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BS: Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine

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GUEST 04 Nov 02 - 10:00 AM
DougR 04 Nov 02 - 12:15 AM
katlaughing 04 Nov 02 - 12:15 AM
GUEST 03 Nov 02 - 10:04 PM
momnopp 03 Nov 02 - 09:46 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Nov 02 - 08:59 PM
DougR 03 Nov 02 - 04:42 PM
GUEST 02 Nov 02 - 01:02 PM
GUEST 02 Nov 02 - 12:56 PM
Mudlark 02 Nov 02 - 12:18 PM
Amos 02 Nov 02 - 11:25 AM
GUEST 02 Nov 02 - 11:02 AM
Hollowfox 02 Nov 02 - 10:55 AM
Charley Noble 02 Nov 02 - 10:29 AM
Jon Bartlett 02 Nov 02 - 04:23 AM
DougR 02 Nov 02 - 01:55 AM
Alice 02 Nov 02 - 12:26 AM
michaelr 02 Nov 02 - 12:26 AM
Rick Fielding 01 Nov 02 - 10:47 PM
katlaughing 01 Nov 02 - 10:40 PM
Rick Fielding 01 Nov 02 - 10:32 PM
Mudlark 01 Nov 02 - 10:11 PM
Melani 01 Nov 02 - 09:49 PM
kendall 01 Nov 02 - 08:51 PM
katlaughing 01 Nov 02 - 07:42 PM
katlaughing 01 Nov 02 - 07:19 PM

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Subject: RE: BS: Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Nov 02 - 10:00 AM

Two things DougR. I am fine with people owning hunting rifles. I am not fine with people owning handguns and assault weapons, which are used for one thing only--to kill PEOPLE.

Nowhere in my review did I say Heston was a dummy, or stupid, or lacking in intelligence. I did, however, say he did not appear to me to be mentally incapacitated in any way, but was in fact, sharp as a tack. In the interview, Heston was alternately charming and warm, obstinate and arrogant, and finally, just bizarre. I also referred to him as being callous and depraved. But not stupid. No, definitely not stupid.

By the way--the Nichols brothers of Oklahoma City bombing fame are also from Michigan--the next county over from Moore's.

As to the ambush interview DougR, one can think of many examples of it being used--it became Mike Wallace's signature style, for example, and is often used by the so-called tv news magazine programs like 60 Minutes, Dateline, etc.

Again, I didn't find Heston to be a sympathetic figure at all, yet two people I saw the film with did. As I said, I am absolutely baffled as to how people are more sympathetic to Heston than to the grieving families and communities. I really can't comprehend that sort of disconnect from reality. But I suppose it is the same sort of middle class, largely European American social disease that resulted in the cops who beat Rodney King getting off scott free. Even when people see the truth with their own eyes, they remain in denial of the facts, in order to get to the outcome they hope for. Just bizarre.


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Subject: RE: BS: Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine
From: DougR
Date: 04 Nov 02 - 12:15 AM

I suppose an "Ambush Interview" is in the eye of the beholder. I will see the film, but doubt I will draw from it the great satisfaction that many of you do. I see nothing wrong with owning firearms, and do not believe that owning one stamps you as a redneck potential murderer.

I knew Charlton Heston when he served on the National Council for the Arts. He is not a dummy, as so many would like to believe. He believes strongly in his convictions, and expresses them. Anything wrong with that (other than it might be contrary to your own?) You express yours, don't you?

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Nov 02 - 12:15 AM

Thanks! It is not here, yet, but i will be seeing as soon as possible.


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Subject: RE: BS: Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Nov 02 - 10:04 PM

I saw the film and now understand why so many media whores have condemned it. This film makes the media look very, very bad. And it is dead on the mark while doing it.

As to the supposedly controversial Charlton Heston scene, the controversy over it has to do with, I think, a couple of things. First, Moore uses two common interviewing techniques--confrontational interviewing and the ambush interview--in an original and unique way. Both techniques are, of course, also used regularly by the mass media. The difference between Moore's and the mass media whores' use of these techniques is that he uses it ironically, and often juxtaposes the frightening with the ludicrous about the people he is confronting--at the same time that he is exposing their complete ignorance and/or indifference (or in some instances, contempt). Moore's use of these techniques makes us squirm a bit at times, but also makes us laugh, while flinching at ourselves for laughing at the same time.

