Cormac McCarthy’s “No Country for Old Men” Reveals the Voice of the Bewildered Who Are Now Fascism’s Supporters


Cormac McCarthy‘s No Country for Old Men is essentially two novels which briefly intersect towards the end in a motel parking lot. One novel is the story of how a combination of greed and an urge for self-destruction prompts Llewellyn Moss, a retired Vietnam War veteran working as a welder, to steal a satchel with more than two million dollars from the site of a heroin exchange where the two parties ended up killing each other in the desert. Of course, representatives of the two corporate entities in the failed exchange make attempts to recover this money, which include sending Anton Chigurh and Carson Wells, two hit men with contrasting styles and philosophies. The body count rises as employees of the “rival parties” kill each other and innocent bystanders. Eventually, Mexican employees of one of the parties kill Llewellyn but are forced to flee before a thorough search can reveal the location of the money. Later Chigurh recovers the money from Llewellyn’s hotel room. Before he can leave the parking lot, Sheriff Ed Tom Bell arrives to the room and realizes Chigurh has just left, but prudence and cowardice persuade him not to attempt to arrest or confront Chigurh, and Chigurh escapes. Months later, Chigurh kills Llewellyn’s wife to make good on a threat he had conveyed to the by now long-dead Llewellyn.

The other novel is the inner life of Sheriff Bell. Bell is decent enough, but he demonstrate how people of a similar mindset, who wouldn’t identify themselves as fascists and may, like Bell, have even fought in World War II against German fascists, could end up many years later supporting fascism.

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Harry Ambrose Plunged Further into His Psychological Abyss in Finale of Season 3 of “The Sinner”

Harry Ambrose murdered Jaime Burns in the Season 3 finale of USA Network’s The Sinner. Ambrose wanted to see if killing, which I don’t remember him doing before, would free him. And Ambrose wanted to see if Burns had made the breakthrough he had claimed Nick promised him through killing. The final scene shows that (1) Ambrose sees that Burns died “scared & alone,” in other words, he didn’t make any kind of breakthrough to Ubermensch-ness & (2) Ambrose realized that his murder of Burns won’t do anything to solve his own psychological problems.

Immediately after watching the episode, I felt disappointed that Jaime Burns, the criminal, never reached a state of understanding to mitigate his/her crimes, as Cora (Season 1) & Julian (Season 2) did. There was no big reveal which explained Burns’s crimes. It turned out he was just an asshole.

The Sinner in The Sinner is Harry Ambrose. The show is about him. If & when there is a final season, it needs to be about uncovering & healing his sins.

Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Show “Farm Monitor” Promotes Big Pharma Ag & Erases POC Workers

I am as far removed from agricultural production as one can be. Due to my recent appreciation of the centrality of agriculture to our life, I began watching Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Farm Monitor (Twitter & Facebook & YouTube) to learn more. I’ve really enjoyed the show, and I’ve been telling people about it & sharing clips on social media. Nevertheless, recent episodes have promoted industrial/pharmacological agriculture, and I’ve begun to think about the show more critically.

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Playlist of Songs Featured in AMC’s Series “Hip Hop”

AMC’s series Hip Hop: The Songs that Shook America consisted of 6 episodes in 2019. Each episode examined a “text” which tells how Hip Hop/rap music grew into the art form we know today and reached its current popularity. The fifth episode introduced the “rap battle,” so I’ve included 3 songs for that episode. So here’s the 8-song play list I made using Spotify.

I’m no rap aficionado, so the series exposed me to much I hadn’t known.

BTVS “A New Man,” S4E12 Anticipated GITMO

Ethan Rayne, played by Robin Sachs (d. 2013), was a recurring human villain in Buffy the Vampire Slayer in Seasons 2-4. In his final appearance in A New Man (S4E12, January 2000), when Buffy captures him after his latest round of malevolence, he taunts her by reminding her that the Slayer is not allowed to kill humans. He doesn’t realize that the Slayer has become ensnared in the national security state, personified by Riley (played by Marc Blucas), her new significant other and a high ranking officer in the Initiative, a secret project which, we learn later in the season, is developing a part-demon, part-machine, part-human super soldier.

Riley orders soldiers of the Initiative to take custody of Rayne and informs those present that his status is to be determined and he’ll be detained in a secret detention facility in a desert in Nevada. (Note: Riley is awful at keeping secrets.)

Watching this in 2019, eighteen years into the Global War on Terror and all its variants, we know that the United States and its allies operate secret torture detention facilities and one well-known indefinite detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. A throwaway line at the end of an otherwise unmemorable Young Adult drama series episode appears in an entirely new light.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer “Anne” S3E01 Shows How Workers Should Deal with Bosses

gettyimages-906538I recently subscribed to Hulu. Am I using it to watch original programming? No! I’m rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer!

Season 3, Episode 1, “Anne,” opens with Buffy working as a waitress in Los Angeles under the alias Anne. She had run away from Sunnydale, where she had been compelled to kill her lover Angel & send him into a hell dimension, kicked out of school by the tyrannical Principal Snyder and thrown from the house by her mother, who couldn’t deal with the news that her daughter was The Chosen One. Continue reading

Is Gandalf the John Bolton of Middle Earth? or #IStandWithSauron

I had read and enjoyed both The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings (LOTR) trilogy as a young adult in the 1980s, but I could not get through The Silmarillion, which I imagine is a minimum requirement of true Tolkien fandom.

By the time Peter Jackson’s movies were released, I had changed my politics and began to question American exceptionalism and Eurocentrism. Continue reading

Stop Telling Nick Kyrgios How to Behave

0_alexander-zverev-vs-david-ferrer-acapulco-mexico-27-feb-2019I stayed up late last night watching Nick Kyrgios defeat Rafael Nadal in Acapulco. It was an amazing match.

I’m used to ESPN & Tennis Channel analysts bemoan Kyrgios’s alleged unprofessionalism, which manifests itself in injuries (from lack of training), lackadaisical effort and on court personal conduct violations. I was surprised to hear that Rafael Nadal himself criticized Kyrgios in the post-match press conference, channeling his version of Major League Baseball’s John McCann. Continue reading

“Falling Off the Corporate Ladder”: Music Which Explains Why You Can’t Tolerate the Whole Boss Thing

Generation HexedI sometimes wonder why I just can’t get that excited about corporate life. So I compiled a list of YouTube videos I entitled “Falling Off the Corporate Ladder.” If you think of others I should add, let me know. I also created a Spotify list (which doesn’t include Canibus’s Shove this Jay-Oh-Bee).

Also, check out Who Is Generation X? Stories for a Lost Generation by Jennifer McCollum. The cartoon is entitled “Generation Hexed” by Ted Rall.

Of course, many of my cohorts have done amazing things & I presume they are happy and proud of their careers. So it could just be me.