|And now that I've typed all that, in all fairness, I have to also add something that I think is of major importance with regard to Moore's films and unstated argument... and it may not be a very popular thing to say, even here. It has to do with the "nature of the beast" that is America, and what I sense that Moore is trying to subconsciously comment on: a phenomenally sadistic undercurrent in the culture.|
America's focus on achievement and accomplishment, while the philosophical nucleus of our ability to innovate beyond all other nations and cultures, means that there will always be an entrenchment of frustration in all those who do not place first and get that blue ribbon. There will always be losers in this country, and I think that might be the essence of the problem, or at least in how we handle it.
I don't like this pervasive playground air that I all-too-often see in this country of "Ha ha, you didn't win... You're a LO-SER!" Although it's said in many different ways, I'm quite tired of this "You deserve to be treated like shit if you're not the alpha male, silverback gorilla" mentality. Mind you, it's not everywhere, but it's prevalent... far too prevalent, and I think it perpetuates a kind of desperate, paranoid, sadistic undercurrent in too much of this country.
Now, while I truly believe that those who wish to achieve whatever they wish to achieve, should be left alone to do so, so long as it is achievable through fair and ethical means, I also think that there should be no stigma placed on those who are not of the disposition to constantly thrive on struggling for supremacy.
There used to be a genuine cultural respect for all the sorts of people who wish to live a relatively humble, though self-sufficient, existence, that I think is missing. They traded and bartered and lived their lives on a much more manageable, less grandiose, scale of existence, and they were happier for it.
In our culture -- by and large -- it's still the male who bears the burden of making the big money, of being uber-strong and established. Females in our culture are still conditioned, no matter the strivings of feminism at female supremacy, to be the "precious, coveted trophies" of the males... who must exist in a kind of gladiatorial pit of competition, and fight to be selected for even the barest scraps of much-needed human touch and affection from these vestal virgins.
Mind you, I suppose this scenario doesn't apply to all males and females, but I don't see enough males or females who choose to opt out of this scenario to really say that it doesn't apply to basically everybody. Actually, I do see males who either do or wish to reprieve themselves of this sort of existence, but I perceive that there really aren't many females, if indeed any, who are ever truly comfortable with these males who wish to make that choice, and therefore those males have to either conform to the females' wishes and live miserably if they wish to get their human needs filled by them on this completely conditional and endlessly wearisome basis, or do something else entirely. (If my views on this are in error, please explain why).
Speaking for myself, I always seem to feel this force I've described, poisoning my ability to really ever let my guard down and just be comfortable and happy, or to reach out to others. I tend to stay to myself, as a kind of pre-emptive method of personal protection from what I anticipate would be an inevitable ugliness that I have simply never had much stomach for.
As I see it, all of what I've said here, produces a lot of males who are hurting, aching, lonely, desperate "LOOO-SERRRRS" *making the L sign on my forehead*. And in our culture, where guns are not merely easily accessible, but also part of that mentality of "you're not a real man if you aren't constantly going to such cartoonish lengths as owning a gun and flaunting it", it's only a matter of time before males -- and we are talking about males here -- start using those guns as a logical extension to live up to the extreme cultural competition put before them.
Personally, I think that the solution to gun control is to send out the message that competition in our culture is optional, not mandatory, and that innovation and the betterment of the quality of life does not have to be bratty and savage, like twenty starving rats in a dirty burlap sack, but can be done in a civil, non-panicked way, and that extremes do not necessarily have to be striven for at all times.
(Edited by Orion Reasoner on 7/22, 12:43pm)