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There are so many great movies, so many great movie makers, the older one gets the more embarrassed one becomes at how ignorant, inexperienced we were once when we pronounced short lists of “greatest”: I’m here today to declare that unless Werner Herzog is on your list your list is merely illiterate. Herzog may not be on the very shortest lists possible: along with Kurosawa, Fellini … Renoir, Griffith, but he’s got to be on any list of a dozen or more, maybe not quite as high as Ozu, but not too far.
Herzog once said that Klaus Kinski made Brando look like kindergarten.
Last night I streamed Herzog’s Happy People:
A Year in the Taiga
Have you read pk? Then you know why I’m touting him. He celebrates Siberian hunter/trappers surviving in the Taiga: in freedom, with no government, no taxes, no bureaucracy …
It ain’t a desert island, it ain’t Robinson Cruso, enslaving the first black he sees: it’s cold, it’s dangerous, it’s hard work, but, bless them, they’re free.
Take that, US: a portrait of a Russian, who remembers Stalin! as free!
(He remembers Stalin promising this and that and delivering nothing!) (At least Stalin didn’t come into the Taiga to kill him: imagine Lincoln chasing some anarchist to the northern most tip of Alaska! (Lincoln had soldiers to burn cities for him.) No, no: the dictators stay where the restaurants are.)
Economics of Freedom
2015 12 18 All humans were born free: human “success” didn’t leave it possible for long. The Taiga, north Alaska, the Yukon are exceptions. The Taiga is twice the size of the United States! Our trapper and his few colleagues need all of that territory for their freedom.
I’ve been saying all along that we can’t be completely free until we’re partly free: to the result that six billion would kill three billion, three billion would kill one and a half billion, one and a half billion would kill, kill, kill … till you couldn’t find bullets to fit your gun, till there were so few free men left that no one could find anyone else to kill: but some might find a mate: one hopes just enough mates to level the population at … I don’t know: a few hundred million? a few hundred thousand?
Then running into a bear would be a real problem: for man and dog.
Also notice: it’s the men who are free: free-roaming; the women and children stay in the settlement: the man brings home the pelts to sell once a year. A few months of family bliss, and back to the wilderness.
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