My dimestore theory about the differences in our (the audiences') sympathetic reactions to Heston, and unsympathetic reaction to Moore is that the mass media, which routinely uses the ambush interview and confrontational interview techniques all the time, has conditioned us to accept the use of those techniques against certain groups of people, but not against others. We have been conditioned to accept the techniques, in other words, against those whom the mass media is trying to label "the bad guys" or to marginalize in some way, and those are rarely, if ever, those in power. Anytime the techniques are used to expose celebrities we are comfortably familiar with, or Establishment figures with a certain amount of status, power, and influence, and/or ruling elites--CEOs, right leaning politicians and/or wealthy and powerful politicians, etc., we are conditioned to view it as horribly wrong. Hence, the negative audience reactions to the Heston scene in the film.

The main thread which runs through this film is Moore's hometown and homestate, as is often done in his films. As it turns out, Charlton Heston is also from Michigan, as was one of the Columbine shooters. There were also a number of these sorts of odd coincidences Moore drew on, to focus the film on what he thought were the more salient points about the American love of guns and the American propensity for killing people with them. And I thought he did it very effectively, in a very powerful way.

I was wrong in my guess (see above) as to why Moore went to Heston's house & interviewed him. It was to do a confrontational interview, but not on the NRA.   Flint is home to one of the US' more grisly gun statistics--the murder of a six year old girl by the youngest shooter on record--a six year old boy who brought a gun to school he found in his uncle's house (where his family was living at the time of the shooting).

Now, the film shows Heston first defiantly giving a speech to an NRA group in Denver, 10 days after the Columbine massacre, despite pleas by the families, the mayor, etc. to respect the grieving families and the community, and not hold the rally at that time. The film later shows him doing the same thing a week after the shooting in Flint. Moore was so outraged by Heston's actions in this regard that he walked up to the gated home where Heston lives in Beverly Hills, rings the intercom, and Heston answers it personally. Moore tells him who he is, that he is doing a documentary on Columbine and other school shootings, that he himself is a member of the NRA, and asks if he would be willing to do an interview. Heston agrees to do the interview the next morning, saying he has people there at the moment. Moore absolutely does not misrepresent himself, nor would I characterize the interview as an ambush interview. Moore does use his now infamous confrontational interviewing technique with Heston--as he does in a number of scenes in the film.

I really give kudos to Moore for keeping in enough footage of this bizarre interview, because it actually allows him to make a man who has looked absolutely despicable throughout the film, look sympathetic in the scene. Which makes people watching the film squirm. He is respectful. He doesn't put undue pressure on him. He doesn't attempt to confuse him. But when Moore asks if Heston is willing to apologize for the anguish he has caused the grieving families and communities, Heston reacts with a very arrogant "You want me to APOLOGIZE?" and not long afterwards, gets up and walks out in silence.

I'm not quite sure why people find what Moore is doing to be more offensive than what Heston did in the wake of these school shootings. It honestly does baffle me. His appearances at the NRA rallies in both cities were shown in the film, and they are quite chilling. It is clear the NRA rallies are being held to counter the gun control lobby's efforts to use these cases as examples of why we need stricter gun control laws, and to capitalize on public sentiments in the wake of the shootings.

BTW, the reason why Moore goes after Heston isn't about the NRA, but to confront him for appearing at the rally in Flint--with a picture of the six year old girl killed in the Flint school shooting. People dislike the scene, IMO, because for Moore, it is so obviously personal. Moore is angry and outraged at the callousness and depravity of Heston's appearances and the NRA rallies in the communities where the shootings occurred, and that becomes palpable in the interview.

At no time does Moore raise his voice, or do anything more than follow Heston out of the room when Heston bizarrely just gets up and walks out. He follows him out into the driveway with the picture (which Heston never stops to look at), and then leaves the picture of the child in Heston's driveway, walks away, and the scene fades.

The film is the best Moore has ever done, IMO. I'll be going back to see it again, because there is so much in it, and the subject matter is so perplexing and overwhelming, that I'll want to see it at least once more, just to get a grip on all of it.

There were a lot of young people at the showing we attended, although many more late teens and twenty somethings than any other age group, though middle age people were maybe 1/3 of the audience. It was sold out for the 2:00 pm showing (it has 4 showings a day right now).

