Tuerie d’Istres: Attention, une balade sauvage peut en cacher une autre (Badlands goes Allahu Akbar: Should the legless Bostonians have agitated more forcefully for federally mandated after-school assimilationist basketball programs ?)

https://i2.wp.com/images.fan-de-cinema.com/affiches/drame/la_balade_sauvage,2.jpghttps://i2.wp.com/24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m30as9EuiT1r37q3oo1_500.jpghttps://jcdurbant.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/07ead-b15.jpghttps://i2.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/19/Starkweather.jpgL’acte surréaliste le plus simple consiste, revolvers au poing, à descendre dans la rue et à tirer, au hasard, tant qu’on peut dans la foule. Breton
Il faut avoir le courage de vouloir le mal et pour cela il faut commencer par rompre avec le comportement grossièrement humanitaire qui fait partie de l’héritage chrétien. (..) Nous sommes avec ceux qui tuent. Breton
From the town of Lincoln Nebraska with a sawed-off .410 on my lap Through to the badlands of Wyoming I killed everything in my path I can’t say that I’m sorry for the things that we done At least for a little while sir me and her we had us some fun … Bruce Springsteen (Nebraska)
J’ai résumé L’Étranger, il y a longtemps, par une phrase dont je reconnais qu’elle est très paradoxale : “Dans notre société tout homme qui ne pleure pas à l’enterrement de sa mère risque d’être condamné à mort.” Je voulais dire seulement que le héros du livre est condamné parce qu’il ne joue pas le jeu. En ce sens, il est étranger à la société où il vit, où il erre, en marge, dans les faubourgs de la vie privée, solitaire, sensuelle. Et c’est pourquoi des lecteurs ont été tentés de le considérer comme une épave. On aura cependant une idée plus exacte du personnage, plus conforme en tout cas aux intentions de son auteur, si l’on se demande en quoi Meursault ne joue pas le jeu. La réponse est simple : il refuse de mentir.  (…) Meursault, pour moi, n’est donc pas une épave, mais un homme pauvre et nu, amoureux du soleil qui ne laisse pas d’ombres. Loin qu’il soit privé de toute sensibilité, une passion profonde parce que tenace, l’anime : la passion de l’absolu et de la vérité. Il s’agit d’une vérité encore négative, la vérité d’être et de sentir, mais sans laquelle nulle conquête sur soi et sur le monde ne sera jamais possible. On ne se tromperait donc pas beaucoup en lisant, dans L’Étranger, l’histoire d’un homme qui, sans aucune attitude héroïque, accepte de mourir pour la vérité. Il m’est arrivé de dire aussi, et toujours paradoxalement, que j’avais essayé de figurer, dans mon personnage, le seul Christ que nous méritions. On comprendra, après mes explications, que je l’aie dit sans aucune intention de blasphème et seulement avec l’affection un peu ironique qu’un artiste a le droit d’éprouver à l’égard des personnages de sa création. Albert Camus (préface américaine à L’Etranger)
Le thème du poète maudit né dans une société marchande (…) s’est durci dans un préjugé qui finit par vouloir qu’on ne puisse être un grand artiste que contre la société de son temps, quelle qu’elle soit. Légitime à l’origine quand il affirmait qu’un artiste véritable ne pouvait composer avec le monde de l’argent, le principe est devenu faux lorsqu’on en a tiré qu’un artiste ne pouvait s’affirmer qu’en étant contre toute chose en général. Albert Camus
Au héros du plus grand désir succède le héros du moindre désir. (…) Le non-désir redevient privilège, comme chez le sage antique ou le saint du christianisme. mais le sujet désirant recule, effrayé devant l’idée du renoncement absolu. Il cherche des échappatoires. Il veut se composer un personnage chez qui l’absence de désir ne soit pas conquise, péniblement, sur l’anarchie des instincts et la passion métaphysique. Le héros somnambulique créé par les romanciers américains est la « solution » de ce problème. Le non-désir de ce héros ne rappelle en rien le triomphe de l’esprit sur les forces mauvaises, ni cette ascèse que prônent les grandes religions et les humanismes supérieurs. Il rappelle plutôt un engourdissement des sens, une perte totale ou partielle de la curiosité vitale. Dans le cas de Meursault, cet état « privilégié » se confond avec la pure essence individuelle. Dans le cas de Roquentin, c’est une grâce soudaine qui, sans qu’on sache pourquoi, descend sur le héros sous forme de nausée. (…) Le héros parvient alors à un état d’abrutissement lucide qui constitue la dernière des poses romantiques. Ce non-désir n’a rien à voir, bien entendu, avec l’abstinence et la sobriété. Mais le héros prétend accomplir dans l’indifférence, par simple caprice et presque sans s’en apercevoir, tout ce que les Autres accomplissent par désir.  René Girard (Mensonge romantique et vérité romanesque, 1961)
