Tuesday, April 17, 2007


I was on a movie set all day today.

As we all approached the day's work, an actress asked, "What? What happened?"

Several of us explained to her about The Massacre.

You see, her dog had been sick yesterday and she didn't see or hear or read the news.

We define ourselves also by what we notice...and what we ignore.

Marvin Gaye

listen to the timely words...this is practically an anthem for this morning

The Gun Culture

There was a photograph in the newspaper over the weekend of a woman and her child. The child was a toddler asleep in his or her little wheely thing. The mother was holding with both hands, and aiming, a monstrous, mothering big 9 mm automatic pistol. The mother and child were attending a National Rifle Association gun show in Las Vegas. This is how some people spend their time. And money.

Now, this. The Massacre.

Look, nobody can stop a determined suicide or mass killer. There are crazy people everywhere at all times in history and if they're going to do something awful, all the sociologists and criminologists strung end to end in the world will not prevent the ultimate tragedy from happening.

But America is a Gun Culture.

No sooner did CNN begin its wrap-around non-stop coverage ("Take cover and be careful, but send us your videos," they advised the students yesterday.), then President Bush weighed in with the important qualifier that the 2nd Amendment "right to bear arms" was still a crucial and cherished part of the American democratic fabric.

The CNN coverage was many things - excellent, as always, maddening, boring, displacing, fine, professional and, in some ways, completely deranged.

The deranged parts were the constant close-ups of REALLY BIG GUNS.

They just don't get it.

A friend in the office told me yesterday that for a while they had a former American Secret Security guy living on their street here in Vancouver. He used to tell them that when his 6 year old went to play with a neighbour, the first question they asked of the parents was, "Where do you keep your guns?" Not, "Do you have a gun?" Not, "a gun?" But, "Where do you keep THE GUNS?"

I remember vividly being puzzled by the discreet little blue and white signs sticking in the perfectly manicured lawns of homes in Palm Springs, California some 30 years ago. "Armed Response!" In other words, if you trespass, we will shoot you.


Scorsese finally won his Oscar this year for that dreadful piece of muck, "The Departed." This a movie entirely about shooting people. There is not one memorable character. Not one Memorable line of dialogue or set piece. No humour, no near-porno sex. Nothing. Just guns and shooting people, just as his worst movie, "Gangs of New York," was all about knives and blades and slicing people.

"Guns don't kill people. People kill people." This is the mantra of the NRA and all the other idiots with small weenies.

"Not over my dead body!" hollered Charlton Heston at an NRA convention a few years back.

If you Google the word "guns," 84,300,000 answers are retrieved in 0.05 seconds.

Let's be thankful for a moment that, although gun use is on the rise here and guns are smuggled across the border as we speak, Canada remains a relatively non-gun culture.

And let's shake our heads in sadness, shame and sorrow for The Massacre.