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Table of contents

The nice guys 3

How do men & poets make peace?

Our protagonists have a remarkable, rare manliness about them, however inconsistent, which renders them naturally incapable of being productive American citizens with regular lives; their triumphs & defeats, such as they are, owe much to chance. How do these guys end up? One finally starts acting like […]

The nice guys 2

Why do we have so many conspiracy theories?

The plot organizes America into a kind of hysterical conspiracy theory. The Big Three car companies in Detroit, while advertising luxury to America, are murdering people to keep their great crimes secret–pollution–because they’re stupid about being greedy. Never fear: Foolish hippies who organize meaningless protests about […]

The nice guys

The confusions of American freedom

A strange hippie girl, Amelia, brings together, unwittingly, two losers, Jackson Healy & Holland March. Healy beats people up if they make trouble for other people. His job is a necessary correction to American freedom. He has an immediate experience of the shockingly immoral character of eroticism: He wastes […]

House of games 5

Margaret thus comes to plan a scene of her own. She turns out to be really bad at gaining trust–she does not know how to speak–but she may be saying the same things Mike had been saying to her to seduce her, without any of the art. Maybe in a way she loves […]

House of games 4

The drama of the life of crime A note on the fantasy of danger, punishment, sacrifice, & redemption

The night is made for lovers & thieves, & Margaret wants to be both when the occasion apparently accidentally presents itself. As naive as the movie watcher, she thinks a coincidence is an innocent thing, not […]

House of games 3

A note on love supplanting law as a guide to life

The next trick Mike pulls is to do with showing up the inadequacy of moral virtue. He will cheat an honest man & thereby prove the superiority of intellectual virtue. Getting away with crime or immorality is a way of being invisible &, […]

House of games 2

A note on the dangers of sophistication

Now you can see how the poker game works out for them. There is some deep connection between knowledge & strife on show here. Ultimately, you might come to suspect that Margaret believes happiness comes by injustice. She very regrettably offers to stake her own money on […]

House of games

Margaret gets a chance to learn from the master

Watch this scene. Mike teaches her about tells–about how she’s secretly telling something she ostensibly wants to hide from him. It may be flattering to a woman to have an attractive man entering into her secrets; at the same time, it’s a secret of least […]