Bowling for Columbine

There are times I have witnessed a movie, a play, a painting,etc. and have left contaminated by its message. I spend hours thinking on it, mulling over it, wishing I had had something to do with it. There are great people I wish I could talk to. There are great ideas I long to be a part of. There are movements I wish to take part in. And there are people who I wish to show some respect. This is what life should be about. Not yelling and lashing out at folks and pointing out everything they are wrong for and why they’re wrong and what we can do to show them how wrong they really are. We grab onto anger and make it our largest, loudest friend. Then there are times where you’re just feeling sad. You’re overwhelmed by thoughts and you desperately want to do something positive with them—you long to make a difference.

Last night was one of those times. I saw Bowling for Columbine last night and I’m trying to hold back the superlatives. I really am.

I realize that Michael Moore isn’t America’s favorite person. And I realize he dances that fine line between stalking his subjects and just annoying them to no end. (Which, by the way, the Dick Clark bit was not at all offensive. Taken out of context, it may sound bad, but I assure you, if you see the movie it will make sense). Moore has created something special. He has created something that should be required to see regardless of your stance on gun ownership, the NRA, America, Bush or our place in the world. I said last night this movie’s message is like that of the movie “Kids” (and I hated Kids—but saw the damn thing)

Everyone should be required to see it, but the people who I really wish would, won’t.

The movie brought tears to my eyes a dozen times. There was a point where I couldn’t watch the screen any longer, I had to look away and think of something else or I was sure to start sobbing (which the man next to me was already doing). The movie made me shake my head in shame. The movie made me laugh, whole-heartedly, for minutes on end. A genuine giddy laughter, let go in childhood and only glimpsed late at night while slaphappy. Some of the characters’ absurdity was unbelievable (and I mean unbelievable. I had to remind myself that these characters are real—that Hollywood didn’t make them up). The movie got something done. The movie had a message, opposed or not, you will leave ticking.

I left wanting to do something better. I left wishing things were different. I left wondering what it is we can do. I left angry with myself as I do a lot of complaining while others are out there trying to change the world as we know it. I’m tired of being passive and I’m tired of being angry. And I’m tired of letting things go, thinking I have no say.

Last but not least (and I think it was my final thought, the one I ended the night with) we need to laugh more. If anger isn’t helping and not everyone lets themselves feel sad, then I guess we should laugh more. How do we do this?

Let’s laugh?


  1. I agree with everything you said. Love him or hate him, Moore’s movie was thought-provoking and funny and difficult. I wept and I laughed and I got mad and then I felt better and then I laughed again and then I clapped.

    Glad you liked it.


  2. yo mihow & Toby

    An editor of a late night discussion (semi serious, not like leno or anything) here from one of are stations, RTL4 asked if anyone kenw anyone in DC they could talk to for a minute on the fone abot how they experience the sniper problem.

    would you guys be into this? I think It would be in a few hours already.

    If so, I will give the guy your email and he will contact you.


  3. AS a teacher I speak this honestly and frankly: lack of laughter will kill our children.

    My students have taught me how to be relaxed and have a good time with my imperfect, fucked up life, in this fucked up impermanent existence.

    And it’s fun. And I love them.

    And it makes me want to love more people.

    Yeah! Laughter. Yummy.


  4. Okay, I guess you guys havent seen my previous post yet. but never mind. turns out the hosts both couldn’t speak proper english ( and they are looking for dutch speaking people. wouldve loved to hear you guys on the largest dutch TV station. that wouldve been cool.


  5. Your posting today reminded me of two favorite quotes.. the first by Mary Poole: “He who laughs, lasts”, and the other by an unknown author, “Nothing is more magical than laughter”…


  6. i wish there were a secret, something we could open up and hand out. Or a shot we could give, like a flu shot or something, that would ensure laughing. Even if it’s only sometimes.


  7. Mihow: Inviting you and any others to join the Yahoo discussion group on this movie. Like you, I left the movie feeling like it required some brand of action. Er…okay, so instead, I started this group. Here’s the link:


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