March 10, 2014

Ten Extra Seconds Would Have Saved True Detective's Finale

guy.jpg

what could it mean?

You just watched a historical TV moment: never before has the audience for a show been smarter than its writer.   I submit as second evidence the season finale for The Bachelor that was on yesterday, for three hours, drawing ten million "people".  Just remember that the next time some dummy from The New Yorker complains that TV has a woman problem. 

The Whitman's Sampler that was True Detective's finale is beyond discussion, literally, because what we now know is that no discussion was necessary.  All the references, all the philosophical subtext, all the weirdness-- turns out it was topping after topping, "does this make you watch?  How about this?"     Remember when the one character who turns out to be irrelevant says, "YOU'RE IN CARCOSA NOW," do you know what that meant?   Nothing.    The writer once read a story that had the word Carcosa in it but since his cat was already named Chuckles he used it in a TV script.  "It's a reference to--"  I know what it's a reference to.  Why is it a reference?  Does it mean anything?  Did "acolyte" or "metapsychotic"? 

We see Errol shifting fluidly between several accents. Here is the show I thought I was watching: is this is a 1 Corinthians 14 "speaking in tongues"? Maybe coupled with the aluminum and ash reference it suggests Errol is Baal and Carcosa is Hell? 

Here is the show I was actually watching: though not mentioned ever in the show ever, he did that because the accident that caused his scars also made it hard for him to talk in his normal voice.

Meditate on that.

The writer googled Chekhov's Gun, laughed mightily and roared, "you're not the boss of me!"  I'm confused, so the killer's ears were green because he painted houses with his ears?  The point isn't that this explanation is stupid, the point is he didn't need to have green ears.

I don't care about "tying up loose ends" or sterile Judeo-Christian undercurrents, I have ABC for that.  I care only about internal consistency.  If you're going to make a show about, for example, zombies that is worth watching, at some point a character must say, "look, the only thing we know with 100% certainty is that every single one of us will eventually but unpredictably become a zombie, so we probably need to devote, oh, I don't know, 100% of our energy to dealing with that certainty."  Once you ask that question you are lead, for example, towards a sci-fi show about forced physical isolation where the only contact we have with each other is digital, but because of the lack of physical contact paranoia sets in, and suddenly every interaction becomes an implied Turing Test.  Would you watch that show?  Because without that question you have four seasons of Denial Lets Us Pretend The Old Rules Still Apply.

A show about applied philosophy in the form of a crime drama sounded intriguing. All of True Detective's existential despair, posed as, "how do you solve a series of murders when humans are a mistake anyway?"  -- well?  It's finally solved incoherently with an appeal to the Old Testament.  Oh, so God exists after all?  That would have been helpful to know up front, because I thought we were in Schopenhauer's "time is a flat circle" universe.  But whirlwinds are cool, too.

So through some kind of faith, Cohle loses both his nihilism and... his interest in pursuing child killers?  "We got ours."  Oh, we're done then.  Time for a sandwhich.

"I don't sleep, I just dream." Turns out that doesn't mean anything either, but if you're 16 feel free to lay it on the artsy girls.  You'll think they'll think you're mysterious.

 

II.

I'm sure everyone has their own idea of how it should have ended.  But as an exercise how could you take the finale that was aired and fix it using only an additional 10 seconds?  You can't change anything else.

Could you have kept it true to the show's  original promise, such that "pessimist" Cohle is both redeemed AND still true to who he is?  Could you have rendered a closing scene so diabolically duplicitous that, on the one hand, most of the characters are saved/happy, while the world's bleak necessity of a tragic hero (since that's all he was, after all) becomes unescapable?  That we all live semi-peacefully only because of the sacrifice of a few loners in a garden, coming out one by one to allow their own crucifixion?

"Compassion is ethics."  Yes it is. How do you take Nietzsche's nihilism and make it compassionate?  Yet not sappy?  If you accept that the theme of the show is that life has absolutely no meaning and therefore it is up to you to give it meaning, how do you take the mess that is episode 8 and say that?

Could it be done in ten extra seconds? 

At the end they optimistically talk about stars and daughters and life energies, and Marty smiles upon Cohle and Cohle smiles upon the universe, and Marty, having learned the true meaning of Christmas, skips off to go get the car.

Cohle sits alone in the wheelchair, watching him.   The emotion in his face disappears.  His face hardens.  He takes a long drag from the cigarette.

"But I lied for your salvation."

Cut to black.

Credits.






Comments

Haven't even read this yet,... (Below threshold)

March 11, 2014 12:52 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Haven't even read this yet, but I just wanted to say I was hoping you'd post more about True Detective. Yay and thank you (also Pasta Bagel if he/she/it contributed to this post).

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I know it's disappointing, ... (Below threshold)

March 11, 2014 1:09 PM | Posted by RPLong: | Reply

I know it's disappointing, but at the same time... if you watch it, it's for you.

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My question is what exactly... (Below threshold)

March 11, 2014 1:12 PM | Posted by mackytrajan: | Reply

My question is what exactly there is room for in season 2. Cohle got over his despair after getting knifed while having LSD flashbacks, so where could he possibly go from here? What hurdle is there to pass over now that he got over his despair and knows of the good in the world?

Unless he slips back deeper into his despair and goes from drinking Old Milwaukee to Colt 45. Yuck.

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No. Your ending is not bet... (Below threshold)

March 11, 2014 1:30 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

No. Your ending is not better.

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Your cheesy ending is worse... (Below threshold)

March 11, 2014 1:31 PM | Posted by FredR: | Reply

Your cheesy ending is worse.

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When we see Rust sitting up... (Below threshold)

March 11, 2014 1:43 PM | Posted by Jon: | Reply

When we see Rust sitting up in bed through the windows; if that's not a Christ figure, I don't know what is.

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Season 2 will contain a dif... (Below threshold)

March 11, 2014 1:50 PM | Posted, in reply to mackytrajan's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Season 2 will contain a different cast and, I think, different writer(s) as well.

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"So through some kind of fa... (Below threshold)

March 11, 2014 1:54 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"So through some kind of faith, Cohle loses both his nihilism and... his interest in pursuing child killers? "We got ours." Oh, we're done then. Time for a sandwich."

I see why this is frustrating, but I feel like you're looking at it from the wrong side- like you want it to stay dark.

Maybe the ending is Rust both rust losing his nihilism, and also coming to terms with the fact that things are outside his control. His whole life he has denied that things have meaning because this mindset gave him more control over his emotions and his life- 'it is all meaningless so who gives a shit that my daughter died?'. In the end he feels love and realizes he can relinquish his grip. He's spent years obsessing over this case and now it is done.

Pursuing the child killers is in someone else's hands. They aren't even cops anymore. Maybe they both start volunteering in child orphanages, who knows? That's why the show ends.

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May I?Yeah, that las... (Below threshold)

March 11, 2014 2:17 PM | Posted by Trevor: | Reply

May I?
Yeah, that last scene was kind of weird, but going into this episode, you had to know that the killer and the killed were never going to mean anything. (The following bit will rely purely on observations made by myself and people I know, without the benefit of being able to reference half what you can, and that might be the point.)
Cohle is why. The entire function of his mind is to answer that question, and, because he can't on a grand scale, he's a pessimist. He is great at interrogation because he can figure out exactly WHY a person might do something. What he can't figure out is WHY they would do that over nothing (i.e. suicide), except that he himself lacks the fortitude for it, so he gets that. Essentially, he doesn't know WHY life, but he does know, usually, WHY life does. And that why creates the single-minded purpose, "We have a debt." Save a little girl, save your daughter, save yourself.
We knew, as the audience, that there was no grand twist waiting. He could not turn out to be detective and killer. He could not discover it was really Marty who killed his daughter. Everything you ever thought was going to happen happened. His daughter died because he was a drunk. They stopped talking because of Marty's wife (which was a thread I would have liked to see matter). Marty cared because little girls are precious and older girls are whores and wives are boring. Criminals who hung out with other criminals committed crimes.
And Cohle knew this. He knew this was why everything would happen.
But WHY could not find the killer. WHY the killer did it was always understood. "I am an emissary of God, sanctioned by God. My family is a family of God that kills to bring people to God. Also, we're all on a ton of drugs or inbred to a point of insanity. God."
HOW. You find a killer not with why but with HOW. You convict them with WHY. You find them with HOW.
HOW was that he got close to his victims as a groundskeeper. And HOW is how Marty functioned. And Marty, taking care of the HOW, brought them to the killer, who, once confronted, had nowhere to go and nothing to do but run into a place that must have made some location scout absolutely come in her pantsuit when she came across it (I also would accept that the finding of that location is what inspired the writer in the first place). All the killer's appeals to a mystical God, all Cohle's metaphysical explorations, all come down to whether you can stab someone to death before they can shoot you.
Yes, it is the age-old, "Oh yeah, Mr. Smarty-pants? Well, we don't need thinking. We need ACTION," argument. And you can say that wasn't worth telling, but it was, if only to go so far with it. This is how deep you can get into WHY without doing anything.
Obviously, they both "performed actions" throughout the season. Anyone who raises the idea that I'm saying Cohle never did anything is a moron. (There, that's a solid argument.)
Cohle at the end is sad he's not dead because what was the point if not to kill him, but that was the point. To put it a way I'm fond of saying: Do we see patterns because they exist, or do we make up patterns because we can't function without them? Cohle made them up. In the end, it doesn't matter if you kill thousands of child murderers or if you've never lied. You die if you get stabbed enough and you don't die if doctors sew you up, which they will, because you're covered (by what, by the way? Pre-Obamacare and he ain't on Medicaid. Is the end of this that he has to claim indigent status?)
So only the confrontation was predictable. The conclusion was, however, not a given. Were I a Mentat (see I have read some things, they just aren't relevant), I would point out that we can always know what each side will do until the point of war. Once one side is willing to incur the cost of war, all bets are off.
Anyway, that was the arc, for Cohle, Marty, and the audience. There is no redemption, only more drinking and the people you do it with. And there is no true self (come on, you know that one). Your character is your actions and your actions are a reflection of your circumstances and Cohle lived so he didn't know what to make of it but was happy for the comfort of being able to talk about something else.
If I may be so bold, the writer made it abundantly clear that he did not care what he referenced. The references were never the point. They were the red herring that said, "Yeah? Well, what are you going to do with that?"
Sorry for making everyone scroll down so far to post their own comments.

