Power struggles seem to be omnipresent in every field of human endeavor, extending all the way up and down society. We assume that power has a certain reality. Apart from comic books, where Superman has the power to fly, the only power real human beings have is the power they think they have. You see that sometimes in the collapse of a society. Why did the Soviet Union fall? Because one day the Kremlin gave orders and the soldiers said no, and the whole thing fell apart. It’s a fundamental truth that I think Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. , hit on, that power depends on the obedience of the less powerful. A leader is powerful only when he says jump and people jump. He has no actual power to make them jump. It’s their belief that he has power. It’s an illusion, a shadow on the wall. And sometimes people stop jumping, and then the world changes.
Poets are damned but they are not blind, they see with the eyes of the angels.
'I know who I am. And after all these years, there’s victory in that.' That self-knowledge, and lack of shame concerning it, is part of what makes Cohle so compelling. But it’s a statement that we could easily be applied to McConaughey himself.
As Chris Ryan termed it in a recent Grantland podcast, we’re living through a veritable McConnaissance: nearly twenty years after McConaughey first made his indelible mark in Dazed and Confused, he’s being trumpeted as a serious and important actor — maybe even one of the best of his generation.
For those who haven’t followed McConaughey’s career, this isn’t just a case of a decent actor proving his chops, or a teen heartthrob taking a Method role. McConaughey went through the late 20th/early 21st century version of the studio system and emerged a vanilla shell of his original charismatic self, and his actorly ‘rebirth’ is not just a reflection of a maturing star, but the broken state of the star system and, by extension, the film industry at large. Without a system that misjudged, exploited, and ultimately rejected him, there would be no McConnaissance.
The King In Yellow is in there because it’s a story about a story, one that drives people to madness. Everything in True Detective is composed of questionable narratives, inner and outer, from Cohle’s view that identity is just a story we tell ourselves, to the stories about manhood that Hart tells about himself, to the not always truthful story they tell the detectives investigating them. So it made sense – to me, at least — to allude to an external narrative that that is supposed to create insanity, or as I prefer, deranged enlightenment. When I did that, a kind of secondary language began to form in the scripts, where the notion of cosmic horror became a very real part of the environment, at least for those who know Chambers’ work.
—Nic Pizzolatto talking about The King in Yellow and True Detective.
Matthew just got it—the dialogue especially, as baroque as it is. He was like, “No, no, this is the way this man talks.” And the 2012 Cohle talks differently than the 1995 Cohle. Matthew has this incredibly complicated chart of where Rust Cohle is emotionally and physically at every beat of those 17 years.
A map of his mental and emotional state. That’s why you notice that Cohle’s delivery in 2012 and 1995 is different. And that’s significant. If we’d had a lesser actor than Matthew playing Cohle, I would have had to rewrite the role. Not every actor can handle dialogue of this verbal complexity, and even fewer actors can understand the ideas and intentions hiding behind those verbal complexities.
But if you have thoroughbreds, let ‘em run. You don’t try to make your dialogue more common. You gauge exactly how great their skill is and you try to use that skill. To me, it would have been misuse of actors like Matthew and Woody to do something safer—to not give these guys steak to chew all the time.
Nothing tastes as good as not giving a fuck
This is going to end badly.”
“You say that of everything.”
“Aye, m’lord. Usually I’m right.
Dolorous Edd & Jon Snow
George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons 1: Dreams and Dust
We travel for romance, we travel for architecture, and we travel to be lost.
I am haunted. I am haunted by something—that rather takes the light out of things, that fills me with longings…
—H. G. Wells, The Door in the Wall
I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that - I don’t mind people being happy - but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It’s a really odd thing that we’re now seeing people saying “write down 3 things that made you happy today before you go to sleep”, and “cheer up” and “happiness is our birthright” and so on. We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position - it’s rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say “Quick! Move on! Cheer up!” I’d like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word “happiness” and to replace it with the word “wholeness”. Ask yourself “is this contributing to my wholeness?” and if you’re having a bad day, it is.