The no name cast of stellar actors (Dave Davis, Glenn Morshower, Logan Huffman) separate Bomb City from the modern norm of claiming a film was based on a true story only to sugar coat it for consumption. Achievements such as Gus Van Sant’s Elephant and, now, Bomb City drag the audience into horrific, societal changing situations and force each viewer to be there. So here you are in Amarillo, Texas following punks and jocks throughout their daily routines while a 1999 Marilyn Manson narration stirs from the radio:
“When it comes down to who’s to blame for the high school murders in Littleton, Colorado, throw a rock and you’ll hit someone who’s guilty. We’re the people who sit back and tolerate children owning guns, and we’re the ones who tune in and watch the up-to-the-minute details of what they do with them. I think it’s terrible when anyone dies, especially if it is someone you know and love. But what is more offensive is that when these tragedies happen, most people don’t really care any more than they would about the season finale of Friends or The Real World. I was dumbfounded as I watched the media snake right in, not missing a teardrop, interviewing the parents of dead children, televising the funerals. Then came the witch hunt.
Man’s greatest fear is chaos. It was unthinkable that these kids did not have a simple black-and-white reason for their actions. And so a scapegoat was needed. I remember hearing the initial reports from Littleton, that Harris and Klebold were wearing makeup and were dressed like Marilyn Manson, whom they obviously must worship, since they were dressed in black. Of course, speculation snowballed into making me the poster boy for everything that is bad in the world. These two idiots weren’t wearing makeup, and they weren’t dressed like me or like goths. Since Middle America has not heard of the music they did listen to (KMFDM and Rammstein, among others), the media picked something they thought was similar.”
Fine- the quoted speech is describing the Columbine massacre. But it’s as applicable to Brian Deneke as it is to each victim of Columbine in that Caucasians were to blame, yet guilty small town Caucasians sought out excuses. And these excuses duped courtrooms and juries into passing the buck. Was Brian Deneke perfect? No.
Sadly, Dustin Camp ran him down in his dad’s Cadillac and walked away free after his lawyer argued that not being perfect naturally leads to guilt. When we had champions that inspired us to start the revolution at home (The Clash, The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, etc.) there was a glimmer of hope that the justice system could be changed from behind the raised fist. However, over the decades, the prophecy from Echo & the Bunnymen that there’s no more heroes anymore manifested. Manson and Reznor couldn’t meet the backlash of the pointing fingers from Conway Twitty’s aging fan base in the Republican party. Now, with the revolution dead, it’s up to Hollywood to broadcast these mistakes as must-see films, make viewers live the redo, and slowly alter whatever it is that ‘Murica has become.