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Some people expected Cohle ... (Below threshold)

March 11, 2014 2:23 PM | Posted by Just a reader: | Reply

Some people expected Cohle to die and it almost seemed like he would.

And he did, in a way.

Both him and Hart are changed men, they've come full circle.

Any chance you wanted Cohle to "pretend for his sake" because in a way reformed narcissist is some kind of hero? A narcissist pretends in order to heal. Not that Cohle was one, but it fits the notion of sacrifice/pretend so as not to poison other people's lives with your own outlook on life, which is somewhat what Cohle used to do with Hart.

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Your ending is also impossi... (Below threshold)

March 11, 2014 2:36 PM | Posted by Just a reader: | Reply

Your ending is also impossible in a TV show with seasons. If it were a movie, maybe. But not a TV show. If it ended on such a bleak note, it would set the tone for the whole series. One of the themes is good x evil, light x darkness, and if you live in a world where both things exist, you can't have a totally bleak view.

That's why Cohle sees love. He's always wanted to die, but now he's had a different death from the one he was expecting, he cannot want to die anymore. He would very much like to "ascend" like those cult wackos, but now, more than ever, he will never commit suicide. Because he's finally seen a minute thread that may lead to the "why".

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From the New Yorker article... (Below threshold)

March 11, 2014 2:49 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

From the New Yorker article:

To state the obvious: while the male detectives of “True Detective” are avenging women and children, and bro-bonding over “crazy pussy,” every live woman they meet is paper-thin. Wives and sluts and daughters—none with any interior life. Instead of an ensemble, “True Detective” has just two characters, the family-man adulterer Marty, who seems like a real and flawed person (and a reasonably interesting asshole, in Harrelson’s strong performance), and Rust, who is a macho fantasy straight out of Carlos Castaneda.

When will feminists and social justice warriors realize that artists are not obligated to pander to their political and ideological beliefs? Art is art. If I write a book or shoot a film, I'm trying to tell a story, and if that story does not align to your specific special snowflake view of the world, you can always vote with your purse and choose to support things that do. "This show is bad because there are no strong independent females, people of color, or transsexual characters" is not a valid criticism.

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The actual ending is unsati... (Below threshold)

March 11, 2014 3:37 PM | Posted by Annoy: | Reply

The actual ending is unsatisfactory because it doesn't feel complete. This re-imagined ending redeems and is consistent with the central idea of the story, as it was being told right up until the end. In the context of TLP.com it's about overcoming narcissism.

Cohle finding peace and discovering the Infinite just supports our own narcissism because he doesn't actually do anything to find this new faith. It comes as an epi-phenomenon of being stabbed. If his last words were "I lied for your salvation." The story would end with a real heroic message that follows the words and deeds of Cohle. He came back for Marty's salvation. Cohle's debt was to Marty/Marty's family - human beings. He couldn't help Marty because he was so immersed in his own despair and pride. The only redemption for a nihilist is true sacrifice, sacrificing one's identity for someone/something else. That's why Cohle dying would have just been as unsatisfying, it's essentially suicide (something desperate narcissists dream of) without redemption.

Cohle finding faith feels hollow not because faith is hollow. But because faith doesn't just spring into someone like Cohle. This denouement is like waking up and knowing kung-fu. It requires nothing of him or us. Finding peace from slaying a monster doesn't work, salvation doesn't come from putting down your own demons, it comes from doing for the people you love-without identity maintenance-no needing CNN crew on standby to document your world-class sacrifices.

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WowSuch cynical.</... (Below threshold)

March 11, 2014 3:45 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Wow

Such cynical.

So outrage.

Much psychiatrist.

Did your little TV show not end the way you liked? Was your steak under cooked?


Consumers...


http://www.MaydayMaydayMayday.org

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It's a perfectly valid crit... (Below threshold)

March 11, 2014 3:55 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

It's a perfectly valid criticism if the show includes females, people of color, or transexuals. It's not about pandering to someone's political views, it's about aesthetics. If there's a woman in the story, she ought to be as "real" as anyone else, not because of cultural values, but because of artistic integrity.

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If there's a woman... (Below threshold)

March 11, 2014 4:02 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

If there's a woman in the story, she ought to be as "real" as anyone else, not because of cultural values, but because of artistic integrity.

The women on the show are just as "real" as any of the other characters, whatever that even means. The problem the author of that article had with the women on the show was that they weren't written specifically to pander to what her idea of a "real woman" is.

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Last 10 Seconds: As Rust an... (Below threshold)

March 11, 2014 4:16 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Last 10 Seconds: As Rust and Marty exit stage right the camera pans back to the hospital and in an upper tower we see the room with THE FLOWER WALL.

MAGGIE stands next to MAGGIE'S FATHER who is looking out on the two detectives as they move across the parking lot.

MAGGIE: "They didn't get all of us."

MAGGIE'S FATHER: "It's not their kind of world."

Camera pans across the room to where a set of robes and an Owl head hang inside a lockable closet. The two turn their backs to the window.

We see the NIGHT SKY with a scattering of STARS. As the camera becomes still the STARS slowly VANISH.

FADE TO BLACK.

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Although I usually love you... (Below threshold)

March 11, 2014 4:20 PM | Posted by J-CAT: | Reply

Although I usually love your analysis of media products, I think I have to disagree on this one. As another commenter here already wrote, the scene where Cohle's reflection appears in the hospital window is a blatant Christ reference (you didn't think he grew his hair for nothing, did you?). The sin which he dies and gets resurrected for is of course not his own, but Hart's. If Hart hadn't executed that suspect back in 94 they might have caught the killer a long time ago. Remember, Cohle explicitly forgives Hart for that sin, claiming it was "justice". Cohle did not have to say that he lied for the audience to know that he did.

Another thing worth considering is that this is not necessarily a murder mystery, but rather a "buddy cop" series with an incredibly dark twist. That's why they had to have that scene in the end, and why it was both comic and dark (even Hart admitted there is a lot more darkness than there is light).

Also, the whole Carcosa thing is not that random. The killer is obviously a very disturbed individual, who seems to lead a second fantasy life in his home, a fantasy life derived from fiction, as is evident by the enormous amount of movies surrounding his TV and his British accent. He just liked the idea of the fictional ruined city of Carcosa and so he used it as a part of his fantasy.

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I especially liked this ana... (Below threshold)

March 11, 2014 4:27 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I especially liked this analysis in Crooked Timber:

Another interpretation, which seems to me to be equally plausible, is that the catharsis of the closing episode is false, and deliberately so. The darkness continues. Marty’s inattention to his family has had profound costs. The show strongly suggests that one of Marty’s daughters has been the victim of sexual abuse, in ways that mirror the detective story, just as the detective story mirrors the story of Marty’s family. Marty doesn’t seem aware of this at all. If Marty and Rust conclude that the light as winning, it is only because they fail to see the darkness that surrounds them, and cannot see it, so long as they continue to live in a world of purely brotherly camaraderie, a war of light against dark where one responds to male violence only with more violence and leaves women’s business to the women. Even when you are confronted with your true situation, you cannot necessarily free yourself from it. The detective’s curse means that you do not escape from Carcosa. You only think that you do because you are willfully blind to the Carcosa that surrounds you, the labyrinth made of the circle that is invisible and everlasting.
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I had assumed there would b... (Below threshold)

March 11, 2014 5:01 PM | Posted by ThomasR: | Reply

I had assumed there would be a big reveal showing that Marty's daughter had been abused and that the conspiracy was even more vast than they had suspected, but it turns out that wasn't the story they were telling.

