Pete Kendall's Socio Times: A Socionomic Commentary

February 22, 2008
Oscar Contenders in Moral Gray Zone
Heroes are old hat. Villains are too easy. It's time to honor the dishonorable.

Take the monster that stalks No Country for Old Men. Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh is like the Terminator Goes West, accessorized with a man-bob hair-don't and an alarming cattle gun as he efficiently mows down whoever stands between him and a stash of stolen drug money.

One might think the hulking brute has no redeeming values. Yet, he does provide a few of his targets with a chance to decide their own fate. He tosses a quarter, and their call of heads or tails determines what happens next. This twisted moral code, plus the fact he is extremely qualified for his job, shines a little light into his black soul.

Rather than being a one-note villain, he is an anti-hero, a character so fascinating and so single-minded that his horrific actions often come off as darkly humorous. Many moviegoers are as likely to root for him as they are to be repulsed.

Bardem understands the attraction to such psychopaths. "They're a mirror of our own fears, and it's easier for us, as viewers, to put those fears out of ourselves. 'I'm not that. I can never be that.' But, at the same time, you are attracted to that because you know you have that in yourself."

As for Chigurh's coin-toss morality, "In a funny way, you understand those codes in the subconscious. In the end, he's about, 'I'm your fate. I'm your violent accident. I'm here, and you have to face that.' "

Chigurh is not the only anti-hero lurking in cinemas this past year. Almost two-thirds of the Oscar-nominated roles in the four acting categories fall into this classification to varying degrees, from Johnny Depp's throat-slashing barber in Sweeney Todd to Saoirse Ronan's misguided pubescent in Atonement. Odds are likely at least one or two will be rewarded for their warts-and-all efforts.
--USA Today

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Are Bad Guy Protagonists Trying to Tell Us Something?
Category: MOVIES
By: Pete Kendall, February 29, 2008

Bear markets demand their anti-heroes.
The Elliott Wave Fiancial Forecast, January 2008

no country
Back in June 2007 as the stock market peak approach, The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast noted emergence of an important new role model: “The anti-hero is increasingly garnering the public’s interest.” Back in January we were covered the successful premiere of  Sweeny Todd, which earned positive reviews and related that The Demon Barber of Fleet Street has deep bear market roots that actually go back to the 1840s when the U.S. was still dealing with the social manifestations of Supercycle wave (II) and British stock prices were locked in a long bear market.

Our stock market opinion is confirmed by this years Oscars, which were literally dominated by anti-hero roles. The most hardware went to No Country for Old Men, “the bloody story of a drug deal gone bad,” which won four Oscars including best film. Hollywood is “focused on themes of betrayal, corruption and murder. No Country beat out There Will Be Blood, Michael Clayton and Atonement, three films that also featured dark themes. The fifth nominee, Juno,was a comedy about teen pregnancy.”  Well, even the 1930s had its screwball comedies.

What’s going on? Lisa Dombrowski, an associate professor of film at Wesleyan University, is on the money with this explanation from USA Today’s story: “The reflective attitudes of these characters fit the mood of this year."  As the latest issue of EWFF says with respect to the markets and economy, there’s just no concealing the current position of social mood. In fact, this is confirms our forecast as an element of recognition is exactly what the Wave Principle calls for at this juncture of the wave count. This must be a big turn; the signal is so prominent that it is plainly visible on the silver screen.

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