Monday, July 26, 2010

Three Beautiful Things 07/25/10: Hosea, A Romanticized Thug, When to Talk

1. I spent a good part of the morning looking up how to pronounce names that appeared in the passage from Hosea that I read in church this morning. I read them pretty well. Practicing helped.

2. Casey Affleck has now deeply impressed me in two movies: Gone Baby Gone and, today, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. The movie puzzled me. Why so highly stylized? Why such a poetic script? Here's what I concluded, fwiw: we were seeing the story of the end of Jesse Jame's life through the perspective of those who had made him into a mythological hero, into a celebrity, into a romantic figure. The movie told a truth, but not so much a historical one. It told the truth of what it looks like, from inside the public mind, when a brutal psychopath starts to be seen as fighting on behalf of truth. The movie unnerved me, in the same way aspects of the collective American mind can unnerve me when unheroic men and women, often criminals, become heroes. In this way, this movie reminded me of Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers.

3. The Deke and I have some logistics to figure out for the rest of the summer. I'm glad we waited until about 10 o'clock this evening, in the cool of the backyard, to start working on them. Trying to figure things out in July heat never works for me.

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