Thursday, January 31, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Monday, January 28, 2008
Many writers have made reference to labyrinths in their work. Jorge Luis Borges was fascinated by the idea of labyrinths, which appear repeatedly in his short stories. Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose was inspired by Borges in this fascination.
From ancient and medieval times to the present, labyrinths have had their appeal, as real structures to be built or as an idea. The mind itself is said to be a labyrinth. Numerous characters in literature, from Cervantes' Don Quixote onward, have become lost in the labyrinthine worlds of their imaginations.
One of Andre Gide's most fascinating works is his story Theseus, about the Athenian hero who navigated the labyrinth in Crete to slay the half-man, half-bull Minotaur aided by Ariadne's thread. It is an entertaining read, with unexpected twists, and comes with my highest recommendation.
Of course my first encounter with the Internet was somewhat akin to the notion of a labyrinth. If one considers each page a room, from which one must exit to enter another room, you can imagine the whole world wide web as a labyrinthine universe. You can lose yourself in it forever.
It was based on this concept that I created a small labyrinth when I first started building my personal website thirteen years ago. And if the Internet is a Labyrinth, then where is the Minotaur?
A Link to my LABYRINTH
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Friday, January 25, 2008
This is a brief notation that our beloved Buttercup died this week and we'll miss her. She was a sweetheart.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Unfortunately, writes Meigs, the best solutions may not be getting the attention they deserve. Washington politicians have bought the “ethanol solution” hook, line and sinker.
Politicians have been falling all over themselves to prove their commitment to energy independence. The bill they have been crafting and carving has as kits moniker the title “Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.” No longer just an energy bill, it is a security matter, giving it a special reverence. According to Meigs, this year’s presidential candidates “have outdone each other with vows to flood the nation with ever-increasing rivers of ethanol for at least a generation.”
It’s what our politicans love to do, of course. Take action fast. Look like a leader. Problem is, “shoot first, ask questions later” is a silly way to approach these kinds of issues.
The average person who votes is not really that knowledgeable about these matters, which gives the ethanol lobbyists a leg up. The truth is, it takes energy to make energy. The article points out that growing corn requires nitrogen fertilizer, a product of natural gas, and chemical herbicides, made mostly from oil. The heavy machinery that harvests these 93 million acres of corn all require diesel fuel and lubricants, as do the trucks that transport all this corn. According to one Cornell researcher, it takes more than a gallon of oil to make a gallon of ethanol? Now what’s that all about? How does this reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
There’s something corny about this ethanol business. As I have always suspected, and which the author here is not afraid to point out, the big winners are companies like Archer Daniels Midland whose lobbyists labor night and day in those corridors of power inside the beltway. And for who’s benefit? Not yours or mine.
So what can we do about it? Not sure, really. Any suggestions?
Sunday, January 20, 2008
A prerequisite to achieving "great things" (it would seem) is a conviction that one is able to achieve or accomplish great things. This notion is accompanied by a desire to do great things, which flies in the face of current cultural beliefs that it is wrong, even elitist, to suppose oneself different from the herd. But it is not elitism that propels us to strive to do more and be more. It is not a belief that we're better... rather, it is a concern that we each, should strive to fulfill our full capacity. ~ May 30, 1998
These journal notes should not be taken to suggest that everyone should make their aim to be president of the U.S. or a world famous musician. There are actually two important matters outined here. The first is that without a definitie purpose or aim, our lives will drift, and that people who accomplish great things or even lesser things (providing for one's family, sending a child to college) do so by eliminating distractions and doing whatever it takes to accomplish the goal.
An example: Albert J. Amatuzio, the founder of AMSOIL, spent more than a decade learning all he could about lubrication before finally achieving his lifelong dream of producing a new product for the auto industry. This man's determination and definiteness of purpose was directly responsible for the synthetic motor oil market.
There is a flip side to this matter, however. Be sure your aim corresponds to who you are. That is, if you are middle aged and not particularly athletic, don't imagine that you will set a new world record for the hundred yard dash. Or if you have shaky hands and poor eye-hand coordination, it is not the time to pursue a career as a brain surgeon. The point being that self awareness is also useful.
I am reminded of the Aesop's Fable about the Monkey and the Camel.
