There Is No Cat

The alternative to flowers!

Thursday, April 25, 2002

At least it isn't another Canadian Bacon

Interesting article about Michael Moore's next documentary film on Ain't It Cool News (which I found on It's tentatively called Bowling for Columbine (Michael Moore, paragon of good taste), and it's all about gun violence. I'm of two minds on Michael Moore's documentaries. On the one hand, anyone who says that documentaries shouldn't have a point of view doesn't know much about the history of documentaries. John Grierson, one of the fathers of the genre, drilled into the heads of his proteges that documentary required a point of view (something that the cinema verité guys would probably quarrel with, but no mind), and that it should be a force for positive social change. So Moore is square in the tradition of agitprop documentaries. And yet. And yet, so often it seems like he just sets up straw men to knock down, and there's a condescending attitude toward some of his subjects that troubles me, and not just the people he's trying to knock down. Roger and Me was funny as hell, but I also felt a little queasy after seeing it. So much of what he did in that film felt set up. Okay, so it was set up in a good purpose, but still. And don't even talk to me about his direct-to-video followup, Pets or Food.

One night a bunch of years ago, I was having dinner with my parents, and my mom and I were discussing Roger and Me. This was probably a few years after the movie came out, but about the time Moore's TV series premiered. If you haven't seen the movie, the whole point of the movie is that Roger Smith, then president of General Motors, is an insensitive idiot. We were talking about the movie, and how it was funny, and this and that, and out of nowhere my dad says, "Roger Smith is an idiot." We didn't even know he was paying attention, but we were like, yeah, we know, that's what the movie's about. "Well, good, because he is." How do you know, dad? "I used to work for him." I knew that my dad worked for GM when I was growing up, in the early 1970s. Smith was an executive then, right? "No, I worked for him. He was my boss' boss. And he was an idiot."

My mom and I practically died laughing.

I didn't need to see Roger and Me; I could have just asked my dad.

Posted at 9:43 PM


Note: I’m tired of clearing the spam from my comments, so comments are no longer accepted.

Bowling for Columbine is supposedly going to be showing in competition at Cannes.

Posted by Dan at 12:40 PM, April 30, 2002 [Link]

Pity I won't be there....

Thanks for the tip.

Posted by Ralph at 11:26 PM, April 30, 2002 [Link]


This site is copyright © 2002-2024, Ralph Brandi.

What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio

There used to be a cat

[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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