No Country For Old Men: An Analysis
00:04 "... picked No Country for Old Men ..."
01:47 "... came in 20 2007 and I'm generally a fan ..."
14:09 "... you get in no country for old men and ..."

???? All my other platforms and ways to support available here: https://linktr.ee/keithwso let's get into the movie how come you picked No Country for Old Men well Cormac McCarthy is my favorite author um and I think the No Country for Old Men touches on a lot of the teams you find and really stretch throughout his work and you know this is one of the this is one of the few movies were I have to say in in a lot of ways that kind of improved on the book they kind of trimmed the fire and they added some of their own sort of a narrative way to it so I think it's a I think it's a great movie it rewards rewatching I watched it yesterday was to the third time I watched it and I was picking up on lots of little details I didn't even notice the second time around so it's a very it's a very thoughtful movie and yeah someone's and Blood Brennan would make a great movie it really would but there seems to be this curse around that so many people have talked about making it but it never seems to happen but I'm not sure I mean it'll be it'll be very difficult to translate to screen especially to the level of violence and blood meridian but I'd like to talk about that I think I think that I love the team's visible and blubbery and I heard the focus of No Country for Old Men and I think I think if you understand what McCarthy was getting at and blood meridian No Country for Old Men makes a lot more sense because the movie on its own and there's a lot of ambiguities that I think are difficult to answer unless you kind of have a better understanding of where McCarthy is coming from generally so I mean there are not many well there are some like politically related themes in the movie I have to say I saw it first when it came in 20 2007 and I'm generally a fan of the Coen brothers they make some great movies although you know it's vital in spite of everything in spite of name and so on I mean even some of their films have been very sort of edgy from a political standpoint one of my favorite film reviews that that Greg Johnson wrote back in the day was about a Coen Brothers movie and that was about like a Jewish family a simple man or something like that I think a serious man is a serious man a serious man and that film has some very edgy theme some so this is very unusual for them to sort of to display some of the sensibilities that we can relate to in a way so so yeah I I really agree and mostly what I saw in no country for old men was basically sort of nihilism that there isn't like any there isn't it there's no whole lot of moral to the story it's not not like good guys or bad guys win it's just like especially with the ending and yeah we have to say that when we talk about films obviously there's gonna be spoilers so if you haven't seen the film go see the film and then watch our talk about it that's it's not easy to talk about a film without talking about things that happen and like in the end like when Javier Bardem character just gets hit by a car it's like just these haphazard things it's not moral action that sort of rule that sort of wins the day in the end that's it's it's like haphazard things what what kind of themes do do you see in the film yeah I think you've touched on the basis of it there I think it's I think the whole point of the movie and the book is he struggling with two things is that you know we're trying to find were try we try to find meaning in the world and you know as a storyteller he tries to find me and but he runs into these two problems again and again that are the central themes of this movie which is to you know one the problem of evil the existence of evil and then the earthing is determinism and if it's even possible that there is a space for free will and you know no country for old man is obviously from a Yeats poem called salient boys antium and the Tommy Lee Jones character the sheriff is is in a similar position to Yates at the end of his life were looking at a world that's that's kind of leaving them behind and doesn't have a place for people like him anymore and I did the very beginning of the movie there's a monologue from the sheriff where he's talking about a guy he put to debt and he talks about the nature of evil and who the criminals he's dealing with her changing and he says that he's not scared of them but he can't understand them anymore and so you see what with the sheriff he has to say he has this narrative studies that has made sense of his life his whole life where he kind of sees himself as being in one of these old westerns you know he uses all the tropes he has like to try which would his with his assistants and you know he talks about in the olden days no one carried a gun and you know he very much seized the world in these black and white terms and then he's faced with the two conflicts you know at one at once he's his agent and he's leaving this behind and then at the same time you know this guy Anton Chigurh comes in and sugar is basically the embodiment of of time of decay of of death you know you can meet cheek or you can meet death anywhere whether it's on the side of the road or in your bedroom and you know she girl some people said a sugar represents chaos but I don't know if that's I think he's just that the inevitability of time and of decay you know there's no there's no avoiding sugar and he has this he has a knowledge set of principles one of the characters says that he has he's very principled man and we can't we can't understand his principles very well but he seems to see himself as like the embodiment of fate and that's how he sort of removes the the moral conundrums from his from his decisions I think the most important line of the movie is when at the end when masters wife he's making her choose heads or tails for the coin toss to see if she lives or dies and she won't make a decision and she says it's for him to decide and I think his most important line is he says I got here - same way the coin did so he conceives of it in in this very materialist determinist sense that you know the coin was was created and shaped by circumstances outside his control and I think that's how sugar conceives themselves like I think Spinoza wrote one study for if a rock if a stone had a mind and you picked it up and dropped it that it would tell itself that it it made that decision of its own volition so she Gore doesn't have any of these any of these moral conundrums because he just sees himself as as this natural force and and so that's that's totally juxtaposed to the sheriff who sees the world and this in this black-and-white way and sees it as a sort of a battle between good and evil and then of course you have Llewellyn Moss who's kind of the he's at the middle point between these characters you know he's he's ostensibly making bad decisions he's doing things that would be considered evil you know he stood the whole point of movie is he he steals money from a failed drug deal but at the same time there's you know there's elements of the heroic in in Llewellyn he is like is still kind of a sympathetic character and I think another really important part of this you know you're talking about the nihilism is that you know the same way that the sheriff tries to make sense of the world by going back to nostalgia but going back to these old narratives you know we as the audience try and turn it into a good and evil struggle and I think the direction of it is constantly constantly sort of rebutted that tendency of us to create this greater narrative to it because there's loads of decisions that mistakes that are you know morally good decisions that should be that should reward his character and the storytelling sense that actually end up costing his life so one of them is when he goes back to bring water to the one of the drug dealers that he left behind at the same and that's what gets him attacked by the Mexican drug cartel and get some identified in first place and then the other is when he's when he's killed by drug cartel is that there's a woman that asks and to go back to her room and he refuses and if he'd gone back to her room of course you wouldn't have been in his room for him to kill him so you constantly see this you constantly see this being thrown in your face where people make good decisions and there is no you know there is no reward there is no there's no ultimate comeuppance for anyone and it's this constant way the movie has of of making you you know because the I think the audience is very important to this you know there's no there's no soundtrack everything is very silent and I think it's it's self-aware and that it knows the direction the audience is going to go and watching it and it keeps presenting you what you think all right now eager and masks are gonna have two big conflict and it doesn't happen or you think now a sheriff and she will have the big conflict and it doesn't happen and you know in the same way the characters are trying to find imaginary were trying to find meaning to what's going on I think it's self wearing that the movie does this thing where it makes you do doubt as well but again it never it never rewards you and I anything fulfilling which is kind of the message of it I mean are this sort of theme of this theme of should we call it nihilism that this sort of that this feeling of emptiness this sort of that there's no structure that you feel sort of lost in in a world because you can't find a sort of clear direction as as is displayed in this film is that is that a thing that is that is inherently attractive to Irish people it reminds me of of Beckett and riders like that where would like portray this sort of confusion about existence I mean it is it what what what do you I do I mean which character would you sort of do you identify with that you believe that there is a meaning I don't know about your sort of philosophical foundations or are you religious or we what what do you believe in in those sort of in that context well I think I'd be sympathetic to McCarthy I don't think McCarthy actually is a nihilist I am you I think you're actually spot on there about the Irish there's definitely a sense of I'd know what you call it a an appreciation and appreciation for tragedy or something and in the Irish and the way they write but that's definitely there but I think I think the way to understand McCarthy isn't as a nihilist I think he's a I think all his worker boat Gnosticism and some other people have picked up on this as well um I know it's not a popular idea today but you know the Gnosticism basically was a heretical sect of Christianity that kind of popped off and was viciously opposed by the Catholic Church and disappeared and it was only in the last the last century that we recovered a lot of the Gnostic texts and it's quite it's quite opposed to our modern sensibilities because the Gnostics conceived of the world as inherently evil so you know the problem of evil in philosophy is how did evil get into the world but the Gnostics saw nothing but evil as has been the character of the world and the you know that's the question for Gnosticism is how did it good get into the world because you know you actually see this and a lot of older mystical traditions I mean the first noble truth of Buddhism is that life is characterized by suffering nor some people have translated as like a thirst or desire and you know it's this this karmic merry-go-round of grasping for the eternal in the finite that leads to this you know endless cycle of destruction and and this is recognized and a lot of sort of ancient mystical traditions they're very kind of it might seem nihilistic but it's only in their sense of finitude and Gnosticism kind of takes this to an extreme where it says that the the God of the Old Testament the Jewish God you know the judge which is the antagonist and blubbery and is simply called the judge and could be taken to