"Everything is as it should be."

                                                                                  - Benjamin Purcell Morris

 

 

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The Sisters Brothers: A Review

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****THIS IS A SPOILER FREE REVIEW!! THIS REVIEW CONTAINS ZERO SPOILERS!!****

My Rating: 4.25 out of 5 stars

My Recommendation: SEE IT. An at times funny and also surprisingly moving French, art house “western” that boasts a career best performance from John C. Reilly and a very stellar cast.

The Sisters Brothers, written and directed by Jacque Audiard based upon the book of the same name by Thomas Bidegain, is the story of the Sisters brothers Eli and Charlie, assassins in 1850’s Oregon. The film stars John C. Reilly as Eli and Joaquin Phoenix as Charlie, with supporting turns from Jake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed.

The Sisters Brothers is a strange film that American audiences, conditioned by Hollywood to expect certain things from certain genres, will probably find frustratingly obtuse. On the surface, The Sisters Brothers is a standard western, with all the revenge fueled shootouts and horse-ridden treks through wilderness you’d expect from that genre, but buried just beneath that veneer of conventionality is the gold of a rich and complex foreign art house film and biblical parable.

I had no idea what to expect from The Sisters Brothers, as far as I knew it could be a slapstick western in the vein of Jack Nicholson’s Goin’ South or something, so I just went along for the ride on which the film took me, and I am ever so glad that I did.

Director Jacques Audiard is a terrific filmmaker, having made three distinctive and at times fantastic French films, A Prophet, Rust and Bone and Dheepan. Audiard’s directing touch on The Sisters Brothers, his first English language film, is exquisitely deft, and his artistic vision and cinematic aesthetic are a perfect match to turn the western genre on its head.

The film is a comedy, of sorts, with the Sisters brothers Eli and Charlie acting like an old married couple, bitching and bickering with one another to much hilarity. But the film is also gripped with an existential and hereditary darkness that gives it a resonant dramatic power.

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The film is elevated by four outstanding acting performances. The best of them all is John C. Reilly, a remarkably versatile actor, who gives a nuanced and complex performance as Eli which is the very best of his stellar career. Eli is the more thoughtful of the Sisters brothers, who has a gentle heart and caring soul. Reilly imbues Eli with a palpable sensitivity that, like the character, evolves and reveals itself over the duration of the story. Reilly’s ability to make Eli a genuine human being, rather than a buffoonish caricature, gives The Sisters Brothers a dramatic grounding that is the heart and soul of the film.

Reilly’s Eli is the archetypal feminine in the movie, which is symbolized by his relationship to the spider. In Jungian psychology and in Shamanic traditions the spider is representative of the feminine and of the weaving of fate. Eli has a fateful and intimate encounter with a spider in the film and literally gives birth to spiders.

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Eli’s kindness extends not only to his troubled younger brother Charlie, but to his second rate horse, with whom he grows a deep bond that is quite moving. It is Eli’s feminine nature that is both his greatest strength and also his crippling weakness as it has led to his being usurped and passed by his more archetypally masculine brother for the position of leading brother in the family.

Joaquin Phoenix is one of the best actors on the planet, and he is in the midst of a terrific year in cinema. Thus far in 2018, Phoenix has given stellar performances in both You Were Never Really Here and Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot, and he keeps that streak alive as the combustible Charlie in The Sisters Brothers.

Phoenix is an actor that vibrates with a viscerally chaotic and unnerving unpredictability, and his Charlie is the perfect avatar to highlight that talent. Phoenix’s performance is one of understated brilliance as it is filled with some startling moments of primal anguish and pain.

Phoenix’s Charlie is a deeply wounded soul carrying a grievous original sin, but who has been elevated to the “right hand” of the Father not in spite of that sin, but because of it. Charlie’s great weakness is that he is so wounded he can never mature and evolve enough to survive in such an exalted position. In other words, crazy will only get you so far, but to be fair to Charlie, he comes by his crazy honestly.

What makes both Phoenix and Reilly shine is that they are blessed to have each other off of which to play. Eli ingests spider energy and is transformed, whereas Charlie slays a bear, a symbol of the power of the unconscious and the dawning of a personal spring. Eli’s encounter with the spider leads to transformation, whereas Charlie’s encounter with the bear is symbolic of his breaking of the connection with the unconscious and with it goes his chance at self-realization and transformation.

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Jake Gyllenhaal gives a solid performance as John Morris, a tracker and wannabe Thoreau who, like the Sister brothers, is trying to understand and deal with the affliction that his father passed on to him. John, Eli and Charlie are all victims of the archetypal father wound, and the malady they carry unconsciously guides them through their lives and propels the film forward. Gyllenhaal’s Morris is more aware of his ailments than the Sisters brothers, or at least becomes more aware of them, which leads him to question the entire purpose of his life.

Gyllenhaal is always at his best when he is understated, and his John Morris is a perfectly subdued and technically proficient performance. Gyllenhaal never pushes or prods with Morris, he simply let’s him be, and that decision makes for a solid contribution to the film.

Riz Ahmed plays Hermann Kermit Warm, a chemist who is hunted by the Sister brothers. Ahmed is absolutely fantastic in the role. Ahmed has a, pardon the pun, warmth about him as an actor that is captivating on screen and that trait serves him well in The Sisters Brothers. Ahmed’s Warm is a Christ-like figure, who radiates a near-defiantly fervent gentleness that is remarkably compelling.

Besides being a biblical and Jungian parable, the film is also a political, religious and economic parable. Mr. Warm is a pied piper for a socialist (and Christ-like, but not necessarily Christian) utopia which is alluring to the idealist and dreamer in all of us. In contrast, the uber-capitalist corporate town of Mayfield is held up as a bastion of deception and debauchery.

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The film also touches upon the need for a dismantling of a patriarchy that produces such twisted and tormented forms of masculinity as the Sisters brothers and much of the other violent men in the film. The patriarchy in its old form, namely the character the Commodore, needs to die for these men to ever have a chance to be free from their afflictions and to find the utopia that deep down they have yearned for their entire lives.

The religious aspects of the film are glaring for those with eyes to see them, for instance there is the brothers grooming of each other like apostles or the men anointing themselves with oil in a pseudo-baptismal ritual before they wade into the river among. There is also the connection between Mr. Warm and Eli’s horse…who are both, in their own way beasts of burden, and the viewer should keep a keen eye out for the similarity in the eyes of Warm and the horse at pivotal moments in the film.

