Roger Ebert was more than a great movie critic, he was a great liberal. I though I would share a few of his thoughts.
After the Aurora, CO Shooting:
Should this young man — whose nature was apparently so obvious to his mother that, when a ABC News reporter called, she said “You have the right person” — have been able to buy guns, ammunition and explosives? The gun lobby will say yes. And the endless gun control debate will begin again, and the lobbyists of the National Rifle Association will go to work, and the op-ed thinkers will have their usual thoughts, and the right wing will issue alarms, and nothing will change. And there will be another mass murder.
You can read the entire Op-Ed here.
More from the op-ed.
This would be an excellent time for our political parties to join together in calling for restrictions on the sale and possession of deadly weapons. That is unlikely, because the issue has become so closely linked to paranoid fantasies about a federal takeover of personal liberties that many politicians feel they cannot afford to advocate gun control.From the review of the school-shooting film Elephant:
The reporter looked disappointed, so I offered her my theory. "Events like this," I said, "if they are influenced by anything, are influenced by news programs like your own. When an unbalanced kid walks into a school and starts shooting, it becomes a major media event. Cable news drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is assigned a logo and a theme song; these two kids were packaged as the Trench Coat Mafia. The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous. The TV will talk about nothing else but me. Experts will try to figure out what I was thinking. The kids and teachers at school will see they shouldn't have messed with me. I'll go out in a blaze of glory."Ebert also was a Webby Award winning author of over 31,000 tweets. Some of my favorites.
In short, I said, events like Columbine are influenced far less by violent movies than by CNN, the NBC Nightly News and all the other news media, who glorify the killers in the guise of "explaining" them.
For example this one from election night:
And some others:
Ebert on The Occupy Movement:
I believe the Occupiers are opposed to the lawless and destructive greed in the financial industry, and the unhealthy spread in this country between the rich and the rest. It is sickening to see how the rich and their pawns oppose desperately-needed Universal Health Care, and sad to see the Tea Party fall in line with their shadow masters to oppose something most of them will someday need.
I have also felt despair at the way financial instruments were created and manipulated to deliberately defraud the ordinary people in this country. At how home buyers were peddled mortgages they couldn't afford, and civilian investors were sold worthless "securities" based on those bad mortgages. Wall Street felt no shame in backing paper that was intended to fail, and selling it to customers who trusted them. This is clear and documented. It is theft and fraud on a staggering scale.
As we head into another election year, the Republicans actually oppose efforts at financial regulation and reform. They are against government measures that would introduce transparency and accountability into the markets. The GOP is owned by Wall Street. My litany could go on forever. Democrats try to punish the wrongdoers, Republicans shelter them, and the House GOP majority stonewalls. But you know that. And if the Occupy Movement stirs up awareness about it, I'm in favor of it.