Bowling for Columbine

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GaryEA
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Post by GaryEA » Apr 8th 2003, 11:56 pm

Hey kids,

Please continue the political aspects of the "Bowling for Columbine" discussion in the thread andrewgd has started, or a new one in that topic area.

All other BFC DVD commentary can continue here as usual. If your comment has a mix of the two, I'll leave it up to you to decide which place it goes.

Thanks. :D

Gary

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Post by Guest » Apr 9th 2003, 1:16 am

JPP13 wrote:Crimson,

I saw BfC, and found it dark, disturbing, provoking and brilliant. The NRA can say whatever they'd like, but whats filmed is whats filmed. No actors.

The scenes inside Colombine HS were among the most unforgettable (and not necessarily in a goof way) I've ever seen.

I particularly liked the way that Michael Moore ( an NRA member and former marksmen) admitted he didn't have an answer. Its not an anti-gun film, but a reflection of our culture.

Ever see Roger and Me? Genius.
I agree with your above comments 100%, i was actually a lil teary during the inside shots of Colombine HS...*sniffle sniffle* But no, ive never seen Roger and Me!!! I will tho!

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Post by Bubba » Apr 12th 2003, 9:17 pm

With all due respect, Bowling for Columbine is, ahem, not the most honest documentary ever put to film. The amount of disinformation and the manipulation of truth is staggering.
After blaming Lockheed for 13 deaths at Columbine, the film moves on to blaming the United States government for 3,000 deaths on September 11. It does this by arguing that we got what we deserved, because our nation revels in the killing of civilians by air.

A montage of U.S. foreign-policy atrocities (to the tune of "What a Wonderful World") concludes with the statement that the U.S. gave $245 million to the Taliban in 2000-01. The next shot is of the World Trade Center in flames.

In fact, that money was not given to the Taliban government, but rather to U.S. and international agencies that distributed humanitarian aid to the people of Afghanistan. In other words, the fact that the United States gave money to Food For Peace and for girls' schools for Afghan refugees is supposed to prove that the America deserved to be attacked by al Qaeda.

Right after the footage of the airplanes hitting the Twin Towers, Bowling shows a B-52 memorial at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Moore intones: "The plaque underneath it proudly proclaims that this plane killed Vietnamese people on Christmas Eve 1972." The point is obvious: that the United States government and al Qaeda both perpetrate murder by airplane.

In fact, the plaque on the B-52 at the AFA is not as Moore describes it. The plaque says "B-52D Stratofortress. 'Diamond Lil.' Dedicated to the men and women of the Strategic Air Command who flew and maintained the B-52D throughout its 26-year history in the command. Aircraft 55-083, with over 15,000 flying hours, is one of two B-52Ds credited with a confirmed MIG kill during the Vietnam Conflict Flying out of U-Tapao Royal Thai Naval Airfield in southern Thailand, the crew of 'Diamond Lil' shot down a MIG northeast of Hanoi during 'Linebacker II' action on Christmas Eve, 1972."

Moore thus confirms the absurdity of the blame-America-first position popular among the Hollywood Left, by showing that such views require the ignoring of obvious facts — such as the difference between financial aid to a dictatorship and humanitarian aid to refugees, or between fighting enemy pilots and perpetrating war crimes against civilians...


A long mockumentary segment reports on the NRA convention in Denver in May 1999. The segment begins with NRA president Charlton Heston holding an antique rifle above his head and delivering the signature line: "From my cold dead hands." Actually, Heston never displayed a rifle or uttered that line at the Denver convention.

Moore bashes the NRA for being insensitive by holding its convention in Denver two weeks after the Columbine murders. That insensitivity is heightened by the implication that Heston did the "cold dead hands" rifle display there. Viewers are not informed that the NRA convention had been scheduled many years in advance, that Mayor Webb (who at the last minute told the NRA to cancel the convention) had eagerly solicited the NRA convention for Denver, or that the NRA drastically reduced its four-day convention, holding only its annual members' meeting, in an afternoon session legally required by its non-profit charter from the state of New York...


Moore's clever techniques of inversion reach an apogee with the Willie Horton ad. Political historians will remember that in the 1988 Democratic primaries, candidate Al Gore criticized Gov. Michael Dukakis for a Massachusetts furlough program under which Willie Horton — who was serving a murder sentence of life without parole — was given a weekend furlough, and raped a woman. During the fall campaign, the pro-Bush National Security Political Action Committee ran a Willie Horton commercial.

