OK, it's just that I see the non-violence aspect as part of what the
"good guys" (so to speak) were pertty much about, although that's is
admittedly going from memory. IOW, they might have gotten rowdy ehre an
dthere, but they weren't about harming poeple. ALl in all, they were
just "doing their thing". SO, yes, it's freedom, but that (IMO at least)
includes other things.
It's hard to separate it completely from real life, because the
characters and situations were drawn from real life - and any work of art
is not only itself, but also, at least art which is also commentary is a
part of, an extension of?, the context/culture/times (not sure which word
is best) that existed during its creation.
SO, I'm not jsut trying to split hairs for the sake of being annoying,
jus putting my ownsnippets "out there" so to speak.
It's not at all a matter of "me not wanting you to say" this or that.
I'm exploring some of this as I write, and seking some, what, refeinement
of the ideas?, definition? - perhaps better to say "accuraciy" or
Whatever. I just am trying to say that, even at that time, "Middle
America" meant "the establishment"/"the herd mentality" *but* not
necessarily violence - not that it didn't have its violent sectors of
course, and also not to say that the imposition of certain cultural
standards couldn't be expereinced (by those imposed-upon) as a form of
violence. But the pressure was more like being slowly smothered by
ultra-refined bleached white flour - crushed underfoot by boredom, so to
At the same time, one of the lessons, IMO, is that the complacent
unthinking herd/establishment type of mindset can too easily descend into
mindless, and even casual, violence.
SO no, it's not me "wanting your to say" this or that. I'm trying to
establish a more three-dimensional picture, primarily for myself but also
for the sake of clarification. Because rebellion, too, has its dangerous
Well (going off on a bit of a tangent here) and that past is,
pathetically (and dangerously, and disgustingly enough) not so much
"past" as most people like to think, because the only thing stopping
people from starting back in with that sort of horror is their fear of
getting caught by "the liberal gummint"...IOW< it's closer to the surface
than is often thought...
Maybe more accurate to say "Complacent America"...?
You were going along OK until you interjected that last bit.
First off, one of the dangers of farming - and this is from relatives who
actually owned and operated real honest-to-goodness farms (rice and
soybeans, in Arkansas) - is poisonous snakes. So, sorry, Edgar, but it's
rather common for a farmer to have some sort of firearm with him, if only
because of the danger of snakes.
Maybe (but I'm just guessing) a farmer in the West might also be in
danger from Cougers or Coyotes, or even Wolves. WHen I lived in SOuth
Carolina in the early 80's, I worked with one fellow who had a small farm
as a second income, and he had to occasionally shoot feral dogs
(abandoned pets - they were just trying to survive, but he couldnt afford
to just let them kill his cows). HE was down-to-eartg, non-violent, even
tempered - but hey, he had to protect his cows as amatter of economic
That is just plain reality. So, sorry to pop your balloon, but it might
very well be that the ol' farmer had a rifle nearby. Also, depending
upon just how close to the land he was, and based upon what I've seen
here and there, he probably wasn't above popping a squirrel, racoon, or
other critter to put into the stew pot. This info comes in part form
someone who spent a couple summers as a kid helping pick the cotton - I'm
not making that up. My own grandfather never resorted to store-bought
meat, and as a kid, I had venison, woodchuck, and who knows what else,
when we visited his place. It's an urban, 8not* rural, idea that guns
are *always* evil or are *only ever* used for criminal reasons. In many
areas, they remain part of one's survival toolkit.
And yeah, that also can be part of freedom - living off the land, rather
than depending upon food to be trucked in to you.
Well, it *is* Texas <g!> Seriously, tho', no, not in the 'burbs. OTOH,
that fellow prob was going to actually eat what he hunted, as opposed to
people who get all sorts of high-power rifles with super scopes an
dinfrared sensors, just to *kill* something (or worst of all, people who
pay to have some beast tied up, and then they just saunter up and kill
In the 'burbs, it's asafety problem, because most houses would be
pierced if ya threw a nail file at them and th epointy end hit. SO
shooting off guns would be a huge hazard. OTOH, if someone has 20 or 100
acres, it's far less of a hazard.
