Just forget the words and sing along

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

So, when my sister came up for Thanksgiving, she asked to see one of my new favourite movies, Bowling for Columbine. A few days earlier, as I was hanging out with Trouble before she left for China, she and I were talking about the film, and she is one of the many who are starting to turn on that film, and Michael Moore. Essentially, there are a lot of people out there right now who are starting to pick the film apart and are finding many innacurracies. The one article that kind of spearheaded this charge and is often cited is called The Truth About Bowling.

The big thing that a lot of people are hung up on is the pro-gun rally that the NRA held in Flint, Michigan after that school shooting, where one six year old shot another six year old. In the film, Moore says that the rally happened "shortly after" the school shooting. When you look at the hard numbers, the rally was held 9 months after the shooting. Moore defined "shortly after" to be 9 months.

The one thing that stuck in Trouble's craw was the scene where Moore walks into a Canadian Wal-Mart and buys a bunch of ammunition. Now, under Canadian law, in order to buy ammunition, you need to present a valid Canadian firearms license. Nowhere in the scene do we see Moore present his license. Apparently, the government of Canada has notified Moore of this and bluntly asked him, "Now, was that staged for the cameras, or did you willfully break the law?" Moore has yet to reply.

Now, these articles are interesting reads. Let me say right now that I'm still a fan of Moore's work, and I still love Bowling for Columbine and its message. But, from day one, I've agreed with the critics who've said that it's not really objective enough to be a true documentary. So, learning stuff like this really doesn't surprise me. And I guess it helps that Moore also agrees that Bowling isn't a true documentary. When presented with some of these inaccuracies, and he's struggling for a defence, Moore's fallback response tends to be, "Well, it's political satire. It's just a comedy." So, yeah. I guess I'm not too surprised.

There's a column brewing here. I'll pen it this weekend. Ever since my battles with Brad Goertz back in Augustana, I've always found it somewhat hypocritical that political activists don't like to be held to the same criticism that they hold to politicians and corporations. That'll be the central theme.

But until I write that article, find out for yourself who watches the watchers.

Next Issue...Watching those who Watch the Watchers

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