I'm very interested in discussing the film with others who have seen it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine
From: momnopp
Date: 03 Nov 02 - 09:46 PM

Blickie #1
Is an interesting site that has info on the movie and about voting on Tuesday (which is election day here in the U.S. of A.).

and

Blickie #2

is a short clip with Michael Moore, from Oprah's "After the Show" on, ". . .what makes America the most violent country in the world?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Nov 02 - 08:59 PM

Can you have weapons that aren't assault weapons? Can't be much bloody use...Body armour doesn't count as a weapon does it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine
From: DougR
Date: 03 Nov 02 - 04:42 PM

It's amazing what you can learn on the Mudcat.

GUEST: Charlton Heston is used (By the NRA)to "promote the proliferation of ASSAULT (my caps) weapons in the U.S.?" Prove it!

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Nov 02 - 01:02 PM

And here is this from the Violence Policy Center's website. They proudly proclaim that: "The National Rifle Association (NRA) calls VPC "the most effective, and most untruthful [by NRA standards], anti-gun rabble-rouser in Washington."

This is from the page on the NRA:

http://www.vpc.org/nrainfo/

Charlton Heston

Controversy has followed Heston. In December 1997, Heston delivered a speech before the Free Congress Foundation in which he made inflammatory remarks regarding women, gays and lesbians, and African Americans; while at the same time trivializing the Holocaust. Click here for more information, including video and audio clips.


In the past, Heston has been criticized by a faction led by former NRA Board Member Neal Knox, who has questioned the actor's pro-gun credentials. In making these charges, Knox has pointed to pro-gun control statements made by Heston during the 1960s following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy that were obtained from The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library & Museum in Austin, Texas. Knox also has criticized Heston for remarks he made soon after his election questioning the need for citizens to own AK-47s. Click here for more information.


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Subject: RE: BS: Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Nov 02 - 12:56 PM

This is from the NRA's website:

Los Angeles
August 9, 2002


My Dear Friends, Colleagues and Fans: My physicians have recently told me I may have a neurological disorder whose symptoms are consistent with Alzheimer's disease. So... I wanted to prepare a few words for you now, because when the time comes, I may not be able to.

I've lived my whole life on the stage and screen before you. I've found purpose and meaning in your response. For an actor there's no greater loss than the loss of his audience. I can part the Red Sea, but I can't part with you, which is why I won't exclude you from this stage in my life.

For now, I'm not changing anything. I'll insist on work when I can; the doctors will insist on rest when I must. If you see a little less spring in my step, if your name fails to leap to my lips, you'll know why. And if I tell you a funny story for the second time, please laugh anyway.

I'm neither giving up nor giving in. I believe I'm still the fighter that Dr. King and JFK and Ronald Reagan knew, but it's a fight I must someday call a draw. I must reconcile courage and surrender in equal measure. Please feel no sympathy for me. I don't. I just may be a little less accessible to you, despite my wishes.

I also want you to know that I'm grateful beyond measure. My life has been blessed with good fortune. I'm grateful that I was born in America, that cradle of freedom and opportunity, where a kid from the Michigan Northwoods can work hard and make something of his life. I'm grateful for the gift of the greatest words ever written, that let me share with you the infinite scope of the human experience. As an actor, I'm thankful that I've lived not one life, but many.

Above all, I'm proud of my family... my wife Lydia, the queen of my heart, my children, Fraser and Holly, and my beloved grandchildren, Jack, Ridley and Charlie. They're my biggest fans, my toughest critics and my proudest achievement. Through them, I can touch immortality.

Finally, I'm confident about the future of America. I believe in you. I know that the future of our country, our culture and our children is in good hands. I know you will continue to meet adversity with strength and resilience, as our ancestors did, and come through with flying colors - the ones on Old Glory.

William Shakespeare, at the end of his career, wrote his farewell through the words of Prospero, in The Tempest . It ends like this:

                Be cheerful, sir.
                Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
                As I foretold you, were all spirits and
                Are melted into air, into thin air:
                And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
                The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
                The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
                Yea all which it inherit, shall dissolve
                And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
                Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
                As dreams are made on, and our little life
                Is rounded with a sleep.

Thank you, and God bless you, everyone.

Sincerely,



Charlton Heston

Back To The Transcript Index

© 2002 National Rifle Association


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Subject: RE: BS: Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine
From: Mudlark
Date: 02 Nov 02 - 12:18 PM

Guest...Well spoken and I'm looking forward to your review.


