Friday, October 15, 2021

The Representation of Justice in High Plains Drifter


"The Aesthetic Representation of Justice in Eastwood’s High Plains Drifter"

By Erin E. Flynn, Ph.D.

Ohio Wesleyan University


3. The Representation of Justice in High Plains Drifter

[footnotes have been omitted]

The order of justice in High Plains Drifter is distinctively retributive. It is a matter of answering for a crime, of getting precisely what is deserved. Consider, for example, the reversals and exposures that unfold once the Stranger is placed in charge. The greed that led to the town’s corruption is turned on its head. Economic exchange is reversed, as the Stranger appropriates and redistributes goods according to his whim. These reversals occur while the Stranger ironically attempts to teach the town the courage it needs to defend itself. Hence, in the process of teaching Lago the importance of courage, the Stranger exposes the corruption that flowed from the town’s lack of moral courage when it acquiesced to Duncan’s murder. That lesson is fully learned when Mordecai (Billy Curtis), the town “runt” who had cowered beneath a porch during Duncan’s murder, kills Belding as Belding aims to shoot the Stranger in the back. It is the final killing in the movie, marking Mordecai’s moral elevation and ensuring Sarah’s liberation. 

At the heart of these reversals is punishment for Duncan’s murder, and the punishment is startlingly precise. The wicked are killed; the weak are terrified. Those who bullwhipped the marshal are whipped in turn. The mayor (Stefan Gierasch) and the sheriff, who abdicated their duty to the law, are stripped of even the trappings of their false authority, replaced in their offices by Mordecai. Callie Travers, who used her sexuality to curry favor with powerful men, is raped. It would be no overstatement to say that, in the universe of High Plains Drifter, desert is the only engine that drives the narrative. 

The Stranger avenges Duncan’s murder, but he also forces Lago to acknowledge its guilt, which is essential to the retribution. This is clearest at the movie’s climax, when the townsfolk fearfully realize that the assassins are being killed by bullwhip at the site of the marshal’s murder. It is telling that nearly everything the people of Lago say about themselves and their town is false. Indeed, the movie’s first piece of dialogue seems designed to tell the viewer just this. The lead thug, or at least the most talkative one, tells the Stranger that most people find life in Lago a little too fast for them. But we have just seen the Stranger ride through a town that is motionless. What follows is a series of lies in which Lago attempts to hide its true identity. Of course, all of the lies flow from the town’s attempt to cover up its crime, a crime motivated by the need to keep the marshal from revealing the truth about the mining company’s claim, and so also about the founding and the legitimacy of the town itself. 

Sarah and Mordecai are the only townspeople who speak sincerely to the Stranger. Reflecting upon the threat the Stranger poses to the town, Sarah says: “You are a man that makes people afraid, and that makes you dangerous.” The Stranger replies: “It’s what people know about themselves inside that makes them afraid.” He is out to expose what they know inside and force them to acknowledge the truth about Lago. But everywhere in the civil order he would turn to discover the truth, he finds only lies. Instead, the truth about the whipping of the marshal is revealed in his dreams. The dream sequences recall the disorienting effect of the haze at the beginning of the movie. At first the viewer cannot discern what is going on, who is being whipped or why. But gradually the disorientation fades and the truth about Lago is revealed to us, even as the citizens of Lago try to obscure it, thereby revealing all the more about themselves. The Stranger need not bother with ordinary methods of discovery, and the viewer has access to what he knows via his dreams, which are perhaps revelations to him, but seem more likely to be tormenting reminders of something he already knows. And given the precision with which he metes out punishment, he seems to know it perfectly. The use of dreams makes the Stranger a kind of seer of hidden truths, and we are privy to his vision. They tell us, among other things, that knowing the relevant truth here, namely the guilt of the town, will not require investigation or argument. In short, no trial or deliberation will be necessary for justice to be done to Lago. 

The Stranger materializes out of the heat and descends from the mountains, killing and raping with ease. He paints Lago red, renames it “Hell,” and burns it clean in a ritualized acknowledgement of and atonement for its crime. He punishes all transgressors. He liberates Sarah and elevates Mordecai, the only two citizens who seem to have acknowledged and felt genuine remorse for Lago’s crime. Above all he avenges the murder of the marshal. When he leaves the town, though it has been decimated, the remaining inhabitants can breathe and even smile at last, their bloodguilt having been lifted, their civil order cleansed. He leaves Lago in the direction from which he came, through the cemetery. He was not passing through; Lago was his destination, his goal. Having done what he came to do, the Stranger returns into the haze of the hills, into whatever it is that stands behind nature, on the other side of the cemetery. 

