I’m am American under the age of 23, yet I’ve never seen a Michael Moore film. Well, tonight I finally broke that streak and popped in Bowling for Columbine. The conclusion: Michael Moore’s only redeeming fact is that he is media- and culture-savvy enough to understand how to connect with young people. That conclusion also carries a scary correlate: the American public, especially it’s young, must be incredibly naive, paranoid, ignorant, disrespectful, hateful, and tasteless.
The film apparently tries to answer the important question, “Do Americans like guns?” The answer, if you didn’t already know it, is a resounding “Yes.” Beyond that point, a 4-year-old could have made the point better.
Does he make any valid points? Yes (like: the NRA is ridiculous). Does he often appear to mislead the viewer? Yup. Does he blatantly twist and distort facts, employ every logically fallacy and ad hominem argument in the book? Yeah.
Christopher Hitchens has a bit more intellectual rebuttal to Moore’s tactics here in Slate.
Now I really have even less desire to see Fahrenheit 9/11…
(Oh, another redeeming fact: Moore slips in a good-job-sequence on Canadian health care, and the fact that health care is a ‘universal human right’- as an interviewee puts it. However, the fact that it was in a Michael Moore film made the point feel, well, cheapened.)