THE BEASTS of the forest gave a splendid entertainment at which the Monkey stood up and danced. Having vastly delighted the assembly, he sat down amidst universal applause. The Camel, envious of the praises bestowed on the Monkey and desiring to divert to himself the favor of the guests, proposed to stand up in his turn and dance for their amusement. He moved about in so utterly ridiculous a manner that the Beasts, in a fit of indignation, set upon him with clubs and drove him out of the assembly.
It is absurd to ape our betters.
This in no way implies that camels are inferior to monkeys. Quite the contrary. There are many things monkeys can not do that camels are utterly equipped for.
So it is that our dreams should correspond with who we are. Though I'll add yet one more caveat. When we're young, we really don't know very well who we are. We can be so influenced by a bad experience or peers that we have a misguided picture of ourselves in our heads. Or, we see a barrier to achievement that is really no barrier at all. So perhaps our first definite purpose should be to find out who we are. From this starting point, we really can make a difference.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
The letter leaning against the photo is from my grandmother, a significant person in my life growing up. It was a letter of encouragement when I was a young man. The little girl in this 1956 photo is my cousin Lois, age four. My granparents helped build this telescope as part of the Sky & Telescope Society.
It is a sad thing when families get splintered. The strength I received from my grandmother is immeasurable. Perhaps I shared her temperament, for she likewise was an artist and poet, somewhat of a brooder, avid reader and lifelong learner. Perhaps it was just a grandmother's love.
The following is a poem which originally appeared in her chapbook of poems titled "Helping The Sun Grow".
Aftermath Of A Stroke
Here I lie, tight packed as in my Mother's womb
I laid with restlessness a full lifetime ago.
But still entirely I, altho I have no room
To move about and at my will to come and go.
But now -- I wander, freely in my mind
The long road thru the crowding mists of time,
And pause in my journeying now and then
To live the happy times again
Made bright indeed by sunset's glow!
She often talked about another relative of our, a poet named John Hall, who had been editor of two West Virginia newspapers, and author of three books of poetry. The youngest of five boys, he ran away from home at age fifteen to serve the North in the Civil War. Down in Tennessee he took fever and after five months in recovery was left blind. Thus did he become, after accepting this difficult fate, the blind poet of Ritchie County. As it turns out, John Hall used to babysit my grandmother. He would take the children out onto the hillside and recite poetry to them. Grndma says the first ten years of her life he had babysat her and the other children. Thus did he birth in her a love of the creative use of language and image, of poetry and wonder.
In the same manner my own creative self was nourished by my Grandmother, Elizabeth Sandy.
Discover more of her poems here.
Friday, January 18, 2008
I always thought that Mark Twain would make a good person to have at a party. His skewed look at life would be very entertaining to listen to.
I focused on only historical figures whose answers could have the greatest impact on the future of our universe (except for the last question, which merely sets me up for a big financial gain.) I also limited myself to one question per person. Historical figures such as Hitler or Einstein would be interesting but the answers to any questions I ask would probably have little effect on the future of our planet. Political leaders, scientists or explorers would have a hard time propelling the human race forward with their current knowledge. However, because folks take action (political and otherwise) to change the world while contending to be representing the mandate of dead leaders... well getting the mandate from the horses' mouth would be a nice change of pace and constructive. If Jefferson goes off on the separation of church and state, that could affect Supreme Court rulings as long as the United States exists. Mohamed could placate the Islamic world or kick problems up a notch... but at least we stop wondering. God... well let us get this existence of God issue settled. Is the bible an authorized biography, a road map or a fantasy? Let us move past the debate. The only problem might occur if Jesus, Thomas Jefferson, Mohammed and God all contradict each other in their answers. In that case, I think I would just edit the videotape to fit my agenda before I release it to 60 minutes.
The paradox is that the people I would most like to meet and chat with are not known to me nor to most anybody. Those that I think are the most interesting people on the planet are those who labor in the kingdom of God anonymously, in hidden places, behind the scenes, who never have their names recognized outside of their own little circle of family and friends but who exhibit a core strength of faith and grace of life in their work and ministry such that others are transformed by them.
On the other hand, I do know some of those people. Lots of them, as a matter of fact. I interact with some of them on a regular basis, and others I have known over the years. They exhibit varying degrees of grace, of course (“in proportion to their faith”, as Paul says), and some are probably more interesting than others. None of them, though, stand out as being well-known, or someone you would think to put on a list such as you are asking for.