The official Bush campaign ran its own advertisement, "Revolving Doors," which attacked the furlough program but did not mention Willie Horton.

But Moore pastes text from the National Security PAC ad over film from the Bush commercial, thus creating the impression that Bush invoked Willie Horton. Moore falsifies the advertisement by pasting onscreen the text: "Willie Horton released. Then kills again." This libels Willie Horton, who perpetrated a rape but not a murder during his furlough. The audience already knows that it is supposed to be angry about the Willie Horton ad, because it was unfair and because it politically seduced gullible Americans. So Bowling does a "Willie Horton" of its own on the audience, making the film's version of the ad into a falsehood and so turning the audience into dupes of a Willie Horton ad — just like the 1988 dupes of the original ad. For good measure, the ad makes the audience believe that a black man is guilty of a crime he never committed; Bowling thereby perpetrates the same manipulation of racial fears which it accuses the media of perpetrating...


Moore films the over-the-counter purchase, no questions asked, of some ammunition in a Canadian store. The Canadian government has pointed out that such a transaction would be illegal, since the buyer is required to present identification. Moore did not respond to a request from the government's Canadian Firearms Centre to explain whether he staged a fake purchase, edited out the ID request, or broke the law.

Moore then tells the audience that 13 percent of the Canadian population is minority ethnic, the same as in the U.S. Actually, it's about 31 percent in the U.S. More significantly, blacks and Hispanics, who are involved in well over 50 percent of American homicides (both as victims and as perpetrators) make up about 2.5 percent of the Canadian population. In the United States, each group makes up about one-eighth of the U.S. population.

Comparing U.S. gun-death totals with Canada's, Moore offers a U.S. total that includes death by legal intervention (e.g., a violent felon being shot by a police officer) while omitting this same category from the Canadian total.
The article (well worth reading in its entirety) makes one thing abundantly clear: neither Michael Moore nor his film can be trusted to provide anything resembling the truth.
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Apr 12th 2003, 10:19 pm

Thanks for the link Bubba. I was one of the people who did not think Bowling for Columbine should be nominated for a Best Documentary Oscar - to me, that's like saying JFK was a documentary. Don't get me wrong - Michael Moore was definitely making a film with a message, but the way that he cut everything together to serve his purpose was reminiscent of the editing used on the Real World (so that each cast member fulfills the requisite stereotype) - very misleading.
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Post by JPP13 » Apr 13th 2003, 12:44 am

I've seen the film twice, and I'm not going to go point by point through Bubba's pasted criticisms of the film, but the truth is that much of what was written there is incorrect. One itsy bitsy example is that Moore correctly points out that the Taliban was funded for years by the US. Thats a fact. We gave Osame bin laden millions. Not humanitarian aid. Money, for weapons. In fact the Bush family and bin Laden had numerous business ties.

I'd encourage eveyone to see the film and judge for themselves.

Unfortunately, there is no fiction to 2 kids walking through school shooting assault weapons. And I'm guessing that kid in the wheelchair wasn't acting.

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Post by mglenn » Apr 15th 2003, 2:06 pm

Created a new Forum called Polictical Discussion and moved this discussion here: http://www.mscl.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2371
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michael moore

Post by lance » Apr 15th 2003, 4:00 pm

Hey all,

For Michael Moore's reaction to his movie and comments made about it and his Oscar acceptance speech see below:

http://www.smirkingchimp.com/article.ph ... =0&thold=0

Best,

Lance Man

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Post by andrewgd » Apr 15th 2003, 7:52 pm

I love that he really knows that most of the booing was people booing the initial booers. Ha!
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Post by fnordboy » Apr 16th 2003, 3:27 am

andrewgd wrote:I love that he really knows that most of the booing was people booing the initial booers. Ha!
I know, that really diminished some of his respect from me. He should have just owned up and said, "yep people booed...so what."

And the fact that he tried to get his closing line about the Dixie CHicks and Bush on to every talk show he was on like it was the wittiest thing since ...er.r....i dont know what... ugh that annoyed me. Yes we all heard it the first time, write a new one already.

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Post by Bubba » Apr 16th 2003, 7:50 am

I still don't think it was witty the first time:

"And, whenever you've got the Pope and the Dixie Chicks against you, your time is up."

