Thursday, July 15, 2010

Souls VI


Last night we watched "Terribly Happy", a Danish film directed by Henrik Genz. This young cop gets sent to a sleepy hamlet on the edge of a swampy bog after having done "something terrible." His penance is to be the town marshal until things blow over. But the village is home to a crew of misfits, tight-knit and unfriendly to strangers. Everyone has an ulterior motive and enough secrets to keep them drinking like fish and sleeping with one eye open.

Think of Fargo with a sublimated sense of humor.

Dead good.


The interesting thing for me, one of them, was this question of moral compromise that the protagonist had to deal with. He's THE LAW in the little village, and at every step he is faced with how to proceed: does he go "by the book" or does he do the kinder thing, the more human thing? Does he go along with the villagers in how they prefer to handle things, or impose his own will on a situation he is a stranger to?

Its the kind of thing I struggled with as a rookie cop, and still struggle with now. Although struggle might be the wrong word. I am faced with it all the time. And unless you are the kind of cop who got into it because you used to get beat up by the football team in high school, and shoved into a locker at lunch time, and never got the girl, and now you can go around writing speeding tickets to the ex-prom queen, then you want to do the human thing. Sometimes. You don't want to be a fucking prick day in and day out. It wears on you. I mean, you want to be a prick to the asshats and scumbags. At least I do. But every once in a while someone gets caught in the machine and you've got the power to give them a do-over. It's tempting. And sometimes its the right thing to do, or it sure looks like it.

The longer you do the job, though, the more you realize that, although you may not be able to see it right away, there is a reason they are jammed up in this terrible situation, and you ignore it at your peril.

You start becoming a real cop when you realize that if you interfere with the turning of the wheel of karma, you take on that karma yourself.

So you do it sparingly, with deep regret, and with your eyes wide open.

Because, believe me, it always costs you.


Of course, I still do it.

I'm a slow learner, I guess.


The woman made us chicken paillard with crusty bread and a fig and walnut salad on romaine.

I am a lucky son of a bitch, I'll tell you what.


A wreck of a human being, but damn lucky.





Anonymous Anonymous said...

this was seriously interesting to read.


your word verification is accusing me of being a "nagger". i object.


1:48 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


I spoke to my word verification and she takes it back. I told her to apologize, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

I hope it gets hot enough to bake your brain into a state of bliss this weekend.



2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the pic -- on my right(i don't read text)

i want to say;


.. the uther one... looks kinda like

on a good day.

five years ago.


6:38 PM  
Blogger Maggie May said...

This reminds me of why I love Parker's Spenser.

And your words.


6:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

... add to that wit a fist full of galdiators behind and a smilin tomatoe wit bad hair beside...

... somebody should slit that labor-door
thing above...


[wv -nalmer]

10:16 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


Spenser's a great character. I'll miss that s.o.b. Parker.

10:02 AM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


sorry the one on the right freaks you out, but that's kinda the point, isn't it? i'm glad you like the one on the left, which is also one of the points.

anyway, you sure say some odd things yourself.

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hope you are writing this sort into a larger piece.

7:29 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


I have not thought about it, but I have written five terrible novels and maybe some of this will be in terrible novel number six.

One of these days something good will come of it, I hope.

Thanks for the hint.



6:53 PM  

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