing communist liberals are always accusing others of what they do all of time. Every tragic incident this country from Columbine to Virgina Tech has alway been behived over with Liberal left wing anti-gun whachos moving in on the greif stricken and and exploiting them- sometimes almost viciously.