Having never been in the situation, I don't know how I'd react. I
suspect, tho', that my belly would win out. Even on a prime vegetarian
diet, I can't absorb enough B-complex vitamins, so a subsistance one just
wouldn't cut it. And I've eaten game before. Also read about how to
hang and dress game. I don't necessarily relish the thought, and can't
see doing it for sport, but in a survival situation, well, you do what
you have to do, and people in such situations usually end up deeply
Ok, I hear ya, I understand you point and don't disagree.
I believe that was what I was trying to say, the point of the movie was not
about the violence or which one or who was committing it upon whom, but more
about "the establishment", and the reasons behind the violence.
Yes your right, that is one thing that can be interpreted fromt he movie,
considering they were on the verge of being beaten all along their travels.
I can dig it man :)
Heh you spent the most time going after a wink and a nod joke. There was no
ballon to pop :-). Other than that, yeah I get your points, and I guess
what Don wrote lead to a decent discussion after all.
Heh ;) .
Seriously tho', thinking (albeit very much off the top of my head) about
history, it seems that complacency has got to be one of the major enablers
of evil...there is that famous quote, if I can get it right, that "IN order
for evil to triumph, good men merely have to do nothing" - is that how it
goes? ((I have to get a copy of Bartlett's...))
ALthough, thinking about it, it isn't only complacency, but also
"omphaloskopsism", self-focus - IOW, esier to do nothing if one stares into
one's coffee and doesn't look up to even see a problem.
Both of the above cut across all the lines - race, economic level, social
circle, creed, all of it.
[ snip ]
Sometimes jokes lead to serious statements, and sometimes serious
statements lead to jokes :o
Humor is a curious thing in that way ;)
Well, looking back, that wasn't the best phrase I could've used :o (and
actually, thinking of it, I think the "old saying" is actually "burst one's
bubble"...<ahem...>) But the intended gist was the idea of misconception.
A lot of people *do* have the misconception that gun equates to bad, but if
you're working in the fields, as farmers are wont to do, and a rattler
threates you or someone else who's also working there, a .22 rifle is a
OTOH, in the hands of a violent hate-motivated type, pretty much anything
is bad news, if it's sharp enough or heavy enough to do damage. Guns make
their violence much worse, of course, but, in the end, a gun is only a
thing - good or evil rest in the motivations of the person who has the
I guess that's not really related to the movies - or maybe it is related,
tangentially. I'm not sure, so I'll leave it at that ;)
And meanwhile, it seems to me that an additional question exists: if the
killers at the end of "Easy Rider" were motivated by hatred and fueled by
cowardice (I started to type "cowardace" but that'd just be a nervous
fish... :o ), what motivates teh character in NCFOM? OR maybe the
frightening part is that there is no motivation?
Well, maybe I'll go ahead and see the movie after all ;)
Submarines, now that's an idea that gives me the willies. Fasciating
systems, but actually spend six months in a can hundreds of feet under the
ocean? Noooo thank you. I had on section chief who'd been an officer on-
board a sub, and he was unflappable - I guess, to survive it, you *have* to
be not just cool, but glacial...
Caves fall into the same category for me.
Which, if a story is really good, is as it should be ;)
For bad movies that are so bad, they're good (well, at least they're good
if your mind has been properly warped and mutated!), check this place:
heh heh heh
At teh same tiem, it's something I migh ttry, just because - hmm, no
short way to say it, but, I'm fascinated (well, OK, maybe obsessed...)
with cetacean perception, that whole thing of forming 3D models in their
minds via the use of their sonar. That whole "alien world" thing. A
weird combination of deep fear, and a near-obsession to understand.
Underwater caves are their own unique class of nnightmare to me; I can't
even watch that stuff on TV.
Land caves, well, I *did* go into LuRay Caverns, and was glad for the
experience, but once is enough, thank you...
How I remember it is:
stala_C_tites drip from the _C_eiling
stala_G_mites build up from the _G_round
Geology is fascinating, and often beautiful, but caves, er, well, um....
((REmember that MASH episode, where they were being bombed and Hwakeye
had to stay at eh mouth of the cave because he was less afraid of the
bombs, than of being closed-in...?))