The Dixie Chicks? Seriously, the Dixie Chicks opposing anything doesn't mean anything. In the history of civilization no rational individual has ever lived his life by trying to answer, "What would the Dixie Chicks do?"

It's one thing to say it's wrong of Bush to oppose the Pope*, but how does adding the Dixie Chicks' opposition serve as the straw that broke the camel's back? In what parallel universe does their opinion matter?

And in what parallel universe does a guy get hailed as a maestro of wit for saying something like this?


* - Of course, were Bush to publically announce that he regularly read and followed the public writings of Pope John Paul II, many of these same people would be screaming about church-state separation. Even now, they consider the Pope an archaic reactionary when he opposes abortion; what he says apparently only has weight when it aligns with their beliefs.
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Post by lance » Apr 16th 2003, 12:19 pm

Bubba wrote:I still don't think it was witty the first time:

"And, whenever you've got the Pope and the Dixie Chicks against you, your time is up."

The Dixie Chicks? Seriously, the Dixie Chicks opposing anything doesn't mean anything. In the history of civilization no rational individual has ever lived his life by trying to answer, "What would the Dixie Chicks do?"

It's one thing to say it's wrong of Bush to oppose the Pope*, but how does adding the Dixie Chicks' opposition serve as the straw that broke the camel's back? In what parallel universe does their opinion matter?

And in what parallel universe does a guy get hailed as a maestro of wit for saying something like this?


* - Of course, were Bush to publically announce that he regularly read and followed the public writings of Pope John Paul II, many of these same people would be screaming about church-state separation. Even now, they consider the Pope an archaic reactionary when he opposes abortion; what he says apparently only has weight when it aligns with their beliefs.
Bubba,

Dude radical thought for you: You don't have to buy everything lock stock and barrel. One can actually choose bits and pieces of various points of view to honor and promote.

Many Catholics, self included, don't buy the whole papal package in terms of ideology and practice. However, one can choose to honor what the pope said and his point of view without adhering to his other statements.

The same way that one can support the troops, be patriotic yet be critical of some aspects of Administration foreign policy. These are not mutually exclusive terms.

Best,

Lance Man

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Post by lance » Apr 16th 2003, 12:21 pm

lance wrote:
Bubba wrote:I still don't think it was witty the first time:

"And, whenever you've got the Pope and the Dixie Chicks against you, your time is up."

The Dixie Chicks? Seriously, the Dixie Chicks opposing anything doesn't mean anything. In the history of civilization no rational individual has ever lived his life by trying to answer, "What would the Dixie Chicks do?"

It's one thing to say it's wrong of Bush to oppose the Pope*, but how does adding the Dixie Chicks' opposition serve as the straw that broke the camel's back? In what parallel universe does their opinion matter?

And in what parallel universe does a guy get hailed as a maestro of wit for saying something like this?


* - Of course, were Bush to publically announce that he regularly read and followed the public writings of Pope John Paul II, many of these same people would be screaming about church-state separation. Even now, they consider the Pope an archaic reactionary when he opposes abortion; what he says apparently only has weight when it aligns with their beliefs.
Bubba,

Dude radical thought for you: You don't have to buy everything lock stock and barrel. One can actually choose bits and pieces of various points of view to honor and promote.

Many Catholics, self included, don't buy the whole papal package in terms of ideology and practice. However, one can choose to honor what the pope said and his point of view without adhering to his other statements.

The same way that one can support the troops, be patriotic yet be critical of some aspects of Administration foreign policy. These are not mutually exclusive terms.

Best,

Lance Man
Expounding further on this point:

The President's party can be for the troops, for the war and for cutting funding for Veteran's Administration hospitals in the current budget.

Best,

Lance Man

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Post by Bubba » Apr 16th 2003, 10:07 pm

Lance, I agree that one shouldn't take the Pope's word as law; my problem has been that many of the anti-war types have all of a sudden decided that his opposition to the war in Iraq pretty much settles the issue, as if his word was law. That strikes me as hypocritical.

Worse, it occasionally seems like a cheap tactic to avoid the nuts and bolts of the argument. A man whose opposition against the war includes the statement, "The Pope is against it," must either stand behind the Pope in all things or explain why the Pope happens to be right in this instance. Many opponents to the war most certainly do not support the Pope all the time, so it's only reasonable to expect/demand a reason we should agree with him now.


