This was last night's enterainment at Salem Cinema, where the newly installed seats add a lot to our viewing enjoyment. Plus, you can drink a cup of decent coffee and eat some almost-healthy popcorn (probably truly healthy if you get the brewer's yeast option). Last time we went, before this, the owner made a nice little speech before the movie about the new seats, and how much she appreciated everyone's support over the years, and please turn off your cell phones, but if you don't, everyone in the theater should feel free to scream at you when the ringer goes off, followed by, "Thank you, and enjoy your movie."
Now, Michael Moore poses a lot of questions about why this country has so much gun violence, and other similar countries don't--even those, like Canada, that have jillions of guns. He doesn't force answers on the viewer, which is to his credit. Laurel and I came away feeling that the answer lies somewhere in the American culture, a culture where it is unusual to feel the sort of warm closeness that you get at Salem Cinema. The Canadians interviewed in the movie all thought that this country is really weird, which it is. We lock our doors and are afraid of so many things that Canadians don't worry about.
So, what is with all this "God Bless America" stuff, and "this is the greatest country on earth"? God must bless Canada, Japan, Britain, and Australia more than the United States, because there aren't nearly as many murders per capita in those countries. There's a lot of anger and paranoia here; we're on edge; we don't trust our neighbors; we expect that everybody else should think and act just like us, or there is something wrong with those other idiots. We shoot first and think later.
Leaving the movie, Laurel and I couldn't help but recall how eager some of our neighbors are to shoot any coyote that wanders onto their property. This is the attitude that fosters gun violence toward humans, as well as animals. Got a problem? Simple, kill it. Don't try to live with it, or adapt to it. Just kill it. Moore showed how the United States has done this in southeast Asia, in Panama, in Nicaragua, in Kosovo, and now in Iraq, and who knows where else next. Hey, I'm in favor of war when war is the last resort, but our country often sees ware as the first resort. And then we wonder how high schoolers learn to wage a shooting war on each other.