Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

27 Nov 2002, 19:28 p.m.

Bowling for Columbine elicited my lukewarm approval. Michael Moore…

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2002 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

Bowling for Columbine elicited my lukewarm approval. Michael Moore preaches to my choir. I prefer Bill Maher's When You Ride Alone You Ride With bin Laden because it, in contrast, attempts answers and takes few or no cheap shots. But sure, I laughed and enjoyed bits, especially clever editing and soundtrack choices (who knew Joey Ramone did "Wonderful World" once?), and cheered when K-Mart promised to give up selling ammo.

In the last interview, Charlton Heston makes a vague stab at the root cause of America's unusually high gun violence rate. Moore shoots down a bunch of false comparisons between the US and other countries. Canada has a comparable rate of gun ownership, and other countries have similar histories of violence, Moore argues. Then Heston brings up one characteristic that does distinguish the US from many other countries: ethnic diversity.

Earlier in the film, Moore shoots this one down, too, pointing out that Canada is darn diverse. But it certainly does make for good film. Heston probably doesn't even want to acknowledge the problem, so he can't get a proper start on any analysis of it. Or maybe he has a real answer that he secretly believes but that would come off even worse on camera than implicit racism. I don't know.

Off to watch 2 hours and six minutes of TV.