Oh, do! If your brain isn't already totally warped, it will be so after
you've seen stuff like "Mesa of Lost Women", "The Brain from Planet
Aros", and other such "classics" <LOL!>
Oh, like everyone hasn't stood with a gun in the road in front of your
house. What's the big dead about that.
Our paper runs pictures of the deer when some one drives them down to
the paper's office. My friend, the former editor, said the hardest part
was having his female employees push the tongue back into the deer's
mouth for the picture.
Around here, guns are normal. Camo is everywhere.
Back when I hunted, I always carried a pistol. You don't leave those
things laying about. So if you went into a store for a cup of coffee,
you always took your pistol. It's no big deal.
Did you hear about the cannibals who were eating a clown. One said,
"does this taste funny to you". Sorry, I couldn't resist.
Well, the NG has recently been generally twitchy. But times are
First, depending upon where, in the northern hemisphere one lives (I have
teh inmpression that most posters here are from the northern
hemisphere...), construction season is eitehr in progress, or is soon to
start. So, given the nature of architecture-related professions, people
are eitehr starting new projects, in th emidst of newly-started projects,
or looking for projects. Even the good sorts of business are still
Second, the economy is all wobbly. THat is *very* stressful - housing is
problemaatic and investments are problematic (it's of course *far* more
complex than that, but I think we all watch the news and know the
THird, if it wasn't obvious before, it's obvious now that Iraq is in a
civil war - it migh tbe externally funded, but it's still a civil war.
Yet many peopel still use words like "victory" and "success' regarding
the US presence there - while conveniently making continual changes to
what they want th ewords to mean, because they seem to have th edelusion
that NewSpeak is better than jsut saing, "Oy vey, we f***ed up..."
THat related to a fourth stress, elections. People distrust politicians
in part *because* they merely twist words, rather than admit to a mistake
and then seek a real solution. Elections recently seem to be well-
established now as nothing more than choosing the lesser of two evils.
Personally, I don't really like any of the candidates' platforms across
the board. It seems to me that a lot of peole feel similarly.
Meanwhile, fifth stress, which also, as far as I can gather, is shared by
an increasing number (but still a minority) of people that the US is
decreasingly a nation, an increasingly a loose collection of special-
interest groups, who don't just want to live their own lives as they
think is best, but rather, insist upon imposing their own chouices upon
everyone's personal lvies - IOW, the populace seems to me to have lost
most of their ability to dofferentiate between what is good gfor them
personally, and what is good for the nation.
And so on - Afghanistan and the US failure there; the fact taht the
current administration has sold out us, an dour kids, and poss.
grandkids, to a nation that is rather hostile, so as to fund the mess in
Iraq, plus the fact that the production of not only your jeans and your
kids' toys, but also, the very medicines we take and the very food we
eat, has been turned *wholesale* over to that same nation, because the
gov.t is *not* "by the People, for the People", but rather, "by the tiny
minority of teh super-rich regardless of whether they got that way
illegally/unethically, FOR the tiny minority of the super-rich". Etc,
and so on.
Times are stressful. It's *difficult* to even attempt to maintain an
even keel, an objective attitude. Which isn't to say in any way that we
ought not try - IMO, it's even more important now to try to be voices of
reason in *all* things, even the smallest ways, becasue reason is a
I certainly can relate tot hat. But we can't choose relatives, and often
can't choose whether or not we caer about someone, and it's sad tothink
about hose who didn't have the ability (?will?, ?strangth?, ?luck?,...?)
to overcome the less-positive influences of all that. OK, that's nto
really relevant to a specifc point, but I said it anyway ;)
Life in general is much like that, btu it's dicey, because we're neither
pre-programmed, nor completely waht others made us to be, but rather, a
combination of both. In a way, it's like pottery - clay is clay, and the
potter's hand can only shape clay in accordance with its nature. IOW,
we're born with certain areas of potantial, and certain areas of, well,
less potantial, and the environment can't change those. At the same
time, however, a person who might be predisposed to poor self-control can
have that trait made *much* worse by a bad/violent environment and end up
becoming akiller, but in a good environment, teh same person might learn
better self-control and just grow up to be more aggressive than average,
and in the *best* environment, might learn to channel that energy into
achievement. Same goes for a talented child - genius can't be destroyed,
but it can be warped, distorted, bound.
