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Bowling For Columbine

If you thought 9/11 by Michael Moore was great, check this out. Its even better I think. Some of us may not be very favorable towards the Americans considering recent events. Moore's documentaries go to show that it has a lot to do with the leaders making bad decisions rather than general population general population having a voce against the people of other races. This is a must see movie although the best bet would be checking out AXNs schedule.

Bowling for Columbine documents the tragedy at Columbine High School, where two disaffected teenagers gunned down 13 classmates then committed suicide. The documentary tried to analyze the heart of American violence and answer he perplexing question as to why Americans kill so much.

He begins by exploring, in often-hilarious detail, cultural byways where guns are as beloved as pets. As a lifetime member of the NRA and a junior shooting champion himself, Mr. Moore did not set out with an automatic bias against firearms but he shared the popular assumption that the sheer numbers of firearms in circulation drives violence in America. In one scene, he shows that a bank offers a gun to anyone who opens an account there. Moore states that handing out guns in a bank might not be the smartest thing to do.

However, check this out. Canada, with a population of only 10 million, is home to 7 million guns. Assuming for assumptions sake that the three million are children then the rest include everyone from parents to arthritic old grannies carrying guns and yet the crime is low. Murder in Canada is a rare crime. Probing Canadian attitudes, Moore is told that even in the big city of Toronto, a lot of people don't lock their doors. Such discoveries bring out questions that are more profound. Why do Americans kill so much? For this Moore suggest a theory of based on race.

In a hilarious animated sequence, he traces Americans' eagerness to shoot one another to racial paranoia born in the days of slavery and transmuted by relentless news coverage. Yet even when he makes such conclusions, he admits the fundamental question remains a mystery.

The film shifts from absurdist comedy to chilling reportage as it unfolds. It reaches a shattering climax with soundless cafeteria surveillance tapes from Columbine High that show the boys in the middle of their cold-blooded assault. What Moore is trying to do is urgent.

He collects insightful interviews from, among others, South Park co-creator Matt Stone and the much-vilified Marilyn Manson, both of whom address the kind of mental suffering that provokes Columbine-like tragedy with moving honesty. Also there are candid interviews by some of the Columbine survivors. The film comes to a hopeful end where it's shown that anyone can go to a Kmart tore and buy ammunition by the tons. Moore goes to one such chain and buys off the entire stock. The showdown ends in a surprise victory for Moore and the two survivors who accompany him. Kmart stops over the counter sales of ammunition.

Think about it. If we in Bangladesh could lay our hands on guns so easily would we be any different? We are pretty much killing each other even without the supply of ammo. So it does make you think what makes us kill?

Review by Gokhra

Modelling: The trade-off between risqué and respectability

Bangladesh is slowly trying to make its way into the fashion arena and the importance of designer labels, trends, fads and style is growing each day. What with the help of the fashion media and mushrooming designers, people are gradually starting to pay attention to what is really "in" and "out". Unfortunately this progress is extremely slow and one of the main reasons behind this is the lack of runway activity. After all how can people learn about seasonal fads and trends if designers don't have an opportunity to put their collections out on the runway? And how can there be fashion shows if we have a hand full of Bangladeshi models who aren't ready to masquerade in things a little more risqué?

Forget Bangladesh, the modelling scene in Dhaka is sadly threadbare. I mean first of all there are two types of models. There are those who do mostly commercials and print media and then there are those who do runway shows and some print media to go along with that. Unfortunately it's the latter type that we need in abundance. After all anyone can sashay to a jingle with a can of RC Cola in hand. But how many can claim that they are six-feet-plus-something, possess a curve-less body and are willing to sashay down a runway in anything, be it the bare essentials?

Of course there are some like Tupa, Asif Azim, Tanik, Logono and Emi who have boldly embraced the profession and are now doing a fantastic job (by the way, hats off to you all). But the word "modelling" usually brings about a lot of criticism, social stigma and bad vibes and that is exactly why a lot of people with the looks, height and grace choose not to become models.

