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.