And then, there are those people who seem to have become acheivers, or
criminlas/killers, despite the environment....
THe point is that I don't believe in complete self-determiniation, btu
also don't believe in complete passivity. Drugs fall into that category.
TO at least some extent, people *can* choose whether to try to be their
best, or fall into being their worst. Drugs don't "make" soemone do bad
things or good things. It's just like alcohol - some people are "mean
drunks" and some are "maudlin drunks" and some jsut sit there with a grin
on their face - all that the alcohol does is lower their
inhinitions/controls, and in a sense, prove the old saying that "In vino
I think that's true.
No, just snippets of it when it was on cable (it's not one of the movies
they like to show 20 times a week...)
I can relate to that. And in a way, it makes current times even harder,
becasue I remember what ti was like when people had the hope taht they
*were* expanding liberty and expanding ideals, expanding what it mean to
be a Human Being. It all seems to start going downhill in the late 80's.
And now, it seems America is regressing through some parallel dark
Heh, interesting. Have to let that one percolate.
When foreshawoding is done skillfully, it does just that, registers only
subconsciously. IF its blatant, you have no reason to watch th ewhole
movie (or read/listen to the whole story) ;)
I don't remember ir as well as do you; I need to see it again ;)
THre ya go.
Really, a lot of epople don't seem to be able to differentiate between
what they find irritation, and what they feel some need to destroy.
I don't like the racket from morotcycles, to be honest. ANd I was only
on one one time (and a small one at that, tho' the ride went through some
really bad country roads), and that one time was sufficient for me. btu
that's just one aspect of the concept "morocycle". I also have an
admiration for someone who *can* just let go of conventionality, and
"live free", travel like that and see all the things there are to see.
For a lot of people, tho' it seems that they can only appreciate (if at
all) a horse that's bridled-up and hitched to a fancyass carriage, or an
eagle if it's in a cage with an explanatory plaque in front, that they
can barely glance at while stuffing chili-dogs into their maws.
Here is my theory.
It seems to me that, very often, it's a sort of inverse thing - by which
I mean, a person doesn't hate/fear someone who lives free, becasuse he
(the hater) *wants* to be free, he hates thsoe other peole because the
very concept of freedom threatens his need to control his world, tneed to
maintain a rigid world-order, because his (the hater's) Self is not
within him, bu tis a function of an external order. OK, that's prob. a
but opaque, so think of it like this - if you were stranded on an island,
where you'd have lots of food, water, and resources with which you could
make shelter, who would you be?
For a lot of poeple, who they are is who other people tell them they are.
That is what society/culture teaches us to be. The reason is that this
preserves order, because it makes people controllable.
In a sense, true freedom is knwoing that, if you were stranded on an
island, you would be exactly who you are, even without mirrors, without
other people telling you what is or isn't your "place" in the world.
That's why the origin of hatred is insecurity. A person who is truely
himself might get *annoyed* by other people's actions, but he isn't
threatened by the mere fact that they are different from him. The person
who is himslef/free can celebrate differences, rather than fear them.
And that acceptance scares the living daylights out of poeple who are
only, or mainly, just what others tell them they are.
I came to these conclusions after decades of first observing others
truing, and also myself trying, to be what others said one "should" be,
merely because other people said (and I erroneously believed) that it was
"duty" to do so, and a "sin" to not do so, and threatened to withdraw all
love and approval if their demands were not met. WHat I learned, and
many other poeple didn't/couldn't, was tht love is not love if it is used
as nothing more than a master's whip, when it is nothing more tan a
commodity, a coin, to purchase obeisance. The people who use the whip,
the coin, are of course *very* threatened by anyone who does not toe
their line, conform their view of what the World Order "should" be - they
talk about "freedom", but see it mainly as the "freedom" to choose to be
True freedom threatens their word order - and thereby, tnot only thier
definitions of everyone else, but their definitions of themselves, and
their place in the world, as well. To most poeple, IMO, that is the
ultimate threat. WHich in turn is why it's so difficult to combat
hatred/prejudice - it requires a person to re-examine the deepest
crevices/crevasses of the Self, and then rebuild it.
At least, that's my theory ;)
I think that any artform, but especially storytelling, is very often (?
most often?) that way ;)
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