Lion of the Blogosphere

Hell or High Water

This is the most watchable of the Oscar nominated movies, about two white-trash brothers robbing banks so the one brother can pay off the mortgage on his mother’s ranch to prevent it from being foreclosed by the bank, which he does for the benefit of his children.

Jeff Bridges, nominated for Best Supporting Actor, plays a Texas Ranger who’s obsessed with catching the bank robbers before he retires in one week. Jeff Bridges takes on a hick prole West Texas accent, which I guess is what makes it Real Acting. Jeff Bridges makes a lot of American Indian jokes at the expense of his half-Indian half-Mexican partner. I’m not sure how he gets away with being racist. (I suppose it’s because someone thinks that the racist jokes are in-character for an old-coot West Texas Ranger, but I also predict he will not win the Oscar because the Academy doesn’t want to award racism.)

Lots of scenes of West Texas, a barren place with ugly decaying buildings, trailer parks, gas stations, oil well pumpjacks. Lots of people who voted for Trump wearing cowboy hats and carrying guns. There’s nothing in West Texas that’s of any interest to SWPLs.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 25, 2017 at 8:38 pm

Posted in Movies

27 Responses

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  1. Marfa, Texas has a lot of artsy stuff going on

    Chromatic

    February 25, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    • I was thinking of Marfa, too.

      I heard this is a good movie but I’m sick of movies/TV that show ordinary Americans turning to a life of crime just because things get tough.

      This says more about the deviants who people Hollywood than it does about real people. The vast majority of people wouldn’t even think of committing a crime to get out of financial trouble.

      gothamette

      February 26, 2017 at 2:26 pm

      • There’s an elimination process coming from our elites — those with low impulse control and lower IQ are to be annihilated through their own fault.

        JS

        February 26, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    • The XX “On Hold” short in Marfa

      Chromatic

      February 26, 2017 at 3:25 pm

  2. There are a minority of SWPLs who grew up in hick towns before moving to the big city, and they like movies like this. (There are also SWPL heretics like Lion and myself who also like movies like this).

    This and Manchester-by-the-Sea are the only two I’ve seen. HoHW I found pretty enjoyable, but not Best Picture quality. MbtS is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen, but extremely, you could say shockingly, depressing. I did not cry during it, but I did come close.

    snorlaxwp

    February 25, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    • Now I really have to see MvtS.

      I’m going to go out on a limb here & predict Casey Affleck will get Best Actor and MbtS Best Picture due to the shy Trump Academy member voter phenomenon. (Although CW may be right that it will go to La La Land, because LLA made huge amounts of money abroad.)

      I have another, more convoluted reason to go with Affleck so bear with me. Casey Affleck is a born supporting actor. Not a leading man. But he’s white, so giving him a Best Actor gong is official cultural sanctification of the fallen state and lowered prestige of the white American man.

      gothamette

      February 26, 2017 at 2:30 pm

      • The guy says it is extremely depressing and that makes you want to see it?

        You must be white.

        not too late

        February 27, 2017 at 5:15 am

      • As a Klansman’s sheet!

        gothamette

        February 27, 2017 at 8:32 am

  3. Actually, Indian and Mexican jokes are still tolerated. Proles will say them out loud, SWPLs just keep quiet or quietly chuckle. This is true for Asian jokes as well.

    Tell a Black joke…….consider yourself fucked.

    markus

    February 25, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    • Oh and I forgot….Muslim jokes are big no-no, as well

      markus

      February 25, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    • Telling racial jokes among friends is a way of enforcing the group social taboo against allowing racial ingress.

      What jokes proles tell likely has a lot to do with which minorities directly threaten their cultural and geographic territory.

      SWPLs don’t need such a cultural guard, because they almost always get to retreat to an all white suburb or other all white sanctuary that isn’t under threat from minority ingress. If it does become threatened, as sometimes occurs, the SWPLS merely move. White flight, for them, is infinitely more acceptable than cultural resistance. Opting for White flight, rather than protest, borders on a positive social signal.

      Telling a Mexican or a Muslim joke around my area would seem mostly out of place, and thus not that funny, among local proles. It would be making a joke about an idea of a minority rather than one that the local proles have a lot of experience with.

      Tell a black joke, however, and its all sly grins and brief chuckles.