The Sisters Brothers is a film with a multitude of layers, each one more interesting, revealing and insightful than the last. If you are planning to see the film, put aside your cultural conditioning and your expectations for a western, and instead watch the film as if it were a dream. Keep a vigilant eye out for spiders, bears, raccoons and the plethora of other signs and symbols that show the way to the film’s profound message.

The Sisters Brothers opens with a shout in the silent darkness of the Oregon night, but then there are flashes of light that splinter that darkness ever so quickly. That opening scene is the story of The Sisters Brothers, for it is a film about alchemy, where finding the gold in the darkness is an act of transformation which leads down the road to redemption. I never expected to be, but I was deeply, deeply moved by The Sisters Brothers, and found it be a profoundly satisfying cinematic experience. I wholly recommend you suspend your expectations and go see this film in the theatre, it is well worth the time, money and effort.

©2018

The Existential Catholic Crisis

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Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes 66 seconds

I was born and raised a Catholic. I am of that particular guilt-ridden strain of Catholicism known as Irish Catholicism. I wouldn't say I am a devout Catholic or even a good one, in fact, I am a pretty terrible Catholic...but I am still a Catholic. I have had a tumultuous and often-times tenuous relationship with the church throughout my adult life, an example of which is that I would often, in a futile attempt to be witty, tell people I was raised Catholic but that it was in remission.

In 2002, the revelations of priests buggering boys in Boston (my home parish at one point in time - I even met Cardinal Law once...he was a pompous ass and his breath smelled demonic...I am not kidding) erupted as a cataclysmic scandal, but having grown up in the church I knew for a long time something was seriously amiss, and thus that sex abuse scandal came not as a shock to me but as confirmation of my hunches.

SYMPTOMS

Why did I suspect that something was deeply wrong in the Catholic church? Well, for starters, nearly every priest I ever met was a horrible human being. I don't mean they were bad priests, which they were, but bad people.

An example, in my Catholic high school the lone priest there among the nuns was Father Hughes. Father Hughes was a flamboyantly gay man who obviously joined the priesthood in order to escape the perceived demon of his sexuality. How do I know Father Hughes was gay? Well...there were some dead giveaways...for one he was a walking stereotype to the point of caricature of a gay man most signified by his pronounced and audacious lisp and mannered style of speech. Another sign was that he often wore a satin black cape with a pink interior and described this signature fashion choice as being "understated elegance". Another solid clue was that he had a schoolboy crush on the star of the basketball team...so much so that he bought the young man, who was a very devout Catholic and a genuinely good guy, a car for graduation. Yes...you read that right...Father Hughes, who wasn't exactly rolling in dough as a priest at a Catholic high school, bought a male student a car for his graduation. Part of how I knew something was terribly amiss in the Catholic church is that no one, not a single person, said anything about this oddity at all. There were quizzical glances exchanged, but no one dare say aloud what they were really thinking if they even let themselves think it.

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The thing that really struck me most about Father Hughes was that he was a vicious and mean spirited man. As stated, it was obvious Hughes was gay, but he would go out of his way to torment and torture the boys in school who seemed effeminate. This was the late 80's, so no one was "out" as gay at my school, but there were plenty of kids who "seemed" gay and sure enough in later years came out as gay, but in high school they were just struggling to survive being different. Father Hughes would constantly and brutally belittle them and mock their masculinity. It was a glaring case of the pot calling the kettle black...but no one said or did anything...most especially the coterie of nuns, many of whom had their own glaring issues...like the principle of the school who took a vow of poverty but bought a new Cadillac, earning her the well-earned and accurate nickname of Sister Anna Cadillac.

After Father Hughes left my school he went to another parish and proceeded to either overspend or steal, depending on who you believe, to the tune of nearly a million dollars....like I said, a good guy. After Hughes was abruptly replaced, the Church claimed that there were no criminal acts committed in this financial debacle, but as we know the Church never likes to admit scandal when it can be swept under the rug.

Father Hughes wasn't alone though, as the vast majority of priests I have known have been total sons of bitches and not even remotely resembling good ambassadors of Christ here on earth. They were all petty, vindictive and arrogant bastards who were the antithesis of Christ's teachings. The exceptions are the ones who have stood out, men like Father Ken, Father LeRoy and Father Felipe, all kindhearted and genuinely decent men...the rest of the priests I have known have all carved out a special place in hell for themselves.

Besides being terrible people, the majority of priests I have met are also more than likely gay...now that doesn't mean they are terrible because they are gay, just that they are simultaneously terrible and gay. Which brings us back to the scandals. The thing that is often muddied in regards to the Catholic church sex abuse scandals is that the majority of the incidents are not pedophilia where priests are abusing little children. The majority of sex abuse has been perpetrated upon males (81%) and the overwhelming majority of those abused boys have been older (adolescent/pre-teen) boys. The fact that most victims of abuse are adolescent boys is a terribly uncomfortable one for more liberal Catholics (and liberal people in general) who are disposed to view any question of a priest's homosexuality as a homophobic attack and who reflexively defend gay people for instinctual identity/tribal reasons.

DISEASE

I consider myself a Thomas Merton/Dorothy Day/Anthony DeMello Catholic, and so for years I have been lumped in as a "liberal Catholic". But after years and years of these scandals from Boston to Baltimore to Ireland, Australia and Mexico and everywhere in between, I think that the labels liberal and conservative Catholic no longer apply...there are only Catholics who are brave enough to see the truth and do something about it, or there are Catholics who prefer the warm embrace of their own self-satisfying and often self-righteous echo chamber.

I greatly disliked Pope John Paul II and found his canonization to be a repugnant public relations move because he was, in fact, an accomplice to sex abuse when he turned a blind eye to it, just as he did with the sins of American capitalism. John Paul II's vehement anti-communism forced him to be blind to the spiritual cancer of American capitalism and also caused him to accept the atrocities committed at the behest of America (El Salvador/Nicaragua etc.) even against his own priests and nuns, in order to be stalwart against the Soviet Union.

I also disliked Pope Benedict, as I found him to be little more than a garish hypocrite as he, like Father Hughes, was obviously as gay as Liberace but was vehemently opposed to homosexuality in the world.

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I like Pope Francis, at least in theory. When Pope Francis came to the U.S. in 2015 and spoke at the Capitol building, he mentioned four people, two of which were Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day (the others were Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr.), two people that some American Catholics consider at best unworthy and at worst heretics, but that I greatly admire. Pope Francis seemed to bring a new energy and light into the Vatican upon his arrival and I welcomed that breath of fresh air.

