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Pantalone - Impressions and Expressions of Ijon
August 13th, 2003
01:51 am

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Pantalone
Long after everyone forgot all about it, I finally got around to watching Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine, with kritzit and freedomrider. It's thought-provoking, to be sure. It also seems quite unfair, at parts.

I'm aware of the big controversy over this film, and of the various debates held about on the Internet. I'll browse through some of them in the coming few days, and see if I can make up my own mind about the validity of Moore's conclusions.

Current Mood: sleepy
Current Music: Maxophone -- Fase

(9 comments | Leave a comment)

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From:kazimish
Date:August 12th, 2003 04:32 pm (UTC)

About Moore

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Ever since my girlfriend first showed me "Roger and me" I have been a fan of the guy. Iv'e read stuff that he wrote and seen him on t.v. in interviews and in his own shows. I've also seen Columbine and liked it though I share you'r reservations. Personally, I like the guy. I think, though, that at times he is inacurate in the data he presents, playing with statistics to support his views. He is, in my eyes, a provocatore. I would not rely on his accuracy and I think his methods might actually hurt his goals occationally, but I still like him. It's nice to know theres someone like him up there with the people whose voice is heard.
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From:yggdrasil_
Date:August 12th, 2003 09:48 pm (UTC)

Agreed.

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I, too, got around to watching it about a month ago. It's really infuriating the way he takes a claim I can sympathize with and cause me to oppose - not because I think it's wrong, but because the data he brings is SO biased I can't help but feel opposed to such blatant doctoring of the figures.
I tried to check out a few of the statistics he used, but decided to stop after I managed to catch him in a few places. :)
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From:gaal
Date:August 12th, 2003 10:49 pm (UTC)
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Moore is useful for philosophy freshmen. He illustrates invalid arguments that happen to sometimes have true conclusions.

Invalid? Make that maliciously fallacious. The two comments above refer to bad data; apparently there's a shitload of outright deceptive moviemaking as well.
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From:yggdrasil_
Date:August 13th, 2003 12:25 am (UTC)
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The deceptive moviemaking is the way he presents that data. He brings a US resident to say how it's not safe at night and then some Canadians to say how they don't even feel a need to lock their doors. He is sneakily presenting a statistic that has no basis - crime in both countries and the people's reaction to it.
He brings a man to speculate that the lower crime-rate in Canada is because they have less minorities, but the whips out a statistic saying that of Canada's citizens, 13% are non-white. He presents this as evidence - 13% is a lot, right? Well, according to the CIA World Factbook, the US population is comprised of 23% non-whites, and that's when counting those of hispanic descent - a part of the low-income high-crime demographic - as whites. 13% is a meaningless number when not brought in comparison with anything, and that's exactly the sort of tools Moore uses.
It's annoying. He message will annoy those opposed to him, not convince them. Those already convinced will accept his claims (even if they squirm in pain from his methods), and those undecided? I don't know. I feel that anyone with a slight bit of sense would feel suspicious of the movies findings, but I may be optimistic here.
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From:gaal
Date:August 13th, 2003 03:07 am (UTC)
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Data isn't everything. This page accuses Moore of editing different speeches so that they appear to be one, of splicing sentences, and of many other propaganda techniques. I can't vouch for the veracity of any of these claims -- I didn't in fact attempt to verify them -- but if one tenth of them is true, then Michael Moore is being very dishonest.

A bit after I saw that film, I also saw Stevie, a pretty shocking documentary about a kid in rural America that really messes up his life. It raised (no: caused me to consider, since it wasn't something the film gave more than lip service to) many, many problems of authenticity and documentary representation; but although it was clearly manipulative (what artistic utterance isn't?) I believe it wasn't as deceptive as Moore's work.
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From:kazimish
Date:August 13th, 2003 02:46 pm (UTC)

I'm not so sure

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I don't know that you're being completely fair. remember that the really cool thing about the internet is that anyone can write anything. Its easy, fast and most importantly- you're never held accountable to anything you say. Basing your criticism of Moore on one web-site of just someone is as unfair as what Moore might or might not have done with his movie. More over, after living for quite a while in the U.S.A I tend to agree with most of his insights about that society and its problems.(my reservations concern mainly his opinions of racism and poverty in America- the first one especially) This, of course, does not mean that I take what he has to say at face value, or that he doesn't fuck up royally at times, but I think all and all "Bowling" does what it's supposed to do and Moore still plays an important role in that society's search for common sense, in it's struggle for sanity.



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From:gaal
Date:August 15th, 2003 12:12 am (UTC)

Re: I'm not so sure

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You make up your own mind. As I said up front, I didn't verify the claims made there myself, and even if I had, that wouldn't change things for you. "All in all" I agree with some of Moore's points as well--I said that up front as well--and I prefer not to make any comment regarding his role in his society.
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From:kazimish
Date:August 14th, 2003 08:41 am (UTC)

addition

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As I was looking at the critics page I encountered a link to a review of the movie that I think is fair and presents something close to my opinion of this movie
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From:kazimish
Date:August 14th, 2003 08:42 am (UTC)

addition

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As I was looking at the critics page I encountered a link to a review of the movie that I think is fair and presents something close to my opinion of this movie at http://www.geocities.com/evil_spoon/bowlingfor2002.htm
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