      Dropping a joke or two, like that, is a way of probing for group cultural slide and, as mentioned, guarding against it via a subtle declaration (of minority rejection as worthy of ridicule) and shaming technique (minorities are ridiculous and we make fun of them, so don’t date them or bring them around).

      The White Sheriff in the movie merely comes off as a belligerent dick, not letting up even as the tired and noble Indian attempts to doze off. Guys like that likely exist, who would continue to racially haze a mature partner, but Bridge’s character seemed to be exaggerated to me. Again, probably to highlight Hollywood’s idea of intractable and irrational Texas White racism.

      Bob

      February 26, 2017 at 4:02 pm

      • * of minority rejection, because they are broadly worthy of ridicule

        Bob

        February 26, 2017 at 4:05 pm

  4. The racism is the SWPL stuff.

    That movie has a subtle but steady undercurrent of white trash hate running through it, built on white racist stereotypes.

    It’s present throughout, and the movie concludes with it.

    In essence, anti-White stereotyping and the resultant narrative, the claimed enduring racist relationship of Whites to Indians, is the true central theme of the movie.

    Jeff Bridge’s tireless racism against the noble Indian sheriff, the eventual martyr of racism, is one of the two central anti-White relationships running through the film.

    That particular relationship, as a secondary but parallel running dialogue to the primary theme, is there so that SWPL’s know to hate whitey and elevate the Indian. In other words, to erase any suspicion that there are goodwhites in the movie: even when acting as the Law. A repentant White after the Indian sheriff’s death? Sure. But guilty in perpetuating the racist culture that led to his death, nonetheless.

    As an aside, in case there is any doubt, there is also anti-white colonization sermonizing that shores up the subtle but primary narrative of White-Indian racism.

    The second anti-White relationship, which took the reigns of the primary true narrative, was between the psycho brother (Tanner) and Indians in general. In the Casino, he tells the Comanche that he is his eternal enemy

    Bear: I am a Comanche. Do you know what it means? It means ‘Enemy to everyone’.

    Tanner Howard: Do you know what that makes me? A Comanche.

    Tanner then proceeds to pick out the only Indian in the posse of police at the bottom of the hill, and to execute him.

    You are meant to conclude that Tanner picked out the Indian Sheriff on purpose, because he was an Indian and because Tanner (and by extension Texas White culture) was intractably and irrationally racist; connecting the dots between Tanner’s prior, otherwise pointless, interaction with Bear the Comanche and the execution of the Indian sheriff.

    Tanner then concludes his life in declaring that he is “Lord of the Plains”, the exact title that he tried to pin on Bear the Comanche: the enemy of everyone (White people, now reversed to Indians in the case of Tanner). Bear, however, humbly rejected the title in implying that Whites had stripped him of it in a practical sense (“Lords of nothing now”). Tanner was not rejecting the title, but vainly claiming it after the execution of one of the descendants of the original Lords of the Plains.

    The Indian Sheriff is framed not as the victim of a pointless and randomly chosen pull of the trigger in a standoff, but as the victim of Texas White racism.

    The movie ends with Jeff Bridges telling the still living brother that his new wealth was at the cost of the Indian sheriff’s life, connecting the racist dots in a manner that the apparently before blissfully unaware brother had not. The badwhites, again, traded Indian life for money while barely realizing the true cost until a ‘white ally’ pointed it out.

    The white ally then went on to imply that he was going to murder the badwhite in vengeance for the murder of the Indian.

    This movie is perfect for an Oscar nomination. Its strong primary theme of anti-white politics being so subtle, and thus likely insidiously effective, being its true virtue as an Oscar nominee.

    Bob

    February 25, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    • Hollywood is full of smug leftists unsympathetic to working class whites; particularly those from flyover country. But you’re right that the themes were subtle. Subtle enough that they’re difficult to interpret. And that subtlety hides a complexity.

      I didn’t interpret the incident between Bear and Tanner as Tanner being racist so much as Tanner identifying with the comanche in being the “enemy of everyone”. Tanner also pistol whipped a guy at the bank, picked a fight with a guy at the gas station, was rough with the girl flirting with his brother at the casino, etc. The scene with Bear was also a device for making the point that Tanner is, figuratively speaking, a modern day “indian”.

