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October 22, 2007 6:42 PM   Subscribe

War and Deliverance [Original format] How "an old movie may offer perspective on American attitudes behind the invasion of Iraq." By Christopher Dickey, son of the man who wrote the novel Deliverance.
posted by Abiezer (17 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Heh. Americans are frequently amazed when visiting the UK at how much people reference Deliverence when discussing their country, especially the middle bits*.

* The UK mental map of America goes roughly like this: California, new york and florida on the edges, a vague idea that seattle is up there in the corner somewhere, "The south", and then deliverance land in the middle. Actually The South and Deliverence land are frequently interchanged.
posted by Artw at 6:59 PM on October 22, 2007


You shaw gotta petty mouf bouy.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 7:16 PM on October 22, 2007


I saw this article last week -- it's good. It was interesting to me that Dickey the Younger took the long way around re: the film and novel's relevance to current national affairs, making a case for its prescience, when the truth is more obvious and damning: That Deliverance seems to parallel our moronic adventures in the Middle East because said moronic adventures so closely parallel Vietnam, which was surely on Dickey the Elder's mind when he wrote the book.

(Wow, that was a long sentence. Sorry -- for some weird reason, I seem to get more longwinded the tireder I get. Goodnight.)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:19 PM on October 22, 2007


Americans are frequently amazed when visiting the UK at how much people reference Deliverence when discussing their country

Artw, that's kind of interesting when you consider the southern Appalachian "hillbillies" of Deliverance are the Scotch/Irish. A good book on this is Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America: "..the largest migration (1717-75), poor borderland families of English, Scots, and Irish fled a violent environment to seek a better life in a similarly uncertain American backcountry." - These "borderland" peoples were known for their violent honor cultures and bred the likes of the Hatfields and McCoys. Books like Stevenson's Kidnapped has scenes right out of Deliverance, the banjo feud for example.
posted by stbalbach at 7:38 PM on October 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


I saw this article last week -- it's good. It was interesting to me that Dickey the Younger took the long way around re: the film and novel's relevance to current national affairs, making a case for its prescience, when the truth is more obvious and damning: That Deliverance seems to parallel our moronic adventures in the Middle East because said moronic adventures so closely parallel Vietnam, which was surely on Dickey the Elder's mind when he wrote the book.


The U.S. as a nation of people has changed a lot since Vietnam(tm). It's just that Washington D.C. hasn't. The same hacks just get circulated around.

Government is only as strong as the people who run it. Iraq is a case study in how weak the institutions of our government have become, how susceptible to con men and the vainglorious and deluded. There will always be men like Dick Cheney; that he has succeeded to the extent he has is a testament to the weakness of his opponents more than his strength.

I think it's a dangerous illusion to chalk up Vietnam and Iraq to the character of America (well the U.S.). They reflect the weaknesses of the men who rule us.

Which is all just to say, that if Deliverance speaks to the character of anyone, it's people seated at a table I will never be invited to. Who I am has nothing to do with Iraq.
posted by geos at 7:49 PM on October 22, 2007 [3 favorites]


Goddamn, you play a mean banjo!
posted by Poolio at 7:58 PM on October 22, 2007


Little known fact: Bush is the Sheep child.

" ... half
Sheep like a woolly baby
Pickled in alcohol because
Those things can't live his eyes
Are open but you can't stand to look ..."
posted by octobersurprise at 7:59 PM on October 22, 2007


I think it's a dangerous illusion to chalk up Vietnam and Iraq to the character of America (well the U.S.). They reflect the weaknesses of the men who rule us.

...yet a funny and accurate illusion.
His next book..."Oil Sands of Alberta: The symbolism of the hillbilly phallus".
posted by greenskpr at 8:13 PM on October 22, 2007


Wow, that article was actually pretty good. I'm a pretty big devotee of the Deliverance mythos (I keep a copy on top of my toilet, dogeared to the page featuring the fabled line, "Now let's you just drop them pants."), but man, I never thought about it that way.
posted by Eideteker at 8:31 PM on October 22, 2007


* The UK mental map of America goes roughly like this: California, new york and florida on the edges, a vague idea that seattle is up there in the corner somewhere, "The south", and then deliverance land in the middle. Actually The South and Deliverence land are frequently interchanged.

Yeah? That's all right, right?


I'm from new york city.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 9:08 PM on October 22, 2007


Oh, and thanks for linking to the article, interesting reading.

stbalbach - You should hear what we say about Devon.

Folks from round 'ere arn't from round ere...
posted by Artw at 11:32 PM on October 22, 2007


hey it's OK, the central USA's mental map of england goes like this: London (which is a semi-specific rainy place)
posted by MNDZ at 12:52 AM on October 23, 2007


Actually The South and Deliverence land are frequently interchanged.

It's pretty easy to keep straight if you think about it. The South is where they sell Bar-B-Q, so if you go there you won't get anally raped, just hung from a hook and cut up with a chainsaw before you're sold to the locals as food.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:20 AM on October 23, 2007


hey it's OK, the central USA's mental map of england goes like this: London (which is a semi-specific rainy place)

We are aware of this: We have television.

More sophisticated Americans of course know that England consists of London and Other, which has winding lanes and picturesque villages.
posted by Artw at 6:27 AM on October 23, 2007


Toy Dolls
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:01 AM on October 23, 2007


Good article.
posted by grubby at 7:22 AM on October 23, 2007


I think it's a dangerous illusion to chalk up Vietnam and Iraq to the character of America (well the U.S.). They reflect the weaknesses of the men who rule us
That's certainly pretty much what I took away from the article geos - his contrast between the Burt Reynolds and Jon Voight characters. I had not heard of James Mackey before either, and will be looking out for his novel and other work.
posted by Abiezer at 12:39 PM on October 23, 2007


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