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Sunday, January 22, 2012


     james rosenquist

Michael Moore's Bowling For Columbine has just now ended. I come away from his films in awe every time, in awe that he speaks for me and the other people who have no say. I don't care what the spin from the blockhead arena had to say about Moore. I don't care if he's had a drink or played cards one day in his life. In the time since the Supremes made it clear to us at the turn of the century that we have no more democracy, and the Bush administration set police state in motion, Michael Moore was the only voice speaking for we the people. He was discredited and given the corporate assassination of character treatment, which actually worked very well, briefly. The fiction created to discredit Moore didn't silence him, though it turned a lot of people away, the ones that didn't understand Moore anyway. It shut down the influence the film Sick-O might have had on health care legislation. It was legal assassination. No cadaver. But Moore charges on and I'm grateful to him for his will power. His audience is his own. It is not a "television audience."

He has a website where you can see what he's up to today. The thread that ran through Bowling for Columbine was the search by asking several people what it is that makes Americans so free to kill, when in Canada with the same gun ownership freedoms, Canadians choose not to kill. Charlton Heston answered the question with the most educated answer I heard in the film, "American history has a lot of blood on its hands." I have to say I was not with Moore humiliating Charlton Heston in his own home. He was graciously allowed to intrude and was treated very well. My political regard for Heston is opposition. But I still believe it's important to respect him as a man in his own home. Moore has his own dose of American arrogance. I don't know what it would take for me to disrespect a man as Moore did Heston, and filming it, putting it in an Academy Award winning documentary. I can see Moore's revenge thinking, which perhaps overrode his own hesitations where respect was concerned. Maybe the disrespect was his active expression of absence of respect. That's sure how it came across. I still regard Moore a very important influence in the first decade of the 21st century. He did his part.

That karma Heston referenced, blood on our hands, the karma in American History, applies to what the white people did to the Indians from coast to coast, to the black people coast to coast. American foreign policy amounts to overthrowing democracies in third world countries and putting a dictator in charge. It's about money; the canal, United Fruit Co, oil and coca cola, cheap labor. Let alone the serious crimes against nature, like the slaughter of the buffalo to starve the Indians and kill their culture, the concentration camps Indians live in unto this day called reservations. Like calling torture rendition. The people that live in the West around Indians have at least as much racial prejudice toward the Indians as the white people in the South have toward black people, and point the finger at the South for racism. But the people that don't like Indians are ok, because Indians don't even figure for liberals. I pray: May all the Indian reservations have successful casinos where the white people come from all around to give them money. Something else for the file, Theater of the Absurd in Everyday Life.

One karmic pattern I see is the contempt for the poor. As the world's monopoly super power, we have the longest war of our history each time we attack (pre-emptive strike) a defenseless poor country of colored people to take whatever natural resource we want, now oil. What's the point of having power unless you use it. The passion for killing has been an American monopoly since the beginning. The genocide was not just with the Indians, but the natural world of animals and birds as well. The Carolina parakeet went extinct right away because of its colorful plumage, easy to get a bead on, good target practice. America was settled in the belief of self as holy. There was plenty of God religion on Sunday morning, but the rest of the week was about self and money only. The Indians that kept the continent for a few thousand years with clean water and abundant resources lived their association with God every minute. They saw themselves part of God's creation living in God's creation. They were happy with the abundance. Then along came Western Civilization and made a gaping wound of an entire continent in two centuries--want creating want.

As in one individual's inner development, so it goes with the whole. The difference I see between USA and Canada where murder rates with guns are concerned, tells me the issue is not guns, but belief systems, attitudes. I don't believe it's violent movies, either. I heard someone tell a statistic on NPR I believed; on weekends when a big Arnold or Rambo type movie is released, crime rate drops in the cities where the film is showing. It suggests to me sublimation. If these films do sublimate feelings the people that see them are feeling, it tells me a great deal of anger pervades the land. These films sublimate all around the world. They play to the working class male audience. There is, indeed, a great deal of anger running through the working class, expressed best in heavy metal rock. I see teenagers with anger in their eyes, anger due to home situations, wearing death-metal, hard-core tshirts with skulls the primary image. Bob Dylan expressed the anger in the middle-class audience in a non-violent way. Same anger, different expression.

Looking at these films as collective dreams, then analyzing them like dreams, it tells quite a lot about our collective belief systems. Again, like everything else, it cannot be regarded an absolute for all. Some people like action movies overdone with killing. Some people like no killing at tall. Some people like mildly comic relationship stories. We have a seemingly limitless variety of kinds of movies for the seemingly endless range of human interest. Not everybody in America is seething with anger. But an awful lot are. We see them among the people we know. In the land of if-it-feels-good-do-it, acting out anger lethally onto others, most often family, feels good unrestrained by foresight, the American blind spot, until consequences come next.

So many times judges have heard, If I'd a-thought about it before I pulled the trigger, I wouldn' a-done it. If our murder rate by guns is a social consequence of absence of foresight, acting without thinking, the dumbing down of America has brought us to the self-destruction that follows decisions made in ignorance. Instead of looking to see what's behind the anger that has become the prevailing American attitude, hand-in-hand with arrogance, over the last half century, we build more prisons. Next, we'll have to keep the crime rate up to justify the prisons. An economic self-sustaining eco-system. Crime up, jobs up. Sounds great on the evening news.


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