      I think that view is confirmed with the discussion the indian sheriff had with Bridges in front of the motel room the morning after. The sheriff says whites took their land, culture, blah blah blah. Then he says whites were once ‘indians’ before someone came along and did it to them.

      Of course, the movie is portraying the brothers and working class whites as “indians” today not in the past. This was accentuated by showing the indian sheriff acting white, civilized, etc. Whereas Tanner is shown as the wild indian. Combined with the hard times the brothers were facing, the movie shows working class whites in flyover country being left behind just like the indians.

      I don’t think Bridges’ character was racist in spite of his jokes at the sheriff’s expense. It’s not uncommon for someone to make jokes to tweak someone they like. And I’ve noticed most of Bridges’ characters doing that. Nor do I think there was anything racial behind Tanner shooting the sheriff. Rather Tanner shot the sheriff to up the emotional ante for Bridges’ character. It wouldn’t have had the same affect if Tanner had shot a random person. It had to be someone he was close to and liked. Plus, it was an opportunity to demonstrate that Bridges really did like him.

      This was merely my interpretation of the movie. And it’s been several months since I’ve seen it. I could be wrong.

      destructure

      February 26, 2017 at 5:07 am

  5. One good thing about West Texas is that a lot of areas have 80mph or 85mph speed limit. There’s talk of allowing 100mph one day.

    Camlost

    February 25, 2017 at 10:37 pm

  6. Have you seen Brokeback Mountain? That was set in Montana or something, but it showed how there’s lots of stuff going on in places like West Texas behind the scenes underneath the rugged exterior.

    Tom

    February 25, 2017 at 10:57 pm

  7. I haven’t seen the film, but I am intrigued by some of the comments here regarding the Jeff Bridge’s character and his racism toward his half American Indian deputy. First, it is of course possible that he could have such a deputy, but it would be statistcially unlikely. Native Americans make up roughly one percent of the Texas population, about the same as in New York State or Wisconsin. The largest concentration — by far — of Native Americans in Texas is found in the Dallas-FW area, not West Texas. In other words, despite the fact that we may think of West Texas as “Western” it has no large native American population.

    Taylor Sheridan, the screenwriter for HoHW, gave up on his middling acting career in LA some years ago to move to a ranch in Wyoming, near the Wind River Indian Reservation. His most recent film is set on this reservation, and in creating the Bridges character he may have drawn from his impressions of that region. Having spent some time in Wyoming, I have to say that the Wind River Reservation is a starkly beautiful, but culturally pretty damn grim place.

    Ice Hole

    February 26, 2017 at 1:15 am

    • ” Wind River Reservation is a starkly beautiful, but culturally pretty damn grim place.”

      All of America was before European civilization took over.

      gothamette

      February 26, 2017 at 2:33 pm

      • Gothamette nails it again…

        I would only add a few details.
        Being captured by the “Native Americans” was no multicultural picnic.
        (Imagine being captured by a stone age ISIS.)
        Depending on which tribe you were captured by, you were likely to be on the evening’s playbill
        and then perhaps, on the evening’s bill of fare as well.

        Of course, an enemy once subdued, can safely be romanticized as we have done with the Indians
        and so many other primitive cultures. And as the left has done with the Muslims and Palestinians.

        The truth Johnny Depp wants to hide about the real-life Tontos: How Comanche Indians butchered babies, roasted enemies alive and would ride 1,000 miles to wipe out one family
        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2396760/How-Comanche-Indians-butchered-babies-roasted-enemies-alive.html

        Of all the North American Indian tribes, the seventeenth-century Iroquois are the most renowned for their cruelty towards other human beings. Scholars know that they ruthlessly tortured war prisoners and that they were cannibals; in the Algonquin tongue the word Mohawk actually means “flesh-eater.”
        https://www.ohio.edu/orgs/glass/vol/1/14.htm

        New Data Suggests Some Cannibalism By Ancient Indians

        This is how the “Native Americans” were described in the Declaration of Independence:
        “He [The King] has excited domestic Insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the Inhabitants of our Frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known Rule of Warfare, is an undistinguished Destruction, of all Ages, Sexes and Conditions.”

        The movies, The Black Robe and Last of the Mohicans portray some of this reality.

