I’ll Glorify Murder, But Only if Poetic Justice is Involved

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When it comes to the movie ‘No Country for Old Men’, there are more people that hated it than not. My mom especially doesn’t like it. She can’t stand the fact that the villain in the film feels no remorse for any of the crimes he does, it’s done so well that you actually believed the criminal is literally cold blooded, right down to every look he gives.

The movie is very good; don’t listen to what most say about it. It’s so important for this new television era that it can’t be looked over. If you haven’t seen it, watch it soon. But this is not a movie review (because plenty have been done, and it’s an older movie), more this is a movie comparison faced against our new entertainment habits.

It is generally excepted that Americans love mystery and detective shows. Every new show that comes on TNT or any of the drama networks is about a crime–more specifically, murder. Which is what ‘No Country for Old Men’ is about, but plenty of people I’ve asked that enjoy Law and Order, CSI, and the like didn’t like the movie. So there has to be a mark difference between the two.

We all hate the idea of real murder, we don’t make shows about Charles Manson, Jeffery Duhamer, or any of our classic evil people, however we make shows about people who are not familiar to us murdering for some reason. Every now and then you get the murderers you can sympathize with (to help their family or someone they love) but the odd thing that separates reality for reality shows, is that every killer has a reason to do it. Much like old western movies where the bad guy has some master plan, but the good guy tracked him down and stopped him. The recipe for instant hero.

But in ‘No County for Old Men’ the bad guy doesn’t win. Actually the opposite, the good guy learns that crime is at the next level, the old ways of dealing with criminals doesn’t work. They’re smarter, stronger, and harder to catch. And worse, they don’t have reason anymore. In ‘No Country’, the killer operated at the whim of the flip of the coin, literally. He didn’t have some master plan, no family, no reason. He just didn’t even do it to fulfill his human depravity. He saw himself as an agent of chance, and killed whoever chance decided to. No dark past to blame it on, no dad who didn’t love him. He just carried out what chance wanted.

That’s what kills us, that when things don’t have meaning, even to the slightest degree, we can’t comprehend it. We’re fascinated with murder, but only with poetic justice involved. Surreptitious sinners at their best. It’s like we say “I’ll only glorify murder when the good guy wins.” Murder is a tragedy in whichever terms it’s in. Sure, the bad guy lost, but a person{s} lost their life to something usually as meaningless as money. Even when the good guy wins, he still loses. We just except the fact that he did good enough.

It does worry me, this fascination with murder and killing–most of the time in perverted ways. I do worry that we live out some vicarious fantasy through these killers and heroes out of some yearning to be bolder sinners.

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Jacob Rauch is a writer, musician, and homeschool student from State College, PA. His father, Eric Rauch, is Vice President of Product Development for Liberty Alliance. Jacob lives in Dallas, GA.
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  • Billy Mullins

    That’s what kills us, that when things don’t have meaning, even to the slightest degree, we can’t comprehend it.

    We dislike the idea of a random murderer who kills based solely based upon the results of a coin toss because deep down we know there is no practical way to avoid such a fate. It is much the same as when a Jewish person denies that there ever a Holocaust in Germany in the 1930s If, in fact, no holocaust occurred, then no modern Jew need worry about being caught up in one. If there in fact WAS a holocaust, then no Jew can ever feel 100% safe. Or consider the practice – brought in the book and film “The Right Stuff” – of test pilots expressing aloud the belief that a recently deceased colleague “Screwed the pooch” meaning made some sort of stupid, fatal error and his wife is now a widow, his children orphans. A really good pilot does not make such mistakes. The pilot thinking this KNOWS he is much too good a pilot to ever “screw the pooch” so he and his family are safe. And so the leftist mainstream media obsesses over “why” something occurs or who is to blame. If the answer to the second question is “nobody in particular” and the answer to the first is “because”, then we can do nothing to avoid it happening to us. If that is the case then we could die at any moment.