Movie: Bowling for Columbine

Michael More.A friend of mine recently pointed out what I should have seen for myself: conservatives won’t change. So, while Bowling for Columbine is great entertainment for open-minded folks, it won’t make an impact on the folks who most need to see it.

If you’re lucky you may still be able to catch this film in theaters, but everybody should take a moment to view this clip of the cartoon that appears in the film: A Brief History.

A small side story to this is the Wilton Town Hall Theater. It’s an old building that really does include the town hall (and police station!) along with a two screen movie theater. It’s a nice place and I was happy to find it.

14 thoughts on “Movie: Bowling for Columbine

  1. wow- mark, that’s not a biased at all…. no, no, no…. tell ya what: that kind of closed mindedness is what is wrong with the far right. reason is a joke. criticizing moore for citing the issues without answering them- as if there is a simple answe- is far too easy. perhaps the right has an answer for solving gun-related crimes? or is that not a problem? i will never understand how conservatives got this idea across that they know how to manage things and deal with issues… conservatives are classically the predecessor to an increased national debt (and all the things that come with it.. poverty, crime rate boost, etc).

    in other words put in or get out.

  2. A different opinion is fine. Of course Moore’s movie are based on his worldviews as are reason’s opinions, as are yours, as are mine. The problem lines in saying that the presence of this “worldview” makes the movie inherently faulty. A person can not escape their views- this much I am fine with- but for one person to impose the strict criteria of their view on another is just plain silly. In other words- it is preposterous to say Moore’s movie is wrong because it does not fit the world model the people at reason have created. One might even call it hypocritical. I would never suggest accepting any view without question- which is why when I look at reason’s review I say that I see a strong bias, further they seem unwilling to reconcile their view with any other.

    I have not seen Moore’s movie yet, but (and I am putting my neck out a little on this one) since Moore’s movie is a documentary the distortion (I’m not gonna get into whether there is any) is only in the framing of the world. In other words once you see what Moore presents you can interpret it as you wish (accept or deny his framing of the world)- however you cannot deny the world being presented.

    Also, I might add that Moore’s ultimate goal was most likely to spur debate- at this point it should be obviously he was successful.

  3. Just trying to show that there are other opinions on Moore’s work. Is it closed-minded to have a different opinion?
    I think the point of Reason’s article is that what Moore portrays is a caricature of America – accurate in some ways but distorted in others. Of course, this helps drive home his point, but the distortions are based on his world-view. Should we all accept his views without question?

  4. ahem- there are at least two typos.

    Moore’s movie IS (not are..) based on his worldviews….

    the problem LIES (not lines…) in saying that the presence….

    my apologies

  5. Jon:
    Sorry it has taken me so long to respond, but I have been vacationing away from my computer. By the way, Happy Holidays!

    I’m not sure I agree with your characterization of Reason’s review. Both Moore and Reason offer criticism based on their world-view. Nowhere in the review does Reason deny Moore’s right to criticize, indeed they affirm his right to do so and even publish links to his website. How is that hypocritical?

    When you say that you see “strong bias” in Reason’s review, do you mean that they do not share your world-view? Are you willing to reconcile your view with any other?

  6. mark- happy holidays to you too.

    i never intended to say that reason couldn’t offer a world view (in fact i dont believe ever said that). let me put it this way, for a magazine called reason they seem insanely bent on not listening to anyone but themselves. they complete brush off moore and that’s just wrong. (this is not to mention the fact that the article becomes a personal attack. there is an old saying- seperate the art from the artist)

    also, i want to add that this review talks about homicide rates falling– it has been long acknowledged that this is in part due to medical science improving. in other words people are still getting shot, but now they live through it.

    i just cant believe anyone who says gun violence is not a problem.

    i think that perhaps moores goal was not so much to propose a solution but rather to bring the issue to the front and have people realize it is an issue– the author of the reason article seems to think this may not be the case.

    in closing here are two darling quotes from reason (i like the part where they make fun of his weight…)

    “The documentary is, on its surface, a meditation on American gun violence. But it functions in effect as a general summation of lefty complaints about America. In its feckless collection of sad plaints with only the barest glimmer of a hope of solution, it is also a good summation of the progressive left’s intellectual impotence.”