As the Stranger leaves town, he passes Mordecai carving Duncan’s name into a grave marker. Duncan has been acknowledged, and this is a sign that the civil order has returned to legitimacy, each individual having received his due and recognition. Mordecai looks up at the Stranger and remarks that he still doesn’t know his name. The Stranger contradicts him. “Yes, you do,” he says. The final scene invites speculation about the identity of the Stranger. One possibility is that the Stranger’s name is Duncan, the dead marshal’s brother. Or perhaps the Stranger is the ghost of Duncan himself, who like the ghost of Banquo has returned to avenge his own murder. But the Stranger’s enigmatic claim that Mordecai knows his name also suggests that the name of the Stranger has been announced sometime before, or is eternally known. Death is his name. He rides a pale horse. Hell follows him. The first man he shoots, he shoots in the forehead, the crimson hole gaping as if to indicate that he did not have the seal of God on him. And though he kills the Bridges gang for their murder of Duncan, he also uses them as instruments of Lago’s destruction. Those three, Bridges and the Carlin brothers, are the other riders of this apocalypse. Hence the Stranger is an agent of God’s punishment. It is important that he remain nameless, though we are told that we know his name. This fact keeps him as close as possible to God the unnamable, to a strange and remote God. It keeps him from being one among the named inhabitants of the civil order. 

His strangeness and his precision are further keys to understanding the relation between the civil and the moral orders depicted in the movie. I spoke above of the moral law of some Westerns as transcendent in the sense of having authority independent of civil institutions. But here that transcendence appears to involve an authority beyond even nature itself. It is supernatural in contrast to the worldliness of the civil, and outstrips even the power of nature. It enjoys absolute authority over the civil order. It is supreme. When the civil order strays, its transgressions trigger retribution from beyond. This civil order of Lago cannot keep its own justice. To be righted and provided with at least the possibility of legitimacy, Lago needs an emissary, an executioner of the law beyond. High Plains Drifter represents that law as not only absolutely authoritative, but also as perfectly, metaphysically precise. The Stranger’s retribution is without error and in perfect keeping with the nature of Lago’s various crimes. He turns Lago inside out, cleanses it, while he and his law are utterly independent of it. The purity of his authority requires such transcendence. Far more radically than the gunfighter riding into the sunset, the Stranger rides out of materiality, out of corporeality, and into another world, into the domain of a perfectly just, and, for all we know merciless God.


Saturday, October 9, 2021

The Puppet

Fake President of the United States

This is from the blog My Dreams and Visions:

I had a dream last night where I saw the Oval Office as a stage. I saw a marionette puppet there and could see the strings being used to animate or bring the puppet to life. Upon first glance I could only see the puppet and the strings. Then I was shown who was animating the puppet. What was strange is that in real life only one person, at least to my knowledge, is needed to operate a marionette. However, in the dream there were several people operating this puppet. The faces of those who were operating the puppet were covered in hoods of what I can only describe as those worn by the hangman. Then I saw a hand sever the strings of the puppet and it went limp. Next I saw the hoods of those operating the puppet have their hoods removed and their identities exposed. They appeared to be in a state of shock. I did not see the faces of those who were operating the puppet only that their hoods hiding their identities had been removed.

This is a dream to take to prayer as it has to do with events about to unfold.

Conspiring Against President Trump

A military source:  "Trump signed the Insurrection Act."  The masterpiece of Trump against the deep state

Jackal Prophecy - Robin Bullock

The Biden Family's Most Treasonous Text Message

Monday, October 4, 2021

God's Judgment on Melbourne


This is from the blog Grace and Truth:

Remember Lot's Wife

August 2, 2020

Two nights ago I waited on the Lord and asked Him to speak to me. He told me "don’t look back, like Lots wife".

I live in Melbourne, Victoria in Australia. While the rest of my country has quashed covid-19, here in Melbourne it is running amok amongst the community and the aged care facilities. We are suffering under the weight of heavy restrictions that are costing jobs, hope and lives. What they don’t advertise is the number of suicides as a consequence of our second lockdown in a few months. Today our state government will be announcing stage 4 restrictions. I don’t know what that will mean for our jobs, my kids education etc. But I know my God and I know He is faithful. I trust Him and I praise Him anyway.

