this post 9/11 world

You’ll have to excuse me if my intelligibility dips below acceptable levels; I am inconceivably tired but also sick of neglecting my blog and depriving the world (i.e. all three of you!) of my fantastic inner workings.

Last night Jared and I went to see No Country For Old Men, which I wanted to see it solely because Javier Bardem was in it. The only other film I have seen Bardem in is The Sea Inside, which we saw a few months ago. That was an astoundingly well-told story about a man who becomes paralyzed and, some decades later, assembles a group of friends to help him kill himself. Bardem plays an old man for most of the movie, and until some brief flashback scenes of his character earlier in life, I had no inkling that he (the actor) was not elderly. Similarly, when I watched him in No Country, he seemed to take up about three times as much physical space as he did in The Sea, and his voice and eyes were entirely different. That, to me, is what makes a good actor: complete immersion in a charcter, the ability to leave out one’s personal tics and mannerisms. So anyway, I thought he was neat and I enjoyed the movie.

My favorite thing to do after watching a movie is to go on or read published reviews to see what other people thought. In so doing I came across this review and was immediately disgusted. The reviewer doesn’t like the movie, he doesn’t get it, whatever; that’s not what I take issue with. It’s this load of maggot-infested feces, about the movie’s directors and their treatment of the source material:

“They even manage to acknowledge briefly the relevance of all this mayhem to the present occupation of Iraq (albeit somewhat anachronistically, as the action is set in 1980). At one point, [a character] ruefully reflects to a colleague, “It’s just all-out war—there isn’t any other word for it,” and goes on to comment about the sad times we’re living in, when some people even resort to senseless torture, making particular allusion to Abu Ghraib by mentioning a torturer placing a dog collar around the neck of one of his victims.”

This is a common meme in the world of morons: the insistence to link every fucking thing that happens in the media and in your personal life to whatever war happens to be on at the time. This movie didn’t have a single thing to do with the Iraq war, or with any war; it’s a violent movie, and war is violent, but that’s where the connection ends. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people try to describe popular media as “an escape from these turbulent times” or “a response to the conflict overseas”. The vast majority of us aren’t at war, don’t have loved ones who are at war, and are not actually affected by the current war any more than we’re affected by every other atrocity that goes on in the world every day. The journalists and academics and others who have been perpetuating this kind of pseudo-intellectual garbage since the beginning of time would be well-advised to experience something -anything- on its own merit and not purely as a response to that day’s headlines.

It’s one thing to make a passing mention of politics when describing why Dylan’s music became so popular in the sixties…it’s another thing to take your morning dump and then expound upon how constipated you’ve become in this post-9/11 world.

4 thoughts on “this post 9/11 world

  1. Sailing to Byzantium
    by William Butler Yeats

    THAT is no country for old men. The young
    In one another’s arms, birds in the trees
    – Those dying generations – at their song,
    The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
    Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
    Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
    Caught in that sensual music all neglect
    Monuments of unageing intellect.

    An aged man is but a paltry thing,
    A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
    Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
    For every tatter in its mortal dress,
    Nor is there singing school but studying
    Monuments of its own magnificence;
    And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
    To the holy city of Byzantium.

    O sages standing in God’s holy fire
    As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
    Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
    And be the singing-masters of my soul.
    Consume my heart away; sick with desire
    And fastened to a dying animal
    It knows not what it is; and gather me
    Into the artifice of eternity.

    Once out of nature I shall never take
    My bodily form from any natural thing,
    But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
    Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
    To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
    Or set upon a golden bough to sing
    To lords and ladies of Byzantium
    Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

  2. soooooooooo, i’ve been sick as well and having pretty intense fever driven nightmares. the first one you and jared were in (julia was there too, but her back was turned bc she was looking through books on a shelf) needless to say you were all taking our series of pretty fudged up events all in stride.

    so the next morning i woke up and thought i need to tell her this dream in detail, she will find it amusing but i was sick and stayed away from the computer.

    then that night, i have a dream in which we took the bus and i told you the previous night’s dream in great detail. that is to say, taking all of the fun out of actually telling you about the dream in real life.

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