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Table of contents

Blood father

A story about sacrifice

John Link is a recovering alcoholic. His two-year sobriety is his exile from America. He got out of prison; he’s in the California desert; he does tattoos. Everything else he knows or knew is either lost, dead, or illegal. One wonders whether he has any reason to live, except discipline. […]

Suicide squad

The arrival of the age of abuse

Mr. David Ayer once made interesting movies about Los Angeles, which he seems to know well, the latest the shocking police thriller End of watch. He then passed his directing test, making a star-picture for a studio, the ugly, but moral WWII tank-crew drama Fury, starring Mr. […]

Hell or high water 4

War, manliness, freedom, & excellence

The Ranger has an Indian sidekick. Lone Ranger jokes aside, the Indian tells him that the Texans are now losing their land like his people did before. He Americanized–he’s Catholic–he’s half-Mexican. The Ranger & Tanner look to something else when they talk about Comanches: They’re not willing altogether to […]

Hell or high water 3

A view of women who do not know the political art

It seems the women in the story are there to serve the men. The banks getting robbed are staffed by women. One mocks the savage brother; she gets lucky. Two waitresses stand out–one’s a tough old battleax who is turning the poverty of […]

Hell or high water 2

Lawlessness cannot get you justice, but it can get you good things

The savage brother, Tanner, seems entirely devoted to the idea that the weak suffer. His father beat him until he shot him dead. Then the laws sent him to jail. Turning to robbery for the sake of his family is his chance […]

Hell or high water

Here’s how lawlessness & manliness might make secure the good

After doing a great job showing American manliness signing up for heroism in a democratic mode in The finest hours earlier this year–I’ll write about it soon–Messers Ben Foster & Chris Pine have teamed up again as Texan desperadoes fighting to give their family […]

Kubo and the two strings

On a version of threnody

The boy Kubo lost his father & is about to lose his mother, too. He is about to be swallowed up in death after spending his childhood in-between singing warrior stories for money & taking care of his strange, magical mother. His stories are longer than the daylight hours, […]