Michael Moore, the annoying dude with the hat who keeps making the same documentary over and over again, recently wrote something for the Huffington Post about the Dark Knight killer. He still believes that the points he made in the cartoons and annoying voiceovers in Bowling for Columbine are still the reasons why people go on killing sprees—namely, his grossly oversimplified “Americans love murder” spiel.
What’s more disturbing than Moore taking an “I told you so” stance on a tragedy is that he alludes to a logically retarded conclusion: Unless we watch his movie—and really, really, really listen closely to its message—murder sprees in America are never going to stop.
Am I wrong that I find it offensive that he encourages us to watch his movie again for free because he already “spelled it all out”? Some of the most brilliant sociologists and psychologists in the world have devoted their lives to examining why psychopathic murderers blow away rooms full of innocent people… but that’s a waste of time, according to Moore. He already figured it out, and you can too in just 127 minutes, or, if you’re short on time, just read these two points he makes in the HuffPo piece:
1. We Americans are incredibly good killers.We believe in killing as a way of accomplishing our goals. Three-quarters of our states execute criminals, even though the states with the lower murder rates are generally the states with no death penalty. Our killing is not just historical (the slaughter of Indians and slaves and each other in a "civil" war). It is our current way of resolving whatever it is we're afraid of.
2. We are an easily frightened people and it is easy to manipulate us with fear. What are we so afraid of that we need to have 300 million guns in our homes? Who do we think is going to hurt us? Why are most of these guns in white suburban and rural homes?
So there you have it. We just need to stop being so good at killing people and stop being scaredy cats, and everything will be cool. Easy, right? But there’s one thing he’s completely missing: People aren’t scared.
Yes, in 2002, fresh off the 9/11 attacks, Americans were terrified, mostly because the average citizen knew nothing about al Qaeda. And while some people responded by devouring every news article, book, and documentary about the Middle East they could get their hands on, the majority of Americans took more pills, did more illegal drugs, drank more, and starting caring about everything a whole lot less. We cared so little that everyone said “fuggit” and let George W. Bush get reelected. And then, like true red-white-and-blue pussies, we then blamed scared conservatives for keeping Bush in office.
I know that when something insanely sad and fucked up happens the first thing we want to know is why, but if you think it’s so easy to solve that a little time on YouTube or Netflix could stop it, I think you’re a cocky asshole.
A smart person named Richard Florida wrote this piece for the Atlantic in which he breaks down the geography of gun deaths in the US. Here’s how Florida and his colleague explain the charts and information:
With these data in hand, I decided to look at the factors associated with gun deaths at the state level. With the help of my colleague Charlotta Mellander, we charted the statistical correlations between firearm deaths and a variety of psychological, economic, social, and political characteristics of states. As usual, I point out that correlation does not imply causation, but simply points to associations between variables.
They then analyze factors including mental illness, stress levels, illegal drug use, unemployment rates, inequality, and other factors assumed to be related to gun death but which, in fact, are not. Hey Mikey, want to know another thing Americans are really good at? Completely disregarding actual facts, numbers, and data—or, even worse, oversimplifying them so more dumb and disinterested people will listen and propagate bad ideas.
The smart people, based on their information, have determined that gun deaths are likely to occur in poor states, the ones with less college graduates, more shitty jobs, and looser gun laws—not wherever there’s fear. That sounds about right to me,k too. My chart, which is just an Excel file, just reads: “Percentage Michael Moore’s head is up wedged firmly between his cheeks and loves himself more than anything, even donuts = 100%.”