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?