(Ordinarily I don’t publish more than one post in a day. I believe I’ve done that only a couple of times. It just worked out that way today as we wind down our time here in northern Arkansas.)
Lots of people, I’ve noticed, quote movie lines. I guess I’m one of those people — if it happens to be from a film I like, if the scene is memorable and (usually) if it’s a line that can be applied to life generally, I’m all over it.
I mean, it can be colorfully colloquial:
“Yeah, and if a frog had wings he wouldn’t bump his ass a-hoppin’!”Raising Arizona (1987)
The line can be straight-up hilarious:
“Ladies are unwell. Gentlemen vomit.”My Favorite Year (1982)
Sometimes a character’s lines are so clever that I can’t help but admire the craftsmanship:
“I started to walk down the street when I heard a voice saying: ‘Good evening, Mr. Dowd.’ I turned, and there was this big white rabbit leaning against a lamp-post. Well, I thought nothing of that, because when you’ve lived in a town as long as I’ve lived in this one, you get used to the fact that everybody knows your name.”Harvey (1950)
Most of the time, though, what I remember is darker, sobering. Take this classic speech:
“I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom I can tell you I don’t have money, but what I do have are a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you, but if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you and I will kill you.”Taken (2008)
This one came up on the blog recently:
“Let it turn to something else.”Red Dawn (1984)
A movie we watched last week offered a few gems, and I quoted a couple of them here. Like this:
“It is not the violence that sets a man apart, alright? It’s the distance that he is prepared to go.”Lawless (2012)
When I first heard that line it took me back to one of my favorite movies, John Wayne’s final film. The character he played, infamous gunfighter John Bernard Books, said this to young Gillom Rogers after a shooting lesson:
“It isn’t always being fast or even accurate that counts. It’s being willing. I found out early that most men, regardless of cause or need, aren’t willing. They blink an eye or draw a breath before they pull the trigger. I won’t.”The Shootist (1976)
I want you to notice the similarity of the advice that Forrest Bondurant (Lawless) gave to his kid brother, Jack, to what J.B. Books imparted to the worshipful Gillom.
Undoubtedly my favorite line from The Shootist, however — and many of my friends can say the same — comes from this exchange:
J.B. Books: “I lived most of my life in the wild country, and you set a code of laws to live by.”
Gillom Rogers: “What laws?”
J.B. Books: “I won’t be wronged, I won’t be insulted, and I won’t be laid a hand on. I don’t do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.”
I have hundreds of other movie quotes rattling around my brain, much of it you-had-to-be-there stuff that relies on scenes, contexts and visuals. Jeremiah Johnson (1972) comes to mind.
You can tell a lot about a person, I think, by the words they carry with them and invoke. I’d have no problem being judged by the words of others that have made an impression on me.
A bitterly cold Friday night turned into a brilliant and warm(er) Saturday. Most of the snow melted quickly, except what stayed on north-facing slopes and rooftops. We worked our way toward the door slowly, not putting any unnecessary pressure on ourselves.
That’s a drill we’ve executed many times. It works for us.
Basically we had three stops to make today. First we enjoyed a farewell meal of Southern cookin’ at The Ranch House Restaurant — Deb had a bacon-and-cheese omelet with fried ‘taters and biscuit’n’gravy, while I ordered a Southwestern omelet with grits and buttered white toast.
The fellow who seated us complimented Deb on the not-so-subtle “Let’s Go Brandon” button pinned to her vest.
Next stop was the vape store on the other side of the parking lot. After gathering supplies we’ll need for the run to Ohio, we lingered awhile to talk firearms with a young customer who builds high-end 1911s for a local gun-crafting business.
Finally we stopped by Walmart #2 for a few provisions, just in case.
Back at the campground we paid for the three additional nights we’ll be here. We talked at length with our host about an interesting phenomenon we’ve seen since returning last fall — people who stop and stay long-term while they shop for land and build a house.
See, we’re not the only ones.
It’s not quite a land rush. The Ozarks remain something of a well-kept secret. Those who come know what they’re here for, even if they have a hard time expressing what motivated them to come here now. That’s common.
The most recent example is an older couple, late in their working lives, from the Pacific Northwest. The story, according to our campground host, is that the pair sold their worldly possessions, bought a truck with a slide-in camper and ran for their lives from increasingly intolerable State and cultural repression.
“They’re super-nice people,” our host said, “and definitely not crazy. But when they checked in it was like they were suffering from PTSD.
“They kept talking about how good it felt to get away from the Marxists.”
And why Arkansas? They don’t rightly know. All they can say is that something drew them here.
You’d be shocked if I told you how often we hear that.
I’m sure it sounds hinky to some, all mystical and shit. Some say it’s “a god thing,” and I’m not gonna argue with that.
Each of us walks through this world in his own way. We’re under no obligation to explain it.
We can all know everythingDavid Pomeranz
Without ever knowing why
It’s in everyone of us
By and by
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.