That doesn't necessarily mean that either of those things isn't true, it just means that the show only explicitly revealed that tiny part of the story that Cohle and Marty were able to discover.

The author, Nic Pizzolato, read about Chekhov's gun. Then he read about Hemingway's iceberg, and he decided he preferred to only show the tip of the gun.

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the one thing I disagree ab... (Below threshold)

March 11, 2014 5:09 PM | Posted by Trei: | Reply

the one thing I disagree about is the audience of this show is not smarter than the writer. they are both less smart than they think/appear/pretend to be.

from the first ep I watched I kept telling everyone that Cohle may use a lot of fancy words, but he's not saying much with them. Just empty talk. Psycho-bullish. the exact kind that the most pop-psychology "experts" fall for - the meaningless type. I could not believe how so many people actually believed this show to be 'deep'.

it was quite obvious too that the writer had no idea what he was talking about. of course no actually intelligent and educated person uses those words in real life.

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I think the show made it qu... (Below threshold)

March 11, 2014 5:16 PM | Posted, in reply to Trei's comment, by ThomasR: | Reply

I think the show made it quite clear that Cohle's "pop-psychology" was, in fact, bullshit. Cohle wasn't portrayed as a savant, but as a broken man (Who didn't even believe what he was saying. Otherwise he would have been able to kill himself.). Much like the not "real" women on the show, the show was quite aware of this, and this "problem" was actually the point.

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I like this interpretation ... (Below threshold)

March 11, 2014 5:43 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I like this interpretation as well. While I haven't read the Crooked Timber review myself, the paragraph referenced by this commentator is where my mind immediately went. Cohle and Marty made very similar mistakes as they did in their confrontation of Reggie LeDoux. Working outside the system they find "their man" based on subjective clues and without properly informing anyone or working to build a substantial case against their suspect. They end up in a confrontation that results in the death of their suspect. The very first thing I thought when Cohle shot Errol was "wow, how did that work out for you guys last time idiot?" Just like in their confrontation with LeDoux, Marty and Cohle killed one possible perpetrator and allowed the rest to continue on without being identified. Just like last time, they are heroes. To me it sets up an endless cycle. Just like before things will get better for a while. Then the Yellow King comes up again (since the cult was left untouched I am sure it will remain active), and Cohle is back where he started.

However, I don't credit Nic Pizzolato with intentionally crafting this message. Especially not after the lousy explanation of Errol's accents which would have been impossible for the viewer to infer since he did not flesh out Errol's character in anyway.

What is really sad to me is how many people fail to see the true darkness in the finale of True Detective and it's why the story is realistic. All those people would make the same mistakes as Marty and Cohle, thus failing to present a credible threat to the darkness.

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Alone, xxx xxxxxxx xx xxx. ... (Below threshold)

March 11, 2014 6:16 PM | Posted by Marcos: | Reply

Alone, xxx xxxxxxx xx xxx.

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That's categorically false.... (Below threshold)

March 11, 2014 6:43 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

That's categorically false. The reviewer complained that there the female character who were present were drawn to thin, not fleshed out. That's what "less real" even means.

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Yikes. "The reviewer compla... (Below threshold)

March 11, 2014 6:50 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Yikes. "The reviewer complained that the female characters who were present were drawn too thin, not fleshed out. That's what "less real" even means.

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No it is not.All t... (Below threshold)

March 11, 2014 7:06 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Gawd: | Reply

No it is not.

All the characters in this show were shallow. *All* but the two leads.

If that critizism was anything but stupid logically that would mean that is no longer allowed to make shows about two white guys.
Logically the only "fair" way to make tv shows then would be to have one old male black gay character and one female young white straight chrachter because every other combination would leave some group out that then runs of to the internet to whine about how their group was treated unfair.

Jesus. Regression to the mean everywhere.

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My god, do I ever wish I ha... (Below threshold)

March 11, 2014 8:30 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

My god, do I ever wish I had stopped watching at episode 5.

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the problem is you?... (Below threshold)

March 11, 2014 9:41 PM | Posted, in reply to Marcos's comment, by sublate: | Reply

the problem is you?

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I'm glad to find a lot of u... (Below threshold)

March 12, 2014 12:21 AM | Posted by saramy: | Reply

I'm glad to find a lot of useful information here in the post, we need develop more strategies in this regard, thanks for sharing.
friv 2

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No different writers. There... (Below threshold)

March 12, 2014 3:15 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Kat: | Reply

No different writers. There is just one writer Nic Pizzolatto, the showrunner. He wrote the first season on his own and so far, he asserts he's writing the second one on his own as well.

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There are vapid, stupid, sm... (Below threshold)

March 12, 2014 3:20 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Kat: | Reply

There are vapid, stupid, smart, insightful, funny, serious, etc adjective women in the world. I'd like to see more of the interesting women onscreen, but I understand that when a writer's females are uninteresting or boring that's possibly not his critique of women in general.

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He's a depressed atheist. T... (Below threshold)

March 12, 2014 3:27 AM | Posted, in reply to Trei's comment, by K: | Reply

He's a depressed atheist. That's not pop-psychology. The psychosphere and metapsychotic comments were most likely included to make him sounds smarter, so I give you those, but most of his rants came from a logical depressed atheist viewpoint.
I'm not saying "depressed" is the only state of an atheist, but it can be if the atheist misses god.

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It's TV.As Pastaba... (Below threshold)

March 12, 2014 6:47 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

It's TV.

As Pastabagel said in partialobjects.com/2011/11/the-gnawing-problem-in-the-walking-dead/, series have to be safely consensual. If you're expecting anything else, you're being conned.

The only nihilistic/atheistic (same thing, am I right?) archetype you will ever see pop culture offer, asides from the villain, is that of the broken man who's eventually redeemed by a newfound faith.

Plus, it makes for cheap "character development". Win-win!

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Oh, and of course:... (Below threshold)

March 12, 2014 6:54 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Oh, and of course:

Since actual religiosity is becoming increasingly niche, you'll have it diluted into "hope", "compassion", or something sufficiently vague that no one is offended.

That way you can have something suspiciously similar to the viewership's murky idea of meaning without giving him the impression that he's being preached to.

Just enough religiosity to not have to commit to anything!

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This isn't a moral tale abo... (Below threshold)

March 12, 2014 10:39 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

This isn't a moral tale about what you do, it's about what you watch. Carcosa is bland, all the first act of the supposed King in Yellow is bland. We're never shown the full play, but we know just seeing the fring of the second act drives people mad; think about everyone's reaction to the video tape, and think about whether the spiralling void might not have been Rust's bp spiking but that he had seen it too. The first tale of the book which tells of the play The King in Yellow isn't about creating meaning out of the void, it's about egotism. The series was apparently pitched as a different cast every season, and with the opening credits giving so much to the casting section, that might well prove to be the case. Rust isn't our hero: he's our first victim. The play's form is indeterminate past the banal first act, and we'll never see it directly, only ever the results. The questions are: how hard did you try to see the opening phrases of the second act? and, how much more severe the blow of having seen it would be considering how unremarkable the first one was?

Why green ears? Too late for sanity.

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The writer, Nic Pizzolato, ... (Below threshold)

March 12, 2014 1:40 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

The writer, Nic Pizzolato, stated in an interview that:

I’ve enjoyed reading people theorize about what’s going to happen because it’s a sign that you’re connecting. But I’m also sort of surprised by how far afield they’re getting. Like, why do you think we’re tricking you? It’s because you’ve been abused as an audience for more than 20 years. The show’s not trying to outsmart you. And really if you pay attention… if someone watches the first episode and really listens, it tells you 85 percent of the story of the first six episodes.

Sounds to me like Alone had several articles written on ole True Detective and now he has to shit can them because he felt the ending was a "Whitman Sampler".

As for the idea that Cohle was, and only was, a tragic hero (Knight of infinite resignation) and NOT the Knight of Faith, I disagree. Abraham gave up Isaac and as Kierkegaard noted well, getting him back was *harder*. Having made the absurd movement to sacrifice him he now had to contend with getting him back without hating himself, God and whatever else he thought he might have some attachment to.

Cohle loses his daughter but in the end gets her back. He now must live on (much harder) with that understanding. Seems he was a tragic hero (resigned to die) that becomes something else.

I guess we all see what we want to see. What we choose to see.

