"No Country for Old Men"

It’s a life’s work to see yourself for what you really are and even then you might be wrong.
― Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men

Last year, when I heard the news that Cormac McCarthy had died in Santa Fe at the age of 89, I reread No Country for Old Men. He owed the title of the book to Yeats’s poem “Sailing to Byzantium”—perhaps the best ever written about growing old. The Great Austrian Eco... Holcombe, Randall G Best Price: $8.95 Buy New $12.90 (as of 10:17 UTC - Details)

The novel takes place in Texas in the year 1980, and it’s about an aging Sheriff of a county in far West Texas near the Mexican border who is confronted with evil beyond his experience and understanding. Frequently he expresses bewilderment that such evil has visited his rural county.

The novel is sprinkled with wonderfully memorable quotes. The following are some of my favorites:

The stories get passed on and the truth gets passed over. As the sayin goes. Which I reckon some would take as meanin that the truth cant compete. but I dont believe that. I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It don’t move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt. You cant corrupt it because that’s what it is.

He could see the truck in the moonlight at the top of the rise. He looked off to one side of it to see it the better. There was someone standing beside it. Then they were gone. There is no description of a fool, he said, that you fail to satisfy. Now you’re goin to die.

People will tell you it was Vietnam brought this country to its knees. But I never believed that. It was already in bad shape. Vietnam was just the icin on the cake. We didn’t have nothin to give to em to take over there. If we’d sent em without rifles I dont know as they’d of been all that much worse off. You can’t go to war like that. You cant go to war without God. I dont know what is goin to happen when the next one comes. I surely dont.

It takes very little to govern good people. Very little. And bad people cant be governed at all. Or if they could I never heard of it.

I think if you were Satan and you were settin around tryin to think up somethin that would just bring the human race to its knees what you would probably come up with is narcotics. Maybe he did. I told that to somebody at breakfast the other mornin and they asked me if I believed in Satan…I had to think about that. I guess as a boy I did. Come the middle years my belief had waned somewhat. Now I’m startin to lean back the other way. He explains a lot of things that otherwise dont have no explanation. Or not to me they dont. Principles of Economics Ammous, Saifedean Best Price: $18.96 Buy New $20.52 (as of 07:01 UTC - Details)

Because a lot of the time ever when I say anything about how the world is goin to hell in a handbasket people will just sort of smile and tell me I’m gettin old.

I thought of No Country for Old Men when I saw the news that the actor, Mike Heslin, just died at the age of thirty. The people who run this country—whoever they are—need to start thinking very hard about what is killing the young and fit, and then at least try to do something about it.

Dr. Peter McCullough has been trying to awaken the powers that be for almost four years. It is high time that these fools wake up. This paper is a good place for people to start.

This originally appeared on Courageous Discourse.