I think if I were to ask them a question, it would be along the lines of the question Anita asked about Paul when last we met for Bible study (three months ago now?). “How did you get to be like this? What habits and disciplines make you able to give your life for others day in and day out?”
Mother Theresa, Does the part of you that is you/self/id decrease as you pour more and more of yourself out in selfless acts reflecting Christ's love...? Does it get easier? Did you EVER take time for yourself? How did you build in margins when you were surrounded by so much poverty (physical/emotional/spiritual)?
The Apostle Paul: Did you have any idea that the letters you were writing would one day be taken as synonymous with or with the full force of the words of God? Is there anything you wish you had written/said differently? Are there any of these letters that shouldn’t have been included in the canon?
Leo Tolstoy: Looking back on your life, what was your most important work, the novels and stories you wrote, or the your efforts to promote the Gospel, love and pacifism?
(I would actually like to meet and talk with several writers asking each what they considered to be their most important work, but that would be a fairly long list.)
Jesus: The world is so big and so much is going on and there are so many people, needs, problems, issues… How much difference can one person really make today? (The rest of my questions are too personal to share publicly.)
Someone intelligent and perceptive in the South 100 years ago: How in the world did a supposedly Christian nation allow racial hatred to obtain such a vicious stranglehold on our people? (Not sure whom to ask, but it has been a lifelong question for me.)
Frederic Chopin: How did you create such original, richly beautiful music? Who, what, where were your inspirations and how did they influence you?
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Selecting only 5 people is more difficult that it first appears, but here goes (an obvious disclaimer--Jesus is first on my list even though He is not listed below; my general sense is that when I am actually physically in His presence I will be soaking up everything without saying too much):
To what do you attribute your courage to stand up as one man to an oppressive régime?
As someone who suffered from depression, what kept you determined in your depressed moments (and doubts?) to do right for the most good?
How would you instruct or encourage a person with good (not great) intelligence to understand and gain your genius for insight and analysis?
As the best-selling author in history, how would you describe the creative process (and luck? good fortune? God-given gift?) of inventing Harry Potter and the fantasy world of other characters he inhabited?
Hitler / Stalin
Looking back on your legacy, was it all worth it? Would you do the same all over again? With the same zeal, could you and would you have made the world better rather than worse?
Pauline Reage / Anne Rice
Was your novel Story of O based on personal experience (autobiographical) or dreamed up (imaginative erotic fantasy)? Both?
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
The next morning it stimulated in me the follow up thought: What would I want to ask each of the five people I talked with from history.
I found the idea of it so stimulating that I decided to send this question to everyone in my Outlook Express address book. It seemed like a good way to discover which of my email addresses were obsolete, and would generate some potentially interesting replies. The replies did not disappoint.
I did include the disclaimer that I might place their responses on my website, but in the interest of a small measure of privacy I will use initials only here.
The question re-stated: If it were possible to have discussions with five people from history (past or present) … who would you want to talk to and what question would you like to ask them?
E.S., a writer from Duluth:
I had a hard time coming up with a list of five people, because the only historical figure I'd really, really like to meet is Mark Twain. But I worked on it and thought about it, and here's my list: Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Molly Ivins, Rachel Carson, Jacques Cousteau. They all have one thing in common, they used their skills wholeheartedly to effect social change.
D.B. from Napa Valley:
Here is my answer to your your question. There is no importance to the order, just as I thought about them. I tried to stay away from those you already mentioned, but also I don't think I could look Jesus in the eyes, let alone ask Him a question. But I would have loved to have sat at His feet when he taught, and I would have loved to taken a class with C.S. Lewis. I am not sure my questions are good ones, but I respect each of these men, and would have been honored to have worked with or for each. I kept it to five, but if I think of some more I may send them later...
Abraham Lincoln – If you could only name one thing which sustained you through the stress and tribulation of the Civil War - what was it?
Thomas Jefferson – What was your greatest success, and what was your most disappointing failure?
Sir Winston Churchill – In your political career, what would you have done differently?
The Apostle Peter – Why do you think the Lord chose you to be the first leader of the Church?
Francis Schaeffer – What is the biggest failure of the Church of the twentieth century?
M.D. from New York:
President Eisenhower: where are the bodies from the Roswell crash kept?
Chris Columbus : what food did you bring aboard your ships?
Henry Ford; how would you feel if your cars could travel at 300 mph?
President Truman: what if we don’t drop the atomic bomb?