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That would be a nice theory... (Below threshold)

March 12, 2014 1:41 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

That would be a nice theory if the first act of the show--the part which drew the audience in--wasn't eons more interesting than any of the whispers in the second act could ever be.

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The first act I was referri... (Below threshold)

March 12, 2014 1:49 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

The first act I was referring to is the play within the narrative : the video which makes people scream once it arrives at the part we don't see. The first story in which the play within a play appears in The King in Yellow is different to its successor, but whispers of the play which makes one insane stay. Dread of becoming the audience in the Kierkegaardian sense is exactly what you should be feeling. Because you already are.

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Okay, so I guess in the end... (Below threshold)

March 12, 2014 2:01 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Okay, so I guess in the end everything Rust did was about his dead daughter. Oh. If that's not a gross oversimplification of a one's own character, I don't know what is. To get to that level of ideologue, it's not just about the first push anymore. Alone is right--all those existential wankings were just "toppings".

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I agree with you, but your ... (Below threshold)

March 12, 2014 6:02 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I agree with you, but your proposed ending is terribly cheesy.

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For the first time ever I d... (Below threshold)

March 12, 2014 7:09 PM | Posted by Dr Freudstein: | Reply

For the first time ever I disagree with Alone. I would have stood up and made diarrhea in my pants at your ending. I think he's redeemed and stays true to himself if you combine the hospital bed scene with the ending

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I don't know. Cohle's "if y... (Below threshold)

March 12, 2014 7:48 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I don't know. Cohle's "if you ask me, light's winnin'" comes absolutely out of nowhere (and yes I am acknowledging the hospital scene) and makes zero sense, so the ten extra seconds must function to undo that maddening line while still acknowledging that the line was uttered. Alone's attempt recontextualizes the line once Marty's out of frame, thus saving the consistency of Cohle's character.

My attempt:

Cohle: "If you ask me, light's winnin'...but it ain't helpin' us any to see."

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The idea is that Marty tell... (Below threshold)

March 12, 2014 8:40 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by sublate: | Reply

The idea is that Marty tells Cohle what he needs to hear - if he gives away the ruse, it would have to be in private.

For reference:
http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2011/05/the_c_team.html

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The sentiment that "the lig... (Below threshold)

March 12, 2014 9:46 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

The sentiment that "the light is winning" isn't even factually true. The stars will all burn out someday and the universe will be pitched into darkness.

The finale was bullshit Hollywood nonsense because Americans have proven themselves incapable of handling an unhappy ending.

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Whoa. Great insight.<... (Below threshold)

March 13, 2014 12:39 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Just a reader: | Reply

Whoa. Great insight.

(A plea to everybody: can you please use a name instead of "anonymous"? Anything, it doesn't need to be your own name, of course. It makes it easier to see who is replying to whom. Thanks.)

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You know you can click on t... (Below threshold)

March 13, 2014 12:55 AM | Posted, in reply to Just a reader's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

You know you can click on the name of the user being replied to and it will take you to that post?

Posting anonymously removes unnecessary drama and attention whoring that comes with names.

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I’ve enjoyed reading peo... (Below threshold)

March 13, 2014 2:44 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by MackyTrajan: | Reply

I’ve enjoyed reading people theorize about what’s going to happen because it’s a sign that you’re connecting. But I’m also sort of surprised by how far afield they’re getting. Like, why do you think we’re tricking you? It’s because you’ve been abused as an audience for more than 20 years. The show’s not trying to outsmart you. And really if you pay attention… if someone watches the first episode and really listens, it tells you 85 percent of the story of the first six episodes.

This applies to the people who had nutcase theories about Marty being the killer or Rust being the Yellow King, but you're completely missing the point. The criticism is that Pizzolato dropped all of these nihilist references to Nietzsche and they all fizzled out to be nothing. It was like he set up the first 5 episodes to be a 15 episode long season but then decided to just wrap it up in 2 episodes.

The resolution was that there was that there was none.

Also, I think Kierkegaard's absurdity was a bit crazier than that. His viewpoint was that Abraham could only get Isaac back by giving him away.

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I know, but it's still a dr... (Below threshold)

March 13, 2014 3:39 AM | Posted by Just a reader: | Reply

I know, but it's still a drag.

It makes no difference. Make no mistake, there's lots of attention whoring even if your name is "Anonymous".

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When men cry, cultures die.... (Below threshold)

March 13, 2014 5:11 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

When men cry, cultures die. Do. Not. Fuck. With. US.

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>"I don't sleep, I just dre... (Below threshold)

March 13, 2014 5:14 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

>"I don't sleep, I just dream." Turns out that doesn't mean anything either, but if you're 16 feel free to lay it on the artsy girls. You'll think they'll think you're mysterious.

Okay, but what will actually make them think someone is mysterious?

Alone should give out tips on getting laid.

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While I agree, MackyTrajan,... (Below threshold)

March 13, 2014 8:19 AM | Posted, in reply to MackyTrajan's comment, by anon.the.anon: | Reply

While I agree, MackyTrajan, that Nic's comments were probably more aimed at Reddit subs than the mighty TLP, that doesn't mean Alone escapes scot-free. If you are saying that Pizzolatto is no Kierkegaard, well few writers are including everyones favorite hipster Nietzsche.

The resolution was that there was that there was none.

I don't think it was just Nietzsche that Pizzolatto was playing with. Its a choice about stories and story telling. Alone clearly made his choice and it may be the case that the show was sprinkled with these references just like "sterile Judeo-Christian" shows on ABC are sprinkled with scripture/philosophy that lead to nothing. Perhaps.

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Just because others are doi... (Below threshold)

March 13, 2014 6:37 PM | Posted, in reply to anon.the.anon's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Just because others are doing it, doesn't mean you should

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1) Cohle wasn't deep he was... (Below threshold)

March 14, 2014 12:42 AM | Posted by notnitchy: | Reply

1) Cohle wasn't deep he was damaged.

2) Errol wasn't the cult he was the janitor of the cult clubhouse.

Small stories inside a bigger one. I liked the ending.

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The reports of visions of C... (Below threshold)

March 14, 2014 1:02 AM | Posted by Adam B: | Reply

The reports of visions of Christ dead relatives and such by people having near death experiences seem like their minds easing their bodies toward death. Cohle's was the opposite. His visions eased him back to the life he wanted to abandon.

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"if you're 16 feel free to ... (Below threshold)

March 14, 2014 1:47 AM | Posted by gk: | Reply

"if you're 16 feel free to lay it on the artsy girls."

More like if you're 24 feel free to lay it on the artsy girls.

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I think the show doesn't le... (Below threshold)

March 14, 2014 3:05 AM | Posted by Classicist: | Reply

I think the show doesn't lend itself easily to interpretation. Rust exhibits characteristics of both an idealist and a moralist. Marty is both man and animal. It's slightly disappointing that the finale suggests the main action was Rust's journey to spiritual redemption, but wasn't his apparent nihilism a sort of Chekov's gun? That you can't open a play claiming to believe in nothing without believing in something in the end?

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"never before has the audie... (Below threshold)

March 14, 2014 3:22 AM | Posted by DensityDuck: | Reply

"never before has the audience for a show been smarter than its writer."

Dude, what? The audience for "LOST" was so much smarter than the writers that the writers took it as a personal challenge, and went for five seasons before admitting it was true.

Episode 1 starts.
Writers: "check this shit out bitches this will BLOW YOUR MINDS--"
Audience: "they died, they're in Purgatory."
Writers: "--uhwhat? No, uh, NO! No, totally wrong! They're, uh, on this mysterious island now?"
Audience: "come on, Jacob's Ladder, Owl Creek Bridge, we've seen this like a hundred times, they died and this is the afterlife."
Writers: "No way!" (five years pass) "all right, fuck it, you were right, they died, HAPPY MOTHERFUCKERS?"

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The "perhaps" is not to adm... (Below threshold)

March 14, 2014 9:39 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by anon.the.anon: | Reply

The "perhaps" is not to admit to being swayed (not at all). Rather 'perhaps' opens up the space to say, there is no true detective - no one specific story - there is just the story that you (like ALL the characters in TD) are telling yourself.

Much like the Matrix movie, everyone sees their specific approach to life portrayed despite the contradictions. Was 'Momento' meaningless because the end left everything that had gone before in doubt?

Is Colbert serious or sarcastic and when exactly? Was Kierkegaard being ironic or religious? Is the Martyr a saint or a nut job?

The answer, I suggest (perhaps), is that only one who enters the story can say. Objective observation avails nothing.

