28 Nov


This is a brilliant if not optimistic observation by Michael Moore. Let it be tested by releasing those horrific photos…

After Newtown— I think this was the President’s finest moment, after the Newtown massacre of 26 children,

And now our President intones, “This is not normal. We can’t let it become normal,” he added. “Enough is enough.” Well, Jews,after WWII proclaimed, ‘Never again.” What they meant was, ‘Never again would Jews be herded into camps and liquidated in Europe in mid 20th century.”

You remember Columbine (these events are now known by one word). Here’s then President Clinton:

Clinton and his wife later visit Littleton Colorado (His speech begins at 31:21)

Don’t forget Michael Moore’s take Bowling for Columbine

Or Gus Van Zant’s Elephant

A few years ago I had a chat with Canadian writer/artist Doug Coupland about his novel Hey Nostradamus! set in 1988 about a high school cafeteria shooting that—as it must—profoundly alters a suburban community.

RB: You designed the icon that is on the cover of Hey Nostradamus! And on your website you have that photograph from the Columbine cafeteria that you entitle ‘Tropical Birds’ after the ATF agent’s observation about all the cell phones ringing. Why haven’t you put more visual elements into your books?

DC: What I am doing now is—I used to do a lot of non-fiction and short fiction and now it’s just long-form fiction, novels, and a lot of visual work. And it’s a conscious decision. The ‘Tropical Birds,’ that happened, I was in Harbor Front [literary festival] (I can’t wait to get to the telephone and find out what the hell is going on there) 400, 500 people and someone’s phone went off in the middle. And it just brought to mind that exact paragraph from the Rocky Mountain News…

RB: In which an ATF agent says the phones were going off and it sounded like tropical birds?

DC: Yeah. So without telling anyone in the audience why, I said ‘Okay, who’s got a phone’ and called them up. ‘Now go to your neighbor and find out their number and phone them and they’ll phone you back or whatever. House, could you dim down the lights?’ Everybody thought it was ‘hee hee, really funny.’ Or whatever, David Byrne-postmodern. And then it went on for a minute and it had its own texture. And then the lights came up and the phones turned off and I told them what I was basing this on. And there was this reaction like everyone had been kicked in the gut. Then in Paris, at the Parisian Literary Festival, I did the same thing except I told people in advance why I am doing it and they did it and then the lights came up and everybody was in tears. There was this gasp of astonishment. Like how often do you hear the singing voice of the human soul? That’s one of the few instances where visual stuff and written work have dovetailed so neatly….

Will this form of senseless killing ever end?

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