November 29, 2009

On the road to see "The Road"

My kid wanted to see "The Road," the movie adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's novel with Viggo Mortensen trying to lead his son through a post-apocalyptic wasteland to the remains of a depopulated San Diego. By happenstance, I picked out a mall near San Diego that was so huge it had two different movie theaters and was so crowded with post-Thanksgiving shoppers that we wandered around for 40 minutes trying to find the right theater. Perhaps that mall wasn't a post-apocalyptic wasteland, but it could have passed for a pre-apocalyptic waste land.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

29 comments:

Udolpho.com said...

the middlebrows love cormac

Anonymous said...

oh snap

Anonymous said...

the middlebrows love cormac

Yeah, him and Whit Stillman movies.

Bob said...

This is why we must protect capitalism and fight all land use regulation.

We wouldn't want our country to start looking like commie France, or such swipple enclaves as San Francisco, Santa Monica or Greenwich Village, which are nearly as ugly as France with horrible parking situations.

Anonymous said...

France is ugly?

Quite a lot of it is rather lovely I find...

sykes.1 said...

"The Road" is a truly depressing, even scary, book. I hope the film toned down the horrors. I also hope your kid wasn't upset by it.

However, the most frightening book I have ever read is William Forstchen's "One Second After." This is the ultimate horror story of all time.

Topiary Utopia said...

Was Cormac getting divorced at the time he wrote the novel? Maybe he lost custody of the kids? Because the plot seems to be a excuse to present a father-son bonding scenario, unsullied by the presence of weak and cowardly women who want to do girly things instead of surviving in the wilderness and shooting stuff.

David said...

Idiocracy is outdated.

Anonymous said...

Who is Cormac?

Also, what is the cause of the apocalypse which led to the Viggo Mortensen character's post-apocalyptic future?

Please don't tell me that it involved the myth of AGW.

Anonymous said...

Also, what is the cause of the apocalypse which led to the Viggo Mortensen character's post-apocalyptic future?

He leaves it unsaid, and somewhat ambiguous. In a reecnt WSJ interview, he admitted that the consensus of scientists at the Santa Fe Institute (where apparently he hangs out a lot) who have read it closely seems to be that it was a meteor strike. But he refuses to confirm or deny that...

Dutch Boy said...

Middlebrow, huh? The novel was awarded the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction in 2006.
It is fundamentally a love story - the ferocious love of a man for his son in a world where everything else is gone. The author dedicated it to his son (it's a father thing, the rest of you wouldn't understand).

Anonymous said...

"Yeah, him and Whit Stillman movies."

I think this is the first time I've seen Whit Stillamn mentioned on iSteve. I'm surprised he hasn't come up here before. His stuff is funny, very smart and has a conservative outlook. I would recommend his movies to anyone here.

Anonymous said...

"Quite a lot of it is rather lovely I find..."

It was sarcasm.

robert61 said...

I think Bob was kidding, anon. If not he's making an exceptionally unconvincing argument.

Anonymous said...

"France is ugly?..."

Sarcasm, my dear.

Anonymous said...

"As Matt Ridley once said, your genes didn't evolve to kill you."


Yep, yet the guys at Northwestern got big money from the NIH to run a large sample genetic study of gay brothers to see if they could replicate Hamer's claim of "linkage at xq28."

Now, if ever there is a "condition" that "kills" you, in that it prevents you from getting your genes into the next generation, surely it is homosexuality, yet the genetic studies persist.
Reporters do a crappy job of explaining what "genetic" means anyway. Of course, why should what reporters write surprise me?

kudzu bob said...

Udolpho, it pains me--I am, after all, a great admirer of your wit--to have to set you straight about this, but I must inform you that you have no hint of a clue as to what you're talking about. Cormac McCarthy is America's greatest living novelist. (Not coincidentally, he is also as un-PC as hell, which fact has so far escaped most critics.)

Mark Time said...

Cormac writes like Vogue. Cheap. All the Pretty Horses is an embarassment.

Read Wallace Stegner if you want the real West from one who lived it. McCarthy writes crap based on the way Manhattanites think the West should be - Ralph Lauren set design.

Anonymous said...

Udolpho just lost 20 cool points in my book.

Bob said...

Metropolitan = 80's brat pack movie set in upper east side.

Had a few moments, but would not watch again.

Anonymous said...

However, the most frightening book I have ever read is William Forstchen's "One Second After." This is the ultimate horror story of all time.
I agree. If you want to be depressed read One Second After.

-Vanilla Thunder

Anonymous said...

All the Pretty Horses is an embarassment.

In general, I don't read novels - so I can't comment there - but I can assure you that there's some breathtakingly gorgeous cinematography in the movie.

texas first! said...

Who is Cormac?

A prophet.

Also, what is the cause of the apocalypse which led to the Viggo Mortensen character's post-apocalyptic future?

Yankees, of course.

"They began to come upon from time to time small cairns of rock by the roadside. They were signs in gypsy language, lost patterns. The first he’d seen in some while, common in the north, leading out of the looted and exhausted cities, hopeless messages to loved ones lost and dead. By then all the stores of food had given out and murder was everywhere upon the land…the cities themselves held by cores of blackened looters who tunneled among the ruins and crawled from the rubble white of tooth and eye carrying charred and anonymous tins of food in nylon nets like shoppers in the commissaries of hell."

Anonymous said...

I started the book yesterday and am about halfway through. For some reason I thought the man and the boy were heading southeast toward Florida. At any rate, that scene in the cellar was freaking chilling! This book is why I'm afraid to have kids; plus my mediocre genes. I don't want my offspring treated like a veal calf by marauding bands of cannibalistic alpha males.

Sean S.

Anonymous said...

I loved Metropolitan. Several years ago City Journal had a nice article explaining why Whit Stillman is a fundamentally conservative writer/director. Nick Smith is one of the best conservative characters since Mr. Potter. That was a joke.

Sean S.

P.S. Blood Meridian is McCarthy's masterpiece. If that's middlebrow lit. then so is Faulkner.

kudzu bob said...

>For some reason I thought the man and the boy were heading southeast toward Florida.<

You are correct. San Diego has nothing to do with the novel. Even Sailer nods.

PS. Loved texasfirst!'s interpretation of what caused the apoclaypse!

Anonymous said...

I recall reading somewhere that Cormac doesn't much care for other writers, literary critics, etc., doesn't hang around them, doesn't really think about them.

He said that he's more interested in science and scientists, which is one of the reasons he hangs around the Sante Fe Institute.

This is enough for him to get my respect.

Truth said...

Udolpho;

You like Mad Men, but you hate Cormac McCarthy?

OK my friend, we've reached desperation here!

Have your wife call an ambulance immediately, in the mean time, unbutton your pants,let a cigarette dangle between your lips, run to the basement and get a whirling power tool in your hands post haste!

The testosterone loss is serious, but it may not yet be critical!

Christopher said...

Udolpho's middlebrow comment was devastating.

Here's my theory, FTBGL (facts to be googled later). Middlebrows love Cormac because his character do stuff, get stuff done, and Cormac describes it all in detail. Like how to rope a calf. Or take apart and store a burner from a stove. It's cool to middle-brows in America cause we're all max 2 generations away from men like that. And we're pissed off. Like no one in America says, "Why, we've been mid-level clerks for 6 generations!" Neither in shame or pride. Because it just never happens. Happened? Anyway, middlebrow mid-level management dudes stuck in their cubicles taking orders half the time from chicks love the Corm because his dudes don't take shit from nobody and could basically go out into the wilderness and survive and come back and cuckhold them. And then go back and do it all again on the opposite coast. Or die trying. With their boots on.