Sunday, March 30, 2008

Life Lessons from Unforgiven

Unforgiven was an Oscar winning movie when it came out 15 years ago or so. I finally saw it this weekend and found it quite thought provoking.

Among its issues were forgiveness (obviously), guns, duty and valour, law and the beauty of living in a world governed by it.

I don't like movies like this, in general, I mean, too much violence, too much senselessness, but... at the same time, there is a lot to be said for what is being presented here.

It was an interesting weekend, I sat in on a riding meeting for a certain political party. One of the issues raised was guns and the "right" to bare arms. To me it was as disturbing to hear the conversation go on (unargued, might I add) as it was to think of what would happen if they were wrong. I don't see the American system of gun ownership being particularly great, and yet here were people openly advocating that we go that way. Perhaps it is the joy of living in rural Ontario, as opposed to a little closer to Jane and Finch, (notorious gang hot spot in Toronto) as my school is.

The gun culture of Unforgiven makes a stark comparison. The only guy we see who is not carrying a weapon is often displayed as mercenary and weak. Those who carry guns though end up dead, all but two, and even then they claim to be either dead or dying.

Sanctity of human life was brought up at the political meeting. I sat wondering what that meant to them. Does that mean that human life is important, sacred even (whatever that means)? Or does it mean that God gives it and takes it on His terms? If its the last, I'm with them. Yet, at the same time, adopting a gun culture in which you're allowed to carry a concealed weapon or at least have one for self-defense does not extend the idea that human life is sacred. It simply says that my life is sacred, and the life of someone threatening me or my property is not. The idea that guns cure anything is pretty risky. I know guns don't kill people, people kill people. I know that the government has no right to ______ (fill in the blank yourself). Do we really know what we're asking for though?

Watch Unforgiven if you dare, and think carefully.

Feel free to comment below. I'd be interested in hearing a dissenting view.


Ron & Sabrina Easton said...

Hey I watched unforgiven this weekend too! We should try and watch some of these movies together sometime:)

Was it senseless violence? It wasn't gore and bloody, it was a sad commentary on the old west as far as I could see... how far does a father go to provide for his children? How does he face his children the next day? He stands there and tells them he stood for the honor of a woman and friendship.
I saw an interesting clip on a 20/20 like show, at the DGI (don't get involved)era we live in. They showed clips of paid actresses tourmenting an overweight actress on a public park becnh, out of 60 people 3 stopped and tried to help the young lady. They tried again with male actors tourmenting the same lady and 1 lady and 1 man stepped in, the man visibly about to "pound" the actors for their rudness. Sad commentary on today's society as far as I am concerned. out of 120 people 5 "got involed".
The other day in McDonalds, I had the three kids with me, and had to kindly ask a group of young men (13-15 in age I would say)to please be respectful of thier language with the little ones around. And they did for the most part tune it down, but it was scary, who knew what reaction I was going to get. I don't agree with necessarily the method he used, but cutos to him for fighting for what we have lost today, honor,and respect for others.
The use of Guns was a sad look at the law being in the hands of individuals. For those who wish for another time and another day to live in...carfeul what you wish for. It wasn't any easier or safer back then that's for sure.

Inside Out said...

I guess, I like the idea that the whole society stands up for the women and children, rather than just the gunslinger. If one gunslinger doesn't get along with another then they just go at it, the "manly" way.