Monday, October 15, 2007

The Eyes of Tommy Lee Jones

From CultureVultureTime pal and trenchant observer Jimmy Celenza:

Go see Tommy lee Jones in the Haggis’s defective film, In the Valley of Elam,

It’s not so much the film but his eyes they are the eyes of those countless hard rock heart stoned workers of mills and mines and military rectitude

Who labor against the odds…

The films itself has a strong current but gets upset when it hits the rapids

Some witless implausibility about small town police and military bases

But that’s okay

When I saw it there were ten people in the theatre, and yes

It’s a hard tussle to swallow

But growing up I did know some

Who for whom the military was a way out

They would lie about a felony

Isn’t it is odd that, for many, there are things worse than war.

So jug eared, straining to embrace to the intimacy and electronics

Of a weaker congenitally privileged generation

T L J rests on a plastic chair waiting to assemble the remnants of a story

And the story is the same. Just the same.

When he cocks his head, listening to the diesel soaked

whispers of the insane and the

interminable pleas for help.

Of those stranded and wounded and lost in the undefeatable struggle to survive in a zone of human experience so extreme so ruthless so relentless,

Even in defeat his bones bending like a willow, his eyes remain beacons, perhaps not of hope but of accommodation. For we are a culture of privilege and excess,

IN the day they used to sing on patrol if I die in a combat zone, zip me up, and send me home.

But as anyone who has been in combat (and combat happens even on the streets of LA and Detroit, Bed Sty and Baltimore, Miami and Milwaukee; and sometimes even on the couch in yr living room) accommodation is the only way to remain sweetly sane and survive.

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