Tag Archives: Sir Thomas More

The Wind That Blows

offtheedgeWhat’s lost in the current impeachment debate is the fundamental disregard for the law – like it can be ignored with impunity.

When in NY with friends, I offered up a passage from Robert Bolt’s “A Man for All Seasons” about why the law matters, why its disregard is not harmless but is devastating.

Sir Thomas More’s son in law, Roper, instructs More to just say he’s devoted to a faith More did not embrace, and thus to save himself.

This is the exchange -

Roper: So now you’d give the Devil benefit of law!

More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

Roper: I’d cut down every law in England to do that!

More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you — where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast — man’s laws, not God’s — and if you cut them down — and you’re just the man to do it — d’you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake. Continue reading

Civilizing the savage man

leoRevenant“Revenant” is a gritty and terrifying western about Hugh Glass, a 19th Century frontiersman, left for dead after a mind-chilling, grizzly bear attack.

Glass crawls and limps, near death, bleeding from open sores, suffering unremitting pain, across hundreds of miles, to find and to kill the man who abandoned him who was charged with keeping him alive; Leonardo DiCaprio gives an Academy Award-winning performance as Glass in Alejandro Inarritu’s amazing movie.

It’s a primal story of survival, devotion, relentless cliff-hanging danger, disaster, betrayal, torment, violence, revenge, and human savagery.

This is a vivid rear view reflection on a society with little use for law or custom.

This is a world, both primitive and elemental, played out before sweeping scenic panoramas so wild and untamed that life is continuously at risk, both from the natural surroundings but also from the savage man.

Aristotle wrote that, “At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separate from law and justice he is the worst.

In the movie, Revenant, man is at his worst.

Revenant is an excursion into savagery and teaches the value of law and civility. Continue reading