Tuesday, December 14, 2004


"Great day for the Race"

"What race?"

""The Human Race!"

Somedays you feel a positive energy that is definitely accentuated by "no news is good news" from the lawyer. The preliminary court date is set for the 21st and when he was talking with the prosecutor, there was still no news of any other charges, so that gives me a little more peace of mind and talking with the lawyer about the false charges from a very judgemental field sobrietry test.

I told him that I had asked the cop how I failed after I blew .000 on the test and questioned the validity of the field test. He said that I put my foot down after counting to 10 Mississippi's! My lawyer laughed. Then I said how they might have an illegal search when I had failed an invalid test. My feelings are that the cop might have been too embarassed about the situation and threw away the other evidence rather than pursue it. The short fat balding inexperienced(one year)policeman seemed to be almost apologetic I was leaving the station with my friends (who would fit the hippy profile).

The date will be reset for the middle of January and then I can schedule my journey south relaxed for at least a few months. That is enough time to really enjoy my last year before this half century of my life is over!

Charles and I went for a nice walk. There was litte relative wind compared to the cold biting wind of yesterday. I am looking forward to renting it out to someone that I can trust rather than an unstable tent with an obsession for guns and axes.
We saw his old grey Japanese car drive by not checking to see if he was in it, but I keep seeing his car every other day at the wierdest spots and times. I know it sounds paranoid, but you never know with some folks. They rob from you, walk off without paying the bills and then still want some sort of revenge. They remind you of the quiet type of people that go on murderous rampages. No matter what you do those folks will be on some sort of vendetta wanting to make your life uncomfortable.

I try my best to understand hate and what motivates folks to do "evil". They are misunderstood and often rationalize evil behavior such as the Murrah building bombing
by folks obsessed with guns and TNT. Michael Moore interviewed Terry Nichols on "Bowling for Columbine". It is interesting to see what goes on in the mind of someone that does not care about human lives.

Maybe I should come back after a few days in case anything happens to my place again. My friend Charles says that they wouldn't do it especially since I will call the police. I'm not so concerned about the social chairman as I am by someone else that is filled with hate and it can be easily directed to someone that they hate.

I wish that all of this never happened but we don't have crystal balls to tell the future. You bend over backward to help someone and then they justify doing evil.
It so much seems a small scale of the way the world is.

Our government helped out Saddam and Ben Laden. We helped them become the monsters that they are. We endorsed Hussein's behavior because he was fighting against our mutual enemy, Iran. We gave money and guns to Ben Laden and the Afghanis to fight our common enemy, the Soviets. We gave Afghanistan no more help after the Russians were gone. This only helped rationalize their new directives to the other major power after the USSR, the United States.

It's now a couple of hours later after a couple of 25 ounce beers for only 3.00!

As long as we stay consumed with hate we will eventually destroy ourselves. Folks filled with hate and obsessed with weapons will eventually use nuclear weapons and help finish off our own species.

Littleton and Beyond; Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine" Explores America's Obsession With Guns and Violence

by David Sterritt and Mikita Brottman


"Bowling for Columbine," the latest film from director Michael Moore, pictured, will be back in the spotlight this week when in is released on DVD. Image courtesty United Artists.

[Editor's Note: indieWIRE originally published this review in May 2002 as part of our Cannes coverage. The film is is being released this week on DVD.]

"Bowling for Columbine" explores more profound problems than "Roger & Me," the 1989 documentary that put Michael Moore on the filmmaking map. The question he tackled there -- why would a fat-cat corporation ruin a city with shutdowns and layoffs? -- had an easy answer: greed. This time he takes on America's penchant for violence and guns, a wide-ranging issue that eludes the clear explanation he'd like to find.

Moore bases "Bowling for Columbine" on a series of paradoxes. Firearms and mayhem are ingrained parts of the American scene, often traced to a legacy of violence predating the Revolutionary War, and to a love affair with weapons going back just as far. Yet countries like Germany and Britain have equally violent histories, and Canada couples a low murder rate with gun-ownership figures similar to those of the United States.

In his effort to discover why America dotes so much on guns, Moore talks to all sorts of weapon-toting patriots, from camouflage-clad members of the Michigan Militia to a brother of Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols and a napalm-happy suburbanite who tests homemade bomb recipes from "The Anarchist's Cookbook."

Moore also spends time in Littleton, Colo., where he persuades survivors of the Columbine high-school shooting to confront representatives from Kmart, which sold the bullets still embedded in their bodies. Farther north, he chats with Canadians about their country's low level of violence and barges into people's houses through the front doors they cheerfully leave unlocked.

Moore hasn't lost his knack for digging out oddballs from the sticks, with special interest in poker-faced PR people and small-time authority figures who don't know how to parry his sardonic questions -- like a state trooper who soberly considers whether a rifle-carrying canine might be culpable in an accidental shooting.