But now more revelations of sex abuse and scandal are coming into the light and Pope Francis's reaction to them and complicity in them is genuinely disheartening and demoralizing.

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The first story to break was the rampant, career long sexual abuse by Cardinal "Uncle Teddy" McCarrick, who sexually abused both adolescent boys and seminarians. McCarrick was eventually forced to resign, but since the Vatican has known about his shenanigans for decades, this was little salve for the wound. It has also come to light that Pope Francis went above and beyond to protect McCarrick even though he was well aware of his depravity.

The other story was the grand jury report in Pittsburgh which revealed rampant and systematic sexual abuse and cover-up by the Diocese for decades. Sadly, Pittsburgh, like Boston and Ireland and Australia and countless other places, was rife with sexual predators and Bishops who aided and abetted their predation. I am willing to bet that if you look hard enough at any Diocese in the world, you will find the same level of depravity as has been proven to exist in Boston and Pittsburgh.

The most disheartening part about the Pittsburgh revelations was that the Church in response basically said..."oh well". The Bishop who was integral to the Pittsburgh scandal is now Cardinal Wuertz, and sure enough he is still a Cardinal and will face no recriminations. Pope Francis has paid lip service by asking for forgiveness...but not demanding accountability or making genuine change.

Pope Francis seemed as though he may very well be the man to turn the church around and root out the abusers and enablers but with the McCarrick and Pittsburgh scandals has proven himself to be a feckless charlatan...which pains my heart to say. 

This current crop of scandals has hit me where I live as just this past spring, after much strenuous soul searching, I decided, in no small part because of my optimism regarding Pope Francis, to have my son baptized in the Catholic church. I realize that most readers will find this decision at best misguided and at worst insane, I understand the sentiment, but for me at this time, after going through the greatest battle of my life in which I found great solace, guidance and strength in prayer and was on the receiving end of some outright miracles (a word I don't use hyperbolically), I felt a great spiritual and religious renaissance in my spirit. I wanted to share with my son the same connection to the God who, through his infinite mercy, had given us the glorious life we now share.

As more and more of the cancer on the soul of the Church and on St. Peter's throne in the Vatican has been revealed in the last few weeks, I have grown to regret ever more deeply my decision to have my son baptized a Catholic. Even after all the scandals that is a difficult thing for me to admit to myself. As an Irish Catholic, my Catholicism isn't just religious but cultural. In my lifetime fellow Irishmen and women were murdered simply for being Catholic and breaking my solidarity with those Irish martyrs is gut-wrenching.

DIAGNOSIS

The reason the Church is in such decline amidst the turmoil is because it has lost touch with the masculine. Yes, I know most liberal Catholics will be angry with that statement, claiming the Church is in decline because of the Patriarchy...but I vehemently disagree. The Church has been overrun in its ranks by self-loathing gay men who are trying to hide from the truth of their sexuality. These gay men are more in touch with the feminine than the masculine, which certainly isn't a crime but it is the truth. The lack of true masculinity in the Church has led to a feminization of Catholicism that is speeding its decline. The closeted gay men who make up the vast majority of the priesthood are not able to speak to the masculine needs of the men in their flock and so men have stopped going to church.

These gay priests are also, it seems, less able to contain their sexuality than their heterosexual counterparts, or at least less able to contain them around adolescents. This is not only unfortunate in terms of the scandals it creates for the Church but also that it feeds into the stereotypes used for decades by homophobes to discriminate against and punish gay people. But with that said, as much as I dislike coming to this conclusion, the evidence certainly supports it. To be clear, I am not repeating the old homophobic trope that all gay men are predators, but what I am saying is that most of the predator priests are gay...or to be more precise...these predator priests are distorted, contorted and tortured versions of gay men. It pains me to come to this conclusion because frankly, I support gay rights and gay marriage and wish the reality of the Church sex abuse scandals isn't what it is...but it is what it is.

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There has long been talk of a Lavender Mafia within the Church and as the sex abuse scandals have come to light that belief has only strengthened as Bishops, Archbishops and Cardinals all sided with predatory priests over the children in the pews. One can only assume that these priests, Bishops, Archbishops and Cardinals were looking out for one another because they all had a secret that they believed to be so terrible that they couldn't come clean about anyone else for fear of their secret being revealed.

The conundrum for the Church is that their own teaching on homosexuality no doubt led to the scapegoating of homosexuals which in turn led some to want to hide their sexuality in the closet to try and escape the "wickedness" of their sexuality and found a way to do that by becoming celibate priests. Sadly, many of these closeted gay men were so emotionally, sexually and psychologically stunted that they were unable to abide by their vow of celibacy and instead have used their positions as priests to prey upon young men and boys.

There are those, like Father James Martin, who claim that the Church should modernize in regards to homosexuality and he blames the scandals on the Church's archaic view of homosexuality. I think Martin is blinded by his own plight (and sexuality) and therefore refuses to the see truth that is staring him in the face.

TREATMENT

As previously stated, I consider myself a Thomas Merton/Dorothy Day type of Catholic, which most would label as being a "liberal Catholic", but my response to the sex scandals will probably alienate both liberal Catholics and conservatives alike. If the Church is to survive in any relevant form, people must put aside the politics of religion and instead look for the Truth and solutions.

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Unlike my liberal Catholic cohorts, I do not think allowing women to be priests will help, as I believe that it is a lack of genuine masculinity that has caused this scandal in the first place.  I think women are vital to the Church's survival and success, but I think the role of nuns should be expanded rather than women being allowed to become priests. I can see my dearest friend Sheila cringing as she reads this...my apologies Sheila...but I think at this time the addition of female priests would end up being catastrophic to the church in the long run. I think the Church needs to do less watering down of masculinity and more bulking up.

The solution to the Catholic Church's existential crisis will not come about by liberals defeating conservatives or vice versa...both sides have legitimate grievances and insights. Here is a list of things that I think not only should happen but need to happen for the Catholic Church to have any chance to survive and maybe even be relevant again, in a post-Christian era.

1. All offending priests AND Bishops, Archbishops and Cardinals who aided and abetted them, should be held accountable and jailed either by the jurisdiction where the crimes took place or by the Vatican itself (yes, the Vatican has a jail, albeit a tiny one). At the end of their prison terms they should be at a minimum defrocked and at a maximum ex-communicated, depending on the level of their contrition and penance.

