Equusi is an obligatory movie.
The story it tells is that Failed She-societyii kidnaps a young man (because the young man is threatening to actually mature, and this is more dangerous to the socialist swamp than the Tunguska event) and brings him to a pliant idiot for reconfiguration. The young man's shocking purity however, instead of being deconstructed by the cuck "ally", ends up cracking the veener (or, in pantsuit terms, corrupting their asset). Here's the collapse in the cuck's own termsiii :
Underneath all that glowering, the boy trusts me. You realize that?
I'm sure he does.
Poor, bloody fool.
Please, Martin, dear, don't start that again.
Can you do anything worse to somebody than to take away their worship?
Yes, that word again.
Isn't that a little extreme?
Extremity is the point.
Worship isn't destructive, Martin. I know that.
I don't. I only know it's the core of his life. What else has he got? Think about it. He can hardly read. He knows no physics or engineering to make the world real to him. No paintings to show him how others have enjoyed it. No music except television jingles. None of the other crutches we cucks use to try and pretend you and your miserable lot aren't the scum of the earth. To try and keep from strangling you on your own, foul smelling fallopian tubes for just one day more. One day at a time. No history except tales from a desperate lunatic of a mother. She is exactly like you, by the way. You'd like each other. Meanwhile he has no friends to give him a joke or make him know himself more moderately. He's a modern citizen for whom society doesn't exist. He lives one hour every three weeks, howling in a mist. "With my body, I thee worship." Many of what you falsely call men are less vital with their wives.
All the same, they don't blind their wives, do they?
Well, do they?
They bloody well should. You have no business seeing, for one. You mean he's a violent, dangerous madman who'll go round the country doing it again and again? He fucking should.
I mean he's in pain, Martin. He's been in pain for most of his life.
And you can take it away.
Then that's all you need to know, in the end.
Because it is his.
His pain. His own. He made it.
I don't understand. I don't! There's no merit about being in pain, that's just pure old masochism.
I'm talking about passion, Hesther. You know what that word meant originally? Suffering. The way you get your own spirit. Through your own suffering. Self-chosen. Self-made. This boy's done that. He's created his own desperate ceremony just to ignite one flame of original ecstasy in the spiritless waste around him. All right, he's destroyed for it, horribly. He's virtually been destroyed by it. One thing I know for sure, that boy has known a passion more ferocious than I have known in any second of my life. Let me tell you something. I envy it.
Don't you see? That's what his stare has said all this time. "At least I galloped. When did you?" I'm jealous, Hesther. I'm jealous of Alan Strang.
Yes, utterly. Utterly!iv
I go on about my wife. Have you thought about the husband? The finicky, critical husband, with his art books on mythical Greece? What real worship has he known? Without worship, you shrink! It's brutal. I shrank my life. No one can do it for you. I settled for being pallid and provincial out of my eternal timidity. The old story of bluster, and do bugger-all. I didn't even dare to have children. Didn't dare to bring children into a house and marriage as cold as mine. I tell everyone Margaret is the puritan, I'm the pagan. Some pagan. Such wild returns I make to the womb of civilization. Three weeks a year in the Mediterranean. Beds booked in advance, meals paid with vouchers, cautious jaunts in hired cars, suitcase crammed with Kaopectatev. What a fantastic surrender to the primitive. The "primitive." I use that word endlessly. "The primitive world," I say, "what instinctual truths were lost with it." While I sit baiting that poor, unimaginative woman with the word that freaky boy is trying to conjure the reality. I look at pages of centaurs trampling the soil of Argos. Outside my window, that boy is trying to become one in a Hampshire field. Every night I watch that woman knitting, a woman I haven't kissed in six years. And he stands for an hour in the dark, sucking the sweat off his god's hairy cheek. In the morning, I put away my books on the cultural shelf, close up my Kodachrome snaps of Mount Olympus, touch my reproduction statue of Dionysus for luck and go off to the hospital to treat him for insanity. Now do you see?
The boy's in pain, Martin. That's all I see. I understand, you know. I'm not just being Mrs. MacBrisk. You haven't made that kind of pain. So few of us have. But you've still made other things. Your own thoughts. Your own skill. Skill absolutely unique to you. I've watched you do it, year after year, and it's marvelous! You can't just sit and say it's all provincial, you're just a butcher. All that stuff is stupid, hateful. All right, you never galloped. Too bad. If I have to choose between his galloping and your sheer training I'll take the training every time. What's more, so will the boy, at this moment. That stare of his isn't accusing you, it's simply demanding.
Just that. Your power to pull him out of the nightmare he's galloped himself into. Do you see?
And I will tell you. I, that have ridden horses. Properly, which I doubt anyone else can say, anyone young enough, corrupted enough to care about the little boxes with lights sufficiently so as to read this at the least. I, that have never hurt a horse, that have never had one killed under me, by friend or foe, that have never had to "put one out of its misery", its misery, don't you know, that in the first place my ineptitude, my sloth, insanity, stupidity created. Its misery, indeed, its misery of yours. I, into which horses never seen before confide, unconditionally, I, for whom they have on more than one occasion traduced the designs of those who fancied themselves on no real basis "their owners" for the mere, unspoken asking, I, slightly weeping as I write this will tell you that the blinding of six horses is exactly as the man said, "tot cela egale zero". It's nothing compared, it's not a price too small to not pay but actually a price too small to compute at all. And Equus agrees, no less, which is why horses are an important part of mankind, such as uppity old women never were. And never will be, nor ever could be.
I will tell you that I do not see, nor is anything there to see. The woman doesn't need her eyes because in point of fact she's never used them, she lives by ear, and it's intolerable.
I will tell you that by the time you see what she "sees", she's long driven metal spikes through your eyes. If you actually care, nay, if you for a heartbeat imagine it could possibly matter what she'd take over what, you've long not had anything of any import or interest to anyone.
Do not permit the butchery. Especially not of the children, but if you can't stir to care about the children, try at the least to care for yourself.———
- 1977, by Sidney Lumet, adapted by Peter Shaffer after his own play, with Richard Burton and the Baroness Olivier, introducing Peter Firth. [↩]
- Personified by some sort of SOPS clerk that very far from ever being admitted to the bar, or in a college of any description, should really never have been permitted above the station of an exoftalmic milliner, which is exactly what she substantially is, and throughout will forever remain, adornments irrespective.
No, Shaffer's discussion in terms of Dionysian values opposing Apollonian is entirely impertinent. There's nothing Apollonian in the conclave of overgrown little girls. "The boy is in pain is all I know", don't you know. Fucking whip them. All. Today. Tomorrow. Forever. [↩]
- Amusingly enough Burton does infinitely better a job dealing with actual horses than he ever did dealing with Elizabeth Taylor, that absolute, utterly absolute horse of a woman. On screen or off, the purple eyed whore was exactly nothing else, "all that power, ready to go anywhere under a worthy rider". She never found her rider. For his sins, she never found her rider. [↩]
- You should hear her shriek on utterly, at that. [↩]
- Pepto-bismol in alt-simple-English [↩]