represent the God of the Old Testament that this girl is actually a Demiurge you know player who had this idea that the world that there was a Supreme Being but there was also a Demiurge that that created the world out matter in the forms and the Gnostics were radical and that they said that the Demiurge was evil or that you know their conception of the world was as not as some divine perfect creation but they compared it to a like a miscarriage and that you know the Demiurge was kind of ignorant of of the true nature of reality and he thought that he was to Supreme Being and so the nature of Gnostic mysticism was this idea that Christ was actually a kind of a rebellion against the Jews and the Jewish God and that he was he was a representative of the the alien goal of the true God that was beyond the world and this is I think why this is important for McCarthy's work is what you get in no country for old men and blood meridian is McCarthy's greatest story telling us when he's talking about the you know the absolute worst of human nature and he has you know the most sort of directly beautiful descriptions of violence and the horrors of existence and he'll often transplant this on the animal world as well like there's a particularly brutal scene in blood meridian where a horse has a snakebit head and he's describing you know the the severing of the skin and the visible pink white bone of its skull and then the other horses attacked that horse because they're so horrified by it and he's constantly portray in nature as this vicious brutal thing that's in a constant process of decay and he does something similar in our country for old men and she Gore is the perfect representation that we're I think he's a he's a gnostic and not really a complete nihilist is he constantly uses this idea of fire and it's interesting you know the the last passage of the road the role is extremely derrick I mean you know the horrors that these people see in this post-apocalyptic world where they're seen cannibalism and everything and the protagonist is incredibly sort of black pill about the nature of exists and some people but do anything that some go on as his his son and he is very poetic sort of beautiful descriptions of when the father is looking at a son and it seems to be his only source of hope but at the very close of that book when people come to help the boy he says that they're carrying the fire that's a very it's a very sort of vague line and people wonder what does the fire mean you know is it just human existence that it will carry on through all of this and and then there's you know in the opening lines of blood meridian is also a mention I mentioned a fire which is that there's you know there's this dress really well there's this guy in the desert he never names him but that he's he's beaten sparks off stone and my character says that he's beaten God out of the stone that's a very kind of cryptic passage but then you see in Gnosticism there's this idea that the redeeming feature of the world is that while it is characterized by evil and by ignorance and it's created by an evil Demiurge that the source of hope is that everyone carries this divine spark that's the connection with the real God you know the ultimate spiritual ground and if fire is always what's used to represent it that everyone has this divine spark and so McCarthy you know McCarthy does this where most of the characters are totally morally depraved but he normally has a character that has some sort of spark and what it is is an empathy or you know some kind of consciousness of their oneness with people on this deeper level and you'll often see his characters are kind of detached from the violence like the main character and blood Brody and it's always kind of detached from what's going on and and in no country for old men there's also mention of fire and actually in the book the last line of Llewellyn Moss he picks up a hitchhiker and she offers to take him back to her hotel room and he doesn't and not obviously got some killed but she asks him what he does and the caring he says he's a welder so again it's this idea of the you know that Llewellyn Moss uses fire to bring things together but the most important part of it you know the the last scene in this that's always talked about where sheriff has two dreams and one of the dreams is that his his father gives him money and he loses it so you know that's probably I think that's a very simple enough one is probably the guilt that you know he got he got moss killed that he couldn't protect and but the the other dream that people always talk about is where he's with his father in the snow and his father rides out ahead of him on a horse and in the distance he lights a fire and you know people often there's a lot of different interpretations about this you know is it just the hope for the future or is it the hope that in the afterlife you'll see his father and then of course the last line of the movie is he says and then I woke up so now it's a question of does he have this misplaced sense of hope and I know he wakes into the world and this last scene is him realizing that that there is no hope and that you know these stories he told himself were dreams but you know you could also look at it as his his subconscious is still you know what drove him throughout this movie is still he has this divine spark as well he recognizes this this fire that however distant or however much it's obscured by the horrors of the world and that there is this sort of divine spark that he recognizes as well so I think I think McCarthy's works are infused with this Gnostic idea and I think it's it's actually central because it's always and his works it's always closing passages it's always the most important part of stories where he'll insert this and the idea of fire is always is always very central to it so he never he never goes fully he never goes fully Annihilus he always leaves something of hope there whether it's the relationship between the man and his son and the road or you know the fact that the the kid and blood meridian doesn't become a completely unhinged that he he still has compassion for do you know there's an injured priests and blood meridian that he still helps out despite it slowed him down and risk and getting themselves killed or in no country for old man you know Llewellyn mass despite all of this he still remains faithful to his wife and you know he still brings water back to the dye and drug dealer but the point is people like that don't succeed in an off sick world because you know the world is made for the ruthless people like sugar and so it's those decisions that come from compassion that ultimately get mas killed so I mean if we take this to a sort of a more meta political context do you do you think that this this sort of mentality can be overcome I mean because obviously there's a lot of despair and a lot of nihilism in throughout the West now do you think it's possible for people to sort of regain a sort of a sense of purpose like you said in in the road that he has his kid to live for and so on but nowadays people are very much individualist it's like entertainment and bread and circus and the sex and the city life for women and for men it's something similar with like pickup culture and so on I mean I mean that's obviously like one of the biggest challenges we have mass immigration is one thing but I mean if we don't have like it their direction to our own lives I don't see us you know getting out of this obviously we don't have any roots anymore so it's like we don't have any organic identity an organic meaning I mean do you think there that there's sort of a way out of that well I mean this is something again that you could read into this movie is you see what it does to characters when you know because religion has always been the primary source of meaning first and you know it gave us our narratives about good and evil about freewill about redemption and you see in this you know in the absence of that kind of merit meta-narrative what are you left with and all of these characters are struggling to make sense how do you make sense of the evil and world how do you make sense of the existence of someone like Shearer and you know I think the main character in this is is the sheriff playboy by Tommy Lee Jones and his his whole thing throughout the movie is trying to find trying to find meaning and you know yes this line that he hoped God would come to him in his old age but you know it is one of those things you know the individual on his own I mean I don't think people for the most part were made to wrestle with these with these big philosophical issues and traditionally this was something that was handled collectively you know there was a collective mythos there was a collective set of beliefs that made sense of the world and you know Tommy Lee Jones was his character and this was probably brought up in the world like that you know the old South where everything made sense and he had a clear conception of good and evil and so someone like sugar entering the world you know sugar in the in the novel isn't portrayed as as Hispanic he's blue-eyed and there isn't a huge description of him but he's definitely not meant to be non-white so I think the Coen brothers obviously did that for a reason because you know the entrance of Hagar into this movie he is something completely foreign to every character in the movie and they completely you know no one can understand his motivations no one can understand his code um and you could maybe you could read that in a racial context you know the coin he introduces he says it's from 1958 which is around the time of the the Civil Rights Act and there's this idea that these these white small-town characters you know the sins of their father are coming back to haunt them and sugar you know that he doesn't conceive of him as innocent we I think he could also read it as though that he's something entirely new in that he's the endpoint of the you know the rationalism of of the Enlightenment he's the endpoint of doing away with religion do know a with with traditional moral narratives doing away with a strong healthy collective Shigure is like the absolute endpoint of that because he's someone that's completely embraced the kind of word view that's left after that this very deterministic atheistic worldview were to the point where he doesn't even hold himself responsible for his actions so do you believe that the people are I mean are we motivated by a sort of uh how to put this a philosophy that we sort of arrived at through thought or is a philosophy more like a consequence of like material circumstances sort of like if you're thinking of the modern West in a sort of Spangler II and downward turn which is like just we just have too much comfort I mean is there any way of like creating meaning out of thought again you know what I mean it's like can we philosophize ourselves out of out of a situation like that or is that is this I mean it's these aren't it's not directly from the film but it's sort of a question like that arises from the discussion about nihilism because like I mean it is nihilism just what it is or is it is there like a way out of it or is it just like an end result of too much comfort the the material circumstances have changed so much that we just have that that's just what we're left with basically I wouldn't be yeah I wouldn't be too optimistic that we can kind of think her way out of it because I mean I don't think any of these ideas won by being the better ideas like you know this idea you know this idea that the world is a completely self determined atheistic materials world that's not a scientific position you know science has nothing to say about that and actually you know quantum physics in the 20th century kind of disproves materialism it actually presents this idea of where less that's really in flux and that matter is only kind of something that we imagined or that we impose them on patterns of events so it's much more kind