The Culture of Fear

I read Barry Glassner’s The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things about a year ago. It comes in handy when I read things like this:

Tragic Mistake in Halloween Shooting
SUMTER, S.C. (Nov. 1) – An ex-convict who thought he was being robbed gunned down a 12-year-old trick-or-treater, spraying nearly 30 rounds with an assault rifle from inside his home after hearing a knock on the door, police said Saturday.

It’s a terrible story, of course. But what also saddens me is that more people will read that article and think “OMG trick-or-treating isn’t safe!” than will read that article and think “OMG letting citizens have assault weapons isn’t safe!” I’m sorry, there’s no justifiable reason to let a populace own AK-47s. The poll on AOL confirms my suspicions: Do you think we should ban semi/automatic assault rifles? Do you think trick-or-treating is safe? The majority, at 58%, said no. Which is moronic. Trick-or-treating is safe. Assault rifles are not. Please let your kids beg for congealed sugar. Please do not let your kids think guns are cool.

Also, polls open in 5 hours.

Dear Barack,
Please do not lose.
Love,
Kevin.

Lastly, thank you for praying for me and my family over the weekend. The viewing was Friday, the funeral Saturday, and then we returned Sunday afternoon.

Oh, one more thing: please stop texting me. Whomever you are. My phone does not have texting capabilities anymore since it’s almost 5 years old. So stop. It’s only making me curious. Bi-curious.

Bowling for Columbine

I watched Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine tonight. Yeah. You need to watch it. It was not even close to the liberal leftist propaganda I thought it would be. Trust me, if your only exposure to Michael Moore was his boo-ed Oscar speech you ought to just set that aside for a couple hours to see this film. Plus to characterize the documentary as “anti-gun” or a “gun control” movie is slightly off. Moore also hits on themes of racism, fear, mass communication, and violence. In fact if there’s something the film really needs is a central, defining thesis. I appreciated the randomness of it all, but perhaps I would’ve more clearly understood it all had there been a stronger stance on any issue. Not that I’m particularly uncomfortable with the open-ended question of Why are Americans so violent towards each other?

Bowling for Columbine (2002, 120mins, rated R): Reviews | Criticisms | Rebuttals

I also saw Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs twice within 24 hours. Not nearly as thought-provoking as Moore’s film of course, but I’d say it’s fairly deserving of its hype. I do prefer films with a bit better cinematography – Tarantino’s medium-long shots can get tiresome though I was impressed at the emotion and drama he can evoke without even necessarily showing the character speaking. There are also some wickedly funny parts to the film which was surprising for me. I definitely see why the film has influenced so many others and really a pretty solid directing debut all around.

Reservoir Dogs (1992, 99mins, rated R): Reviews