2. The U.S. government and/or any local communities, should use the RICO statute to prosecute sexual offenders and those in power who cover up for them. The use of RICO (the statue used against organized crime to bring down mafia dons) will be accompanied by threat of a loss of tax exempt status for the Church if their is not cooperation from the hierarchy up to and including The Vatican. If you want to make the Vatican jump, you threaten their tax exempt status and they'll do whatever you tell them to.

3. All new priest hires must be heterosexual. These new priests are eligible to marry and in fact the best route for the Church to take is to hire men who are already married. Doing this will expand the ranks of priesthood tremendously and will in short order revitalize the priesthood and seminaries. The moratorium on hiring gay priests will not be permanent, but is a necessary ill right now in order to bring more balance back into the priesthood/church in terms of masculinity. Eventually in the future openly gay priests will be hired but again they must swear to be celibate in order to keep with Catholic doctrine. Heterosexual priests not already married must remain celibate until marriage.

4. The Church must compel any active priests who are gay to come forward and be open about their sexuality. These priests will retain their positions and will not be discriminated against in anyway. By compelling gay priests to come forward, the Church will be taking a giant step toward minimizing the stigma of being gay in a Catholic community, which is what has led to the aberrant behavior by so many gay priests. The Church will still uphold its current teaching on homosexuality, but it will be recognizing, embracing and protecting the dignity of gay people. The Church will not allow gay priests to marry and will not allow gay parishioners to marry in keeping with Church doctrine. Gay priests will also have to take and keep a vow of celibacy.

5. Any violation of sexual oaths or vows by any priest, regardless of sexual orientation, will result in a review by a board of lay people not connected to that particular parish. The same will be true for Bishops and Cardinals, who if they are accused will be vigorously investigated by an outside panel of independent lay investigators who will have the Church equivalent of subpoena power.

6. The Catholic Church must clean out clericalism thoroughly or burn the place to the ground. The Church can still be salvaged but it requires a complete overhaul...it must both simultaneously modernize and yet embrace its traditionalism. Modernize by allowing heterosexual priests to marry and homosexual priests to be openly gay but celibate in keeping with church doctrine and dogma. Also...a return to the Traditional Latin Mass in all parishes on Sundays where half the masses should be in Latin. Why a partial return to the Latin Mass? Well, because it brings a cohesiveness to the Church across the globe, where you could walk into any Church anywhere in the world on any given Sunday and hear the Mass in the same language. Again, this is not a total return, but partial...maybe the 8 AM mass in Latin and the 11 in the native language of the parish. A return to the Latin Mass will also reconnect Catholicism with mystery and sacredness.

7. And finally...a return to a vigorous embrace of education of Catholic values and history. I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic high school and yet my religious education was abominable. The paucity of true Catholic religious teaching is a scandal in and of itself. The Church should embark on a rigorous campaign to educate not only children but ADULTS on the substance of Catholic teaching. Ironically the Church needs to make it harder rather than easier, which will give the Church and Catholic teaching back its value. If Catholicism asks its adherents to make a strenuous commitment to the faith, it will become a sanctuary from the world where easy choices sap the spiritual strength of more and more people everyday. The Church has become little more than another bit of soft white noise in a chaotic world. By making itself into an antidote to the world, being in it but not of it, the Church can once again find its sea legs and be a pillar upon which the suffering, the downtrodden, the frightened and the alone can find strength and community.

CONCLUSION

Sadly, it is highly unlikely that the Church will do even one never mind all of these things. The Church has grown fat and decadent, not unlike America, and just like America it too will crumble under the weight of its own hubris. Clericalism is devouring the Church as the Pharisees are alive and well and living in rectories in every parish in the world.

The Catholic Church must remove its satin cape with the pink interior, toss away its elegance, understated or otherwise, and get some men with chests among its ranks in order to save itself. If it doesn't do this the Church will fade into oblivion among the plethora of feel good capitalist, faux-Christian/New Age alternatives.

My hope is that after the purging and cleansing of the toxic elements in the church that a more Mertonesque and spiritually serious type of church can grow in its wake. A Church built on service not clericalism, humility not arrogance, for the poor and not the wealthy. The Catholic church needs to be a church of the gutter instead of being a Church with gutter values. The Catholic church at its best is a church of skid row, not wall street, in other words...a church that reflects Christ.

The Church will either drastically change or it will die. The church has alienated true masculinity, and if it doesn't change course, it will reap the whirlwind and collapse in upon itself into the void created by that lack of masculinity.

As for me, these recent scandals have me so furious I am tempted to go to all of my local parishes and pull a Jesus and toss the money changers and the asshole priests out of the temple. The truth is though that I have little hope or faith in the Catholic hierarchy to change things and do the right thing because the rot is so deep, but as I can attest, miracles do occur. You never know, maybe I will be named Pope Mickey in 2019, I've gotten some bumper stickers made up in English and Italian just in case an election takes place (fingers crossed!). But if my run for the Papacy falls through, I have found a Coptic church and an Orthodox church near where I live, and they are in very serious contention to be my new religious home.

©2018

Hereditary: Political Sub-Text

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****WARNING - THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE FILM HEREDITARY!!! THIS IS YOUR LAST SPOILER WARNING!!****

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes 19 seconds

Hereditary isn't a great movie, but it does speak volumes about the state of America's collective unconscious and most definitely about our political future. Here are some random thoughts on the film, its subtext and its deeper meaning…to be clear, I am not saying these are my politics, but rather the film's politics.

There are multiple ways to interpret Hereditary. One of which is that Toni Colette's character Annie is Donald Trump. Annie's character even utters the Trumpian line of "I am the only one who can do it…only me". 

The film opens with a funeral for Annie's mother…think of it as a funeral for the old guard GOP. Annie gives a speech at the funeral where she says, "It’s heartening to see so many strange new faces here today. I know my mom would be very touched and probably a little suspicious. My mother was a very secretive and private woman. She was a very difficult woman, which maybe explains me."

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Seen in the 'Annie as Trump' context, that speech makes sense for the current Republican party. It is not the old blue blood Republicans, but a new group of "strange new faces" (populism) which would make the old guard "a little suspicious". The old guard was "very difficult…which maybe explains me", "me" being Trump. Annie/Trump is explaining that without the old guard of Republicans being the way they were, he never would've found the fertile ground upon which he could blossom into power.