of a pop culture thing and it's much more I guess downstream from the you know the kind of the pop culture way of seeing the world you know science has become a kind of secular religion or scientism so I don't think it's you know like these topics have been discussed for as long as there's been civilization and I don't think it's a proud thing kits a case that a the ideas that dominate no dominate because they had the better ideas I don't think that's the case at all it's much more I think a product of material circumstance so you know just as we didn't we didn't philosophize our way into it I'm not sure if we can philosophize our way out of it yeah so I but I do think you know it's just I mean look at human history you know periods of atheism you know atheism isn't something that survives for a very long period of time so I'm quite sure eventually we will go back to some wide scale religiosity but what form that will take I don't know because you know we have this weird thing now you know just as the characters are trying to create narratives they're trying to pick like the sheriff picks this exists a narrative of the you know good versus evil evil the you know do old tropes about West's and cowboys and belief in the modern world is a lot like that as well you know people kind of pick and choose whether it's a choosing to be a Buddhist or choosing to find meaning in yogurt crystals or try our traditional Catholicism or something so belief has become very kind of commodified in its own sense and it's been totally removed from any kind of rootedness or any meaningful tradition so I'm not sure there's if there's a way to get around that barring some kind of complete shift or collapse of our current mode of civilization and that sort of Edward Dutton's the sort of talking point that you know he don't have kids so they won't survive and I mean he's obviously into science and so on and I don't think he's a Christian but anyway he's like well Christians obviously have more more kids and that was also a thing that I talked about with him when he was on we talked about life of Brian but we've run into other themes and that's like the point is that the sort of scientists that criticize religion they criticize religion without a into consideration the sort of sociobiological aspect of it where religion is a successful meme and I don't mean meme and the sort of funny internet picture sense I mean meme and the sort of sociobiological Richard Dawkins sense and that sort of doesn't make sense from the point of view of the sort of new atheist or militant atheists so on because it's it is from a scientific point of view it is a successful strategy but then again it's it's I find it hard to believe it's sort of like science has defeated religion in a way at least certain types of religion it's like if I mean sure religion can be different things religion can be like as it can be rituals it can be philosophical standpoints but if religion as in Christianity if we say that Christianity is a description of historically correct reality then many of those points are are proven to be wrong by science and that that's why we have these battles between sort of creationists and evolution and all kinds of things like that and the thing is that you know when people try to say that well yeah religion is is like I'm saying now that religion is a successful strategy and we need religion well it's very difficult to convince yourself to believe in something that you don't actually believe in and I think that's where we sort of run into the big the big problem with getting a sort of meaning of life through religion again maybe it's you that we don't actually believe it and that's sort of Nietzsche's point isn't it that that's what leads to nihilism because he didn't I mean his point with the assertion that God is dead isn't that sort of he sort of dislikes Christianity he just means that Christianity in the late 1800s was becoming just like a farce that you know people pretended in believing in God and when they build their whole worldview around something that they don't actually believe in that just leads straight to nihilism so I mean what what it I mean what do you have to say about that yeah no yeah I've run into this as well I mean there's there's obviously a large trend of Christians and traditional Catholics and dissident right and you know I don't think that's a bad thing necessarily but whenever I've you know whenever I've encountered one of them and they tell me to to accept their doctrine well if I ask them for reasons to believe it they almost always give me sort of pragmatic or political reasons and they say you know you should be a Christian because you know European civilization be better if everyone was a Christian because you know you'll be happier bla bla and certain reason here but it's always this kind of a pragmatic personal reason you know that you'll feel more fulfilled or you know you know the same reasons that women and their mid-forties by a yoga mat and start doing yoga having tantric sex or something it's like this kind of consumptive thing where you can consume a religion to to satisfy some need you have but you know as you say that's the problem because you can't how do you convince yourself all of the the doctrine of Christianity because you think it's going to be pragmatic or beneficial to your political alignment or something so the this is a problem we're faced with is that all of the all of the religious traditions were fundamentally rooted in a tradition and you know the beliefs of our forefathers made complete sense and in the paradigm they're in but we have a completely different paradigm no but the problem is a lot of the barriers to belief our things that people believe are scientific or have been proven but most of them haven't like in a you know example is there's dirties sort of meta narratives of post modernity and you know there's this idea that science has kind of proven that there's there's no values that there's just facts and then there's values and values are holy objective but of course you know that's a that's a massive philosophical claim that's been argued over for millennia and there's nothing that science can do to to disprove that so you know the idea of there being a natural law now that people like Plato and Aristotle and Aquinas accepted as has been very very obvious and very intuitive well that's ruled out now because you know natural law or you know Ammar alloys and something that can be materially dissected why he had called this the fallacy of simple location this very modern idea that if something doesn't have a location in space and time that it doesn't exist and you know this is something that was never proven this is something that couldn't be proven but it's widely it's widely accepted by people as being a basic scientific truth to the point that you have people like Daniel Dennett that even deny consciousness they denied the most immediate thing though that we have we have a consciousness that's that's not Material and you know out of that out of that out of that fallacy comes a denial of values and of categories that are immediately intuitively true whether it's whether it's race or gender or anything else and so you know we have this massive chasm we have this massive gulf between the rational scientific worldview and the false philosophical claims makes about the world and then the complete irrationality that people have when they adopted when it comes to I guess you call it wisdom you know basic things that people always understood about about about race and about right behavior and about morality and all of these things and that's read the the fundamental problem is no as we move into a more quote-unquote rational worldview or scientific rational worldview is that it's leading to all this kind of irrational ISM and things the more things make sense the the less sense they make to people on a personal level because they're losing the the important value basis and moral basis they had to makin sense of the world up to that point yeah I mean I've always been bothered by people like that Dennett and

???? All my other platforms and ways to support available here: https://linktr.ee/keithwso let's get into the movie how come you picked No Country for Old Men well Cormac McCarthy is my favorite author um and I think the No Country for Old Men touches on a lot of the teams you find and really stretch throughout his work and you know this is one of the this is one of the few movies were I have to say in in a lot of ways that kind of improved on the book they kind of trimmed the fire and they added some of their own sort of a narrative way to it so I think it's a I think it's a great movie it rewards rewatching I watched it yesterday was to the third time I watched it and I was picking up on lots of little details I didn't even notice the second time around so it's a very it's a very thoughtful movie and yeah someone's and Blood Brennan would make a great movie it really would but there seems to be this curse around that so many people have talked about making it but it never seems to happen but I'm not sure I mean it'll be it'll be very difficult to translate to screen especially to the level of violence and blood meridian but I'd like to talk about that I think I think that I love the team's visible and blubbery and I heard the focus of No Country for Old Men and I think I think if you understand what McCarthy was getting at and blood meridian No Country for Old Men makes a lot more sense because the movie on its own and there's a lot of ambiguities that I think are difficult to answer unless you kind of have a better understanding of where McCarthy is coming from generally so I mean there are not many well there are some like politically related themes in the movie I have to say I saw it first when it came in 20 2007 and I'm generally a fan of the Coen brothers they make some great movies although you know it's vital in spite of everything in spite of name and so on I mean even some of their films have been very sort of edgy from a political standpoint one of my favorite film reviews that that Greg Johnson wrote back in the day was about a Coen Brothers movie and that was about like a Jewish family a simple man or something like that I think a serious man is a serious man a serious man and that film has some very edgy theme some so this is very unusual for them to sort of to display some of the sensibilities that we can relate to in a way so so yeah I I really agree and mostly what I saw in no country for old men was basically sort of nihilism that there isn't like any there isn't it there's no whole lot of moral to the story it's not not like good guys or bad guys win it's just like especially with the ending and yeah we have to say that when we talk about films obviously there's gonna be spoilers so if you haven't seen the film go see the film and then watch our talk about it that's it's not easy to talk about a film without talking about things that happen and like in the end like when Javier Bardem character just gets hit by a car it's like just these haphazard things it's not moral action that sort of rule that sort of wins the day in the end that's it's it's like haphazard things what what kind of themes do do you see in the film yeah I think you've touched on the basis of it there I think it's I think the whole point of the movie and the book is he struggling with two things is that you know we're trying to find were try we try to find meaning in the world and you know as a storyteller he tries to find me and but he runs into these two problems again and again that are the central themes of this movie which is to you know one the problem of evil the existence of evil and then the earthing is determinism and if it's even possible that there is a space for free will and you know no country for old man is obviously from a Yeats poem called salient boys antium and the Tommy Lee Jones character the sheriff is is in a similar position to Yates at the end of his life