December 20, 2002
Rethinking "Bowling for Columbine"

Ever since its release Michael Moore's documentary, "Bowling for Columbine", has been receiving a lot of well-deserved attention. Its compelling and provocative subject matter, which Moore delivers with insight, sensitivity, and clever humor, has sparked an increasing awareness about violence and has made the film a topic on tips of tongues nationwide. Now, one of the reasons I liked the film was the director's unwillingness to narrow-mindedly point the finger at anyone in particular. He's just a guy trying to "figure it all out", like the rest of us, and his investigation into America’s puzzling history of violence seems to transpire truthfully on camera. The final product gives the impression of an appealing innocence on the creator/director's part, but should we really buy into this so easily? I’m afraid not. Unfortunately, being human these days means carrying around an innate skepticism that tends to color everything ugly and evil. What's more unfortunate is that such persistent misgivings aren’t entirely unjustified. Even in this case. According to this brief piece in Forbes Magazine, it seems this documentary needs a second, more critical, look.

Posted by irene at 02:23 AM
December 17, 2002
The War at Home

My final exams have arrived and instead of fretting over what I should be fretting over, I’m distracted by something a tad bit more dreadful. It seems the sudden onslaught of stormy weather’s disturbed a silent army living just outside my walls. It’s now found a safe haven in my kitchen, and it seems particularly fond of navigating around my refrigerator, moving stealthfully towards my kitchen sink, and sneaking off to who-knows-where to meet up with, I’m sure, the rest of the cavalry. If you haven’t guessed, I’ve got a slight problem with ant-infestation. Who am I kidding? It’s not “slight”; it’s actually quite huge. Where the hell did they come from? There’s nothing worse than being on the defensive in your own home, but the damn buggers have got me strapped with the most lethal all-purpose cleaner I can find in my apartment…and they still keep coming back for more. I’ve never considered myself to be a person who’d harbor any murderous tendencies, but damn I’d really like to wipe out the whole lot of them. I think there are really only two kinds of animals that get me seriously queasy: (1) anything vaguely resembling a rat, and (2) bugs that attack in multitudes. See, I’m confident in dealing with one ant, maybe three at most, but the minute they surpass that number and become something inherently menacing, something called a “group”, that’s when I start to get nervous. I guess I just don’t like the idea of being invaded.

Posted by irene at 01:06 AM