File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2003/lyotard.0302, message 114

Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2003 22:40:07 -0500
Subject: RE: Fear.


The topic of "fear" came up big time tonight during a $2.50 (w/ student I.D.) 
Purdue Events showing of Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine.  Wow, 
Northwestern Indiana of all places erupted in shouts and applause at the end of 
this one, folks.  (Indianapolis to the south was a tough sell during the Global 
Rally with only about 200 people braving the cold.)

But tonight, at least at the 7pm showing, an auditorium expressed laughter and 
clap-ter over Moore's Lyotardian "Just Linking" strategy of taking us from 
bowling alleys to Africanized Bees to the Klan to Dick Clark's hamburgers to 
Charlton Heston (Moses!) holding a musket over his head and proclaiming: "From 
my cold dead hands!"

For me, it was, of course, impossible to think of this movie in light of the 
recent run on plastic sheeting and duct tape.  Making such connections, in 
fact, is one of the touchstones of the film, and it is demonstrated so well in 
his allusion to Eric Harris's journal: 

 "if by some weird as shit luck me and V survive and escape we will move to 
some island or maybe mexico, new zealand or some exotic place where americans 
can't get us.  if there isn't such a place, then we will hijack a hell of a lot 
of bombs and crash a plane into NYC with us inside firing away as we go down.  
just something to cause more devistation."  (Quoted in Harpers Feb 2002, 
alongside Baudrillard's "Spirit of Terrorism" essay).

Moore's prophecy of fear and duct tape could not, in fact, be escaped even 
within the film itself.  There is a tremendous scene of "language on the loose" 
when a snippet of a newscast that turns on covering Moore's protest of the K-
Mart sale of 9mm bullets proves Moore's point exactly.  As the newscaster's 
warm the viewer for the Moore story, they hasten to add--before commercial--
that there have been "new discoveries made about the danger of snakes."

Snakes-bees-blacks-viral powder released like a cannister of pepper spray in a 
Chicago nightclub.  (Really, I am surprised that no one has thought to consider 
that tragedy in an Operation (Clockwork)Orange-light yet.)

Anyway, I just think Marilyn Manson along with one of the officers involved in 
the youngest school shooting offers terrific commentary concerning fear.  The 
former, when asked what he would say to the Eric and Dylan now, 
replied, "Nothing, I would try to listen," and the latter--after bringing a six 
year old boy to his police office after fatally shooting a fellow classmate--
displayed a drawing this child made as he waited.  The officer said, "He wanted 
crayons so he could draw a picture like the one's my kids drew me.  He wanted 
me to hang it on my bulletin board."

The officer put that picture in a frame. "And there it will stay."





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