Finally, you said, "The President's party can be for the troops, for the war and for cutting funding for Veteran's Administration hospitals in the current budget."

Theoretically, that's true, but if you're going to imply that the Bush White House is actually proposing budget cuts in the Veterans' Administration, then I would like to see proof.

Consider this:

The 2001 budget for the Department of Veteran Affairs was 22.4 billion dollars. The 2002 budget was 23.4 billion, an increase of 1 billion, or 4.46 percent.

The highest inflation rate in that time period was 3.73% (Jan 01), so the increase even outpaced inflation. I imagine that the rate of growth was smaller than the Clinton projections, but -- and I cannot overemphasize this -- a decrease in the rate of growth is not a budget cut.

I'm not sure what the numbers are for the department in 2003 (and the proposed numbers thereafter), but I'd be willing to bet the budget increases every year, and it probably outpaces inflation, too. Can you provide proof to the contrary?
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Post by fnordboy » Apr 17th 2003, 3:10 am

Bubba wrote:Worse, it occasionally seems like a cheap tactic to avoid the nuts and bolts of the argument. A man whose opposition against the war includes the statement, "The Pope is against it," must either stand behind the Pope in all things or explain why the Pope happens to be right in this instance. Many opponents to the war most certainly do not support the Pope all the time, so it's only reasonable to expect/demand a reason we should agree with him now.
Judging by your last few posts, I think you are failing to see that Moore was just joking with that statement.

I just thought it wasn't very funny is what I am saying. Especially after hearing it 10 times.

I personally have not heard anyone using the Pope's stance as a way to completely back their own anti-war views. It is just funny, how Bush is so outwardly religious in his views and "job", but doesn't agree with the Pope.

I myself have said "wow this is the first time me and the Pope agree on something". No one is saying that since the Pope says no, we must all say no, except for maybe the few who actually do fully support the Pope and all he says and does.

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Post by Bubba » Apr 17th 2003, 8:16 am

fnordboy wrote:Judging by your last few posts, I think you are failing to see that Moore was just joking with that statement.

I just thought it wasn't very funny is what I am saying. Especially after hearing it 10 times.
I'm not convinced he was attempting to be funny. Look at the rest of his acceptance speech:

"On behalf of our producers Kathleen Glynn and Michael Donovan (from Canada), I would like to thank the Academy for this award. I have invited the other Documentary nominees on stage with me. They are here in solidarity because we like non-fiction. We like non-fiction because we live in fictitious times. We live in a time where fictitious election results give us a fictitious president. We are now fighting a war for fictitious reasons. Whether it's the fiction of duct tape or the fictitious 'Orange Alerts,' we are against this war, Mr. Bush. Shame on you, Mr. Bush, shame on you. And, whenever you've got the Pope and the Dixie Chicks against you, your time is up."

The rest of the speech is certainly serious. It's true that the Dixie Chicks comment is ridiculous, but I'm not sure Moore sees that (particularly considering the seriousness with which he made the ridiciulous comments about "fictitous times").
I personally have not heard anyone using the Pope's stance as a way to completely back their own anti-war views. It is just funny, how Bush is so outwardly religious in his views and "job", but doesn't agree with the Pope.
How is that funny? Christianity is not monolithic and hasn't been since the Reformation. Shall I count the ways that Catholics and Protestants disagree?

- The Canon (Catholics have the Apocrypha / deuterocanonical books)

- Whether the Canon is the sole and authority for doctrine and practice (Catholics also rely on the apostolic tradition of the popes)

- Papal infallability

- Justification (Catholics assert faith and works while Protestants assert justification through faith alone)

- The Sacraments (Catholics have seven, most Protestants affirm only baptism and communion -- even then, there are major differences in the belief of who participates and what happens during the act).

And, Protestants affirm that Catholics are their Christian brothers, but the door has not always swung both ways.

Above all that, many Protestan denominations emphasize "sole competency," our individual responsibility before God. That belief is bound to create difference between believers.
I myself have said "wow this is the first time me and the Pope agree on something". No one is saying that since the Pope says no, we must all say no, except for maybe the few who actually do fully support the Pope and all he says and does.
But the implicit argument of many is that the Pope's opinion on this matter is important. Again, I believe one must explain why the Pope is actually right on this issue if one is going to invoke his name.
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