Bowling–for Michael Moore, and maybe Columbine

I know that in the blogging world, and writing/journalism world in general, writers are supposed to remain as “objective” as possible. It’s one of the first etiquettes taught in any journalism course taken, whether that is as early as high school or as late as undergrad or even graduate in college. But, for a moment, I am going to disregard that rule and go ahead and state my opinion without hopefully offending anyone in the process. Remember, you are just as entitled to disagree as I am to write this. So here is my “slightly non-objective” attempt of an opinion.

This weekend, during a bored few hours on a rainy afternoon, I decided to check out what was new on Hulu.com. I came across the newly added documentary, “Bowling for Columbine.”

Pause for reaction.

I’ve always hated Michael Moore and everything he had to say. You could find me in stores flipping over the covers of his DVDs, hiding his posters, and throwing his movies into the bottom of the $5 bin at Wal-Mart. Basically, I didn’t want myself or anyone else to see or hear any of his antics. Then I realized–how can I have such an opinion that causes such rash actions on something I really am, frankly, ignorant about? I am truly tired of being ignorant and closed-off to things that maybe I don’t agree with entirely. Yes, I’ve heard Michael Moore hates America. Yes, I’ve heard that Fahrenheit 9/11 is devastating for Republicans or even anyone who supports Bush to watch. But how could I form a legitimate opinion with having absolutely no legs to stand on?

So, I watched Bowling for Columbine.

Pause for reaction.

I was actually surprised at how much I didn’t hate it. And, within the first half of the movie, I actually learned a few new facts that I never knew before. Like how many people are murdered by guns each year in Canada, Germany, the UK, etc., and the US. (The point being the US was the highest) Or the shooting between one six year old to another in his hometown of Flint, Michigan. Or the interview with Marilyn Manson regarding his feelings on being “partially blamed” for the actions of Dylan and Eric during the massacre at Columbine. And of course, video footage and the actual 911 calls placed from Columbine on that terrible day.  (Not something I wanted to learn, but background knowledge was learned)

Of course documentaries claim to be “presenting both sides of the story” but as we all know, they usually are slanted one way or the other. Michael Moore is probably the most famous for this. (Hence why I never watched or bothered to look at any of his stuff, which I’m thinking is probably unfair) His slant in this one, to me, is that so much violence with guns comes from the history of America from the start (as explained in his cartoon history of this country in the middle of the movie). Essentially, too, I felt like he was portraying was that kids result to violence when raised in a “lower class” upbringing, perhaps in lower-income areas where violence is more prevalent.

The problem with that theory to me is that kids who are raised in this environment, such as the one this six-year-old was raised in in Flint, MI, are a never-ending cycle of disaster. The mother couldn’t pay her rent, got kicked out of her rental property, went to live with her dysfunctional brother in a run down house, the kid got access to the gun and brought it to school. Thus, shooting this loaded gun in the classroom at this little girl who was killed right there in the classroom. Then, the mother gets in trouble with the law, is forced to go to her “welfare to work” program where a bus transports her hours away to coffee shops and restaurants where she works late into the night and the kid is once again left with no one to supervise him. So, in Michael Moore’s opinion, this is where violent behavior can begin to manifest.

So you say, what is this woman doing with a child? And for that matter, what made her “qualified” to be a mother essentially? So some people would think, at this point, that if someone gets pregnant perhaps, and they don’t have the “means” or whatever to be a parent, that they should terminate the pregnancy and end it while they still can. (If you’re looking at this from a pro-choice standpoint of course) So then it becomes an argument of pro-life vs. pro-choice when this started out as a case regarding guns and violence in schools. See the progression? This becomes a vicious, upsetting cycle that is never ending. At least, not when you have two opposing viewpoints on any scenario. Around and around it goes–

One thing I did not understand, however, was at the end of the movie, Michael Moore visits the president of the NRA’s home in Beverly Hills. And the first thing Moore does, before he starts talking, is show him his “lifetime member” card signifying his membership to the NRA. Contradicting, or is it just me?

And, it turns out, I truly believe that Michael Moore’s opinion is just as valid as my opinion in this world. After all, we are both human beings, both have a mind to think for ourselves, and both have been raised in different backgrounds. Lucky for him, he’s just able to get his opinion “out there” to many more people than I ever could.

Men and Women Can Never Just Be Friends…Can They?

I’ve wrestled with the idea of men and women friendships in my head for years now. I’m not sure where I stand on this situation, to be completely honest. Let me explain what’s going on in my head recently:

Let’s say we have two 100%, single, available people. A friendship could be possible between the two of them, but, the whole argument given in “When Harry Met Sally” is so true. I feel like hardly ever could two single people be truly just friends because at some point in time, one of them will feel attracted to the other. And, as luck would have it, it most likely will happen at different times. One person will be attracted to the other and want to be with them, but the other will say no, they don’t feel that way at all, and then it becomes a constantly changing fit of attraction and non-attraction between the two. In the off chance that they do find themselves attracted to one another at the same time, then the argument at that point becomes, “we don’t want to ruin the friendship.” So, in fear of ruining their “friendship” they probably will decide not to date, but then throughout their “friendship” they have this underlying attraction to one another. So then there really is no winning in this situation.