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Subject: RE: BS: Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine
From: Amos
Date: 02 Nov 02 - 11:25 AM

I'd be interested to hear what their comments are, Sir Guest.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Nov 02 - 11:02 AM

Actually, the Charlton Heston scene seems to be the only thing that the Establishment media seems to be able to get a leg up on Moore with, and of course, they say it was "over the top" because it made them feel uncomfortable. They are even suggesting that Heston is an unfair target because of his supposed early stage Alzheimers (which was announced conveniently just prior to the release of this film--not that I'm cynical or anything).

I don't find that to be a fair criticism of the Heston segment at all, because Heston hasn't stepped down from his position as NRA spokesperson, and is still making appearances for them. That makes the man fair game, regardless of his age, and ESPECIALLY if his mental capacity is questionable.

I haven't seen the film yet, but I'm going tomorrow. If I'm guessing this at all right, I'm guessing Moore put the Heston interview at the end just to make us squirm. He knows he will get flack for it from the Establishment media, but he also knows that a whole lot of people will see it, and say "why the hell would the NRA want a spokesperson who is a flake"? In other words, it sows seeds of discontent and doubt about the NRA's tactics and media campaign, calling into question it's accuracy and factualness.

The great thing about this film is there are TONS of young people going to see it. Young people who were in high school at the time of the shootings at Columbine, and young people who are still in high school.

BTW, I don't think "frauds" is an accurate word to describe people who are willing to use the arts and mass media in their efforts to fight corrupt politicans and business interests. No public figure is who they seem to be to the public. That isn't automatic cause to assume fraudence, IMO. People who expose the facts, and present them in a powerful way, ie through an arts medium or mass medium like film, aren't immediately suspect just because they make people uncomfortable.

It would be a lot more productive in this conversation, if that is the point you want to argue, to argue it by explaining why you believe Pete Seeger, Michael Moore, Studs Terkel, and Utah Phillips are frauds, and what makes them that way. I can actually agree with you about Seeger and Phillips, less so with Terkel, and I disagree completely about Moore. I don't think Moore has ever presented himself as anything but what he is, nor do I see any image making of himself as a commodity that has any widespread public appeal. He has been pretty much anathema to public popularity in a way that Seeger and Phillips aren't, because they use nostaligic music (ie folk music) as their medium.

Now, I think one could make the argument that Charlton Heston is a fraud, because it is his machismo movie star image that is being used to promote the proliferation of assault weapons in the US, which makes him such an effective spokesman for the NRA.

This is a complex subect that just gets cheapened and dumbed down when people start hurling epithets and engaging in personal attacks against Moore, rather than addressing the disturbing subject matter of the film.

What is amazing to me is that considering the social implications of this crime, ie of white, comfortably middle class males executing their teachers and fellow class mates in the manner in which they did it, is that so little information about it has made it's way into the public arena for examination and debate. In every appearance I have seen by Moore to promote this film, he has said in everyone of them that he wasn't promoting any kind of an agenda, and he has no answers to the questions the film raises.

I'm sure I'll have more to say after I see it. I'll be seeing it with three teenagers, BTW--one high school senior, and two college students.


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Subject: RE: BS: Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine
From: Hollowfox
Date: 02 Nov 02 - 10:55 AM

There was a good interview with Michael Moore about Bowling for Columbine in Entertainment Weekly Magazine, the October 25, 2002 issue. (Now let's see if I can get a blue clicky thing) http://www.ew.com/ew/ (nope, I'm gonna chicken out and practice that later) Anyway, click on Movie reviews, then on "more movies" in the column on the left.


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Subject: RE: BS: Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Nov 02 - 10:29 AM

Send in the frauds!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 02 Nov 02 - 04:23 AM

We got in to see Columbine last night. A great movie, I thought as I watched it, and then over time, last night, today, thinking and talking about it, I thought more and more that he got it wrong, EXCEPT for the fear bit. "Guns don't kill people, people kill people", the standard defence I've always heard for no open gun ownership, Moore suggests is TRUE (I don't know if he knows he's doing it). He interviews Charlton Heston, and points out that Canada has way more guns per capita than the US but doesn't commit 1% of the murders. Why not? he asks. Heston didn't know but thought the "ethnic mix" might be part of the answer. (This is certainly not true in Canada with a very wide ethnic mix). This should have been the centre of the movie, but in my view Moore was all over the map, attacking and defending gun ownership at the same time. The point I took from it all is the fear question I brought up an the earlier post on the DC sniper. Why are Americans so fearful, as compared to e.g. Canadians? Are they, in fact, more fearful? Crime is going down, but the fear seems continually to mount. I thought Heston, the old fraud, handled himself well. THE question to ask him is "if an immigrant lady in Canada doesn't lock her doors because she's not afraid, why is a tough nut like you afraid?". Let the Big Boy answer that one!

