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Bowling for Columbine (Documentary) ( 2002) 2003 by Raymond Weschler Major Characters

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Black Men and White America.

“Tonight in South Central, a drive-by shooting.”

South Central is an African-American section of Los Angeles that is known for its high crime rate. A “drive-by shooting” is the act of firing

a gun at a person from a moving car.

This, that or whatever. :: They’re not making that up, are they?

In this case, “whatever” is a general filler word for “anything else one can think of.” “To make something up” is to tell a story that is a complete lie.

She tells everyone a black guy stole the car….and at first everyone bought it.

Here, “to buy” something means to believe it even though it’s not true.

And I hollered, “I love them.”

“To holler” is to yell.

The anonymous, urban…which usually means black…

If a person is “anonymous,” they are not named or

identified. “Urban” is an adjective that refers to big cities.
Chuck and Carol were robbed at gunpoint as they left a Lamaze class.

A class that teaches pregnant women how to give birth to a baby.

Whether you’re a psychotic killer or running for President of the US, the

one thing you can always count on is white America’s fear of the black man.

If a person is “psychotic,” they are very emotionally

troubled, or psychologically disturbed.

She never expected a nest of Africanized killer

bees to shack up across the street from her.

A “nest ‘ is a home for birds or bees. “To shack up” is a

very slangy way of saying to live in a particular place.

He…tried to mate them with the European bee.

“To mate” is the scientific verb that means to get two

animals to have sex in order to get them to have babies.
The main difference…is their aggressiveness. If I were to do this to a

African bee’s hives, I’d have several hundred stings in a matter of minutes.

“Aggressiveness” is a behavior marked by too much energy or desire, occasionally with the threat of violence. When a bee “stings,” it physically attacks you with a small stinger that it pushes into your body.

That becomes the perception and image of an entire people.

A person’s “perception” is how they see things,

and a person’s “image” is how others see them.

You’ll find most African Americans are quite adverse to gun possession.

If a person is “adverse to” something,

they want to avoid or stay away from it.
In suburbia, there’s some notion that there’s going to be an

invading horde…to savage their suburban community.

“Suburbia” refers to the generally upper middle class neighborhoods

that are found immediately outside of big cities. A “notion” is an idea.

A “horde” is a large and usually aggressive group , and “to savage”

a city is to brutally attack it (though this is a rare verb).

It’s not only bizarre, it’s totally unfounded.

“Bizarre” is an excellent adjective meaning very strange, and if a belief

is “unfounded,” it is not true, or at least not supported by evidence.
These pistols, curiously enough, were being

taken off of kids in the suburban communities.

“Pistols” are a type of small gun. “Curiously enough” is a poetic way of referring to something that is interesting, but surprising or not expected.

The biggest problem has been gun possession by these adolescents in suburbia.

An “adolescent” is a young teen between the ages of about 12 and 16.
Gangs in the city of Detroit. Black? :: Predominantly.

A more official way of saying mostly or primarily.

Too much hassle.

“Hassle” is a widely used colloquial word for anything

that leads to problems, troubles or annoying concerns.
The American people are conditioned by network TV….to believe that

their communities are much more dangerous than they actually are.

If people are “conditioned” to believe something, they are led to believe

it after being constantly exposed to a particular belief or point of view. “Network TV” refers to the big national TV stations.

This….was kind of ground zero for the LA riots.

“Ground zero” is the exact location where a horrible

event, such as an earthquake or riot, takes place.
The odds that something is going to happen to me are really slight. :: Miniscule.

“Odds” is another word for chances or risk. If the chances of something happening are “slight,” they are very small, and if they are “miniscule,” they are so small it is almost for sure not going to happen.

The Hollywood sign means glamour….

A popular word associated with romantic attractiveness and excitement.

A Sergeant told me it’s a guy with a gun.

A high-level police officer.

I saw the chopper….It’s a near-drowning.

“Chopper” is a shortened word for a helicopter (The plane that can fly up and down). If a person “drowns,” he dies from lack of air in the water.

There is one show that has consistently brought black and white people

together to reduce our fears and celebrate our diversity. That show is Cops.

“Diversity” is a popular word to refer to the differences people have with each other in race, religion, sexual orientation (straight or gay), etc.
An executive director of the world’s wildest police videos.

In Hollywood, an “executive director” is responsible for the money and business side of creating movies. Here, “wild” generally means crazy.

Look "liberal" up in the dictionary and I think my picture is there somewhere.

This is the speaker’s way of saying he is a very liberal person.

Why not be compelled to do a show on what’s causing

the crime instead of just chasing the criminals down?

If a person is “compelled” to do something, they are being forced

to do it or feel they have to do it for moral or ethical reasons.

Tolerance and understanding does less well. :: Less well in the ratings?

“Tolerance and understanding” refers to a welcoming and open attitude toward people who are considered different from most others (gays, immigrants, etc). “Ratings” refer to the estimated number of people who watch TV shows (TV networks are always trying to get high ratings, so that they can charge more for TV ads).

We tend to demonize black and Hispanic people.

If you “tend to” do something, you generally do it quite a bit over time. “To demonize” a person is to see or describe them as bad or evil. “Hispanics” are people who are of Mexican or Latin American origin.

I’ll pitch you one. Do a show called “Corporate Cops.”

“To pitch” a show or idea is to present it as an official proposal,

to see if a TV network or film studio would like to produce it.
I don’t think it would make interesting reality TV unless we could get these

people to get in their SUVs and drive fast down the road, away from the police.

“Reality TV’ is a type of television show that either has real people (not actors) trying to do ridiculous things in order to make money, or famous people who let the audience see their real lives. An SUV, or sport utility vehicle, is a large type of car that’s well known for wasting lots of gas.
If I could find a police outfit that would prosecute corporate

criminals appropriately and would go after them appropriately.

“To prosecute” a person is to officially put them on trial for a crime.

“To go after” a person is to try and stop, arrest or punish them, and if

it’s “appropriate,” it is done in a way that is reasonable, fit or correct.

You need an appropriate response to a man who’s

just stolen $88 million dollars from indigent people.

People who are “indigent” are very poor

and have almost nothing to survive on.
If you could get the guy to throw his cellular phone as

the police come through the door, then we’d have a show.

A small wireless telephone that can be carried around.
Tease them….make fun of them, ridicule them.

“To tease” a person is to gently make fun of them, and “to ridicule”

them is to also make fun of them, but in a mocking or mean spirited way.

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