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More detective work on ano... (Below threshold)

March 14, 2014 12:28 PM | Posted by Harry Horton: | Reply

More detective work on another subject, risperdal. The following news story off the internet: "Risperdal Manufacturer hit with massive 2.2 Billion penalty" Lawyers & Settlements.com March 13, 2014 Gordon Gibb. The article is a thorough going through of the Risperdal saga, and the fraudulent hidings of information on the dangers of Risperdal and misinformation in advertising. Eric Holder's participation in the matter is also included. The 2.2 billion dollar penalty that J&J must pay, is the highest false claims penalty in U.S. litigative history.

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People seem to think that s... (Below threshold)

March 15, 2014 12:08 AM | Posted by A Tor Operator: | Reply

People seem to think that some kind of power exists in narrative for the same reason they believe some kind of power exists in destroying or analyzing it into oblivion. While an objective truth exists somewhere within the relativistic observations of the arc, any of those involved will have a skewered perspective as to those outside of it. As your post on the shrodinger cat may be related here, the only thing that may be measured is not authorial intent, but that of the observers when tested on their own theories. Having not even seem the show you're all discussing, I extend only my observation that it might be worth a watch.

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If you accept that... (Below threshold)

March 15, 2014 12:35 AM | Posted by Quiznos Bharnard: | Reply

If you accept that the theme of the show is that life has absolutely no meaning and therefore it is up to you to give it meaning...

I do.

...how do you take the mess that is episode 8 and say that?

You leave it exactly as it is. Giving his own life meaning is exactly what Rust does in the last episode.

Just because Rust changed, doesn't mean he grew. His nihilism was a product of his having killed his own daughter while drinking and driving. Once he found "redemption" by bringing to justice others who had killed little girls, he finally was able to forgive himself, which he interpreted as finding out that even though he killed her she still loved him.

So he finally found his meaning, but it wasn't in anything outside himself (even if he interpreted it / told it to Marty that way). This isn't a story of God existing, this is a cautionary tale. Just because you know you're merely sentient meat, doesn't mean that you aren't subject to your own programming. Or viewed another way, it's the final affirmation of the show's Kierkegaardian philosophy—in the end, Rust accepts walks the path of knight of faith even when it means being healed. "For what love for God it takes to want to be healed when one has been crippled from the start...".

That no one can tell the difference between being "in the state of temptation or a knight of faith" is exactly the paradox of faith, and that's why the ending worked for me.

---

While I think it's pretty clear from what Rust doesn't say when he talks about his daughter that he was the one who hit her, even if he wasn't the rest of this argument still stands—either way his nihilism is survivor's guilt, a coping mechanism.

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Actually, life is eternal. ... (Below threshold)

March 15, 2014 1:28 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Actually, life is eternal. If the universe has been around forever, and the light has never gone out...do the math.

It's no contest. Satan, after all, wasn't defeated by God, but by Michael. They're not even on the same level.

"A law of nature is at work here. Evil is not destructive to the good alone but inevitably destroys itself as well. For evil, which lives solely by negation, cannot continue to exist on its own strength alone. The inferior man himself fares best when held under control by a superior man." -I Ching, Chapter 23

---

http://www.MaydayMaydayMayday.org

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Stop spamming your bullshit... (Below threshold)

March 15, 2014 6:40 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Killer: | Reply

Stop spamming your bullshit website, cunt.

"black widow dress! mayday! mayday!"

Fuck off.

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So much attention to Ruste,... (Below threshold)

March 15, 2014 11:44 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

So much attention to Ruste, none to Marty. I won't pretend to peddle a full interpretation here, but I think that in the last scene, it was painfully obvious that when talking about the dark and the light, Ruste was dressed all in white while Marty was entirely blue/black/dark. There was no salvation, the light isn't winning, it was just a trade.

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The light's winning, is tha... (Below threshold)

March 15, 2014 11:57 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

The light's winning, is that right?

Yeah, okay. Let's just pan up to the infinite darkness that looms above the meager light of this hospital that humanity has managed to carve out for itself.

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Because your TV show is mor... (Below threshold)

March 15, 2014 6:45 PM | Posted, in reply to Killer's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Because your TV show is more important than the fate of the world, your life, etc....

time will tell

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Seems TLP watched it, but i... (Below threshold)

March 15, 2014 10:00 PM | Posted by Iggy: | Reply

Seems TLP watched it, but it wasn't for him.

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THAT is the best analysis I... (Below threshold)

March 16, 2014 1:14 AM | Posted, in reply to Quiznos Bharnard's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

THAT is the best analysis I've seen. Right on.

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Get a life you suckbags!<br... (Below threshold)

March 16, 2014 3:28 AM | Posted by Johnredcornmf: | Reply

Get a life you suckbags!

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Dude it's a comic book, chi... (Below threshold)

March 16, 2014 11:37 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Dude it's a comic book, chill out.

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Very interesting point. Rus... (Below threshold)

March 16, 2014 8:23 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by cmoney: | Reply

Very interesting point. Rust and Marty come back at the case to absolve for their sin of the murder and cover up of LeDoux, thus allowing another 17 years of heinousness, only to commit the exact same sin. I hadn't considered that.

Overall I was very pleased with this series. The only thing that really fell flat for me: everything involving Audrey. The only sense I can make of it now was addressed in a previous comment: the darkness is actually winning. The darkness surrounding these men's lives still persists, still ignored (though perhaps Marty's tears is an admission of guilt, that he always knew things weren't OK, that they are not OK, and that it will take work to fix, work that he probably can't muster after all these years).

But it still seemed to get way more screen time than justified by the payoff. The scene with the dolls, the discussion between Marty and Maggie, the teenage threesome, the asskicking Marty doles out... why all this?

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Plenty. The murders don't s... (Below threshold)

March 17, 2014 5:26 PM | Posted, in reply to mackytrajan's comment, by ThickAsThieves: | Reply

Plenty. The murders don't stop, and the guy they caught was just some fringe wacko that was long exiled from the circle of the more-organized cult.

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Alone, I don't know if ther... (Below threshold)

March 17, 2014 8:30 PM | Posted by J-CAT: | Reply

Alone, I don't know if there is any other way of contacting you beyond posting a comment, so here it goes: Holy shit, man, you have to post something about the most recent episode of "The Walking Dead" (S04E14 - "The Grove"). What happened in that episode is something I must hear your thoughts about.

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First of all- these are the... (Below threshold)

March 18, 2014 4:01 PM | Posted by VictorVictoria: | Reply

First of all- these are the assholes I expect to find in new orleans.
Second- I thought the mistress had a nice anger- she stood up to him. The wife did what she could and married a nice man with money- good for her.
The rest I don't care about- I liked the show and loved the acting.


TLP- have you read "FRaud in Mental Health"? Some therapist is whistle blowing and talking about all the SSI and personality disorder assholes you talk about. You gots to reads this ebook. This is some serious inside shit. I suspect anyone thinking about being a social worker will have to read this book first- if they want to know what is really going on. Best book I have read in a long long time. Really interesting, and i had the distinct feeling I was reading about things I was not supposed to know about. It aint good things Marty.

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10 seconds:'So now... (Below threshold)

March 18, 2014 4:12 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

10 seconds:

'So now you think god exists"
"yeah marty"
"so he killed hundreds of kids and women to make you believe"

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Are you saying that Errol l... (Below threshold)

March 23, 2014 10:57 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Are you saying that Errol learns to talk in a fake way because its too painful to talk in his own voice?

With his unbearable life, He turns to TV to find his own voice(and meaning) and tell him who he is ,the same way regular people do as the only alternative is a meaningless world.

"Take off your mask"

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very good article and very ... (Below threshold)

March 24, 2014 8:41 PM | Posted by friv games: | Reply

very good article and very rewarding good work! Thanks

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Man... I kind of wish you h... (Below threshold)

March 25, 2014 9:33 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Man... I kind of wish you hadn't even written this post.

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Hey I found that seroquell ... (Below threshold)

March 26, 2014 3:29 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Hey I found that seroquell xr post you were too vain and stupid to write! Seems like wisdom is watsed on economists. Or whatever.

Anywho, if this blog could be any more boring it'd be called entropy. That y'all keep wasting your time must be pleasing someone by which the grand irony of wasting must be an improbability funtioction therein. Of. Whatever.

Oh. Hey. Look. There's a fussion reactor alternating currents of value and property and douchefaggery therefrom. It's almost as if the cellphone is mightier than the porn. Wait. Wasn't that a "sadly" category on your site.

Anywho, boredom is fun

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A lot of information and we... (Below threshold)

March 26, 2014 9:08 AM | Posted by friv 3: | Reply

A lot of information and we can use it as an inherent value.

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Good article and very rewar... (Below threshold)

March 26, 2014 5:06 PM | Posted by psikolog: | Reply

Good article and very rewarding good job. Thank you.