        Nedd Ludd

        February 27, 2017 at 8:26 am

      • I read TR Fehrenbach’s book about the Comanches. I recommend it highly. It tells how the Texas Rangers came to be. I still haven’t read his book about Texas. I’m sure it’s great.

        gothamette

        February 27, 2017 at 11:12 am

  8. Re the alleged racism, I agree more with Destructure’s comment and wonder if Bob is trolling.

    Meanwhile, Kevin D. Williamson had a decent review of this where he brought up something that I wondered about almost immediately: why didn’t they just fight fire with fire and go to another bank and get a better loan? Thinking on it more, why didn’t their lawyer suggest that? Or withdraw from or refuse to represent the one brother when he wouldn’t take that obvious suggestion? The lawyer says of the whole scheme –which, let’s face it took some doing –a backhoe or whatever that earth moving machinery was, space, time, guns, stolen cars, a co-conspirator at the used car lot, on camera appearances at the casino’s, etc. etc. etc. The lawyer says of the stealing from the bank to pay off the same bank, “If that ain’t Texas, I don’t know what is.”

    It’s like one big exercise in hormesis –the doing or taking of something harmful to induce or cause a greater overall health. Like, let’s do this crazy stupid risky exciting thing instead of the subtle easy way they (the system) want us to solve the problem (i.e.free market loan from competitor) because (a) we’ll either get away with it and be slightly better off or (b) we won’t but at least the bankers will end up exposed as the scum-bag greedy #$@^%’s that they are if it all comes up bad.

    Is it just all a trust issue? They don’t trust the banks? That would make sense. Why should they? The movie opens with writing on a wall: “3 tours in Iraq but no bailout for people like us.” The wall is right across the barren parking lot from… a bank. Writing on a wall. Where have we heard about that before?

    So no, I don’t think it’s a racist movie or even primarily riffing on racial themes. I think it’s more on systems on communities. Like banks are some sort of immoral or at best amoral borg type machine creating inhuman incentives, and that yeah, sure, maybe you could outsmart them or use them against them against themselves by taking out another loan, but, to borrow from another grizzled young veteran type starting a rebellion, these guys prefer to say: Bring ’em on, I’d prefer a straight fight to all this sneaking around.

    Blessent

    February 26, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    • Yes, I make it my business to troll somehwat obscure racially themed blogs with thought out personal perceptions of racial themes in Oscar nominated movies.

      Because posting a racial discussion on a race blog is obviously trolling.

      You have me pegged, scholar.

      Yup, hormesis. How did we miss that? It couldn’t be that a poor family with a reverse mortgage and a home in foreclosure, and thus no collateral, would have difficulty getting a loan. It couldn’t be that.

      And yeah, the randomly placed rants about colonizing whites were just an editing mistake. No racial theme to see here. It was all about the banks. How did we miss that running primary theme in-between the racial tension throughout the rest of the film?

      Bob

      February 26, 2017 at 9:14 pm

      • The oil wells = collateral. Or did you miss the part where the female ranger explains to the recently retired Bridges character why they don’t suspect the surviving brother?

        Blessent

        February 26, 2017 at 11:45 pm

      • “that I wondered about almost immediately: why didn’t they just fight fire with fire and go to another bank and get a better loan?”

        Because Hollywood. See my comment about Hollywood deviants projecting their fantasies on normies.

        There are many examples but the one that stands out in my memory was a previous Casey Affleck movie, Out of the Furnace. I saw it only because I am a fan of Christian Bale. Awful movie, phony, pretentious, tried to be kitchen sink real but turned into a stupid revenge flick. Christian Bale takes a whole movie to blow away bad guys, it would have taken Liam Neeson 5 minutes.

        Hollyweirdos don’t understand that there usually are solutions to most problems, but they are gritty and unglamorous. It’s more fun to make movies about bank robbers and drug dealers.

        gothamette

        February 27, 2017 at 11:08 am

  9. Big Bend National Park is in West Texas. A real Shangri-La. World-class bird watching and hiking. Hudson River School scenery. But then you leave the park and realize that no one, not even Mexicans, lives in the area. Marathon, Marfa, even Alpine, the towns look empty, like they were abandoned in 1980 and the only people there are caretakers or Pompeii guides.

    Bill

    February 27, 2017 at 9:47 am

  10. I loved the movie! Entertaining, well-paced and unexpected twists. I would highly recommend.

    Lois McMillan

    March 5, 2017 at 4:38 pm


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