The American Spirit

Salon's Cary Tennis puts his finger on something that I've been feeling for a while:

Imagined violence is America's medium of moral music. It's how we stage our dramas of injury and retribution, how we portray right and wrong, how we assign the blame and the blood. It's a suitably martial language for a country enjoying its high imperial moment, drunk on unearned muscle and sentimental woundedness like an adolescent boy.

This is why that scene in "High Fidelity" where John Cusak imagines the three progressively more violent ways of kicking the shit out of Tim Robbins is so flippin' funny - because it gets to an essential truth of American life, one that is kind of disturbing when you think about it. Seriously though, that last scene, where Todd Louiso just picks up the telephone and smashes it in Tim Robbins' face...genius.

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