Last night I saw, for the Xth time, No Country for Old Men – that movie masterpiece from the Coen Bros.


My reaction this time: No country for any man! USA, Mexico, the Americas in short…, bastards’ territory. Not so much failed states as failed nations. Which might be worse. This, I intuited when I lived out there from 1971 till 1973. Now I know.


There is something hilariously funny about the fact that the USA is bringing ‘democracy’ to various failed states in this world, while – though state-wise it may be functioning – its state of the nation is a far cry from civil society.


God’s Own Country. Ha!


What great artists these Coens, to create an enlarged, surreal image of that mad world out there. The crazy guy with his air-gun and his coin, each time flipped to decide about the life or death of a victim. Mister Yank he is.




The seemingly surreal as hard core reality.


Henry Miller was right, writing to Larry Durrell that ‘what constitutes surrealism is a permanent thing in art, more especially in literature’. He meant that it always has been so.


In cinematography surrealism has indeed been the ‘permanent thing’, here however the surreal turns all too easily out to be the real thing. The cinema, as opposed to literature, does not demand too much suspension of one’s disbelief…


So Sade was right. God is the Devil and vice versa. The dialectics of good and evil, eventually having achieved that Higher Identity. By the way, precisely what Hegel wanted – it all happened out West.


Sierksma – La Roche 11.9/2016



Author: rjsiersk

Sierksma was born in Friesland, a 'county' in the northern part of the Netherlands with its own language which he does not speak and with an obstinate population to which he both belongs and does not belong. A retired Professor of Social Philosophy and Aesthetics, as a Harkness fellow he taught at Rutgers and Berkeley Universities in the USA, and at GUAmsterdam and TUDelft in the Netherlands. In 1991 he was awarded his PhD from Leiden University on the subject of 'Surveillance and Task: Labour Discipline between Utilitarianism and Pragmatism'. His books include Minima Memoria (1993), Lost View (2002 with Jan van Geest), and Litter Scent (2013). He has published poems and articles in Te Elfder Ure, Nynade, Oasis and the Architectural Annual. Half the year he lives in Haarlem, the other half he spends in la France Profonde, living ‘in his own words’ as the house out there was bought with the winnings from his essay Eternal Sin, written for the ECI Essay Prize (1993). In this blog, Sierksma's Sequences, written in English, he is peeping round his own and other people’s perspectives. Not easily satisfied with answers nor with questions, he turns his wry wit to a number of philosophical and historical issues. His aim in writing: to make parts of the world light up in his perspective - not my will, thine! Not being a thief, he has no cook, one wife, some children, one lover and three cats.

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