Annie's mother is Reagan and/or Reagan Republicans, this is clear when she says of her mother, "She wasn't all there at the end", echoing the fate of not only Reagan and his Alzheimer's but the tone deafness of Reaganomics in the last decade. 

The grandmother as Reagan is made even more clear when seeing the rather strange daughter Charlie as symbolic of not just the white working class, but the white underclass and poor. Charlie looks like a descendant of one of the banjo playing kid from Deliverance, and it seems like she is either autistic or mildly retarded, 

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Charlie as the "stunted" white working class in relation to grandmother Reagan, is made clear when Annie says to Charlie, "That’s grandma, you know you were her favorite, right? Even when you were a little baby she wouldn’t let me feed you because she needed to feed you." Meaning that Reagan wouldn't let the populists actually empower the white lower classes, he only wanted to "feed" them his meal of Reaganomics…keeping them under his control…which they lapped up with a flag waving fervor. 

Annie's teenage son, Peter, is a fascinating character when seen through the context of Annie as Trump. Annie loathes Peter, and even tried to kill him when he was a child by lighting him on fire. Annie blurts out during an argument that she "never wanted to be his mother!" What is interesting about Peter (actor Alex Wolff) is that he actually looks very different from the other family members. Peter is darker skinned and has darker features than his mother Annie and sister Charlie who are blond and light skinned. Peter looks either Latino or Middle Eastern. The actor who plays Peter, Alex Wolff, looks "other-ish" enough to have convincingly played Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokar Tsarnaev in the film Patriots Day

Annie/Trump hates Peter/Latinos/Middle Easterners regardless of the fact that he/they are members of Annie's/Trump's family/residents of his country. The fact that Peter "accidentally" kills his sister Charlie/white working class in a bizarre car accident, only fuels Annie/Trump's rage even more. Annie/Trump cannot forgive or forget what Peter has done, not just to Charlie/white working class but specially to her/Trump. She takes Peter's accidentally killing Charlie as a personal affront because Annie is the one who found the grotesquely mutilated body. 

Speaking of that body, Charlie, again symbolic of the white working class, is decapitated when Peter swerves to save a deer and drives too close to a telephone pole while Charlie is gasping for air with her head out of the car window. Charlie/white working class being decapitated is symbolic of the white working class "losing their heads" meaning abandoning intellect and reason. To put it even more clearly…intellect/reason, in the form of Charlie's head, literally flies out the window in regard to the white working class and Peter/Latinos/Middle Easterners. 

To dive even deeper into the Charlie character, she is "allergic to nuts", literally and figuratively. When Charlie is forced to go with Peter to a party, he abandons her to use drugs and chase girls, and Charlie eats some chocolate nut cake, causing her throat to swell shut. The "chocolate nut cake" poison is Obama, and the white working class were unable to speak (their throats closing shut) or breath as a result of ingesting what he served them because they are allergic to it. Peter then carries Charlie to the car and drives quickly towards a hospital, but before he can get there he has his accident and Charlie is left without her head. 

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Charlie/white working class being "allergic to nuts" is obviously a matter of perspective in regards to their political favor over the years, but because Charlie ingests some Obama "poisoned" chocolate cake after she follows Peter/Latino/Middle Easterner to a party, it is symbolic of the white working class being poisoned, choked and eventually dying by ingesting the "multiculturalism/diversity" brought to her by "others" in the form of chocolate cake (Obama). 

Annie/Trump spirals into madness after Charlie/white working class death and fumes against Peter/Latino/Middle Easterners. She is then seduced into an odd relationship with an older woman Joan, who convinces her to do a ceremony to bring Charlie's spirit back and communicate with it. 

Joan is the conduit for Annie/Trump to let in the real power behind the throne…think of Joan as a Steve Bannon/John Bolton type of character. Annie/Trump is so desperate to connect with her deceased daughter/white working class that she falls into a trap set by a conniving, Machiavellian sorceress. 

As Annie/Trump follows Joan's advice, she falls deeper and deeper into a tangled web of madness and manipulation, resulting in her lighting her husband on fire and trying to kill her son. Ultimately, after finding an altar to evil in her attic (houses are symbolic of the psyche, with the attic being high minded intellect and the basement being sub-conscious thought) she herself is sacrificed on the altar of an even greater power that has been using her to manifest in the world and take the throne of global domination. 

The entity that uses Annie, and Charlie and eventually Peter is King Paimon, a powerful spirit that is one of the eight kings of hell. Paimon leaves Annie/Trump headless after she cuts her own head off (literally severing her intellect so she can only function by feel/emotion) and bowing at his feet as he implants himself into the body of Peter and is crowned as king of this world. 

Joan and a cavalcade of old white naked people (a perfect description of modern day Republicans - they are overwhelmingly old, white and their ambitions and sensibilities are naked for all with eyes to see) bow to Paimon in his elevated tree house palace. These people are Republicans bowing to power like they have bowed to Trump. Annie and Charlie, both headless (without reason), bow to Paimon in fealty. The treehouse is elevated because it is not grounded except through trees, to the earth. trees are symbolic of antenna, they wave in the air receiving the silent, unconscious messages floating through the ether. 

King Paimon is what comes after Trump, and he is what we should all truly fear. Trump/Annie has opened the gates of hell and let out a powerful force, King Paimon, that will usurp the crown and rise to power with minimal effort and maximum impact. 

Another interpretation of the King Paimon character is that he IS Trump. King Paimon, who is a real spirit mentioned in various religious type of texts, is a trickster demon who is in service of Lucifer. Trump is the ultimate trickster, and whether he is in service of Lucifer or not I will let you decide. 

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According to Wikipedia, King Paimon's powers include, "knowledge of past and future events, clearing up doubts, making spirits appear, creating visions, acquiring and dismissing servant spirits, reanimating the dead for several years, flight, remaining underwater indefinitely, and general abilities to "make all kinds of things" (and) "all sorts of people and armor appear" at the behest of the magician". 

Trump has certainly acquired and dismissed many servant spirits in his administration, but as for the rest of it, you can make the case that symbolically he has done a good number of them. From making spirits appear/creating visions (manipulating the media) to reanimating the dead for several years (non-stop talk about Hillary and lock her up), Trump has a King Paimon-esque quality about him.  

Another interpretation of the film has the Charlie character as a sort of Sarah Palin, a near nitwit bumpkin who is chosen by power elites to temporarily carry the torch, who then passes it to Annie, the Trumpian figure, who is then replaced by Peter, a Latino/Middle Easterner other, who is possessed by the most duplicitous and vicious of demons King Paimon, who uses Peter to take the crown and power, and one would assume, use it in the most diabolical of ways. 

