Watched The Gambler1 the other day. It’s an act of treason beyond all reason. He’s not a gambler he’s a suicide looking for a way. So he rolls the dice, ‘All on black’ he says. ‘All.’ He’s a funeral, a burial waiting to happen. He’s on the run; he finds the one he wants. But she’s not; she’s a distraction from reality. She’s what the Director wants, cause it’s what we want, cause it sells—supposedly.
Yes, disappointment’s settling in amongst us film watchers of this film in this lounge room. Mister Main Character rolls the dice, it all comes down and he’s on his own. Nothing left. He’s running hard and running.
The Maker of the film comes to a place and I’m on edge. This could be a great ending. Will the Maker have the balls to go there? He runs and stops. Will he lose the nerve: flip out and go back to default, to one-dimensional material dollar/job//sex?
Yep, exactly what happens. Director caves when he could have made. A real ending that swayed you, and made you. Could have had it right there. Could have taken us by the neck and ran us headlong into real! A baptism2 of fire, busting a thousand years of baptismal lies, of pretty fonts and white frills telling us baptisms are lovely. They are not!
That water down there is about death! That fierce determination to have done with whatever this thing is that whispers in my ear all day every day telling me it’s #*%! The only cure for the pretty boy at eighteen with his girl in every town telling me twenty years ago that he’d come good one day and now here we are twenty years later—those girls are angry and so are the kids. He’s a loser they all say.
O my God! How did that happen! Seems like it was only yesterday and his eyes were young and bright, so young and bright, and full of fight. Baptism is what he needs, real and ruthless—funeral style. But he worded his way around me, around us all, wormed his way towards whatever it was that whispered.
And here we are watching The Gambler! The Drunken Cowboy/Jackeroo! So beloved of those girls wanting beautiful boys to save. Mister Main Character is all out of options. Just two left now: the girl or the baptism. What a perfect place for a funeral for the Shadow Self: real crucifixion on Skull Hill—Easter style. Perfect time, lay it on the line, embrace this traitor, this act of treason we call baptism. Torn up and thrown about and letting the Someone Else make it, Maker of Suns and Stars and Seas. Go down into waters and surrenders.
But no! No funeral for that Dark and Broken Self, just a new girl to live with, make angry in old age and rage.
1 Recent Mark Wahlberg film
2 baptism: word origin relates to shipwrecks and violence e.g, a mob ransacking a city