Jesus: why does the Lord make children suffer?
G.K. from Michigan:
These are the first five that came to mind. It is far to late for me to be up on Saturday night. I need to go to bed. Thank Susie for the challenge. I liked her choices too. In particular Chesterton and Lewis. I am hoping that there will be times of storytelling on the other side with all of the people that I admire for their stand for Jesus.
#1 My great- grandfather Henry Kins -- The question: Is our name really Kinserdahl or is it Hermundson? Is the story you told my Dad true about why you came to America true and if it isn't true why did you change our name?
# 2 Ulrich Zwingle - Was it really a difference about the Lord's Supper that drove you and Martin Luther apart and was that what prompted you to say about him , " We are not of the same spirit."
#3 General Armstrong Custer - Were you shot by an old man when you rode across the river like the native Americans tell the story and were you killed relatively early at Little Big Horn like they say or were you the last to die like the movies depict it. Also, was your motivation for attacking by yourself and not waiting for your re-enforcements, that you were wanting to run for president and wanted a glory story to kick off the campaign?
# 4 Lief Erikson - Did you discover America or did you get no further than Greenland?
# 5 The Apostle Paul - Did you really evangelize in Spain and get as far as Great Britain or are those just legends?
Stay Tuned for MORE QUESTIONS TOMORROW
Monday, January 14, 2008
1. The science of matter and energy and of interactions between the two, grouped in traditional fields such as acoustics, optics, mechanics, thermodynamics, and electromagnetism, as well as in modern extensions including nuclear physics, cryogenics, solid-state physics, particle physics and plasma physics.
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
In high school one of my favorite teachers was my physics teacher Mr. Dennison. I don't recall all that much from the class other than a few films in time-lapse photography of a bullet piercing an apple, and clouds across the autumn skies. Something about velocity and gravity. Nothing about rocket science.
The reasons we like teachers vary, but in this case it may have been the special interest he showed to me. And it may have been that he was a baseball coach and I'd spent years dreaming that one day I would grow up to play baseball. Mr Dennison, my junior varsity coach in baseball at B.R.H.S.-West in New Jersey, had been a minor league pitcher for seven years. At the end of that seventh year he was brought up to the major leagues for a week, joining Boston's Red Sox bullpen the last week of a non-significant season and getting a chance to pitch part of an inning.
Evidently his dream had to be abandoned, because after this brief brush with the majors he let it go. Looking back on my own life I see any number of dreams embraced and abandoned, and understand now what I did not understand then. Perhaps this experience of pain made him a better coach and better teacher. He was certainly both, and an influence on my life.
It seemed as if he'd taken an interest in me. As a student, one tends to feel oneself to be a lost particle, insignificant as dust. To be singled out is a big thing. Especially by your J.V. coach.
My last period class was study hall and Mr. Dennison would take Joe Sweeney and I out of class to give us batting practice. Mr. D threw more junk at us than a carnival barker. His curves were impressive and the knuckle ball was a phenomenon. Both sophomore and junior years I had the second best batting average on the team and lowest strikeout percentage. Joe Sweeney had the best batting average, a healthy .500 or better junior year, and Skip Hoy similar our sophomore year.
But it was apparent we weren't going to be superstars. Late in the season I was brought up to varsity, played respectably at shortstop and earned a letter. The following year, however, the head coach was going to be re-building and it didn't take rocket science to see my future was not going to be in baseball.
I learned some valuable lessons from Mr. Dennison, a few in the classroom and some important ones out on the baseball diamond. His investment of time made an impact, and imparted some positive energy into my soul, an interaction that helped contribute to my own efforts years later as a coach, teacher and role model. Thank you, Mr. Dennison.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
In its essence, achieving a goal like this requires (a) the decision to do so, (b) finding a mentor who can help us move out of square one into complete facility, and (c) following through on each step along the way.
Dallas Willard, in his book Renovation of the Heart, uses this process of learning a language as a metaphor for character development. It requires intentionality first. Do we want to become better people? It does not "just happen."
Life is an ocean. If you are a ship in London and want to reach New York, it will be a very long time before you reach this destination if you set about to just drift there, if you reach it at all. Tragically, too many people live their lives with no aim whatsoever. Or with very low aims.
