Author Topic: A Ninth Viewing Observation  (Read 151694 times)

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #70 on: June 05, 2006, 10:36:48 am »
I beg to differ on one point: Jack is not clumsy!! Jack is a totally competent person. Sure he missed the coyote. That's because he didn't have a killer instinct. But Jack is tremendously good with the sheep, and handy with camp chores. He's a laissez-faire type of person, leaving the tent be even if it don't look quite right because improving his harmonica skills is more important. Cowboys and other people who worked with livestock commonly played the harmonica and/or sang as a way to keep the animals calm, and were less likely to be hired if they couldn't sing. Jack was also perfectly good with the can opener as can be seen if you look carefully. The problem was that he was trying to open a can while lying supine and balancing the can on his stomach! Jack was also perfectly good with a lasso and a fine bullrider too, certainly not a pissant. (See my ranting on "Jack was maligned unfairly" for more on this). Furthermore, Jack was the company's best combine salesman and could ride those combines around in circles. In his later years, Jack was always equipped with the best in camping gear and tack, and he kept his truck going smoothly to Wyoming and back several times a year. No, Jack did not deserve the criticism that his dad, society, Aguirre, his father-in-law, and even Ennis heaped on him. He only deserved the unconditional love that his mother gave him and that we all deserve.
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Offline ednbarby

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #71 on: June 05, 2006, 01:24:50 pm »
Hear, hear, F-R!  I was gonna jump in and defend my always put-upon and overly-maligned Jack, but you did it for me.  And much more eloquently than I would have.

I'll add that I think he was pretty damned good at lighting a cigarette against the wind, too - something I never have mastered even in a slight breeze, myself.
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #72 on: June 05, 2006, 01:59:16 pm »
my always put-upon and overly-maligned Jack,

Hunh?? Barb, if anyone's put-upon and overly maligned in this movie, it's not Jack! (Just consider, for example, some of the responses to those threads in the polling place -- he's everybody's best friend and favorite dreamboat!)

Or wait: It just occurred to me you might have meant he's maligned by other characters in the movie rather than members of BetterMost. Even if that's the case, though, I still don't think I'd agree -- Aguirre hates Ennis, too, LD Newsome, Mr. Twist and Jimbo are all portrayed as jerks. And Jack is liked by everyone else we see him in contact with: Lureen, Randall, LaShawn, the bartenders, his mother, Ennis ...

And Lee, I certainly didn't mean to align myself with Old Man Twist, Aguirre and LD Newsome in heaping criticism upon Jack!! (Though I don't get your reference to Ennis -- when does Ennis ever criticize Jack except in a teasing way about the harmonica and, I guess, in a personally threatened way about Mexico?)

Let me clarify my previous post. All I meant is that, as I've stated on previous threads, I think one of the things Jack finds attractive in Ennis is that Ennis is graceful at things that Jack is a bit bumbling with. Ennis catches the watch while Jack drops the keys. Ennis hits the coyote, Jack misses. Stuff like that. Of course Jack is a very skilled sheep herder, outdoorsman and cigarette lighter. He's an OK singer and bull-rider. And he's a far better conversationalist and dancer than Ennis (the former being one reason Ennis is attracted to Jack).
« Last Edit: June 05, 2006, 02:48:25 pm by latjoreme »

Offline ednbarby

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #73 on: June 05, 2006, 02:47:18 pm »
Quote
Let me clarify my previous post. All I meant is that, as I've stated on previous threads, I think one of the things Jack finds attractive in Ennis is that Ennis is graceful at things that Jack is a bit bumbling with. Ennis catches the watch while Jack drops the keys. Ennis hits the coyote, Jack misses. Stuff like that. Of course Jack is a very skilled sheep herder, outdoorsman and cigarette lighter. He's an OK singer and bull-rider. And he's a far better conversationalist and dancer than Ennis (the former being one reason Ennis is attracted to Jack).

And there are the yin and the yang making an appearance again.  Each of them is skilled at all the things the other is not.  Together, they make the perfect person.

