Saturday, February 15, 2014



Still plugged in, even in the Barrens.

We've been talking. Millennials think 'The Matrix' is some representation of their life. Sad. Something perpetrated on them. Aw.

I'm sure it will be seen as shallow that I cite another movie. But novels and other so-called forms of literary writing have been a joke for half a century now. As soon as women get as much credit in any art form as men, that art form is done.

Which brings me to 'Wanted.' For people who are alive rather than the dead in waiting, it's a much superior metaphor. At least for the ones of us who have actually tried to make a difference, as opposed to making careers out of pretending to make a difference.

Saw it at the end of the siege of action films on a snow day. Here's what we agreed about after watching it. You start out aimed at something by the people around youq, and then if there's something substantive in you you get conscripted into something else. Like life is waiting for you. With a great big surprise up its sleeve.

You're not who everyone told you you were. In our case, Johnny's and mine, we were rather too close to the protagonist of  'Wanted.' Born assassins.

People don't like that. My parents didn't raise me to be an assassin. Neither did Sam Dealey's, er, Johnny Dodge's.

But we are. Assassins. Why? Because we experienced the same kind of apprenticeship you saw in 'Wanted.' We got all hell beat out of us, and our response wasn't to become bitter but to become better fighters.

What does that mean? Attract our attention for reasons of hostility, stupidity, ignorance, or utter nonsense, and we will come for you.

Are we paying down some debt of guilt? Yes. Of course. Not one that prejudices our judgment. Just one that focuses our sense of purpose.

Every conscious man feels guilt. Some in the abstract for things they can't personally be responsible for. Others for failing to be as good as we were raised to be.

Which are you? Why I learned how to fire the curved bullet most of you cannot even conceive of.


  1. I'm feeling guilt tonight because it took me a week to realize you were right. Or many months, considering your original pleas for me to evaluate my life.

    I had a friend to campus today to speak, someone who took a different path than me after college. He has some things in his life that I would like, but he sits behind a computer screen most of the day. I have some things in my life that he would like, but he sees my over-commitment to this place for what it is. No matter. He's ready to make a break, try something radical, get away from his current position and change his life completely. With a wife and two young kids, same as me. And as he spoke about it, not sure of anything but ready to try, I realized that I had heard this exact same thing weeks ago from RL. I stubbornly resisted, both in words and in my mind.

    I'm not sure what will happen with my friend, and no I'm no longer sure what should or must happen with me and mine. I *do* know that I am the kid in the office in Wanted before getting recruited.

    I'm not sure of much else, not sure where to start. I know I'm guilty of stubbornness and pride, and I'm sorry for that. I'm still hurt by your methods, but I know that's what it takes to get through to me sometimes. I'll take the hurt to make me better, not to wither up and settle.

  2. Before getting recruited? You've been recruited for a long time. It's just not as glamorous as looking up Jolie's skirt on the hood of an exoticar. Sorry about that.