Where are you going with your life? What kind of goals do you have for your own personal development? As Ralph Winter once said, "Risks are not to be evaluated in terms of the probability of success, but in terms of the value of the goal." Keep pressing on. Purposefully.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
It is important to understand power, though I hardly have time to write anything comprehensive here. Many people associate power with bullying and intimidation. Yes, this is a form of power, but not the highest form of power.
A number of years ago a friend of mine, John Prin, recommended an insightful analysis of power called Real Power by Janet Hagberg. The book outlines the six stages of personal power within organizations and is one I'd highly recommend to anyone seeking a greater self-understanding and how to move beyond powerlessness or the lower levels of influence.
According to Hagberg, the lowest level of power is powerlessness. The next level is power by association. The third stage is power by symbols. Stage four is power by reflection. Stage five is power by purpose. And the highest level of power of influence is the saint who remains powerfully influential long after leaving the systems or structures of power. People like Mother Teresa, Saint Francis of Assisi, etc.
I like thinking in terms of influence. This is a little different from the idea of creation or the power demonstrated by God in creation, but not entirely. Are we making an impact with our lives, our activities? Are we making a difference? How can we make a difference that counts for something? What is the meaning of our lives?
Many people see "power" as destructive, or with its destructive face affixed. Power is demonstrated by one's ability to manipulate, intimidate, crush and destroy. Is this real power? Maybe it is a form of power, but a distorted form for sure. For a true portrait of how power is most perfectly and vividly expressed, check out the message by Pastor Brad Shannon on January 6 called Our Self Giving Servant Father . It turns our usual understandings about power on their heads. This is indeed Real Power.
Be sure to check out Janet Hagberg's Real Power at Amazon.com
Visit the website of my friend, author and speaker John Prin.
Friday, January 11, 2008
Thursday, January 10, 2008
I mention the book because of the images it paints. Set in the Old West, it could easily be a snapshot of a village in Rwanda, or Paris during its reign of terror. When law and order break down, the grim result is frightening.
Yet there are some who bought this scenario as a dream. Tear down the system and something better will emerge in its place. How that "something better" emerges is unexplained. But what is clear is that no one wants to be caught up in the midst of this kind of horror. And the more we have at stake -- homes, families -- the more we realize how utterly devastating a cultural breakdown will be. Who wants to see a spouse or child get abused, raped or tortured, to see all of one's personal belongings trashed and burned?
For this reason most people accept the slow erosion of freedoms, the increased taxation, the higher cost of living. What are our alternatives? Gratitude is one of the first things on my lips, for the family I was born into and the security I felt growing up, for a country with so much freedom within a structure of law. I have not been losing sleep over an unsettling fear that our family is endangered by marauding bands of bad men. (As soon as I write this, however, I wonder whether this is the case for some people in other parts of our nation... such as sections of South Chicago or L.A. or Philadelphia.)
We have many problems in our country, but the solution is not a teardown. Riots in the streets will not get us what we want. The feeling of powerlessness is strong out there. Making ends meet is a challenge for many and it is difficult to understand the forces behind the economic pressures most people experience. Also there is that feeling that we can't make much of a difference as we see civility deteriorating around us.
But the truth is contrary. The call to revolution should be a call for revolution within. Eliminate your inner anarchy, and you will be better suited to impact the community, and larger world, around you.
We really aren't powerless. Our future is in our hands.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
» There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Monday, January 7, 2008
Saturday, January 5, 2008
Friday, January 4, 2008
(1) Relativism ~ by Francis Beckwith & Gregory Koukl
(2) The Death of Common Sense: How Law Is Suffocating America ~ by Philip Howard
(3) The Great Divorce ~ by C.S. Lewis
(4) False Presence of the Kingdom ~ by Jacques Ellul
(5) Bias ~ by Bernard Goldberg
(6) Blinded by the Right ~ David Brock
(7) John Adams ~ by David McCullough
(8) The World Is Flat ~ by Thomas Friedman
(9) A Bend in the River ~ V.S. Naipaul
(10) Mere Christianity ~ C.S. Lewis
Thursday, January 3, 2008
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
April 20, 1998
I wrote this journal entry upon completion of my short story Unremembered History of the World, and as I neared the end of Puzo's book which I was reading at the time. In my youth I remember vividly the reading of his compelling blockbuster The Godfather. One evening I could not put the book down, and when my mom got up in the morning I had been reading all night.