Such mordant vox-pop footage is juxtaposed with more sobering montage sequences, including tapes from security cameras in the Columbine cafeteria and news coverage of American military interventions over the past 50 years. In case you didn't notice, the most savage U.S. bombing in Kosovo took place the same day as the Columbine massacre.

The film's strongest argument is that most American violence is either legally sanctioned -- police actions, military operations, and the like -- or committed by citizens saturated with media-generated paranoia. Exhibit A is the hugely popular cable show "Cops," followed by nightly news programs with their "if it bleeds it leads" mentality, often permeated with a barely disguised racist subtext.

Moore uses a mosaic of TV news headlines to demonstrate media obsession with disasters du jour, from gang warfare to "Africanized" killer bees -- despite the fact that most of urban America is safe and even dull, as he shows by taking an uneventful stroll through much-maligned South Central Los Angeles. The real causes of crime, according to "Bowling for Columbine," are rarely dramatic and seldom newsworthy: social inequities, cultural anxieties, and welfare policies that force poor single mothers into minimum-wage jobs that separate them from their kids.

These are a far cry from out-of-control gangs, kill-crazy video games, and other scapegoats lurking "out there" in the mythical boiler-room of American culture. In one of the film's most striking scenes, goth rocker and veteran scapegoat Marilyn Manson argues that fear is a major fuel for modern capitalism, as people frantically consume to allay the anxiety fostered by media rumor-panics and other scare-mongering propaganda.

"Bowling for Columbine" would be more powerful if such insightful moments were delivered with fewer digressions, and if some of its arguments didn't seem so sketchy. American history is far too recent and idiosyncratic to be compared with that of England or Germany, for instance, let alone reduced to the oversimplifications of a "South Park"-style history lesson Moore injects into the movie. He doesn't ask why American news is driven so constantly by urban violence, or why shows like "Cops" draw such enormous audiences.

"Bowling for Columbine" also contains too much of Moore himself, morphing from indefatigable populist to grandstanding scenery-chewer as he commiserates with sobbing schoolteachers, waves around pictures of murdered children, and congratulates himself for getting Kmart to stop selling bullets. He pushes the envelope in the final sequence, where he tracks down National Rifle Association honcho Charlton Heston in his Beverly Hills home and badgers the bewildered star until he throws up his hands and totters out of the room.

It's a quintessential Moore moment: The mighty Moses of the NRA turns out to be a courteous old fool who can hardly comprehend the accusations thrown at him, much less answer them. But it's also a reminder that Moore didn't become a culture hero -- or a movie star -- by being Mr. Nice Guy, and that this friend of the common man can still pack a nasty punch when the time is right and the camera is pointed his way.



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You couldn't be more wrong POSTED Mon Mar 15 [11:48 AM] BY jayn1

I do not know whether or not Michael Moore has made any money on this film, I think that it is irrelavant - if you ever have the chance to watch this movie I think you should.

It is a documentary - movie, that looks into the right to own a gun in america. The film makes a pretty normal assumption in saying that the law which dictates that every american has the right to own a gun - also is the law that causes so many murders every day in America.

When you can by ammunition in your nearby wallmarth and the media blows the fear of criminals way out of proportions, is it then strange that the murder rate in US is 10 times that of the country with the second highest murder rate ?

Cause and effect.

Great movie !

I live in Denmark and it gave me a new perspective on the american system as a whole. Glad I don't live there.


POSTED Fri Sep 5 [1:36 PM] BY kyounshi

i think its great to finally have a voice, a small one, but a voice come out, but in the form of relatively widely spread art. besides, i dont think people choose to make movies for the money. especially not michael moore, in his most recent book, he writes that he will not make another film. with all the ink and attention hes gotten, i think this proves he doesnt want money above all, and even less from others' pain.

Why Teenagers Turn to Violence
Page Two

3. These are deeply troubled, tragic teenagers
Anyone who kills is a troubled person. But teenagers who ruthlessly take the lives of fellow students in mass murders are generally even more psychologically disturbed than an adult who kills a person in a fit of passion or during a crime. These teenagers have such distorted emotional lives and thinking processes that they lack some of the very most basic ingredients of a normal person. At the core, they have a very deep inability to love or connect emotionally in any meaningful way with another human being. They neither feel loved, nor are they able to love. They are tragic, lost souls seeking to find a place in life. Lacking almost any deep human connectedness, life becomes a game, and killing someone evokes no more remorse than shooting a tin can or a target at the county fair. One of the shooters in Colorado , for example, is reported to have been laughing as he murdered his fellow students. Such callous disregard for human life has to reflect a deep, deep absence of the normal human capacity to love and care for others.

Some of these emotionally disturbed individuals have psychotic features; that is, they have serious distortions in their thought processes and their capacity to judge reality. Others have a long-standing failure to form deep emotional ties, a severe lack of guilt or remorse, and a tendency toward impulsive or uncontrolled actions.