were looking at a world that's that's kind of leaving them behind and doesn't have a place for people like him anymore and I did the very beginning of the movie there's a monologue from the sheriff where he's talking about a guy he put to debt and he talks about the nature of evil and who the criminals he's dealing with her changing and he says that he's not scared of them but he can't understand them anymore and so you see what with the sheriff he has to say he has this narrative studies that has made sense of his life his whole life where he kind of sees himself as being in one of these old westerns you know he uses all the tropes he has like to try which would his with his assistants and you know he talks about in the olden days no one carried a gun and you know he very much seized the world in these black and white terms and then he's faced with the two conflicts you know at one at once he's his agent and he's leaving this behind and then at the same time you know this guy Anton Chigurh comes in and sugar is basically the embodiment of of time of decay of of death you know you can meet cheek or you can meet death anywhere whether it's on the side of the road or in your bedroom and you know she girl some people said a sugar represents chaos but I don't know if that's I think he's just that the inevitability of time and of decay you know there's no there's no avoiding sugar and he has this he has a knowledge set of principles one of the characters says that he has he's very principled man and we can't we can't understand his principles very well but he seems to see himself as like the embodiment of fate and that's how he sort of removes the the moral conundrums from his from his decisions I think the most important line of the movie is when at the end when masters wife he's making her choose heads or tails for the coin toss to see if she lives or dies and she won't make a decision and she says it's for him to decide and I think his most important line is he says I got here - same way the coin did so he conceives of it in in this very materialist determinist sense that you know the coin was was created and shaped by circumstances outside his control and I think that's how sugar conceives themselves like I think Spinoza wrote one study for if a rock if a stone had a mind and you picked it up and dropped it that it would tell itself that it it made that decision of its own volition so she Gore doesn't have any of these any of these moral conundrums because he just sees himself as as this natural force and and so that's that's totally juxtaposed to the sheriff who sees the world and this in this black-and-white way and sees it as a sort of a battle between good and evil and then of course you have Llewellyn Moss who's kind of the he's at the middle point between these characters you know he's he's ostensibly making bad decisions he's doing things that would be considered evil you know he stood the whole point of movie is he he steals money from a failed drug deal but at the same time there's you know there's elements of the heroic in in Llewellyn he is like is still kind of a sympathetic character and I think another really important part of this you know you're talking about the nihilism is that you know the same way that the sheriff tries to make sense of the world by going back to nostalgia but going back to these old narratives you know we as the audience try and turn it into a good and evil struggle and I think the direction of it is constantly constantly sort of rebutted that tendency of us to create this greater narrative to it because there's loads of decisions that mistakes that are you know morally good decisions that should be that should reward his character and the storytelling sense that actually end up costing his life so one of them is when he goes back to bring water to the one of the drug dealers that he left behind at the same and that's what gets him attacked by the Mexican drug cartel and get some identified in first place and then the other is when he's when he's killed by drug cartel is that there's a woman that asks and to go back to her room and he refuses and if he'd gone back to her room of course you wouldn't have been in his room for him to kill him so you constantly see this you constantly see this being thrown in your face where people make good decisions and there is no you know there is no reward there is no there's no ultimate comeuppance for anyone and it's this constant way the movie has of of making you you know because the I think the audience is very important to this you know there's no there's no soundtrack everything is very silent and I think it's it's self-aware and that it knows the direction the audience is going to go and watching it and it keeps presenting you what you think all right now eager and masks are gonna have two big conflict and it doesn't happen or you think now a sheriff and she will have the big conflict and it doesn't happen and you know in the same way the characters are trying to find imaginary were trying to find meaning to what's going on I think it's self wearing that the movie does this thing where it makes you do doubt as well but again it never it never rewards you and I anything fulfilling which is kind of the message of it I mean are this sort of theme of this theme of should we call it nihilism that this sort of that this feeling of emptiness this sort of that there's no structure that you feel sort of lost in in a world because you can't find a sort of clear direction as as is displayed in this film is that is that a thing that is that is inherently attractive to Irish people it reminds me of of Beckett and riders like that where would like portray this sort of confusion about existence I mean it is it what what what do you I do I mean which character would you sort of do you identify with that you believe that there is a meaning I don't know about your sort of philosophical foundations or are you religious or we what what do you believe in in those sort of in that context well I think I'd be sympathetic to McCarthy I don't think McCarthy actually is a nihilist I am you I think you're actually spot on there about the Irish there's definitely a sense of I'd know what you call it a an appreciation and appreciation for tragedy or something and in the Irish and the way they write but that's definitely there but I think I think the way to understand McCarthy isn't as a nihilist I think he's a I think all his worker boat Gnosticism and some other people have picked up on this as well um I know it's not a popular idea today but you know the Gnosticism basically was a heretical sect of Christianity that kind of popped off and was viciously opposed by the Catholic Church and disappeared and it was only in the last the last century that we recovered a lot of the Gnostic texts and it's quite it's quite opposed to our modern sensibilities because the Gnostics conceived of the world as inherently evil so you know the problem of evil in philosophy is how did evil get into the world but the Gnostics saw nothing but evil as has been the character of the world and the you know that's the question for Gnosticism is how did it good get into the world because you know you actually see this and a lot of older mystical traditions I mean the first noble truth of Buddhism is that life is characterized by suffering nor some people have translated as like a thirst or desire and you know it's this this karmic merry-go-round of grasping for the eternal in the finite that leads to this you know endless cycle of destruction and and this is recognized and a lot of sort of ancient mystical traditions they're very kind of it might seem nihilistic but it's only in their sense of finitude and Gnosticism kind of takes this to an extreme where it says that the the God of the Old Testament the Jewish God you know the judge which is the antagonist and blubbery and is simply called the judge and could be taken to represent the God of the Old Testament that this girl is actually a Demiurge you know player who had this idea that the world that there was a Supreme Being but there was also a Demiurge that that created the world out matter in the forms and the Gnostics were radical and that they said that the Demiurge was evil or that you know their conception of the world was as not as some divine perfect creation but they compared it to a like a miscarriage and that you know the Demiurge was kind of ignorant of of the true nature of reality and he thought that he was to Supreme Being and so the nature of Gnostic mysticism was this idea that Christ was actually a kind of a rebellion against the Jews and the Jewish God and that he was he was a representative of the the alien goal of the true God that was beyond the world and this is I think why this is important for McCarthy's work is what you get in no country for old men and blood meridian is McCarthy's greatest story telling us when he's talking about the you know the absolute worst of human nature and he has you know the most sort of directly beautiful descriptions of violence and the horrors of existence and he'll often transplant this on the animal world as well like there's a particularly brutal scene in blood meridian where a horse has a snakebit head and he's describing you know the the severing of the skin and the visible pink white bone of its skull and then the other horses attacked that horse because they're so horrified by it and he's constantly portray in nature as this vicious brutal thing that's in a constant process of decay and he does something similar in our country for old men and she Gore is the perfect representation that we're I think he's a he's a gnostic and not really a complete nihilist is he constantly uses this idea of fire and it's interesting you know the the last passage of the road the role is extremely derrick I mean you know the horrors that these people see in this post-apocalyptic world where they're seen cannibalism and everything and the protagonist is incredibly sort of black pill about the nature of exists and some people but do anything that some go on as his his son and he is very poetic sort of beautiful descriptions of when the father is looking at a son and it seems to be his only source of hope but at the very close of that book when people come to help the boy he says that they're carrying the fire that's a very it's a very sort of vague line and people wonder what does the fire mean you know is it just human existence that it will carry on through all of this and and then there's you know in the opening lines of blood meridian is also a mention I mentioned a fire which is that there's you know there's this dress really well there's this guy in the desert he never names him but that he's he's beaten sparks off stone and my character says that he's beaten God out of the stone that's a very kind of cryptic passage but then you see in Gnosticism there's this idea that the redeeming feature of the world is that while it is characterized by evil and by ignorance and it's created by an evil Demiurge that the source of hope is that everyone carries this divine spark that's the connection with the real God you know the ultimate spiritual ground and if fire is always what's used to represent it that everyone has this divine spark and so McCarthy you know McCarthy does this where most of the characters are totally morally depraved but he normally has a character that has some sort of spark and what it is is an empathy or you know some kind of consciousness of their oneness with people on this deeper level and you'll often see his characters are kind of detached from the violence like the main character and blood Brody and it's always kind of detached from what's going on and and in no country for old men there's also mention of fire and actually in the book the last line of Llewellyn Moss he picks up a hitchhiker and she offers to take him back to her hotel room and he doesn't and not obviously got some killed but she asks him what he does and the caring he says he's a welder so