Personally I think that is a waste. I mean yes, some "models" are anything but that. But should the whole lot be judged for it? And yes, I do agree that sometimes the outfits on the ramp can be outrageously bare, but isn't Bangladesh a long way from drawing the attention of designers who design such outfits?

That being said, what exactly are the prospects of modelling in Bangladesh? Currently the prospects are non-existent.

And there is good reason for that might I add. Setting aside the negative social vibes, there are other factors involved. First of all it is a universal fact that models are recruited through modelling agencies.

If we don't have modelling agencies, where will interested people go to prove that they have what it takes? Secondly, we don't have trained people like Jay Manuel and Janice Dickinson to set a standard for models and teach people to "look the look" and "walk the walk". And lastly as mentioned before, we don't have the social seal of approval that tells potential models that yes, modelling too is a "profession".

Unfortunately, in the end, it is our fashion industry that suffers. I mean, if every time we have a fashion week (and it's not like we have too many of those), models have to be brought in from India, then how will the industry hold such events over and over again every season? It is neither probable, nor logical.

Having said all this, I'm sorry if I have offended anyone by carrying the torch for victimized models and potential models of our country. But don't forget we are a secular country, not a religion-based one.

The bare naked truth is that no matter what, modelling is a profession and a respectable one at that. And the only way to put this profession in the mainstream in Bangladesh is if companies that hold different beauty pageants take the initiative to do a similar "model manhunt" and our media assists and promotes it.

After all, positive publicity does wonders in changing a public opinion! That being said, to all those Bangladeshis out there, who are either models or aspire to be one, don't lose hope. Judging from the way the country is becoming fashion-conscious, you will be called upon very soon. Just keep your fingers crossed. And when the time comes, hold your head high and be proud!

By Tahiat-e-Mahboob

Reeshad Rabbany: a tribute

He was a person I know very little about. He was not my brother, nor a relative, or a friend. I knew him as a friend's older brother, actually. So why am I writing about him? Maybe because his death has shown me many new things about this world. Or maybe because he was an extremely creative poet. Or maybe just because his family will be happy to see that he will be remembered by everyone who knew him.

He was Reeshad Rabbany. He studied at South Breeze school, Dhaka. As I was a little kid back in those days when he was a senior, I don't remember those days very clearly. I remember him from two or three years ago, calmly watching a volleyball match or at a concert. His younger brother Shafat is a good friend of mine. Reeshad always came to see his brother play. By merely looking at him, you could see that he was different, and never got over-excited about anything.

At around the age of two, Reeshad was diagnosed with Thalassaemia, a fatal disease. I don't remember when I heard this. I can never imagine waking up every day and thinking it might be my last. I thought about what he had gone through, and how lucky it was to have loving parents. When I was staring at his face on the eleventh of December, he looked happy.

A crowd of people surrounded him and his mother prayed beside him, while we stood speechless with amazement and grief. Reeshad Bhai had passed away into another world.

As I looked at his face I remembered how I had praised his writing ability once. He had his poetry published in a book called 'Moments in Surreality.' The poems were beautiful. In the poems I saw a different world, made of dreams, but always with a slight touch of misery and reality. I commented on this, and told him his poems were great. His reactions were not what I had expected. He was merely surprised that I had actually read the book.

One of the poems was about his death. The book was open and the poem kept on his body. His mother, who was my teacher in school, knelt beside the body, crying. I realized many things about my life as I witnessed that scene, but this is not the time to talk about those things.

This article is just to let you know that a kind, loving son and a creative writer has passed away at the age of twenty-two. Place pray for him and his family. I sincerely hope he is now in a better place.

By Rizwan Rahman

Tsunami terror

Hundreds alive but thousands dead,
Coast of the sea churning red.
I can still remember what they said:
"Everything is washed away."
India's fertile lands,
Thailand's hot sands,
And Lank an beaches grand,
Everything is washed away
The father who he lost
Swept away his mother too,
Waters so fast, a family now the past,
"Everything is washed away."
Nature can have its way
And we may not have any say,
But we stand as one for every noble cause.
And our values can never be washed away.

By Mehreen Nazir


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