Annie being a miniature artist is a pretty terrific part about Hereditary. Annie as Trump, being adept at manipulating the little world she controls, while in turn King Paimon manipulates Annie's/Trump's little world from a higher vantage point. To Trump, we are all pawns in his personal power game, and to King Paimon, Trump is his pawn in a much grander power game. This reminds me of the line from Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone's The Doors, when during an acid trip on Sunset Boulevard Morrison climbs atop a car and pontificates to the astonished crowd that "we are all plastic soldiers in a miniature dirt war!" 

Charlei is a budding miniaturist as well. She creates crude dolls from various scraps she finds…including a dead birds head. Charlie, like Annie and like King Paimon, manipulates and controls the world at her finger tips. 

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I'm sure most rational people will scoff at the idea of Trump as King Paimon, but CG Jung wrote extensively on how Hitler was a manifestation of the Norse God Wotan (otherwise known as Odin). Wotan is no joke of a god, he is the father of Thor after all. Jung had been in Hitler's presence on occasion and noticed that he was an empty man, devoid of any charisma or personal power, there was no there there. But like an empty vessel, Hitler would be filled by the powerful spirit of Wotan when he spoke to crowds. Jung claimed that Hitler was speaking for the unconscious of millions of Germans and for Wotan, which is why he resonated with them in such a frighteningly electrifying way. 

Trump is no Hitler because King Paimon is no Wotan. Trump does speak for the unconscious of many Americans though, and by brining their voice from the shadow into the world, he has earned their undying love. Trump as a conduit for King Paimon to manifest int he world as Hitler was a conduit for Wotan to manifest in the world, may sound like nonsense to some, but rings of truth to me. 

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The idea of Trump being the conduit by which King Paimon manifests in the world through another person seems even more likely to me. As I ahem been saying during the course of Trump's rule, he has caused not just his followers, but his opponents to go mad. The madness that is sweeping America knows no ideology, it crosses all sorts of boundaries. Trump has opened the doors to the unspeakable, and even those opposing him have fallen under his spell, which does not bode well for our future. 

When Trump leaves…King Paimon enters…and then the real darkness descends. As Hereditary reveals, Trump could be a conduit for a much higher (or lower as the case may be) and even more nefarious entity to come to power in the guise of saving us from Trump.

Hereditary does not paint a pretty picture for our future, but if I am being honest, I think it certainly paints a dramatic, symbolic, but not unrealistic, vision for what lies ahead for America and the world. 

Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with my analysis of Hereditary and its political sub-text, if you get a chance to watch Hereditary multiple times, looking at the film through this unique perspective may add to your enjoyment of it, or at the very least it will prepare you for King Paimon's 2020 presidential campaign.

©2018

 

 

 

American Animals, Anthony Bourdain and Late Stage American Empire

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Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes 59 seconds

THE FOUR HORSEMAN COMETH

A couple weeks ago on a Thursday night, I realized that I was free the following Friday morning, so I decided to schedule a movie. After scanning what was available, I settled on American Animals. I didn't know much about the film but thought I would roll the dice. It ended up being a synchronistically wise choice.  

After a fitful sleep, on Friday morning I awoke to the news that Anthony Bourdain had killed himself. As it is with news of any suicide, I was deeply unsettled upon hearing it. I was not a fan of Bourdain's, I had never seen his show and do not consider myself a "foodie" in the slightest, but still his death by his own hand was jarring. 

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What added to my shock at Bourdain's death was that the night before, I had watched a 2012 documentary directed by Ross Ashcroft, titled The Four Horseman. That documentary referenced Sir John Glubb, a British historian who in 1976 wrote an essay titled "The Fate of Empires". In that work, Grubb lists the seven stages of Empire which are...1. Pioneers, 2. Conquest, 3. Commerce, 4. Affluence, 5. Intellect, 6. Decadence and 7. Decline and Collapse. 

The Four Horseman film argued that the U.S. was in stage 6 - Decadence, in 2012, the year of its release. Accoring to Sir Glubb's thesis, signs of an empire In the age of decadence include an undisciplined - overextended military, conspicuous displays of wealth, massive disparity between rich and poor, obsession with sex, exorbitantly wealthy sports stars, and synchronistically enough...celebrity chefs…like Anthony Bourdain. In fact, one of the chefs the film shows to make its point is Bourdain. If Bourdain was a symbol of American Empire's decadence in 2012, in 2018 he is now the canary in the coal mine, and his suicide is a foreboding omen. 

AMERICAN ANIMALS

Which brings us to American Animals. American Animals is a remarkable film, not because it is exquisitely made, it isn't, or masterfully acted, it isn't, but because it so accurately and unflinchingly diagnoses the disease that is killing America. While I watched American Animals I couldn't help but think of Bourdain, and to a lesser extent designer Kate Spade (only because I had never heard of her until her death - to the shock of no one, I am not much of  an accessories aficionado) because what ailed Bourdain and Spade, and what ails all of America, men in particular, is what propels the story of American Animals….namely a total lack of meaning and purpose in our lives and the suffocating depression that accompanies that void.

Of course, most people would look at Bourdain and Spade's glamorous lives and think they lived with tremendous meaning and purpose, they had it all…but something was missing. Their lives were as empty, vacant and devoid of meaning as the rest of ours despite their wealth and fame. Bourdain and Spade are symbols of the recurring theme of a fading empire where "you can never get enough of what you don't need". Their lives were representative of America's (and the West's) decadence, as they became famous for feeding our insatiable appetite for the frivolous, and in death they are symbolic of the existential angst and ennui that grows like a terminal cancer upon our collective soul. 

WARNING SIGNS FROM PROPHETS OF DOOM

According to Sir John Glubb's theory on the stages of empire, America is certainly either in the very tail end of the decadence phase or across the Rubicon into the decline/collapse phase. Glubb's theory coincides with other philosopher/historians view on the subject and they all point towards America being in the late stage of empire.

For instance, Camille Paglia has spoken of the rise of transgender mania as a sign of the decline/collapse of civilizations, citing Greece, Rome, the Mauve decade and Weimar Germany as examples. 