Personne ne nous fera croire que l’appareil judiciaire d’un Etat moderne prend réellement pour objet l’extermination des petits bureaucrates qui s’adonnent au café au lait, aux films de Fernandel et aux passades amoureuses avec la secrétaire du patron. René Girard (Critiques dans un souterrain, 1976)
Nouvelle réédition pour La Balade sauvage et nouvelle visibilité grâce à la palme remportée à Cannes par le dernier film de Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life). Le premier long-métrage du cinéaste, qui conte la balade meurtrière du couple formé par Holly (Sissy Spacek) et Kit (Martin Sheen) à travers les États-Unis, s’assure d’emblée une certaine carrière en salles. Depuis son âge d’or dans les années 1970, le road-movie a subi de nombreuses mutations. Revenir sur La Balade sauvage, c’est donc revenir au classicisme d’un genre, ce qui n’est pas sans constituer un certain paradoxe étant donné le souffle nouveau que ce film a représenté en son temps. Mais trente-cinq ans plus tard, on est en droit de se demander si La Balade sauvage a conservé toute sa modernité ou s’il ne pâtit pas du passage du temps. Quel écho de la révolte de la jeunesse américaine des années 1970 contre l’autorité (gouvernementale, parentale, etc.) aujourd’hui ? Si l’escapade insouciante de Holly et Kit comme réponse au carcan social paraît aujourd’hui un peu naïve et présente une idée de la liberté un peu vieillotte, mieux vaut y voir le premier maillon d’une œuvre à venir. Le premier long-métrage de Malick pose déjà la question qui hantera toute sa filmographie : comment créer un lieu de vie idéal au sein d’une terre hostile (déclinée dans The Tree of Life en situation hostile : la mort d’un enfant). Le titre original de l’œuvre vaut ainsi qu’on le rappelle : Badlands, ces mauvaises terres que l’on brûle au son d’un chœur religieux (faut-il passer par l’Enfer pour parvenir au Paradis ?) et qu’on brûlera à nouveau dans la plus belle séquence des Moissons du ciel, lors d’une apocalyptique attaque de sauterelles. Si le film de Malick constitue le modèle d’une tendance cinématographique qui émergera dans les années 1990 – les road-movies meurtriers –, ce film-source a ceci de spécifique qu’il se construit toujours dans la distance (particularité dont ses petits rejetons – de Sailor et Lula à Tueurs-nés en passant par True Romance, qui reprend presque littéralement la musique de La Balade sauvage – s’émanciperont pour proclamer un style kitch-hémoglobine). Le recul qu’il prend vis-à-vis de la violence passe essentiellement par le personnage incarné par Sissy Spacek (qui se trouve alors à l’orée d’une période de grands rôles : Carrie, Three Women, etc.), dont l’impassibilité désamorce toujours immédiatement l’agitation de Martin Sheen. On se trouve avec La Balade sauvage devant le portrait d’une jeunesse qui, malgré les cadavres qu’elle laisse sur son chemin, se démarque par sa grande innocence. La mort n’intervient jamais comme un drame mais comme une étape, un relais sur la route de Holly et Kit. Pas de drame, pas de coupable. La singularité de la démarche malickienne est de faire de ce fait-divers une ode à l’innocence plutôt qu’un trip sulfureux (comme s’attacheront à le faire David Lynch, Oliver Stone et Tony Scott), de dépasser l’anecdote, la chronique de départ pour dépeindre un état de fait plus global : la jeunesse, la liberté. Critikat (juin 2011)
