There Be Monsters

Mack is on the verge of going into a total information-blackout: no more movies, TV, internet, newspaper, etc.

Of course it’s just a fantasy.

Information is the sea in which we swim. You can’t avoid it. Open your computer and there it is.

But as a parent you become so vulnerable. And Mack can’t help it. All the stuff to do with kids is really getting to the Daddy.

Mack’s not like Mrs. Daddy, who would weep at the sight of that old Canadian Tire commercial where the Dad surprises his kid by whipping a bike out of the back of his pickup.

But I find a lot of things hard to process these days. Hard to fathom. As Tommy Lee Jones says in No Country for Old Men: “The crime you see these days, it’s hard to take its measure.”

And it’s always the Dads. Dad kills three children to spite wife, hides in the woods. Dad keeps daughter locked in basement, (grand)fathers seven children with her.

How can they do these things? You’d have to have a heart of stone.

Damn. When the Daddy’s kids ask him if “there’s such a thing as monsters,” the Daddy always says no.

But what Mack really means, of course, is: “Not in the sense you mean.”

Which is another line from No Country for Old Men, by the way. The phone rings in Woody Harrelson’s hotel room. Javier Bardem, playing psychotic killer Anton Chigurh, who has had his freaky-looking silenced shotgun casually pointed at Woody Harrelson, shoots him and answers.

The person on the other end of the line asks Javier Bardem if Woody Harrelson (or, rather, his character) is there.

“Not in the sense you mean,” Bardem says.

It’s a chilling line. It’s a chilling scene.

Great film-making, Mack supposes. But in a world already filled with so many real-life psychotic, evil men, do we really need also on top of all them a fictional one?

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31 May

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