again it's this idea of the you know that Llewellyn Moss uses fire to bring things together but the most important part of it you know the the last scene in this that's always talked about where sheriff has two dreams and one of the dreams is that his his father gives him money and he loses it so you know that's probably I think that's a very simple enough one is probably the guilt that you know he got he got moss killed that he couldn't protect and but the the other dream that people always talk about is where he's with his father in the snow and his father rides out ahead of him on a horse and in the distance he lights a fire and you know people often there's a lot of different interpretations about this you know is it just the hope for the future or is it the hope that in the afterlife you'll see his father and then of course the last line of the movie is he says and then I woke up so now it's a question of does he have this misplaced sense of hope and I know he wakes into the world and this last scene is him realizing that that there is no hope and that you know these stories he told himself were dreams but you know you could also look at it as his his subconscious is still you know what drove him throughout this movie is still he has this divine spark as well he recognizes this this fire that however distant or however much it's obscured by the horrors of the world and that there is this sort of divine spark that he recognizes as well so I think I think McCarthy's works are infused with this Gnostic idea and I think it's it's actually central because it's always and his works it's always closing passages it's always the most important part of stories where he'll insert this and the idea of fire is always is always very central to it so he never he never goes fully he never goes fully Annihilus he always leaves something of hope there whether it's the relationship between the man and his son and the road or you know the fact that the the kid and blood meridian doesn't become a completely unhinged that he he still has compassion for do you know there's an injured priests and blood meridian that he still helps out despite it slowed him down and risk and getting themselves killed or in no country for old man you know Llewellyn mass despite all of this he still remains faithful to his wife and you know he still brings water back to the dye and drug dealer but the point is people like that don't succeed in an off sick world because you know the world is made for the ruthless people like sugar and so it's those decisions that come from compassion that ultimately get mas killed so I mean if we take this to a sort of a more meta political context do you do you think that this this sort of mentality can be overcome I mean because obviously there's a lot of despair and a lot of nihilism in throughout the West now do you think it's possible for people to sort of regain a sort of a sense of purpose like you said in in the road that he has his kid to live for and so on but nowadays people are very much individualist it's like entertainment and bread and circus and the sex and the city life for women and for men it's something similar with like pickup culture and so on I mean I mean that's obviously like one of the biggest challenges we have mass immigration is one thing but I mean if we don't have like it their direction to our own lives I don't see us you know getting out of this obviously we don't have any roots anymore so it's like we don't have any organic identity an organic meaning I mean do you think there that there's sort of a way out of that well I mean this is something again that you could read into this movie is you see what it does to characters when you know because religion has always been the primary source of meaning first and you know it gave us our narratives about good and evil about freewill about redemption and you see in this you know in the absence of that kind of merit meta-narrative what are you left with and all of these characters are struggling to make sense how do you make sense of the evil and world how do you make sense of the existence of someone like Shearer and you know I think the main character in this is is the sheriff playboy by Tommy Lee Jones and his his whole thing throughout the movie is trying to find trying to find meaning and you know yes this line that he hoped God would come to him in his old age but you know it is one of those things you know the individual on his own I mean I don't think people for the most part were made to wrestle with these with these big philosophical issues and traditionally this was something that was handled collectively you know there was a collective mythos there was a collective set of beliefs that made sense of the world and you know Tommy Lee Jones was his character and this was probably brought up in the world like that you know the old South where everything made sense and he had a clear conception of good and evil and so someone like sugar entering the world you know sugar in the in the novel isn't portrayed as as Hispanic he's blue-eyed and there isn't a huge description of him but he's definitely not meant to be non-white so I think the Coen brothers obviously did that for a reason because you know the entrance of Hagar into this movie he is something completely foreign to every character in the movie and they completely you know no one can understand his motivations no one can understand his code um and you could maybe you could read that in a racial context you know the coin he introduces he says it's from 1958 which is around the time of the the Civil Rights Act and there's this idea that these these white small-town characters you know the sins of their father are coming back to haunt them and sugar you know that he doesn't conceive of him as innocent we I think he could also read it as though that he's something entirely new in that he's the endpoint of the you know the rationalism of of the Enlightenment he's the endpoint of doing away with religion do know a with with traditional moral narratives doing away with a strong healthy collective Shigure is like the absolute endpoint of that because he's someone that's completely embraced the kind of word view that's left after that this very deterministic atheistic worldview were to the point where he doesn't even hold himself responsible for his actions so do you believe that the people are I mean are we motivated by a sort of uh how to put this a philosophy that we sort of arrived at through thought or is a philosophy more like a consequence of like material circumstances sort of like if you're thinking of the modern West in a sort of Spangler II and downward turn which is like just we just have too much comfort I mean is there any way of like creating meaning out of thought again you know what I mean it's like can we philosophize ourselves out of out of a situation like that or is that is this I mean it's these aren't it's not directly from the film but it's sort of a question like that arises from the discussion about nihilism because like I mean it is nihilism just what it is or is it is there like a way out of it or is it just like an end result of too much comfort the the material circumstances have changed so much that we just have that that's just what we're left with basically I wouldn't be yeah I wouldn't be too optimistic that we can kind of think her way out of it because I mean I don't think any of these ideas won by being the better ideas like you know this idea you know this idea that the world is a completely self determined atheistic materials world that's not a scientific position you know science has nothing to say about that and actually you know quantum physics in the 20th century kind of disproves materialism it actually presents this idea of where less that's really in flux and that matter is only kind of something that we imagined or that we impose them on patterns of events so it's much more kind of a pop culture thing and it's much more I guess downstream from the you know the kind of the pop culture way of seeing the world you know science has become a kind of secular religion or scientism so I don't think it's you know like these topics have been discussed for as long as there's been civilization and I don't think it's a proud thing kits a case that a the ideas that dominate no dominate because they had the better ideas I don't think that's the case at all it's much more I think a product of material circumstance so you know just as we didn't we didn't philosophize our way into it I'm not sure if we can philosophize our way out of it yeah so I but I do think you know it's just I mean look at human history you know periods of atheism you know atheism isn't something that survives for a very long period of time so I'm quite sure eventually we will go back to some wide scale religiosity but what form that will take I don't know because you know we have this weird thing now you know just as the characters are trying to create narratives they're trying to pick like the sheriff picks this exists a narrative of the you know good versus evil evil the you know do old tropes about West's and cowboys and belief in the modern world is a lot like that as well you know people kind of pick and choose whether it's a choosing to be a Buddhist or choosing to find meaning in yogurt crystals or try our traditional Catholicism or something so belief has become very kind of commodified in its own sense and it's been totally removed from any kind of rootedness or any meaningful tradition so I'm not sure there's if there's a way to get around that barring some kind of complete shift or collapse of our current mode of civilization and that sort of Edward Dutton's the sort of talking point that you know he don't have kids so they won't survive and I mean he's obviously into science and so on and I don't think he's a Christian but anyway he's like well Christians obviously have more more kids and that was also a thing that I talked about with him when he was on we talked about life of Brian but we've run into other themes and that's like the point is that the sort of scientists that criticize religion they criticize religion without a into consideration the sort of sociobiological aspect of it where religion is a successful meme and I don't mean meme and the sort of funny internet picture sense I mean meme and the sort of sociobiological Richard Dawkins sense and that sort of doesn't make sense from the point of view of the sort of new atheist or militant atheists so on because it's it is from a scientific point of view it is a successful strategy but then again it's it's I find it hard to believe it's sort of like science has defeated religion in a way at least certain types of religion it's like if I mean sure religion can be different things religion can be like as it can be rituals it can be philosophical standpoints but if religion as in Christianity if we say that Christianity is a description of historically correct reality then many of those points are are proven to be wrong by science and that that's why we have these battles between sort of creationists and evolution and all kinds of things like that and the thing is that you know when people try to say that well yeah religion is is like I'm saying now that religion is a successful strategy and we need religion well it's very difficult to convince yourself to believe in something that you don't actually believe in and I think that's where we sort of run into the big the big problem with getting a sort of meaning of life through religion again maybe it's you that we don't actually believe it and that's sort of Nietzsche's point isn't it that that's what leads to nihilism because he didn't I mean his point with the assertion that God is dead isn't that sort of he sort of dislikes Christianity he just means that Christianity in the late 1800s was becoming just like a farce that you know people pretended in believing in God and when they build their whole worldview around something that they don't actually believe in