Thursday, October 24, 2002

These things? Never useful

Yup, it’s good to be back in the old US of A, where I stay up all night with the TV on, obsessed with the investigation of the latest horrific crime. Appropriately, I went to see Michael Moore’s documentary (JB puts the emphasis on the “a” in ary) yesterday about American gun culture, entitled Bowling for Columbine. Jeez, where do I start? First of all, there is absolutely no explanation for why there are so many more shooting deaths in America than there are in Canada, where, according to Moore, there are 7 million guns in 10 million homes. Must be that Social Democracy that keeps you people safe. Secondly, I continue to be horrified by the U.S. government nosing in on everyone else’s politics. Did you know that the largest U.S. (or was it NATO, I’m not clear) bombing of Kosovo occurred on the same day as the Columbine attacks? Yeah, I didn’t either. Moore also does a timeline of all the imperialist military bullshit meddling the U.S. has done in other people’s countries over the years. Not that that explains it. Hello Nazi Germany and Imperialist Britain…Just go see the film. Charleton Heston makes a charming appearance. As does Terry Nichols’ (of Oklahoma City bombing fame) brother, who says he sleeps with a .44 magnum under his bed and proves it to Moore, and then holds the cocked gun to his head. Moore challenges Nichols’ belief that might makes right by saying “What about Gandhi? He beat the British empire.” Pause. Nichols: “Yeah, I’m not, uh, familiar with that.”

So they’ve arrested these guys sleeping in their car at a rest stop in Maryland. Last I heard they have not charged them with the snipings. I started watching the news in the middle of the press conference announcing that these two men were wanted, one of them on federal weapons charges “not connected to the snipings.” Task force chief Moose said “Do not assume that John Allen Williams/Muhammad (the 42-year-old, believed to be traveling with his 17-year-old stepson) is behind any of the sniper attacks.” Somehow CNN and Fox News translated that to mean that police do n-o-t believe the men to be the snipers. But that’s not what they said. The federal arrest warrant was n-o-t connected with the sniping, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t suspected of them. Do these talking heads remember Richard Jewell, whom they convicted in the media of the Olympic stadium bombings in the press, even though he was exonerated? Maybe the police simply didn’t want everyone to jump to the conclusion that these guys are the baddies, in case they turn out not to be. Also, Moose didn’t name the 17-year-old, Lee Malvo. Sounds to me like they were thinking he might have been behind the shootings, when they say don’t assume the other guy did it. But the talking heads kept paraphrasing that as Moose saying do not assume these men are the snipers. Anyway, last time I checked they were pretty close to identifying them as suspects.

In other news, if I can’t get a job in journalism, there’s always furniture assembly. Built a futon with JB yesterday. Great fun.

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