The power of good books is revealed in this anecdote which I remember from a Puzo interview years ago. He had been a struggling writer for years, but with the success of The Godfather he suddenly had more wealth than he could have ever dreamed of. For a year he did everything money could buy, went everywhere, exhausted himself in his pursuits. At the end of it all, he was bored by everything... except his books. Reading, he said, was the one thing that he never tired of.
Here is a link to my Unremembered History. I tried to create a non-linear experience with several asides utilizing the unique capabilities of hyperlinks. But in point of fact, a written document can accomplish the same through footnotes. Nevertheless, I consider this one of my most interesting stories, though somewhat slow to develop for some modern tastes.
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
It's one of the classic thriller story lines. An ordinary person accidentally gets caught up in extraordinary circumstances. Dustin Hoffman in Marathon Man is a nail-biter example of this genre. A Simple Plan, with Bill Paxton and Billy Bob Thornton, is another.
And like any exceptional story, No Country has memorable characters. Llewelyn Moss is the unfortunate man who while hunting comes across a dope deal gone bad in the expansive back country of South Texas, and ends up with a satchel containing two million dollars in cash. There's a lesson here, though it is never stated as such: if you ever find a couple million dollars that are not yours, it's best to just stay out of it. Even though everyone involved in the transaction appears shot up and pretty much finished off, Moss knows that there will likely be others coming for the money. Little does he know how bad one of these others is.
NOTE: This Review Contains Spoilers
The guy who keeps you sitting straight up in your seat, and may keep you awake at night after, is Javier Bardem as Anton Chiguhr. Think sugar and chigger, and you have this pathological, human version of The Terminator, relentless in pursuit and seemingly indestructible. Nothing sweet about this man whose conscience is dead and determination unstoppable. Your heart rate increases every time he's on the screen.No Country for Old Men has been receiving fabulous reviews. The Coen brothers (Fargo, O Brother, Where Art Thou?) wrote the screenplay and directed this first rate film. Like another current book adaptation, Charlie Wilson's War, there is much that has to be sifted out and only hinted at, lest we have something tiresome to watch after a while. The Coens were successful at creating the emotional tension that is generated by the book.
How did they do it? One noteworthy item is the total absence of a music soundtrack. They deserve high praise for avoiding the commercial temptation to make a music bed that would generate additional revenues afterward. Instead, they went the direct opposite way with this film. No music, no sound at all in the opening or closing credits. No fake strings section to tip viewers off that something bad is coming. The tension is created totally by the intersection of characters and circumstances. And it does get intense.
In terms of execution the film was flawless. Congrats to the Coens for their ability to bring everyone together and pull off this kind of feat.
But there were a number of problems for me with this film adaptation. First, Tommy Lee Jones as Sheriff Ed Tom Bell. I mean, I just couldn't get past that this was Tommy Lee Jones playing a caricature of himself. He has been in too many movies where he's this hard boiled veteran whose seen too much of life. It is through his eyes that we see the story unfold. As a central character he plays this role well, but I know him as an actor from The Fugitive to Men In Black and, gosh, couldn't we find anyone else to do this? Sorry, guys. That's how it was for me.
Second, some have criticized the short amount of time Woody Harrelson is onscreen. Yep. He is a more important character in the book. Like William Hurt's brief appearance in Syriana, it was not necessary to have such star power here. O.K., it maybe sells more tickets at the box office? I really liked this character in the book, and Harrelson does play Carson Wells the bounty hunter very well, but I just don't know.
I consider both of these criticisms relatively minor compared to my one major criticism. It simply ended too fast in too confusing of a manner. I think a tight, fast ending is usually great in films so that they do not drag on after the final rush. The problem here is a tight, fast and confusing ending. If I had not read the book, I would not have known what happened. And I am not talking about the scene where Chiguhr is hit by the car. I'm referring to the preceding homicides that end the cat-and-mouse drama.
The reason this is a problem is that, in my opinion, the last emotion one should have after this kind of a thrill ride is that same relief you get when the roller coaster slams back into the station and they unlatch the mechanisms that keep you in the car. Relief. Catch your breath. Instead of a big "wow," I left the theater perplexed and disappointed, with jumbled thoughts. Instead of being in awe at the way they created such a fabulous film, I walked out baffled, dampened by the lack of clarity in the films last scenes. This should not have happened.
I still think it a powerful film and worth seeing if you like this kind of story. It will put you on the edge of your seat.