that just leads straight to nihilism so I mean what what it I mean what do you have to say about that yeah no yeah I've run into this as well I mean there's there's obviously a large trend of Christians and traditional Catholics and dissident right and you know I don't think that's a bad thing necessarily but whenever I've you know whenever I've encountered one of them and they tell me to to accept their doctrine well if I ask them for reasons to believe it they almost always give me sort of pragmatic or political reasons and they say you know you should be a Christian because you know European civilization be better if everyone was a Christian because you know you'll be happier bla bla and certain reason here but it's always this kind of a pragmatic personal reason you know that you'll feel more fulfilled or you know you know the same reasons that women and their mid-forties by a yoga mat and start doing yoga having tantric sex or something it's like this kind of consumptive thing where you can consume a religion to to satisfy some need you have but you know as you say that's the problem because you can't how do you convince yourself all of the the doctrine of Christianity because you think it's going to be pragmatic or beneficial to your political alignment or something so the this is a problem we're faced with is that all of the all of the religious traditions were fundamentally rooted in a tradition and you know the beliefs of our forefathers made complete sense and in the paradigm they're in but we have a completely different paradigm no but the problem is a lot of the barriers to belief our things that people believe are scientific or have been proven but most of them haven't like in a you know example is there's dirties sort of meta narratives of post modernity and you know there's this idea that science has kind of proven that there's there's no values that there's just facts and then there's values and values are holy objective but of course you know that's a that's a massive philosophical claim that's been argued over for millennia and there's nothing that science can do to to disprove that so you know the idea of there being a natural law now that people like Plato and Aristotle and Aquinas accepted as has been very very obvious and very intuitive well that's ruled out now because you know natural law or you know Ammar alloys and something that can be materially dissected why he had called this the fallacy of simple location this very modern idea that if something doesn't have a location in space and time that it doesn't exist and you know this is something that was never proven this is something that couldn't be proven but it's widely it's widely accepted by people as being a basic scientific truth to the point that you have people like Daniel Dennett that even deny consciousness they denied the most immediate thing though that we have we have a consciousness that's that's not Material and you know out of that out of that out of that fallacy comes a denial of values and of categories that are immediately intuitively true whether it's whether it's race or gender or anything else and so you know we have this massive chasm we have this massive gulf between the rational scientific worldview and the false philosophical claims makes about the world and then the complete irrationality that people have when they adopted when it comes to I guess you call it wisdom you know basic things that people always understood about about about race and about right behavior and about morality and all of these things and that's read the the fundamental problem is no as we move into a more quote-unquote rational worldview or scientific rational worldview is that it's leading to all this kind of irrational ISM and things the more things make sense the the less sense they make to people on a personal level because they're losing the the important value basis and moral basis they had to makin sense of the world up to that point yeah I mean I've always been bothered by people like that Dennett and

???? All my other platforms and ways to support available here: https://linktr.ee/keithwso let's get into the movie how come you picked No Country for Old Men well Cormac McCarthy is my favorite author um and I think the No Country for Old Men touches on a lot of the teams you find and really stretch throughout his work and you know this is one of the this is one of the few movies were I have to say in in a lot of ways that kind of improved on the book they kind of trimmed the fire and they added some of their own sort of a narrative way to it so I think it's a I think it's a great movie it rewards rewatching I watched it yesterday was to the third time I watched it and I was picking up on lots of little details I didn't even notice the second time around so it's a very it's a very thoughtful movie and yeah someone's and Blood Brennan would make a great movie it really would but there seems to be this curse around that so many people have talked about making it but it never seems to happen but I'm not sure I mean it'll be it'll be very difficult to translate to screen especially to the level of violence and blood meridian but I'd like to talk about that I think I think that I love the team's visible and blubbery and I heard the focus of No Country for Old Men and I think I think if you understand what McCarthy was getting at and blood meridian No Country for Old Men makes a lot more sense because the movie on its own and there's a lot of ambiguities that I think are difficult to answer unless you kind of have a better understanding of where McCarthy is coming from generally so I mean there are not many well there are some like politically related themes in the movie I have to say I saw it first when it came in 20 2007 and I'm generally a fan of the Coen brothers they make some great movies although you know it's vital in spite of everything in spite of name and so on I mean even some of their films have been very sort of edgy from a political standpoint one of my favorite film reviews that that Greg Johnson wrote back in the day was about a Coen Brothers movie and that was about like a Jewish family a simple man or something like that I think a serious man is a serious man a serious man and that film has some very edgy theme some so this is very unusual for them to sort of to display some of the sensibilities that we can relate to in a way so so yeah I I really agree and mostly what I saw in no country for old men was basically sort of nihilism that there isn't like any there isn't it there's no whole lot of moral to the story it's not not like good guys or bad guys win it's just like especially with the ending and yeah we have to say that when we talk about films obviously there's gonna be spoilers so if you haven't seen the film go see the film and then watch our talk about it that's it's not easy to talk about a film without talking about things that happen and like in the end like when Javier Bardem character just gets hit by a car it's like just these haphazard things it's not moral action that sort of rule that sort of wins the day in the end that's it's it's like haphazard things what what kind of themes do do you see in the film yeah I think you've touched on the basis of it there I think it's I think the whole point of the movie and the book is he struggling with two things is that you know we're trying to find were try we try to find meaning in the world and you know as a storyteller he tries to find me and but he runs into these two problems again and again that are the central themes of this movie which is to you know one the problem of evil the existence of evil and then the earthing is determinism and if it's even possible that there is a space for free will and you know no country for old man is obviously from a Yeats poem called salient boys antium and the Tommy Lee Jones character the sheriff is is in a similar position to Yates at the end of his life were looking at a world that's that's kind of leaving them behind and doesn't have a place for people like him anymore and I did the very beginning of the movie there's a monologue from the sheriff where he's talking about a guy he put to debt and he talks about the nature of evil and who the criminals he's dealing with her changing and he says that he's not scared of them but he can't understand them anymore and so you see what with the sheriff he has to say he has this narrative studies that has made sense of his life his whole life where he kind of sees himself as being in one of these old westerns you know he uses all the tropes he has like to try which would his with his assistants and you know he talks about in the olden days no one carried a gun and you know he very much seized the world in these black and white terms and then he's faced with the two conflicts you know at one at once he's his agent and he's leaving this behind and then at the same time you know this guy Anton Chigurh comes in and sugar is basically the embodiment of of time of decay of of death you know you can meet cheek or you can meet death anywhere whether it's on the side of the road or in your bedroom and you know she girl some people said a sugar represents chaos but I don't know if that's I think he's just that the inevitability of time and of decay you know there's no there's no avoiding sugar and he has this he has a knowledge set of principles one of the characters says that he has he's very principled man and we can't we can't understand his principles very well but he seems to see himself as like the embodiment of fate and that's how he sort of removes the the moral conundrums from his from his decisions I think the most important line of the movie is when at the end when masters wife he's making her choose heads or tails for the coin toss to see if she lives or dies and she won't make a decision and she says it's for him to decide and I think his most important line is he says I got here - same way the coin did so he conceives of it in in this very materialist determinist sense that you know the coin was was created and shaped by circumstances outside his control and I think that's how sugar conceives themselves like I think Spinoza wrote one study for if a rock if a stone had a mind and you picked it up and dropped it that it would tell itself that it it made that decision of its own volition so she Gore doesn't have any of these any of these moral conundrums because he just sees himself as as this natural force and and so that's that's totally juxtaposed to the sheriff who sees the world and this in this black-and-white way and sees it as a sort of a battle between good and evil and then of course you have Llewellyn Moss who's kind of the he's at the middle point between these characters you know he's he's ostensibly making bad decisions he's doing things that would be considered evil you know he stood the whole point of movie is he he steals money from a failed drug deal but at the same time there's you know there's elements of the heroic in in Llewellyn he is like is still kind of a sympathetic character and I think another really important part of this you know you're talking about the nihilism is that you know the same way that the sheriff tries to make sense of the world by going back to nostalgia but going back to these old narratives you know we as the audience try and turn it into a good and evil struggle and I think the direction of it is constantly constantly sort of rebutted that tendency of us to create this greater narrative to it because there's loads of decisions that mistakes that are you know morally good decisions that should be that should reward his character and the storytelling sense that actually end up costing his life so one of them is when he goes back to bring water to the one of the drug dealers that he left behind at the same and that's what gets him attacked by the Mexican drug cartel and get some identified in first place and then the other is when he's when he's killed by drug cartel is that there's a woman that asks and to go back