    “With his relentless self-promotion, phony common-man image, and tendency to get facts wrong in pursuit of his agenda, Moore makes a big and tempting target. (Yes, his size is often picked on by his foes as well.) With the exception of the factual errors, most of what Moore is regularly pilloried for is irrelevant for anything other than playing a game of spot-the-hypocrite?not necessarily the most productive intellectual sport.”

  7. mark-

    okay. so we both agree that gun violence is a problem. thats good. i never advocated moores position, i only meant to say that reason is…. well, un-reasonable in its assesment of moore’s movie. be sure though that i do believe in a strong regulation of guns- registration, background checks, and all those old songs. i personally dont think that there is an answer to gun violence, only ways to reduce risk of the wrong people having guns.

    as for my statement about medical science- i only wanted to point out that it is a factor. there was a piece on this in the news recently, but i cant remember where and frankly- didnt care enough to get a “stat” (because they are intrinsically bogus… like trickle down economics or whatever bush is calling it now). 🙂

    also, as far as your quote goes: ?Moore, allegedly a very funny guy, hits the usual targets, some of them worthwhile.? this doesnt say a good thing about moore’s movie. it says that moore isnt funny, that moore’s movie is cliche (“hits the usual targets”), and that some of those targets are worth hitting… not that he hit the marks or anything even remotely kind.

    on the subject of civil liberties (something that has been on my mind for a while now)- how about that patriot act. (casey- if you are reading this i’d be interested in your take too) one of the more recent articles for the aclu:

    note- the smiley face above is the first and last instance of me using a smiley face.

  8. Jon:
    Again, I disagree with your assessment. The Reason article says, “Moore, allegedly a very funny guy, hits the usual targets, some of them worthwhile.” Does this constitute a “complete brush off?”

    You mention that the falling homicide rate is in “part due to medical science improving.” How much is due to improvements in medical science, and how much is due to other causes? What were the other causes?

    I don’t think anyone is saying that gun violence is not a problem. It’s the solutions that we disagree on. Moore’s proposal is to ban ammunition sales, a position not far from banning guns. If you will indulge me, I will quote Criminologist Gary Kleck. First, you should know who he is:

    “The author is a member of the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International USA, Independent Action, Democrats 2000, and Common Cause, among other politically liberal organizations. He is a lifelong registered Democrat, as well as a contributor to liberal Democratic candidates. He is not now, nor has he ever been, a member of, or contributor to, the National Rifle Association, Handgun Control, Inc. nor any other advocacy organization, nor has he received funding for research from any such organization.”

    Now, here is what he says on guns and violence:

    “When I began my research on guns in 1976, like most academics, I was a believer in the “anti-gun” thesis, i.e. the idea that gun availability has a net positive effect on the frequency and/or seriousness of violent acts. It seemed then like self-evident common sense which hardly needed to be empirically tested. However, as a modest body of reliable evidence (and an enormous body of not-so-reliable evidence) accumulated, many of the most able specialists in this area shifted from the “anti-gun” position to a more skeptical stance, in which it was negatively argued that the best available evidence does not convincingly or consistently support the anti-gun position.
    [Subsequent research] has caused me to move beyond even the skeptic position. I now believe that the best currently available evidence, imperfect though it is (and must always be), indicates that general gun availability has no measurable net positive effect on rates of homicide, suicide, robbery, assault, rape, or burglary in the U[nited] S[tates].”

    See the whole article at:

  9. Recently I reviewed the Michael moore film, Bowling For Columbine, and I this time, something caught my attention and its hold would not lessen. I am trying to gather information regarding the short clips Michael plays in the film. Specifically the clip where some man in a suit takes a gun out of a manilla envelope and puts the gun in his mouth and pulls the trigger. I wish to know more about this disturbing scene, (like Who is this man and why is he doing this to himself in front of all those people?) Anyway, any information is glady appreciated. Thanks.

  10. Moore is the type of dude that you have to love it or hate it. Brutally honest. I agree and disagree with a lot of his… “theories” (i guess you could call them theories). The solution to gun control is : THERE IS NO SOLUTION!!!! It is in the constitution that Americans have the right to bear arms, and I don’t think that will ever change anymore than it already has. What more can we do… backround checks, licenses…. It is not the guns or bullets that kill people, its the people using the guns and bullets.. and we can not change people, so unless we do what Chris Rock said, and make bullets SUPER expensive, count on high homocide rates because PEOPLE WONT CHANGE!

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