Paglia states that transgenderism has become a fashion used to treat the alienation from which some people suffer. Paglia warns of the two headed beast that is the current attachment to the transgender issue…namely that as the cosmopolitan acceptance of such things grow, its shadow grows as well in the form of a brutal, uber-masculine authoritarianism. Paglia cites ISIS as a current example, but one doesn't have to go far in history to see other horrifying examples, like Hitler's Germany filling the void created by the collapse of Weimar Germany. A quick glance around the world today also shows the shadow of hyper masculine authoritarianism rising from Trump's America to Russia (Putin), the Philippines (Duterte), China Xi) and Turkey (Erdogan) to name but a few.

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Glubb and Paglia's theories of America being in a state of decadence or on the cusp of decline/collapse, are reinforced by other historian philosophers. WIlliam Strauss and Neil Howe wrote of their generational theory in their book "The Fourth Turning of America". Howe and Strauss believe that history is cyclical and is defined by generations falling into different 20 year archetypes that repeat over an 80 to 100 year cycle. According to Howe and Strauss in The Fourth Turning, a generational cycle is made up of four "turnings" which they define as 1. High (growth), 2. Awakening (maturation), 3. Unraveling (entropy) and 4. Crisis (destruction). In The Fourth Turning, which was published in 1997, Howe and Strauss predict America would be entering into its next "fourth turning" around the time of 2008 (which oddly enough coincided with the financial collapse of that period) which would last about twenty years. For an indication of what a Fourth Turning holds, the previous Fourth Turnings in American history brought us the American Revolution, the Civil War and the Great Depression and World War II.

Howe and Strauss's theory of generational cycles is played out on a macro scale by German historian/philosopher Oswald Spengler (1880-1936) in his magnum opus "The Decline of the West" where he wrote of the four seasons of civilizations. Spengler wrote of civilizations going through the same cycle as the seasons of a year, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, except over a thousand year period. According to Spengler, Western civilization is on the downside of its run, and is into its extended "winter". 

"NO ONE WANTS TO BE ORDINARY"

As Neizstche tells us, God is dead…and he's right. The God that was the foundation, for good or ill, of 2,000 years of Spengler's western civilization, is no more, and unlike our current stock market, the God bubble is one you cannot re-inflate. No Gods have stepped forward to adequately fill the void left by the Judeo-Christian God, and so we are left in a state of disorientation…as we stumble around seeking something with which to orient ourselves. 

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As the tagline of American Animals says, "No one wants to be ordinary", which could be the tagline for the American Church of Self. In trying to replace the God of the last two centuries, Americans have hit the apex of individualism by trying to turn ourselves into gods. 

One form of our Self worship is the Religion of Celebrity. In America in the reality tv age, everyone can be a star, or dream of themselves as a potential star. We have fisherman (Deadliest Catch), truck drivers (Ice Road Truckers), chefs (a whole channel of them!), rednecks (Honey Boo Boo), hoarders (Hoarders), criminals (Lock Up) and even junkies (Intervention) having shows made about them. Anyone doing anything anywhere can have delusions of grandeur about a television show being made about their lives. The mundane is now insane as we try to evolve into gods at the center of our own universe. 

Our culture routinely trivializes the sacred and it has forced us into pernicious indivualism and away from collectivism, in order to look for meaning within ourselves. Our cultural and personal narcissism keeps us glued to the black mirror tabernacle of our various screens in a never-ending search for validation and love. This self absorption leads to a toxic myopia that has spread like a contagion throughout our entire culture, from politics, where no one sees beyond the next election, to finance where no one sees beyond the next earnings period, to our personal lives, where no one sees beyond the next hit of endorphins brought on by consuming something…anything…in order to fill the void in our souls. 

NARCISSUS AND MORPHEUS

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The opioid epidemic is another sign of America's decline/collapse. Narcissus was unable to look away from his Self and so he died, just as Americans cannot turn away from their virulent individualism and its accompanying arrogant self-absorption, and so they fall into the arms of Morpheus and into an extended narcosis, which comes from the same root word "Narco"- meaning numbness, as Narcissus, and means a state of stupor or unconsciousness. We are numbed and put into a stupor by our iPhone obsessed self-absorption and opioids are just an extension of that yearning to detach and numb. Notice it is an "I" phone that we are gazing into all day long…mesmerized by our own reflection staring back.

The ritual of buying and fixing with narcotics has replaced the sacred rituals of the Judeo-Christian God. The new God is Self and with opioids, one dissolves into themselves entirely, and the pain of the outer world disappears, at least momentarily, and is replaced with the bliss of Godhood. 

"THE CAPITALIST WILL SELL YOU THE ROPE WITH WHICH YOU INTEND TO HANG YOURSELF" - ME TERRIBLY MISQUOTING VLADIMIR LENNIN

Besides the epidemic of opioid abuse, further proof of America being in decline/collapse is that it is also in the throes of a suicide epidemic, as suicide has increased 30% since 1999. Sadly, Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade were caught in this growing wave of suicide, and yet they were rich and famous but money and fame are a poor spiritual salve…as they only lead their adherents to feeling even more empty and despondent. 

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American Consumerism/Capitalism is equally vacuous and noxious, as we try to purchase meaning and purpose and only end up with an even greater vacancy within ourselves. As the Adam Curtis documentary Century of the Self so insightfully reveals, Americans have been taught to want, and to instinctively try to satiate that want through consumerism. In a never ending cycle, we are conditioned to feel alienated and then to want to assuage our alienation by buying something that will take our anxiety and alienation away. In many ways, Paglia makes this same argument regarding transgenderism, which is now sold to young people as a way to cure their sense of alienation. 

What is even more remarkable, is that according to Rene Girard's Mimetic theory, it takes little effort to condition people to want something, as Girard explains that one person sees what another person wants and then decides they want the same thing BECAUSE the other wants it. This is a contagion that spreads quickly, and can be another explanation for transgenderisms rise in the West and also America's cascading decline (opioids, suicide, gun violence etc.). It also explains American Capitalisms numerous financial bubbles, where people so easily get seduced into the irrational exuberance accompanying the inflation of a bubble, and are so remarkably blind to the fundamentally unsound economics underlying a bubble, which cause it to inevitably collapse. Look no further than the housing/financial collapse of 2008 for an example of that, or take a gander at our current stock market which is overvalued by at least 50% beyond any reason to understand how to see what is uncomfortable realities in front of one's nose is a constant struggle. 

