Bowling for Columbine

Roger Ebert reviews Michael Moore’s newest film.

Noting that we treasure urban legends designed to make us fearful of strangers, Moore notices how TV news focuses on local violence (“If it bleeds, it leads”) and says that while the murder rate is down 20 percent in America, TV coverage of violent crime is up 600 percent. Despite paranoia that has all but sidetracked the childhood custom of trick or treat, Moore points out that in fact no razor blades have ever been found in Halloween apples.

I’m glad he included this little factoid. I’ve been trying to tell people for years that we’re safer now than we ever have been, but nobody believes me. A friend of my daughter’s just the other day said she wasn’t going trick-or-treating because she was afraid of razor blades! Unbelievable!

The movie is rated R, so that the Columbine killers would have been protected from the “violent images,” mostly of themselves. The MPAA continues its policy of banning teenagers from those films they most need to see. What utopian world do the flywheels of the ratings board think they are protecting?

Isn’t that pathetic? This movie, a documentary about violence in our society, is rated R, and yet “Mission Impossible 2” was PG-13!?!?!?!?! That’s just plain warped.