Let’s say there’s two people that each in relationships that were “friends” before they were in this relationship. This happened to me in my last relationship–my boyfriend would sometimes meet these girls for lunch or dinner and to me, it was fine. Why? They were friends before we were together and more importantly, they somehow had developed that “friendship” while each person was single. The thought going through my head at that point was that if they had wanted to “be together” it would have happened already. Therefore, no jealousy exists on either side. But of course, in the discussion in “When Harry Met Sally,” at some point, as Harry theorizes, the person you’re in a relationship may accuse you of being secretly attracted to that “friend” that’s outside of the relationship, because then you may feel like they are “looking” for something they are not “getting” out of the relationship, so they go outside of the relationship to find it. Of course, these were not my thoughts at the time, but in the defense of others who may feel this way, it’s out there.

In the event that one person is in a relationship and they meet someone of the opposite sex after they have been in this relationship for any amount of time, and they start to develop some sort of friendship with them, the same problem then exists–why do they feel the need to be “friends” with this person when they have the relationship? Are they feeling some sort of connection with the other person, even if it is on a strictly friendly level, that they aren’t feeling in the relationship? Is something missing from the relationship so they have to look elsewhere to find it, even if it is done subconsciously? Or is it totally and completely misconstrued and those two people really are “just friends?”

The single person in this case, if they have any respect for others, then feels weird because they are “friends” with the person that’s in the relationship and they don’t want to become “that other person.” But really, the discussion then becomes–is anybody really doing anything wrong in this scenario? The single person is certainly not “being shady” because they are single and have no one to “answer to” and if there’s nothing going on between them and the person that’s in a relationship, then what is the problem? Are they being “shady” for even just hanging out with one another even if there is nothing going on but a friendship? And do they really feel like they are missing something from the relationship and not being fulfilled “all the way” so they look elsewhere to find it? Or are they really, in fact, “just friends?”

Then of course you have the issue that, somehow, the person you’re in a relationship with can remain “friends” with their exes. Or even just people they may have “hooked up with” in the past. My ex-boyfriend was this way. All of his ex hook ups and ex girlfriend were in our “group of friends.” This was a little unnerving at times, to be honest, because I can’t understand how you can be that way with someone and then have that attraction just, go away somehow. I never ever thought he was attracted to them anymore and could see these relationships really were just “strictly platonic,” but the thing I didn’t know was how the other person felt. How did all of those girls feel? Especially ones that, in my eyes, had no respect for anyone, not even themselves? “He’s in a relationship? Ha, who cares, I want him, so I’ll have him.” It’s sad to me to think that another person could feel that way, but it happens. And how are we to know, ever, if someone were to “snap” and feel that way again? Can you really ever just remain “friends” with an ex? Maybe I personally cannot understand this because when I’m done with someone, I’m done with them. “Friends”, in any capacity, is not possible. There’s a reason why we didn’t work out and there’s no reason to keep them in my life. Right? Am I alone in this way of thinking?

So is there any winning in this situation? Can men and women just be “friends” whether they are both in relationships, both single, or one is a relationship but not the other? I’m interested to find out, as I have found, sadly, that I have been through all situations personally and none work out, no matter what the situation may be.

I’m sorry. I can’t. Don’t hate me–

I can now say I know the exact feeling that Carrie felt on Sex and the City when Berger broke up with her on a post-it note. In the sixth season, she wakes up to find a post-it stuck to her Macbook screen on her desk reading the following:

“I’m sorry. I can’t. Don’t hate me—“

And so her relationship was over. Through a POST IT.

No other communication from him. She goes to bed one night, he’s there, and the next morning she wakes up, he’s gone, and there’s the post it. I love the way that episode ends. She hits the vase of pink carnations (which were argued in the episode are terrible flowers to give someone, but she loves them anyway) he gave her and they go flying across the alcove studio apartment and the vase seeps water slowly onto the hardwood floor.

Oh how I wish I had a vase of carnations to spill onto my apartment floor right now. Men are the worst. Even grown men. I’ve heard they’re immature until they’re about 30 years old. I’ve hung onto this statement, trying to believe it, thinking that maybe in about eight years or so I’ll finally be dealing with a man who is “mature.” Well, that is, if I continue to date people my own age. But, without giving away too much info, let’s just say that I have successfully now dealt with someone who is older than the supposed “mature” age, and it turns out—THEY’RE NOT!

So, as previously mentioned, I have officially bought two tickets to Tom Petty’s tour because I cannot and will not go to this concert alone. However, I am finding that I am alone in my absolute adoration for him and his music. Which is so sad to me. In any case, I sent a simple text yesterday, despite my beliefs on never texting a guy first (that’s a whole other post I’ll save for later) and I simply asked, “Do you like Tom Petty?” What I received in return was quite similar to that post-it note—

“No. Not a big fan. I am sorta seeing someone. Sorry.”

And so it ends. Over 30 years old and this is what I receive. Areyoufreakingkiddingme.

Burn. I feel so burned. And rejected. And lousy. How I wish I had something to knock over to symbolize the weight that message carries. A loaded text message is what it was. Ending relationships, no matter how fun, serious, or unattached you actually are—has reached a new low. Anyone else that has been through an ending through a text, post-it, or perhaps a BBM message knows the feeling. We have stooped to a lower level I’m sorry to say.

Despite having three “DTR” conversations in the last week, the “relationship” stayed as status quo. Nothing but “fun” as agreed by both of us. Two completely 100% emotionally unavailable people are “having fun.” (A total recipe for disaster, I know) Now, I receive this response from him. Well, I am going to spend as much time mourning this ceasing of “fun” as he did ending it.

Okay I’m done.

Next please.