"OUR GREAT WAR IS A SPIRITUAL WAROUR GREAT DEPRESSION IS OUR LIVES" - FIGHT CLUB

As I watched the young men of American Animals, victims of their own unconsciously conditioned desires, frantically flail around trying to extinguish the malaise in their souls by attempting to find meaning and purpose in their empty lives through an idiotic heist, I thought of this quote from Fight Club, 

"We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no great war. No Great Depression. Our Great War is a spiritual war…our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires and movie gods and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off."

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Chuck Palahntuk wrote that in 1997 and it is as accurate a diagnosis of a time (then and now) and a place (America) as any document in the history of mankind. The sickness of which Palahntuk wrote, and which American Animals shows, is spreading and gaining in strength. The  opioid crisis, suicide epidemic, pornification of our culture, egregious financial and political  corruption and worship of celebrity and sport are all signs of our decadence morphing into our decline and collapse. 

9-11 was the beginning of the end of America's run atop the world order and the financial crisis of 2008 was the end of the beginning of the end….and Trump is the first snowfall in what will be a long, cold and dark winter. Winter isn't coming. Winter is here. And Puxtapawny Phil won't come out to see his shadow any time soon because he has hanged himself in his den. 

A palpable despair has fallen like a pall over America. The fear of the end of the decadence we have known and its replacement by an ominous unknown is deeply unnerving to many. Foundational collapse shakes things and people to their core and America is quaking with an unconscious consternation of what is around the corner.

What comes next could be as banal as America falling from atop the world order and simply being replaced by a group of super power nations or another hyper-power (China?). Or it could be the U.S. dollar losing its status as the reserve currency of the world…or a Soviet style collapse…or a major and catastrophic war…or a devastating financial meltdown…or American democracy being usurped into a dictatorship or splintered by a civil war…or any other calamity or series of calamities. I do not know exactly what will happen, all I know is that the way things have been for the last 20 years, never mind the last 70 years, won't last much longer and that even more tumult and turmoil is on the way.  

CYCLES OF HISTORY

A big part of the reason why Americans are feeling such despair is that we in the west are conditioned to see history as linear, not cyclical. This linear thinking is detrimental to our mental health because it brings with it a built in myopia that can fan the flames of despair. When people feel that history moves in a straight line, they come to believe that things will always be moving in the direction they are now, forever, which leads to irrational optimism during good times and a devastating feeling of futility and lack of resilience in bad times. 

But a cyclical view of history is an antidote to this unease, as Strauss and Howe write, the crisis brought upon by the apex of individualism in the Fourth Turning does eventually pass…and will always be replaced with something much more upbeat, optimistic and collective. The only question to ponder now is how long will our era of collapse last? Will we live long enough to see the brighter days of the First Turning of the next era? 

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As America and the West spiral downward, pain, anguish, angst and despair will steadily rise. We are seeing it already en masse in our culture with opioid addiction, suicides and mass shootings. The perils of living in such a time are numerous. The advice I would give is do not fall prey to the sirens call of the flag-waving optimist who is a dictator in disguise or the fool's gold of an over-inflated stock market. It would also be wise to not fall victim to your emotions, which are constantly being nefariously manipulated and exploited, but instead rely upon your reason. As those around you lose their heads…struggle mightily to keep yours…and above all else…keep breathing.

GOING THROUGH HELL

As I have been tracking my own historical wave theory (Isaiah/McCaffrey Wave Theory®), I have mentioned many times on this website that this year (and in the previous few years) there have been numerous signs in cinema of the impending collapse of American empire, including Deadpool, Infinity War, A Quiet Place, American Animals and Hereditary.

Last year cinema was overflowing with the Churchillian archetype (and its shadow - The Authoritarian) in movies such as Dunkirk and Darkest Hour and the tv show The Crown. I wish I could've relayed a bit of Winston Churchill's advice to Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade as they suffered the torment of their dark night of the soul, from which they would not survive…but since they are not hear to read my words, I will share Churchill's sage advice with you in case in the coming turmoil you find yourself lost in the same Sea of Despair as Bourdain and Spade. 

"If you find yourself going through hell…KEEP GOING!"

In closing, sit back and enjoy some easy listening mid-90's alt-rock/pop that astutely describes the lack of meaning and purpose that is decaying America from the inside out. Mr. Jones and me...we are desperately trying to distract ourselves by any means necessary from our the devastation that is hurtling towards us at an ever quickening pace…sha la, la, la yeah.

Mr. Jones

Counting Crows

Sha la, la, la, la, la, la
Oh
Uh, huh

I was down at the New Amsterdam
Starin' at this yellow-haired girl
Mr. Jones strikes up a conversation
With a black-haired flamenco dancer
You know, she dances while his father plays guitar
She's suddenly beautiful, we all want something beautiful
Man, I wish I was beautiful
So come dance this silence down through the mornin'

Sha la, la, la, la, la, la, la
Yeah
Uh, huh
Yeah

Cut up, Maria
Show me some of them Spanish dances
Pass me a bottle, Mr. Jones
Believe in me
Help me believe in anything
'Cause I, I wanna be someone who believes
Yeah

Mr. Jones and me tell each other fairy tales
And we stare at the beautiful women
She's looking at you
Ah, no, no, she is looking at me
Smilin' in the bright lights
Comin' through in stereo
When everybody loves you
You can never be lonely

Well I'm a paint my picture
Paint myself in blue, red, black and gray
All of the beautiful colors are very, very meaningful
Yeah, well you know, gray is my favorite color
I felt so symbolic yesterday
If I knew Picasso
I would buy myself a gray guitar and play

Mr. Jones and me look into the future
Yeah, we stare at the beautiful women
She's looking at you I don't think so, she's looking at me
Standin' in the spotlight
I bought myself a gray guitar
When everybody loves me
I will never be lonely
I will never be lonely
Said I'm never gonna be lonely

I wanna be a lion
Ah, everybody wanna pass as cats
We all wanna be big, big stars
Yeah, but we got different reasons for that
Believe in me 'cause I don't believe in anything
And I, I wanna be someone to believe
To believe, to believe
Yeah

Mr. Jones and me stumbling through the Barrio
Yeah, we stare at the beautiful women
She's perfect for you
Man, there's got to be somebody for me
I wanna be Bob Dylan
Mr. Jones wishes he was someone just a little more funky
When everybody love you
Ah son, that's just about as funky as you can be

Mr. Jones and me starin' at the video
When I look at the television
I wanna see me starin' right back at me
We all wanna be big stars
But we don't know why and we don't know how
But when everybody loves me
I wanna be just about as happy as I can be
Mr. Jones and me, we're gonna be big stars

 

©2018