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Ten extra seconds would hav... (Below threshold)

March 26, 2014 5:10 PM | Posted by psikolog: | Reply

Ten extra seconds would have saved true detective's finale is good
article. thank you very much.
Psikolog
Uğur

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The following article off... (Below threshold)

March 26, 2014 5:19 PM | Posted by Harry Horton: | Reply

The following article off the internet: "Arkansas Supreme court overturns 1.2B judgement against Johnson & Johnson over drug marketing." March 20, 2014. Chuck Bartels. Canadian Business. The judgement comes in light with Johnson and Johnson having similar cases in South Carolina and Louisiana also pending for appeal of their convictions.

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No one comments gratis for ... (Below threshold)

March 27, 2014 12:02 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Justin Charity: | Reply

No one comments gratis for more than a paragraph in re anything that merely bores them.

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10 Seconds: (Cohle... (Below threshold)

March 28, 2014 6:29 PM | Posted by Chinchilla: | Reply

10 Seconds:

(Cohle climbs into a black 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 with white racing stripes down the middle, as they are pulling away you can hear Cohle)

Cohle: Alright, Alright, Alright

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I apparently know less ... (Below threshold)

March 29, 2014 5:36 PM | Posted by Rob: | Reply

I apparently know less about Chekov and Nietzsche than the average blog-reader - so forgive me if I abstain from referencing them during my comments. Although my insights may be banal and uninspired, I've found the following elements of True Detective noteworthy:

1) Mcconaughey played brilliantly against type. The swaggering, hackneyed lothario of Rom-com Land was nowhere to be found. Mcconaughey's Detective Cohle was gaunt, disheveled, tormented, and probably bordering on delirium tremens for most of the series.

2) The show's depiction of the late 1990s seemed credible, even with respect to the cultural subtleties of the era. Harrelson's offhand remark about the Promise-Keepers organization, for example, was a deliciously obscure reference.

3) For reasons not entirely clear to me, both Harrelson's Marty and Mcconaughey's Cohle felt like people I'd met before - in my personal life as well as in my clinical work. True - Cohle's rambling diatribes on metaphysics and quantum physics stretched the boundaries of credibility; nonetheless, it was refreshing to see protagonists portrayed as more than merely heroic posterboard silhouettes. Marty exemplified this in his hospital bed, while recovering from a hatchet-wound to the pectoralis major. Even as he tried to feign good-natured bravado for his ex-wife and daughters, he found himself choking back trauma-laced tears.

3) I appreciated the show's taste for irony. For example, at one point, a character referred to Cohle as a "psychopath," and, indeed, his elder incarnation certainly looked the part - someone you'd probably cross the street to avoid. Despite the frayed edges of his ego and superego, however, Cohle was willing to take a bullet (okay, a butcher knife) for a perfect stranger. Marty, with his mask of Southern civility, seemed like someone you'd invite to your next Superbowl party; yet, he abused his family, cheated on his wife, and shot an unarmed suspect in the head - all with a surprising lack of remorse.

4) Although the Season Finale may have been less than satisfying for some, I appreciated that there was no Scooby-Doo ending here, with all the villains unmasked and every stitch of mystery unraveled. Despite their heroic triumph over an undeniably fiendish character, Cohle and Marty acknowledged that they'd only brought "their man" to justice - and in a broader sense, Cohle and Marty were left with their own steaming piles of regret, isolation, and post-traumatic stress. As in life, the victory of these protagonists was tainted by the consequences of their past behavior and the likelihood of a painful future.

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Here's an addendum to m... (Below threshold)

March 29, 2014 9:07 PM | Posted by Rob: | Reply

Here's an addendum to my previous comments - I came up with four alternate endings to the Season Finale that I would've enjoyed (who knows - maybe Rust Cohle and Marty Hart would've enjoyed them too) :

1) A clown randomly wanders into the scene and releases a balloon into the sky. Oh, wait - that's been done before.

2) Cohle turns into a zombie and eats Marty's brain.

3) Cohle and Marty are beamed up to the Starship Enterprise, where it's revealed that they're both actually Vulcans.

4) An anthropomorphized pig bursts through the screen, and shouts, "That's all,folks" (queue the Looney Toons theme song).

Dang - I should've been a screenwriter!

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POST SOMETHING ABOUT FROZEN... (Below threshold)

March 31, 2014 6:41 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

POST SOMETHING ABOUT FROZEN AND IT'S OBVIOUS GAY SUBTEXT

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I dont care if you read thi... (Below threshold)

April 1, 2014 3:32 AM | Posted by John: | Reply

I dont care if you read this or not but on the slight chance you do; TLP you've helped realized how much I suck. I stared in the mirror and I hated what I saw. You've helped me so much.

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I am grateful for this vali... (Below threshold)

April 4, 2014 2:07 AM | Posted by friv yepi: | Reply

I am grateful for this valid information. You have represented your points in an insightful and interesting way.

kizi

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Why other writers can't see... (Below threshold)

April 4, 2014 2:09 AM | Posted by pjckmen: | Reply

Why other writers can't seem to put their thoughts into clear words the way you do is beyond me.
Friv

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Some of these spam comments... (Below threshold)

April 6, 2014 6:38 AM | Posted by N: | Reply

Some of these spam comments are actually kind of interesting.

Hey TLP. What about this, maybe the theme of the show, and the universe of the show, is not the existential trash can where meaning goes to die etc. etc. after all, and -never was-. I don't know about Old Testament. Nothing was so concrete. And it's perfectly OK for people to interpret Cohle's visions while under as simple hallucination. Most atheists would do so. What it leaves is a question, which is realistic ...? Remember Hart talking about systematizing roughly from limited information ...

I agree heavily with your criticisms of the letdown that was Green Man.

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When will feminist... (Below threshold)

April 7, 2014 4:30 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by jonny: | Reply

When will feminists and social justice warriors realize that artists are not obligated to pander to their political and ideological beliefs? Art is art.

You say art is art. They know art is whatever they allow it to be. These demons exist in a reality where 2+2=5 because the number 4 hurts their feelings. Maybe you disagree? They will want to know how you feel. They care and they will listen. And then they will gladly torture you, if it will help? Whatever you need them to do, they'll do it for you, to help. Because you need to understand that 4 is rude. It hurts their feelings. So don't be mean or...The Ministry of Compassion will take care of you.

WSJ: Is ‘Blurred Lines’ a ‘Rapey’ Song?

“Thicke created the character that is depicted. Does he have a right to say that she actually does express consent?”

“Rand’s defense is textbook rape apologism. Does Rand have the right to say that her character really did want it?”

Do authors have the right to say how their fictional characters feel? It's a rhetorical question. Feminism is just saying we need to have this discussion. So we won't be having this discussion. This is just an FYI, letting us know in advance. It's common courtesy.

“You must try harder.
It is not easy to become sane.”

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I'd like to see mo... (Below threshold)

April 7, 2014 5:00 AM | Posted, in reply to Kat's comment, by jonny: | Reply

I'd like to see more of the interesting women onscreen

Make sure you write your wish down, using polite and respectful language, and get a grownup to mail it to Santa well in advance. Ha. It's not quite that easy, I'm afraid. You must remember to be nice. Don't be naughty. Santa doesn't give presents to sluts.

Only good whores are given nice things.

This is why we can't have nice things.

but I understand that when a writer's females are uninteresting or boring that's possibly not his critique of women in general.

You might be surprised. They might have artistic integrity.

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The last show really remind... (Below threshold)

April 7, 2014 6:53 PM | Posted by Anon.: | Reply

The last show really reminded me of Hollywood's beloved story generator, Joseph Campbell's, Hero's Journey; it had all the tropes of Campbell journey, the near death, the return home etc etc so what I think happened is that they commissioned one season of this show, it got popular, they cleaved the thing in half to make another season, but then they needed a way to end this season, so they crammed it into story-o-matic and out it came...

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Here is the show I was actu... (Below threshold)

April 9, 2014 11:51 AM | Posted by friv: | Reply

Here is the show I was actually watching: though not mentioned ever in the show ever, he did that because the accident that caused his scars also made it hard for him to talk in his normal voice. Good post

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Thank you, that's exactly h... (Below threshold)

April 10, 2014 3:40 PM | Posted, in reply to Annoy's comment, by Sam: | Reply

Thank you, that's exactly how I felt about the ending. I really enjoyed Alone's first post on the show; the philosophical explorations and how they played out through the various characters, plot and setting. I was disappointed in the ending because it felt like the show wasn't brave enough to follow itself to a realistic/logical conclusion. I think I would have enjoyed Alone's ending more, it would have been darker, but both more true and more enjoyable.

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I think "brave" is the wron... (Below threshold)

April 10, 2014 5:00 PM | Posted, in reply to Sam's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I think "brave" is the wrong word.