Most of these disturbed adolescents have a horrible self-concept. Whether that is because of long years on the receiving end of parental neglect, hostility, or abuse, or for other unknown causes, these teenagers fundamentally do not like themselves. They hate others because they hate themselves and believe others have it better than they do so they envy them.

When children see parents fight and argue
and blame everyone else for their problems,
they learn to handle problems the same way.

When the Colorado killers focused much of their rage on athletes, they apparently envied the athlete's success or stature and felt they could not live up to their abilities or status. Feeling inferior, less privileged or less gifted, they decided the best way to even the score was to strike out at someone they envied. And when they targeted minorities they were saying, "We disdain or despise you. We are better than you!" In both instances they were attempting to level the playing field in their own minds. They wanted to lift themselves up in their own distorted thinking by tearing others down-even to the point of death.

Nearly all violent teenagers come from violent homes or homes where there are serious emotional and relational problems, even if they are not apparent to those outside the family. When children see parents fight and argue and blame everyone else for their problems, they learn to handle problems the same way. In other families, there are silent battles, or emotionally uninvolved parents, or serious mental confusion. It is not uncommon to read that the parent of a teenager who murdered others says, "He didn't mean to hurt anyone."

Understandably, parents of these children would be horrified and devastated and have difficulty accepting what their child has done. But one cannot help but wonder what kind of thinking and relating was going on in a home where, after a teenager has murdered five people and wounded ten others, the parent says, "He didn't mean to hurt anyone." When parents are this incredibly unaware or naive or prone to make excuses for their children, is it any wonder the children feel confused? And how can a child learn to be a responsible, mature person in this environment?

4. Many violent teenagers are seeking to feel powerful, important, admired, or big
They have vivid fantasy lives and dream of proving how powerful and potent they can be. Since they feel so alienated, unloved, and different, they try to silence their distressing feelings by turning to illusions of power and importance. They don't realize, of course, that their presumed strength is actually incredible weakness. Instead of having the strength and courage to face their hurts, admit their needs, and seek help from God and others, they turn to a pseudo strength-the pseudo-strength of violence.

This search for power is apparent in the military-type uniforms some members of fringe groups wear. It can be seen in Nazi dress, obsession with guns, identifying with angry music, or in the angry friends and fantasies that potentially violent adolescents harbor in their minds. In a perverse sort of way, violent teenagers also imagine that others will admire them. They believe their plans are incredibly brilliant and that they will demonstrate their exceptional intelligence, superiority, cunning, and power by showing that they can outsmart others and commit horrible murders. Since they idealize destructive men like Hitler, or devious, malicious men, they assume that others will admire their imagined "strength," "cunning," "intelligence," or "power."

5. Some acting-out teenagers are suffering from neurological problems or attention deficit hyperactivity disorders
While such physiologically based problems do not excuse hateful, destructive acts (since most people with these difficulties do not commit murder), the physical difficulties can help us understand why some teenagers act the way they do. To live maturely, we need to feel at least reasonably good about ourselves and others, and we need to learn to control our impulses and our negative emotions.

Children with neurological difficulties that make it hard for them to learn, or to concentrate and pay attention, can have great difficulties feeling good about themselves in our competitive world. They also often have trouble controlling their thoughts, feelings and responses.

When most of us become upset, we try to calm ourselves so that we don't do anything irresponsible. But when hyperactive children and those with attention deficits become upset, they tend to act without thinking. Recent research actually shows neurological differences in the brains of many criminals who impulsively act out crimes of violence. The combination of feeling negatively about themselves, being angry, and being impulsive, increases the likelihood that they will engage in various kinds of antisocial activities.

They have grandiose and
bizarre fantasies of being
superior to everyone else.

6. Adolescents who turn to violence are also spiritually confused or lost
Most have no real relationship with God at all. In fact, their weird clubs or odd choices of friends typically substitute for a relationship, not only with healthy people but also with God. Lacking any spiritual purpose and direction, they attempt to create meaning in life by building their own view of how the world should be. They decide who the bad people are-"sinners" who are different from them. They decide who the good people are-the underdogs or inferior feeling people like them. And then they decide to even the score. In essence, they have created their own mini-religious worldview. They have become their own omnipotent gods, deciding who should live and who should die. They may not be psychotic like mentally ill people who believe they are Jesus Christ. But they do have grandiose and bizarre fantasies of being superior to everyone else. They have an arrogant pride in their own devious plans. And they have their own completely distorted way of understanding the world.

Once in a while, these disturbed individuals actually have faith in God and may even be born-again Christians. When they are, however, their Christian experience is extremely distorted by their mental confusion and their emotional pain. Even if they are active in a church or other spiritual activities, they are not personally and emotionally connected to God and others in a healthy way. They may even wrench a few verses of Scripture out of context to justify their distorted theories.

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