Why Melbourne? Why are we facing such a heavy judgment? Of all states in Australia, Victoria is the most wicked. We are the only state where late term abortion has been legal for many years, where there is a safe injecting room, where Christian Religious Ed has been outlawed in public schools, where it is now legal to change your gender on your birth certificate with no surgery required. This is allowed even up to once per year! The only state where medical marijuana is legalized, euthanasia became legal one year ago….the list goes on. God has to judge, our wickedness is heaped up to the heavens and there is an outcry against our state.

As the Body of Christ He is trying to get our attention. He is separating us from every thing in this world that we cling to, rely on, trust in. As we see His judgment upon our own city unfold before our eyes, we must listen to Him and let go of everything of the world and cling only to Him.  He is our only hope now, our refuge, our strength in times of trouble. We must not "look back", long for, the things of the world that have for so long captured our hearts.

[Genesis 19:15-17]

"With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, 'Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.'

"When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them.  As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, 'Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!'"

Blessings,
Bel

The Lord reminds Veronika West of prophecies on Australia

It's Time For Justice

Australia Child Trafficking - Tunnels underneath Melbourne, Sydney & Ayers Rock (9:50 & 10:15)*

Melbourne is the world's most locked down city

Are the videos and images coming out of Australia true?

AUSTRALIA UNDER JUDGMENT - Martyn Iles

Wrath of God:  The Death Injection

Names of the Australian Elite Pedophile Ring

Riccardo Bosi - Australian Military Training - Forced Vaccinations and Shoot People who try to Escape

Tyranny in Australia

2 Sonic Microwave Victims from the Canberra, Australia Freedom Rally

Victorian Police wants Australians 'to forget what they've been up to'

_____

“The problem with Australians is not that so many of them are descended from convicts but that so many are descended from prison officers.”

--Australian journalist Clive James

_____


*This is part of the transcript from the video (above) on world wide child trafficking:

"Since April 2019 in secret military operations, thousands of tortured, mutilated babies, children and teens have been rescued or found deceased by the US Military. US Special Operations teams directed by President Trump and his Pentagon Pedophile Task Force have been clearing out the children, corpses, gold, cash and documents from a massive labyrinthine of DUMBS tunnels (Deep Underground Military Bases) that ran beneath the US, Canada and Mexico. 

"Evidently over centuries the tunnels had been built and used by members of the Illuminati, better known as the Cabal, or Deep State. Global, political and Hollywood elites into Satan worship were known to pay big bucks to drink the blood of a traumatized child (known as Adrenochrome) – reported to create a 'high,' along with a supposed reverse of aging. Although, if their 'supply' was cut off, the partaker suffered greatly and could even die. 

"The Pentagon was making sure that supply was never harvested as evidently it had been for centuries. Back in April 2019 the US Military, Interpol and different countries’ local military forces began a concentrated and coordinated effort to rescue children from a huge tunnel network that ran throughout the US from California to New York, to Canada, Mexico, Europe, Italy (the Vatican and Venice), the Hague, New Zealand, South America and the Middle East (Lebanon). Some of the tunnels lay beneath the Vatican, with many reported to be several stories deep – like the one beneath the Denver Airport. 

"By April 2020 a total of over 50,000 malnourished, caged and tortured children had been reported as rescued or found deceased in the tunnels beneath large US cities including one under New York Central Park. Another tunnel was said to run from the Clinton Foundation building to the New York Harbor. 

"The latest horror was uncovered around August 20, 2020 beneath Reno Nevada where thousands of mangled recently deceased corpses of children were discovered. The child captives were believed to have been kidnapped or bred for purposes of sexual abuse, human experimentation and human sacrifice in Satanic rites. 

"On Wed. Oct. 16 2019 an unbelievable 2,100 children being held in cages in underground tunnels at the California China Lake Military facility were rescued by Navy Seals and US Marines. The children and teens were said to have been sexually abused, tortured and killed to collect their blood. Marines carried out traumatized children, some of whom have never seen the light of day, pregnant preteens, deformed babies, piles of little corpses whose bodies were apparently used for organ harvesting, children locked in cages, electro-shocked and traumatized in order to harvest their blood – Adrenochrome for the elites to drink. 

"'In Nevada the child rescue operations moved in earnest… what was amazing is that everyone was thinking Las Vegas would be the horror show of horror shows… there was a horror show but it was Reno… underneath Reno they could not believe the tunnels underneath the ground... the DUMBs… the bulk of the children found in the tunnels under Reno were dead… not only dead folks, they were mangled… they’re trying to do DNA testing to get the pieces back in order… which piece belongs to which other torso… it’s horrific' commented Dr. Charles Ward, who has been in a couple of the tunnels."