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Just made a donation (motiv... (Below threshold)

April 11, 2014 1:42 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Just made a donation (motivated by guilt, not shame). Thank you for all the many excellent posts, which I read and re-read.

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Phew - finally able to comm... (Below threshold)

April 13, 2014 5:05 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Corylus: | Reply

Phew - finally able to comment on this as I have been avoiding spoilers due to only just being able to finish watching.

Thank you TLP for some interesting commentary.

Anyway, comment I wanted to address:

Anon,

When will feminists and social justice warriors realize that artists are not obligated to pander to their political and ideological beliefs? Art is art.

I did not like the review you quoted either, Anon, but not for the reason you supplied. I found myself prickly not due to the lack of women in the show, but due instead to the lack of understanding that Rust actually had some (what is traditionally seen as) feminine traits. Now, this part of the review is particularly silly:

... and Rust, who is a macho fantasy straight out of Carlos Castaneda.

That was the last thing that he was. He was broken over the loss of a being that he cared about. Yes, he was violent, but the energy he spent trying to hold in his rage was deeply impressive. He was also a person who had a high level of emotional intelligence (I loathe that term, but use it here as a short-hand :-). For example, he got confessions out of people by listening and empathizing - to the extent that his colleagues were amazed.

If you have time to re-watch I would advise going back to the scene where he gets a confession out of the suspect who has Munchhausen's by Proxy. He holds her hand, empathizes and gets her to bare her 'soul', and then, after he has what he needs ...? Well, he coldly tells her to kill herself and leaves her without a moment's regret. For she killed her babies - let her rot.

He rarely judges (trying hard to avoid this), but when he does judge, it is harshly, and it is always with those who fail to nurture. He did this will Charlie Lange (who did not ask after his wife first) and he constantly does this with himself. He is his harshest critic.

For fun, Anon, why not image "Rust" as "Rusty" in both of those scenes. Bugger it - try watching the entire thing with that in mind :)

The flashback all male police department is not merely an artistic reflection of reality, it also shows how unwelcome any actual females would have been, how unwelcome any traditional feminine traits were seen (Rust was a freaky outcast) and it also leaves open the possibility that Errol might have been caught earlier with a more input from detectives with different backgrounds. Now, there's a thought.

Re females in more roles? [Shrug] Could have happened. A woman in the Gilbough role would have added something and detracted nothing. Adding a reflection in changed employment roles in recent years, and losing nothing in the story telling. She might even have been a good foil to Hart's double standards in fact.

I am not saying that a preaching injunction to add more female parts is advisable, or anything but irritating, but I am saying that I think you might have an illuminating time switching characters about in your head when watching drama. I am also saying that screenwriters might gain from doing this also.

In truth, the gender role we play are blurred at the edges rather than black and white, and we waste much time shadow-boxing. However, the masks we don are made more predictable by our sex. This is why, when we want to engage everyone, we do try to get a mix.

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no, it wasn't. it was the o... (Below threshold)

April 14, 2014 5:38 PM | Posted, in reply to ThomasR's comment, by Trei: | Reply

no, it wasn't. it was the other cops who thought his ideas were bullshit, and those cops were morons. they didn't know shit. and we knew that. which is how we also were supposed to think his ideas were actually "cool" and "deep". because the morons didn't understand them.

but then again, you apparently identified with those other cops. and believed what they did.

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I do not care about " force... (Below threshold)

April 19, 2014 9:52 PM | Posted by HOPY: | Reply

I do not care about " forced to idle " or Jewish - Christian underground sterile , I have ABC for that. I'm only interested in internal consistency . If you 're going to do a program , for example , it is worth watching zombies , at some point a character to say , " look , the only thing we know for sure 100 % that each of us will slowly but unpredictable become a zombie , so we may need to devote , oh , I do not know , 100 % of our energy to deal with that certainty . "Once you ask questions that you are leading , for example , for a science fiction program on forced physical isolation , where the only contact we have with each other is digital , but due to the lack of exposed animals of paranoia set in , and suddenly every interaction becomes a Turing Test implications . You can see that program ? Because there is no question that you have four seasons of denial allows us to pretend But Old Rules Apply.
it's full details, you include mention of zombies , this film really interesting and meaningful humanities .

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I do not care about " force... (Below threshold)

April 19, 2014 9:53 PM | Posted by HOPY: | Reply

I do not care about " forced to idle " or Jewish - Christian underground sterile , I have ABC for that. I'm only interested in internal consistency . If you 're going to do a program , for example , it is worth watching zombies , at some point a character to say , " look , the only thing we know for sure 100 % that each of us will slowly but unpredictable become a zombie , so we may need to devote , oh , I do not know , 100 % of our energy to deal with that certainty . "Once you ask questions that you are leading , for example , for a science fiction program on forced physical isolation , where the only contact we have with each other is digital , but due to the lack of exposed animals of paranoia set in , and suddenly every interaction becomes a Turing Test implications . You can see that program ? Because there is no question that you have four seasons of denial allows us to pretend But Old Rules Apply.
it's full details, you include mention of zombies , this film really interesting and meaningful humanities .
http://www.hopy1.com

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I’m a big fan of your blog ... (Below threshold)

April 24, 2014 1:36 PM | Posted by Charles: | Reply

I’m a big fan of your blog but have to disagree with you on this one. You’ve written a lot of great stuff about narcissism. Did you not see the killer as a narcissist? From his abuse his true self died, which is why he goes around imitating characters from movies. His inner void is filled with rage and grandiosity, which he feeds as the figurehead of the bizarre religion he’s created. Carcosa is the physical equivalent of his inner psyche. He sees that Rust is also just putting on an act, which is why he tells him to ‘take off his mask’ in the climax of the show. Your added 10 seconds are trying to get around the point that Rust was hiding behind his BS.

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I’m a big fan of your blog ... (Below threshold)

May 5, 2014 4:45 AM | Posted by friv10: | Reply

I’m a big fan of your blog but have to disagree with you on this one. You’ve written a lot of great stuff about narcissism.

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Dr. Last, I wish I'd seen t... (Below threshold)

May 5, 2014 5:39 PM | Posted by Maggie: | Reply

Dr. Last, I wish I'd seen this sooner. I could have saved your commenters thousands of words of exculpatory blather.

An additional 10 seconds would not have helped this ending. What it needed was a script. As revealed in an interview with director Cary Fukunaga at Vulture.com http://www.vulture.com/2014/03/true-detective-finale-director-cary-fukunaga-interview.html, he threw Nic Pizzolatto's script out. No doubt it was last-minute desperate crap. Pizzolatto is still a fledgling scriptwriter.

Harrelson and McConaughey improvised the last scene. That unbearably sappy last speech was McConaughy's idea of profundity. So much for deeper meaning and consistency.

It's pretty clear that only the scenes inside the house were scripted. This explains why the pacing was so flabby during the labyrinth scene. The flyover sequence was filler patched together from earlier footage. And going back to the hospital twice -- plod plod plod.

This was a finale based on too little material, when it should have been tightly packed with resolution.

Although I enjoyed the first 6.5 episodes (something went very wrong by the time everybody got on the boat), I agree, the series does not bear interpreting. As John Podhoretz said in the New York Post "We all look like suckers again as 'True Detective' fizzles out" http://nypost.com/2014/03/11/we-all-look-like-suckers-again-as-true-detective-fizzles-out/

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When we see Rust sat on the... (Below threshold)

May 7, 2014 12:18 PM | Posted by supeman: | Reply

When we see Rust sat on the bed through the window; if that is not a figure of Christ, I do not know what is. end capabilities bad thank you for sharing more I understand
Friv 2

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thank for sharing... (Below threshold)

May 7, 2014 11:58 PM | Posted by kizi2: | Reply

thank for sharing

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'Cohle sits alone in the wh... (Below threshold)

May 8, 2014 11:07 AM | Posted by hyperboholic: | Reply

'Cohle sits alone in the wheelchair, watching him. The emotion in his face disappears. His face hardens. He takes a long drag from the cigarette.

"But I lied for your salvation."'

Congratulations, you've taken your ten seconds and used it to make the story into (yet another) rehash of "Heart of Darkness".

What's wrong with toppings? The series broke the fourth wall every five seconds, so if you missed the bit wherein Marty informs the viewer (via Cohle) that what they will keep mistaking for a gun is actually some gooey caramel sauce, that's OK:

"You got a chapter in one of those books on jumping to conclusions? You attach an assumption to a piece of evidence, you start to bend the narrative to support it. Prejudice yourself."

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Well, sumbitch, following u... (Below threshold)

May 8, 2014 11:26 AM | Posted by hyperboholic: | Reply

Well, sumbitch, following up on an article linked in the review you linked which I'll link. Looks like the author himself narrowly avoided pulling a Conrad:

"Now they are going to go on and live forever beyond the margins of the show, and our sense, at least, is they haven't changed in any black to white way, but there is a sense that they have been delivered from the heart of darkness.