I guess I just see Jack as being woefully under-appreciated by all of society (because I basically see him as a bit of a Messiah, truth told), except for his mother and Ennis, the only two people who ever loved him unconditionally.
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #74 on: June 05, 2006, 02:52:09 pm »
I guess I just see Jack as being woefully under-appreciated by all of society

Well, it's a lot to expect for all of society to appreciate him as much as you do!  ;)  :-*

Offline ednbarby

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #75 on: June 05, 2006, 02:59:31 pm »
Well, it's a lot to expect for all of society to appreciate him as much as you do!  ;)  :-*

LOL!  I think that's precisely my problem - I expect way too much of society.
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Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #76 on: June 05, 2006, 03:23:39 pm »
Wooah, Front-Ranger. Sometimes I get a little too carried away. I did not mean to say y'all were maligning Jack. I know you love him. I just meant to say that the idea that Jack is a no-good, clumsy, rodeo f**k-up is presented in the surface of the story, but if you look deeper, Jack is maligned not because of his inability but because he is different and people sense that difference and react with hostility.

Those were great quotes you cited and very convincing goadra! You have really added to this discussion.

But I have to mildly disagree with you Katharine on everybody liking Jack. The list of people who did not like Jack is long. And even his wife just used him as an escape from her dad, didn't speak well of him after he died, and treated him like an accessory. She didn't speak up for him when others called him a pissant in her presence. Ennis expected Jack to do all the work of keeping the relationship going and wouldn't even consider Jack's offer to buy a ranch for them to live in.
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #77 on: June 05, 2006, 03:48:11 pm »
I love this thread, because there's no real topic to go on or off of. Or is there? Come to think of it, I can't even remember what the original 9th viewing observation was (and I think I'm on my 12th).

I have to mildly disagree with you right back, Lee.  :)  Jack seems way too likeable a guy for many people to dislike him. In any case, I see Lureen differently from you. I think she loves him and does the best she can for him -- except in the pissant scene, which, now that you mention it I've never really understood.

And I really see Ennis differently. I think Ennis does his best to keep the relationship going. In objective terms it's less than Jack does, but from Ennis' perspective he takes on a lot of risk and inner conflict to be with Jack. And the reason he refuses to consider Jack's ranch proposal isn't because he doesn't like Jack!

You know, today I've been bouncing between this thread and some of the Jack/Ennis Jake/Heath polls. I have always been convinced that one's preference of cowboy really shapes the way one interprets and responds to the movie. Anybody else agree with this?

Offline nakymaton

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #78 on: June 05, 2006, 04:33:57 pm »
In any case, I see Lureen differently from you. I think she loves him and does the best she can for him -- except in the pissant scene, which, now that you mention it I've never really understood.

I think Lureen looks like the "pissant" comment bothers her, actually. Whether that's because she's frustrated that her handsome romantic bull-riding cowboy isn't what he seemed that day at the rodeo, or whether she's annoyed that their customers are dissing Jack and she can't really tell them off when she wants them to buy farm equipment, I don't know. But she doesn't seem happy about it.

Quote
You know, today I've been bouncing between this thread and some of the Jack/Ennis Jake/Heath polls. I have always been convinced that one's preference of cowboy really shapes the way one interprets and responds to the movie. Anybody else agree with this?

I think there's some of that going on. (But what about people who like the dynamic between the two of them more that liking either one individually? I think that's where I stand.) I should go back and post in the Jack/Ennis poll thread. I voted, and read the thread, but have been trying to figure out my answer for a couple days.
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Offline ednbarby

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Re: A Ninth Viewing Observation
« Reply #79 on: June 05, 2006, 05:06:33 pm »
Quote
I love this thread, because there's no real topic to go on or off of. Or is there? Come to think of it, I can't even remember what the original 9th viewing observation was (and I think I'm on my 12th).

Actually, we are sort of staying on topic in this particular branch of the discussion, because my ninth viewing observation was that Jack ashed himself at the dance after he caught Randall eyeballing him at the table and while Lureen was saying "Husbands... don't never seem to wanna dance with their wives..."

But even if we weren't, I have no problem with my thread going off in other directions.  That's what keeps it lively, and I'm all about keeping things lively.

I actually am in the camp that thinks Lureen loved Jack.  I just don't think she loved him *unconditionally* like his mother and Ennis did.  It may not even be a matter of not loving him unconditionally so much as not fully knowing and understanding him like those two did.

And I find her not speaking well of him after his death as being out of the bitterness of realizing fully that the marriage was a charade and that he couldn't possibly have loved her like she loved him.  I totally believe she knew how and why he died - Anne Hathaway has all but said this.  She didn't know until the phone call that Ennis was the love of his life, but she knew there were others and that they weren't women.  But the fact that she suggests that he go to Lightning Flat is *huge*, especially considering that in the short story we learn that Jack never once took her up there to meet them.  The unselfishness of that gesture is astonishing, and to me it has to be borne from love.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2006, 05:09:22 pm by ednbarby »
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