Jon Bartlett

PS I think Moore's an old fraud too. He reminds me of Utah Phillips, Pete Seeger and Studs Terkel (all ont the side of the angels, IMHO, but frauds, every one of 'em).


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Subject: RE: BS: Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine
From: DougR
Date: 02 Nov 02 - 01:55 AM

Kendall: I think you may be half right.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine
From: Alice
Date: 02 Nov 02 - 12:26 AM

I saw him interviewed on Charlie Rose regarding the movie. I'd be interested in seeing comments from those of you who have seen the film.


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Subject: RE: BS: Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine
From: michaelr
Date: 02 Nov 02 - 12:26 AM

Carlton Heston gets no sympathy from me... the gunmongering NRA stooge...

Michael Moore, in addition to being genuinely outraged at injustice, has the ability to be funny about unfunny things, and to highlight the basic absurdity of the situation we are told to accept as the norm.

If he at times exaggerates or over-generalizes, it's in the interest of the greater good. We need more people with his kind of courage.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: BS: Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 01 Nov 02 - 10:47 PM

I'm told that the part with Charleton H. is painful to watch though. Moore is VERRRY sharp, and apparently Ben Hur is pretty old and decrepit, and looks really bad. I have no love for Heston, but I'm always uncomfortable when someone simple gets ambushed. I watched Letterman do that time and time again to people like Bob Hope, Liberace, and dozens of actresses.....takes a bit of the sadist mentality.......although I suppose you have to have SOME of the killer instinct in order to flush 'em out into the open.

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 Nov 02 - 10:40 PM

Same here, Rick. Thanks for the comments, everyone. I can't wait to see this movie. I am really astonished and glad that he was able to get it out to general audiences!


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Subject: RE: BS: Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 01 Nov 02 - 10:32 PM

You have no idea how much I value Michael Moore. He's NOT an idealogue. He puts the blame where it's deserved even if it falls on the "Democratic" side. Just hearing someone on TV that I BELIEVE is telling the truth gives me some bit of optimism.

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine
From: Mudlark
Date: 01 Nov 02 - 10:11 PM

I love Michael Moore. Thank god for a dissenting voice! And one which knows how to make entertaining movies. Saw him being interviewed on Tim Russart...he is well informed, passionate, and has enough faith to think he can make a difference. Way to GO, Michael!


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Subject: RE: BS: Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine
From: Melani
Date: 01 Nov 02 - 09:49 PM

Well, of course he is. Unwashed screwballs are necessary to keep tabs on the powerful and uncaring.

My daughter loved the movie. We're all going to see it together next week--she liked it so much she's going again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine
From: kendall
Date: 01 Nov 02 - 08:51 PM

I have a republican friend who says Moore is an unwashed screwball.


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Subject: RE: BS: Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 Nov 02 - 07:42 PM

Forgot to mention that according to Glassman, murders in the US are down by 20%, but up by 600% in reporting of them in the media!


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Subject: BS: Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 Nov 02 - 07:19 PM

I know a few Mudcatters have already seen Michael Moore's movie Bowling for Columbine and mentioned it in other threads. It is coming out in theatres, today. He was interviewed on Oprah, today and she showed quite a few clips from it. She also had Glassman on, who is the author of Culture of Fear: Why Americans fear the wrong things. He also appears in Moore's movie.

The culture of fear thing and the movie's message, from what I could gather, follow along the same lines as what some of us have been saying about the fearmongering which has been carried out in popular culture and by our government.

I'd be interested in hearing what anyone else thinks about the movie, book, and/or subject. If this is too serious for you, have some language fun in this thread: AluMINIum or ALUminum.

Thanks!

kat


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This Thread Is Closed.


Mudcat time: 19 October 3:50 PM EDT

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