Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Cormac McCarthy and No Country For Old Men

“Did you get a chance to watch the DVD?” I asked my friend, “because I have the book, and the book is SO much better. You understand so much more.”

“No! No! I started, but I could not watch it,” said my friend, “It was too violent!”

No Country For Old Men was a very violent movie, done by the Coen Brothers. I reviewed it HERE. When we finished watching the movie, I called our son and said “what happened? I’m not sure I understood what happened!” and indeed, there was a lot I missed. My son didn’t tell me anything – he bought me the book. On one of those long Seattle – Amsterdam – Kuwait flights I read it, and at the end – WOW.

My friend hit the nail on the head – the movie was violent, because the book is about violence, about violence in our societies, about increasing violence, violence without conscience, violence with no understanding of suffering of the victims, violence for no purpose, violence with no meaning, no goal, violence, literally, at the flip of a coin.

The movie is an indictment of violence, taking a circumstantial event and building an entire plot around it, a drug trade gone bad. There are a lot of deaths in this movie, most of them just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time and tangling with people who have no morals, no scruples, no compass by which they live. Even money matters less to the drug dealers, and their employees, than an arbitrary code that takes tribalism to the limit – us or them.

The main character, a sheriff and grandson of a sheriff, takes on a case that leads him to wonder more and more if his service to his community and fellow human beings is even making a difference. He ponders on the changing character of Texas, of youth, and how we are raising our children. It is thought-provoking and unforgettable.

I understand someone, not the Coens, are currently making a movie of an earlier book I read by Cormac McCarthy, The Road which is another bleak story. There is an elemental relationship between the father and son, the father is all goodness and protection in a world driven to brutality and unimaginable behavior by an apocalyptic event.

In No Country for Old Men there are decent, moral, sweet relationships, faithful marriages, men of honor who serve their fellow-man as law enforcement officers, men who have served their country as soldiers, etc. but the point McCarthy seems to be making is that the decent people in the world have little hope of surviving against those who band together in gangs using brute force to get what they want.

No country For Old Men is available from Amazon.com for $11.20 + shipping or from $6.00 used. Yes, I own stock in Amazon.com. 🙂

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June 8, 2008 Posted by | Books, Character, Community, Crime, Cross Cultural, Family Issues, Fiction, Financial Issues, Interconnected, Law and Order, Relationships | Leave a comment

The Great Adventure

This week AdventureMan and I are celebrating our wedding anniversary. He kids me – when we were married, we had a goal. We wanted to go to Africa, so we saved our money for a whole year. We didn’t eat meat – or not often. We didn’t go to movies; we went to the library. We did buy cameras, and we saved and saved and saved, and when we had been married a year, we went to Kenya for a month – three weeks on safari and then one week on the beach.

Life has been so good to us, has blessed us so richly. Today we give thanks for the good times, and even the bad times – it takes both to glue a marriage together. We thank God for his abundant mercy on our foolishness and our pride, for our mistakes, and for our good intentions gone wrong. We give thanks for all his blessings and we pray for many more years together.

May the great adventure continue!

June 8, 2008 Posted by | Adventure, Africa, Biography, Character, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Marriage, Spiritual | 14 Comments

Daily Grin

Thanks to a good e-mail friend for this Sunday morning joke:

If College Students Wrote The Bible

The Last Supper would have been eaten the next morning — cold.

The Ten Commandments would actually be only five — double-spaced and written in a large font.

A new edition would be published every two years in order to limit reselling.

Forbidden fruit would have been eaten because it wasn’t cafeteria food. Paul’s letter to the Romans would become Paul’s email to abuse@romans.gov.

Reason Cain killed Abel: they were roommates.

Reason why Moses and followers walked in the desert for 40 years: they didn’t want to ask directions and look like freshmen.

Instead of God creating the world in six days and resting on the seventh, he would have put it off until the night before to get it done.

June 8, 2008 Posted by | Humor, Joke | 7 Comments