to her room and he refuses and if he'd gone back to her room of course you wouldn't have been in his room for him to kill him so you constantly see this you constantly see this being thrown in your face where people make good decisions and there is no you know there is no reward there is no there's no ultimate comeuppance for anyone and it's this constant way the movie has of of making you you know because the I think the audience is very important to this you know there's no there's no soundtrack everything is very silent and I think it's it's self-aware and that it knows the direction the audience is going to go and watching it and it keeps presenting you what you think all right now eager and masks are gonna have two big conflict and it doesn't happen or you think now a sheriff and she will have the big conflict and it doesn't happen and you know in the same way the characters are trying to find imaginary were trying to find meaning to what's going on I think it's self wearing that the movie does this thing where it makes you do doubt as well but again it never it never rewards you and I anything fulfilling which is kind of the message of it I mean are this sort of theme of this theme of should we call it nihilism that this sort of that this feeling of emptiness this sort of that there's no structure that you feel sort of lost in in a world because you can't find a sort of clear direction as as is displayed in this film is that is that a thing that is that is inherently attractive to Irish people it reminds me of of Beckett and riders like that where would like portray this sort of confusion about existence I mean it is it what what what do you I do I mean which character would you sort of do you identify with that you believe that there is a meaning I don't know about your sort of philosophical foundations or are you religious or we what what do you believe in in those sort of in that context well I think I'd be sympathetic to McCarthy I don't think McCarthy actually is a nihilist I am you I think you're actually spot on there about the Irish there's definitely a sense of I'd know what you call it a an appreciation and appreciation for tragedy or something and in the Irish and the way they write but that's definitely there but I think I think the way to understand McCarthy isn't as a nihilist I think he's a I think all his worker boat Gnosticism and some other people have picked up on this as well um I know it's not a popular idea today but you know the Gnosticism basically was a heretical sect of Christianity that kind of popped off and was viciously opposed by the Catholic Church and disappeared and it was only in the last the last century that we recovered a lot of the Gnostic texts and it's quite it's quite opposed to our modern sensibilities because the Gnostics conceived of the world as inherently evil so you know the problem of evil in philosophy is how did evil get into the world but the Gnostics saw nothing but evil as has been the character of the world and the you know that's the question for Gnosticism is how did it good get into the world because you know you actually see this and a lot of older mystical traditions I mean the first noble truth of Buddhism is that life is characterized by suffering nor some people have translated as like a thirst or desire and you know it's this this karmic merry-go-round of grasping for the eternal in the finite that leads to this you know endless cycle of destruction and and this is recognized and a lot of sort of ancient mystical traditions they're very kind of it might seem nihilistic but it's only in their sense of finitude and Gnosticism kind of takes this to an extreme where it says that the the God of the Old Testament the Jewish God you know the judge which is the antagonist and blubbery and is simply called the judge and could be taken to represent the God of the Old Testament that this girl is actually a Demiurge you know player who had this idea that the world that there was a Supreme Being but there was also a Demiurge that that created the world out matter in the forms and the Gnostics were radical and that they said that the Demiurge was evil or that you know their conception of the world was as not as some divine perfect creation but they compared it to a like a miscarriage and that you know the Demiurge was kind of ignorant of of the true nature of reality and he thought that he was to Supreme Being and so the nature of Gnostic mysticism was this idea that Christ was actually a kind of a rebellion against the Jews and the Jewish God and that he was he was a representative of the the alien goal of the true God that was beyond the world and this is I think why this is important for McCarthy's work is what you get in no country for old men and blood meridian is McCarthy's greatest story telling us when he's talking about the you know the absolute worst of human nature and he has you know the most sort of directly beautiful descriptions of violence and the horrors of existence and he'll often transplant this on the animal world as well like there's a particularly brutal scene in blood meridian where a horse has a snakebit head and he's describing you know the the severing of the skin and the visible pink white bone of its skull and then the other horses attacked that horse because they're so horrified by it and he's constantly portray in nature as this vicious brutal thing that's in a constant process of decay and he does something similar in our country for old men and she Gore is the perfect representation that we're I think he's a he's a gnostic and not really a complete nihilist is he constantly uses this idea of fire and it's interesting you know the the last passage of the road the role is extremely derrick I mean you know the horrors that these people see in this post-apocalyptic world where they're seen cannibalism and everything and the protagonist is incredibly sort of black pill about the nature of exists and some people but do anything that some go on as his his son and he is very poetic sort of beautiful descriptions of when the father is looking at a son and it seems to be his only source of hope but at the very close of that book when people come to help the boy he says that they're carrying the fire that's a very it's a very sort of vague line and people wonder what does the fire mean you know is it just human existence that it will carry on through all of this and and then there's you know in the opening lines of blood meridian is also a mention I mentioned a fire which is that there's you know there's this dress really well there's this guy in the desert he never names him but that he's he's beaten sparks off stone and my character says that he's beaten God out of the stone that's a very kind of cryptic passage but then you see in Gnosticism there's this idea that the redeeming feature of the world is that while it is characterized by evil and by ignorance and it's created by an evil Demiurge that the source of hope is that everyone carries this divine spark that's the connection with the real God you know the ultimate spiritual ground and if fire is always what's used to represent it that everyone has this divine spark and so McCarthy you know McCarthy does this where most of the characters are totally morally depraved but he normally has a character that has some sort of spark and what it is is an empathy or you know some kind of consciousness of their oneness with people on this deeper level and you'll often see his characters are kind of detached from the violence like the main character and blood Brody and it's always kind of detached from what's going on and and in no country for old men there's also mention of fire and actually in the book the last line of Llewellyn Moss he picks up a hitchhiker and she offers to take him back to her hotel room and he doesn't and not obviously got some killed but she asks him what he does and the caring he says he's a welder so again it's this idea of the you know that Llewellyn Moss uses fire to bring things together but the most important part of it you know the the last scene in this that's always talked about where sheriff has two dreams and one of the dreams is that his his father gives him money and he loses it so you know that's probably I think that's a very simple enough one is probably the guilt that you know he got he got moss killed that he couldn't protect and but the the other dream that people always talk about is where he's with his father in the snow and his father rides out ahead of him on a horse and in the distance he lights a fire and you know people often there's a lot of different interpretations about this you know is it just the hope for the future or is it the hope that in the afterlife you'll see his father and then of course the last line of the movie is he says and then I woke up so now it's a question of does he have this misplaced sense of hope and I know he wakes into the world and this last scene is him realizing that that there is no hope and that you know these stories he told himself were dreams but you know you could also look at it as his his subconscious is still you know what drove him throughout this movie is still he has this divine spark as well he recognizes this this fire that however distant or however much it's obscured by the horrors of the world and that there is this sort of divine spark that he recognizes as well so I think I think McCarthy's works are infused with this Gnostic idea and I think it's it's actually central because it's always and his works it's always closing passages it's always the most important part of stories where he'll insert this and the idea of fire is always is always very central to it so he never he never goes fully he never goes fully Annihilus he always leaves something of hope there whether it's the relationship between the man and his son and the road or you know the fact that the the kid and blood meridian doesn't become a completely unhinged that he he still has compassion for do you know there's an injured priests and blood meridian that he still helps out despite it slowed him down and risk and getting themselves killed or in no country for old man you know Llewellyn mass despite all of this he still remains faithful to his wife and you know he still brings water back to the dye and drug dealer but the point is people like that don't succeed in an off sick world because you know the world is made for the ruthless people like sugar and so it's those decisions that come from compassion that ultimately get mas killed so I mean if we take this to a sort of a more meta political context do you do you think that this this sort of mentality can be overcome I mean because obviously there's a lot of despair and a lot of nihilism in throughout the West now do you think it's possible for people to sort of regain a sort of a sense of purpose like you said in in the road that he has his kid to live for and so on but nowadays people are very much individualist it's like entertainment and bread and circus and the sex and the city life for women and for men it's something similar with like pickup culture and so on I mean I mean that's obviously like one of the biggest challenges we have mass immigration is one thing but I mean if we don't have like it their direction to our own lives I don't see us you know getting out of this obviously we don't have any roots anymore so it's like we don't have any organic identity an organic meaning I mean do you think there that there's sort of a way out of that well I mean this is something again that you could read into this movie is you see what it does to characters when you know because religion has always been the primary source of meaning first and you know it gave us our narratives about good and evil about freewill about redemption and you see in this you know in the absence of that kind of merit meta-narrative what are you left with and all of these characters are struggling to make sense how do you make sense of the evil and world how do you make sense of the existence