Read more at http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-watching/true-detective-creator-nic-pizzolatto-looks-back-on-season-1#u2RuL0BA3gdSjFi5.99"

That's some funny shit right there, Hoss.

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More writers today should c... (Below threshold)

May 13, 2014 4:57 AM | Posted by Ebog 3: | Reply

More writers today should concern themselves with creating unique content as much as you do. I've enjoyed your writing and the featured points of interest. Thank you.
Ebog 3

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First of all thanks for the... (Below threshold)

May 18, 2014 5:41 AM | Posted by KiKi 2: | Reply

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Friv

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First of all thanks for the... (Below threshold)

May 18, 2014 5:42 AM | Posted by Y9 Games: | Reply

First of all thanks for the post. Actually it is overwhelming post. I do like your firm workings and be grateful for your idea. I can pass on you another site where one can obtain huge assistances about tutoring. To learn moiré, please click here. Thanks……

y8

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I think this is defi... (Below threshold)

May 26, 2014 4:53 AM | Posted by Kizi: | Reply


I think this is definitely an amazing project here. So much good will be coming from this project. The ideas and the work behind this will pay off so much.
y9

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No, your ending is not bett... (Below threshold)

May 28, 2014 5:29 PM | Posted by Joe: | Reply

No, your ending is not better. Why? Becasue the ending is the prerogative of the writer. If you are a true psychiatrist, you would know that you cannot solve other people's life problems. The problems are theirs to solve-- or not, and unsolved and unresolved problems are part of life. Just as in a really good story, the ending does not always resolve anything.
You may profit by reading through some of Sam Sheppard's plays. Sheppard is the Picasso of modern playwriting, because he does not "resolve" the play. He blows it up and opens it to many possible interpretations, or even no interpretations.
Of course, criticizing (a.ka. "critiquing") is legal, and you are welcome to modify endings to your heart's delight. But you basically cheating, because you are piggy-backing on an audience won by the author. The first question about any work of art (yes, art) is "How did he keep the paying bums in the paying seats?" and the second one is, "How did he keep them from forgetting what he said?"
True Detective did both: When you start watching it, you can't stop; and when it ends, you can't forget it. This is Art. There is no other definition: It survives inside your brain because it burrowed in and messed it up.
Logical, illogical, resolved, unresolved, this is for those who like their life and apartment and desktop neat.
But this is not your desk. It is the author's...
Go back to writing your lovely blog. You are doing fine on your own. You don't need to piggyback on others' audience.
Come to think of it, why don't you write a book yourself?

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Thanks for giving me the us... (Below threshold)

May 29, 2014 5:07 AM | Posted by kizi: | Reply

Thanks for giving me the useful information. I think I need it. Thank you

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Could it be done in ten ext... (Below threshold)

May 31, 2014 4:35 PM | Posted by lee: | Reply

Could it be done in ten extra seconds?

At the end they optimistically talk about stars and daughters and life energies, and Marty smiles upon Cohle and Cohle smiles upon the universe, and Marty, having learned the true meaning of Christmas, skips off to go get the car.

Cohle sits alone in the wheelchair, watching him. The emotion in his face disappears. His face hardens. He takes a long drag from the cigarette.

"I guess we really were... True Detectives."

Cut to black.

Credits.

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I'm happy about everything ... (Below threshold)

June 3, 2014 11:17 PM | Posted by Maria: | Reply

I'm happy about everything you bring it very interesting and helpful, thanks. Yepi | Friv 4

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This is a great article. It... (Below threshold)

June 12, 2014 3:07 AM | Posted by peter: | Reply

This is a great article. It gave me a lot of useful information. thank you very much.friv 6 | yepi 2

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Thanks for giving me the us... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2014 3:25 AM | Posted by muxyxy: | Reply

Thanks for giving me the useful information. I think I need it. I like
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Full information and useful... (Below threshold)

July 14, 2014 3:33 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Full information and useful it gives me experience more enjoyable, thanks.
Friv
Friv 6

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I just wanted to let you kn... (Below threshold)

July 18, 2014 4:10 AM | Posted by Z6: | Reply

I just wanted to let you know that what you do really affects peoples lives and that people - like me - truly appreciate it.

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What's even more comfortabl... (Below threshold)

August 11, 2014 4:00 AM | Posted by friv 3: | Reply

What's even more comfortable when you are entertaining after a day of hard work.

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What's even more comfortabl... (Below threshold)

August 11, 2014 4:01 AM | Posted by friv 3: | Reply

What's even more comfortable when you are entertaining after a day of hard work.
friv 3

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I like it very much, TheLas... (Below threshold)

August 18, 2014 5:48 PM | Posted by AnotherPsychiatrist (Oh shiettt!): | Reply

I like it very much, TheLastPsychiatrist — I wonder if it's not something personal from you, though; I certainly know the feeling. Here, I'm not as learned as you, nor do I have the flow with words, or the energy, but haven't you ever thought of doing an article on Christianity? — like a real hardcore reduction of Christianity from the POV. of the men that wrote it?

And I guess I got sucked in by the ending, by the way. Not to be big-headed or anything — indeed, I realize some fucks laugh at the likes of Cohle (the O'Brien types from 1984, you know?) — but I related with it . . . miserably. And I'm relating with you here too, and so I'm writing this...

...and then maybe I'm not relating with you. Maybe I'm something esle, because I really do know Cohle and think the ending was psychologically incisive, if not freeing itself from the pain (for some) of nihilism. Damn man — I'm the sort of fuck who thinks, "Hey, maybe if I can just write a book, get this shit off my chest, I can rest easy;" I related hard as fucking fuck with that ending.

You don't seem so bad, TLP. Some of your shit is awful, but there's an awareness underneath it at least. Fuck, you know who you remind me of? Winston, sitting at that table drinking and tinkering with chess problems, crying, "I love Big Brother."

Christianity is such a fucking con, lol. You know why Mary was a virgin, TLP? It's because mama's being a whore is the first blow to the child's assumption of personal divinity (and so you get all the "yo mama" jokes), and bam! shiett, this Jesus homie out there yo! aint no brotha touchin' that dawg's motha — you know, it gets to you by uppercutting you from straight under those lame defense mechanism we all have (not me, now), but most of us have forgotten about (namely, scandalizing other's mothers to bring those others down to your level).

Wait, wait, wait. That fucking Guinness ad owned bro. Beta males? You know the gorilla is the only ape that eats only vegetation, TLP — why? Because he's fucking king of the jungle and can afford to have some compassion. Need I say any more? Oh, it's pretty common pscyhology that elder siblings will suffer some grief at their own selfishness, having been so absorbed by their own littleness, same as everyone else, but snapped out of it by the arrival of another littler than them. Shit, those dumb bitches should've kept up the bastardism forever, lest they be branded "beta males" — Shakespeare shit, yanno? Romeo and Juliet? Dumbasses. Dumb bitches died by misunderstanding. There is no 'love', motherfuckers. Come have a drink with me in my local and tell me I'm beta, TLP. But again, I appreciate the miserable awareness ;D

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That works! Wow!... (Below threshold)

August 18, 2014 5:50 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

That works! Wow!

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It doesn't work, it's just ... (Below threshold)

August 18, 2014 5:57 PM | Posted by AnotherPsychiatrist (Oh shiettt!): | Reply

It doesn't work, it's just miserable crying narcissism. Granted though, shit's fucked up.

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AnotherPsychiatrist <... (Below threshold)

August 19, 2014 10:28 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

AnotherPsychiatrist

I'm impressed by how much and how smoothly you manage to do it. I salute you. I'm speechless. For the first time I see it.

(thinking)

Actually I knew. At least I thought I knew. Then, I stopped caring. So, I lost the knew. Than, I came to know. So, it's not the first time, merely the first time I see you. In a way. Not sure how to put it. Later.

You raise many important issues. I salute you. I'm not confused. Impressed. It can't be misunderstood, nor misrepresented only misinterpreted.

Note: This message is intended to be understood by few, very few. Please stop reading.

Follow up (english version) ETA 2014

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If anyone consider it unfri... (Below threshold)

August 19, 2014 10:30 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

If anyone consider it unfriendly or harmful, please observe that it is common practice. The main difference is that I'm explicit about it.

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To be plain and simple abou... (Below threshold)

August 19, 2014 10:55 AM | Posted by G: | Reply

To be plain and simple about it:
What kind of revolution can we imagine?

"total war" ?

In honor of the best qualities of that particular tradition of communication and leadership, I propose "my war"

Original eh?

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or article, so I know many ... (Below threshold)

September 1, 2014 11:00 AM | Posted by kizi: | Reply

or article, so I know many friends, thank you

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