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PHILOSOPHICAL ISSUES: Political philosophy, gun control SYNOPSIS: On April 20, 1999 Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold entered Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado a suburb of Denver and in a 15 minute shooting spree killed 13 people and wounded 21 others.Moore suggests that the shootings are part of a larger American culture of fear that prompts us to act with violence. A woman similarly stated, When a criminal breaks into your house, whose the first person that youre gonna call? If you are not going to protect your family, who is?
In the course of the documentary he interviews survivors of the Columbine shooting, members of the Michigan Militia, Marilyn Manson, Dick Clark, officials at K-mart (which sold Harris and Klebold the bullets), and finally Charlton Heston, president of the National Rifle Association. Most people will call the police because they have guns. What response would a gun control advocate make to this argument? One member of the Michigan Militia stated the following: Were not racists, were not extremists, were not fundamentalists, were not terrorists or militants or other such nonsense.
In a Denver lecture after the films release, he sums up the message of the film: Its all part of the same American mentality that says its OK to use violence as a means to an end, whether its in the home or whether its in Iraq. The film won the Academy Award for best documentary. Were concerned citizens, we have a desire to fulfill our responsibility and duties as Americans, and an armed citizenry is part of that. Later in the speech Heston stated, We have work to do, hearts to heal, evil to defeat, and a country to unite.
Using Said's theoretical framework to tease out the consolidation of white liberal authority in reveals a film that performs a white masculinity ultimately more concerned with offering a critique of the US mass media than of structural racism.
As such, its wide reception as a film that usefully discusses the role of racism in the United States (even in reviews that are sharply critical of Moore's sloppy logic elsewhere in the film) demonstrates that tells us more about the inadequacy of white liberalism's critique of race than of the racial inequalities the film documents.
The first consists of the ironic humorist who finds images demonstrating the perpetuation of racism entertainingly stupid.
The second consists of the paternal authority who both comforts and speaks for people of color.Moore's medium, film, and his agenda to understand the culture and people of the United States all but require him to grant subjectivity to US residents of color within his film, but he constructs himself and other white men as the subjects who can best interpret, understand, and describe the country, and the function of racism, to his viewers.Moore's thesis, which seeks to diagnose the reasons why gun violence is so prominent in the United States by culling anecdotal evidence from a wide variety of almost strictly white people, effectively interpellates (or “hails,” meaning creating through naming) a nation made up of white citizens.However, it is Moore's status as a self-positioned liberal working class hero who says the things nobody else does that makes the hegemonic narrative in so depressing.Said's attention to the role of each writer's authority in the discourse of Orientalism as an operative construct allows the critic to see how, to quote: everyone who writes about the Orient must locate himself vis-à-vis the Orient; translated into his text, this location includes the kind of narrative voice he adopts, the type of structure he builds, the kinds of images, themes, motifs that circulate in his text—all of which add up to deliberate ways of addressing the reader, containing the Orient, and finally, representing it or speaking in its behalf.The part of when the two boys, the survivors went and bought the bullets and went to the CEO to make a statement, would their actions make what happened to them gratifying, even though their wounds never actually healed would the emotional wounds really heal.Moore may have been excessive in the movie when pointing out the beliefs and criticisms, but I think the point does get across through those actions.Because of this, the film employs a nationalist narrative, to borrow Benedict Anderson's definition of a nation as “an imagined political community—and imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign,” thereby limiting Moore's political community to nearly entirely white people.I find Said's diagnosis of the canonical authors Nerval and Flaubert's problematic attitude that the Orient “was a world elsewhere, apart from the ordinary attachments, sentiments, and values of our world in the West”: the bodies of color subjected to state violence and repression; and the white perpetrators of racism whose actions are rendered humorously stupid or, in the case of witnesses like Charlton Heston, inescapably evil.While perhaps some of this enthusiasm can be attributed to the institution's eagerness to recognize a film that sharply criticizes U. foreign policy and gun-crazy culture, some American critics and audiences have been hailing the film as a landmark event that, in the words of the I would argue, however, that if the connections the film makes between US history, the media, and race indeed appear to get to the core of US society, then a critique of its own rhetorical strategy reveals the racism endemic to the United States, and to white liberalism more particularly.Said describes the rhetoric of “Orientalism” as “a kind of intellectual While Moore does not reproduce a colonial logic in his film and thus cannot be said to have created an Orientalist text, his film does enact a strategy of authority over issues of race and over people of color that can be profitably read through Said's critique of Orientalism in his seminal 1979 text of the same name.