of someone like Shearer and you know I think the main character in this is is the sheriff playboy by Tommy Lee Jones and his his whole thing throughout the movie is trying to find trying to find meaning and you know yes this line that he hoped God would come to him in his old age but you know it is one of those things you know the individual on his own I mean I don't think people for the most part were made to wrestle with these with these big philosophical issues and traditionally this was something that was handled collectively you know there was a collective mythos there was a collective set of beliefs that made sense of the world and you know Tommy Lee Jones was his character and this was probably brought up in the world like that you know the old South where everything made sense and he had a clear conception of good and evil and so someone like sugar entering the world you know sugar in the in the novel isn't portrayed as as Hispanic he's blue-eyed and there isn't a huge description of him but he's definitely not meant to be non-white so I think the Coen brothers obviously did that for a reason because you know the entrance of Hagar into this movie he is something completely foreign to every character in the movie and they completely you know no one can understand his motivations no one can understand his code um and you could maybe you could read that in a racial context you know the coin he introduces he says it's from 1958 which is around the time of the the Civil Rights Act and there's this idea that these these white small-town characters you know the sins of their father are coming back to haunt them and sugar you know that he doesn't conceive of him as innocent we I think he could also read it as though that he's something entirely new in that he's the endpoint of the you know the rationalism of of the Enlightenment he's the endpoint of doing away with religion do know a with with traditional moral narratives doing away with a strong healthy collective Shigure is like the absolute endpoint of that because he's someone that's completely embraced the kind of word view that's left after that this very deterministic atheistic worldview were to the point where he doesn't even hold himself responsible for his actions so do you believe that the people are I mean are we motivated by a sort of uh how to put this a philosophy that we sort of arrived at through thought or is a philosophy more like a consequence of like material circumstances sort of like if you're thinking of the modern West in a sort of Spangler II and downward turn which is like just we just have too much comfort I mean is there any way of like creating meaning out of thought again you know what I mean it's like can we philosophize ourselves out of out of a situation like that or is that is this I mean it's these aren't it's not directly from the film but it's sort of a question like that arises from the discussion about nihilism because like I mean it is nihilism just what it is or is it is there like a way out of it or is it just like an end result of too much comfort the the material circumstances have changed so much that we just have that that's just what we're left with basically I wouldn't be yeah I wouldn't be too optimistic that we can kind of think her way out of it because I mean I don't think any of these ideas won by being the better ideas like you know this idea you know this idea that the world is a completely self determined atheistic materials world that's not a scientific position you know science has nothing to say about that and actually you know quantum physics in the 20th century kind of disproves materialism it actually presents this idea of where less that's really in flux and that matter is only kind of something that we imagined or that we impose them on patterns of events so it's much more kind of a pop culture thing and it's much more I guess downstream from the you know the kind of the pop culture way of seeing the world you know science has become a kind of secular religion or scientism so I don't think it's you know like these topics have been discussed for as long as there's been civilization and I don't think it's a proud thing kits a case that a the ideas that dominate no dominate because they had the better ideas I don't think that's the case at all it's much more I think a product of material circumstance so you know just as we didn't we didn't philosophize our way into it I'm not sure if we can philosophize our way out of it yeah so I but I do think you know it's just I mean look at human history you know periods of atheism you know atheism isn't something that survives for a very long period of time so I'm quite sure eventually we will go back to some wide scale religiosity but what form that will take I don't know because you know we have this weird thing now you know just as the characters are trying to create narratives they're trying to pick like the sheriff picks this exists a narrative of the you know good versus evil evil the you know do old tropes about West's and cowboys and belief in the modern world is a lot like that as well you know people kind of pick and choose whether it's a choosing to be a Buddhist or choosing to find meaning in yogurt crystals or try our traditional Catholicism or something so belief has become very kind of commodified in its own sense and it's been totally removed from any kind of rootedness or any meaningful tradition so I'm not sure there's if there's a way to get around that barring some kind of complete shift or collapse of our current mode of civilization and that sort of Edward Dutton's the sort of talking point that you know he don't have kids so they won't survive and I mean he's obviously into science and so on and I don't think he's a Christian but anyway he's like well Christians obviously have more more kids and that was also a thing that I talked about with him when he was on we talked about life of Brian but we've run into other themes and that's like the point is that the sort of scientists that criticize religion they criticize religion without a into consideration the sort of sociobiological aspect of it where religion is a successful meme and I don't mean meme and the sort of funny internet picture sense I mean meme and the sort of sociobiological Richard Dawkins sense and that sort of doesn't make sense from the point of view of the sort of new atheist or militant atheists so on because it's it is from a scientific point of view it is a successful strategy but then again it's it's I find it hard to believe it's sort of like science has defeated religion in a way at least certain types of religion it's like if I mean sure religion can be different things religion can be like as it can be rituals it can be philosophical standpoints but if religion as in Christianity if we say that Christianity is a description of historically correct reality then many of those points are are proven to be wrong by science and that that's why we have these battles between sort of creationists and evolution and all kinds of things like that and the thing is that you know when people try to say that well yeah religion is is like I'm saying now that religion is a successful strategy and we need religion well it's very difficult to convince yourself to believe in something that you don't actually believe in and I think that's where we sort of run into the big the big problem with getting a sort of meaning of life through religion again maybe it's you that we don't actually believe it and that's sort of Nietzsche's point isn't it that that's what leads to nihilism because he didn't I mean his point with the assertion that God is dead isn't that sort of he sort of dislikes Christianity he just means that Christianity in the late 1800s was becoming just like a farce that you know people pretended in believing in God and when they build their whole worldview around something that they don't actually believe in that just leads straight to nihilism so I mean what what it I mean what do you have to say about that yeah no yeah I've run into this as well I mean there's there's obviously a large trend of Christians and traditional Catholics and dissident right and you know I don't think that's a bad thing necessarily but whenever I've you know whenever I've encountered one of them and they tell me to to accept their doctrine well if I ask them for reasons to believe it they almost always give me sort of pragmatic or political reasons and they say you know you should be a Christian because you know European civilization be better if everyone was a Christian because you know you'll be happier bla bla and certain reason here but it's always this kind of a pragmatic personal reason you know that you'll feel more fulfilled or you know you know the same reasons that women and their mid-forties by a yoga mat and start doing yoga having tantric sex or something it's like this kind of consumptive thing where you can consume a religion to to satisfy some need you have but you know as you say that's the problem because you can't how do you convince yourself all of the the doctrine of Christianity because you think it's going to be pragmatic or beneficial to your political alignment or something so the this is a problem we're faced with is that all of the all of the religious traditions were fundamentally rooted in a tradition and you know the beliefs of our forefathers made complete sense and in the paradigm they're in but we have a completely different paradigm no but the problem is a lot of the barriers to belief our things that people believe are scientific or have been proven but most of them haven't like in a you know example is there's dirties sort of meta narratives of post modernity and you know there's this idea that science has kind of proven that there's there's no values that there's just facts and then there's values and values are holy objective but of course you know that's a that's a massive philosophical claim that's been argued over for millennia and there's nothing that science can do to to disprove that so you know the idea of there being a natural law now that people like Plato and Aristotle and Aquinas accepted as has been very very obvious and very intuitive well that's ruled out now because you know natural law or you know Ammar alloys and something that can be materially dissected why he had called this the fallacy of simple location this very modern idea that if something doesn't have a location in space and time that it doesn't exist and you know this is something that was never proven this is something that couldn't be proven but it's widely it's widely accepted by people as being a basic scientific truth to the point that you have people like Daniel Dennett that even deny consciousness they denied the most immediate thing though that we have we have a consciousness that's that's not Material and you know out of that out of that out of that fallacy comes a denial of values and of categories that are immediately intuitively true whether it's whether it's race or gender or anything else and so you know we have this massive chasm we have this massive gulf between the rational scientific worldview and the false philosophical claims makes about the world and then the complete irrationality that people have when they adopted when it comes to I guess you call it wisdom you know basic things that people always understood about about about race and about right behavior and about morality and all of these things and that's read the the fundamental problem is no as we move into a more quote-unquote rational worldview or scientific rational worldview is that it's leading to all this kind of irrational ISM and things the more things make sense the the less sense they make to people on a personal level because they're losing the the important value basis and moral basis they had to makin sense of the world up to that point yeah I mean I've always been bothered by people like that Dennett and

Proper Review
Apr 16th 2020
Full review >>
Like Love1 Haha Wow Sad Angry