Saturday, May 30, 2009

I finally get to be a Western Hero, the day before on Clint Eastwood's birthday, no less.

Part Two of this exploration of male-bonding as it relates to Peckinpah’s Wild Bunch, with Phil Snyder, Bill and John Morrison. Part one includes a brief discussion of Bill and John’s father, his brutality and his wound, then of Jason’s father and the family business, and Jason’s inevitable rebellion. In part two, Jason and Phil discuss why “the boys want to be with the boys”—but only so far, how being among men allows our emasculation wounds to show; fear of obligation, performance anxiety, and Phil’s catastrophic family trip. In part three, Bill talks of Robert Bly’s description of mentors, the ritual of the sword, and how Bill never received his father’s blessing. In part four, Phil and Jason discuss the archetypal longing of The Wild Bunch, Sam’s “dog brothers” (James Coburn, L.Q. Jones, Warren Oates, Lee Marvin, et al.), “misfit culture” and how individuals are united in their common refusal to join society; Blue Velvet and Phil’s father’s cronies; men on a mission: the real purpose of bonding being the fusion of wills towards a single intent; the bunch’s integration through death, Angel as the higher conscience of the bunch, the soldier’s code, men out of time. In part five, Jason discusses with Bill and John the slaying of the king, how he disinherited his father’s fortune and rejected the legacy, the blood money of corporate business, and “the bad king.” In part six, Phil and Jason return to The Wild Bunch, speaking of death as destiny, the unconscious nobility of the killer, how the primal urges that make the bunch warriors finally make them heroes, and of the bloody wound that runs through Peckinpah’s films.

1 comment:

Phil said...

When I was a kid, from about the ages of 2 to 5 years or so, I chronically cracked my head open in the same spot and still bear a faint scar (more on this another time). After my 3 years washing dishes at The Sampan, there was one spot on my hand that never healed from dishpan hands. It never healed because I would NOT let it heal! Every time it almost healed up I would open it back up again, picking at it, jabbing objects into it, biting it, tearing it back open. IT was important to me, this wound that never healed, a voluntary stigmata of my run in with... certain things that are very hard to describe. Point is, wounds INTEREST me, they are FASCINATING to me, because I need to UNDERSTAND them, or something about them, anyway. I've always suspected and sort of knew that all of this is part of the reason why. I kept that wound on my hand open for around 20 years, only let it heal up finally (?) and completely about 2 years ago.