Terrence Malick (…) sort d’un long cursus de philo à Harvard, suivi de reportages pour le New Yorker, et soudain le voilà « possédé » par le cinéma. La Balade sauvage, qui suit la piste d’un couple d’amoureux criminels façon Bonnie and Clyde, est un film où les idées fusent, tranchantes, lyriques, baroques. L’univers d’un cinéaste de génie – Palme d’or 2011 pour The Tree of life – s’y déploie avec une précision, une assurance et une liberté stupéfiantes. Tout de l’oeuvre à venir est déjà là : la voix off, pure et mélancolique, flotte depuis un au-delà étrange, surplombant les passions. Filmée avec grâce, la nature vibre, plane et palpite autour de jeunes héros dont les rêves s’abîment à toute vitesse. Télérama
Badlands was inspired by the short, bloody saga of Charles Starkweather who, at age nineteen, in January, 1958, with the apparent cooperation of his fourteen-year-old girlfriend, Caril Fugate, went off on a murder spree that resulted in ten victims. Starkweather was later executed in the electric chair and Miss Fugate given life imprisonment. Badlands inevitably invites comparisons with three other important American films, Arthur Penn’s Bonnie and Clyde and Fritz Lang’s Fury and You Only Live Once, but it has a very different vision of violence and death. Malick spends no great amount of time invoking Freud to explain the behavior of Kit and Holly, nor is there any Depression to be held ultimately responsible. Society is, if anything, benign. This is the haunting truth of Badlands, something that places it very much in the seventies in spite of its carefully re-created period detail. Kit and Holly are directionless creatures, technically literate but uneducated in any real sense, so desensitized that Kit (in Malick’s words at a news conference) can regard the gun with which he shoots people as a kind of magic wand that eliminates small nuisances. Kit and Holly are members of the television generation run amok. They are not ill-housed, ill-clothed, or ill-fed. If they are at all aware of their anger (and I’m not sure they are, since they see only boredom), it’s because of the difference between the way life is and the way it is presented on the small screen, with commercial breaks instead of lasting consequences. Badlands is narrated by Holly in the flat, nasal accents of the Middle West and in the syntax of a story in True Romances. « Little did I realize, » she tells us at the beginning of the film, « that what began in the alleys and by-ways of this small town would end in the badlands of Montana. » At the end, after half a dozen murders, she resolves never again to « tag around with the hell-bent type. » Kit and Holly share with Clyde and Bonnie a fascination with their own press coverage, with their overnight fame (« The whole world was looking for us, » says Holly, « for who knew where Kit would strike next? »), but a lack of passion differentiates them from the gaudy desperados of the thirties. Toward the end of their joyride, the bored Holly tells us she passed the time, as she sat in the front seat beside Kit, spelling out complete sentences with her tongue on the roof of her mouth. Malick tries not to romanticize his killers, and he is successful except for one sequence in which Kit and Holly hide out in a tree house as elaborate as anything the M-G-M art department ever designed for Tarzan and Jane. Sheen and Miss Spacek are splendid as the self-absorbed, cruel, possibly psychotic children of our time, as are the members of the supporting cast, including Warren Oates as Holly’s father. One may legitimately debate the validity of Malick’s vision, but not, I think, his immense talent. Badlands is a most important and exciting film. The NYT
Le scénario est inspiré d’une histoire vraie : en 1957, deux amants du Middle West effectuèrent une « balade sauvage » qui coûta la vie à onze personnes. Le jeune homme, Charles Starkweather, finit sur la chaise électrique, et sa compagne, Caril Ann Fugate, fut condamnée à la réclusion criminelle à perpétuité. Wikipedia
Charles Raymond Starkweather (24 novembre 1938 – 25 juin 1959) était un tueur à la chaîne américain qui a assassiné 11 personnes dans le Nebraska et dans le Wyoming lors d’un road trip avec sa copine adolescente, Caril Ann Fugate. Il devint une fascination nationale aux États-Unis, inspirant notamment les films « The Sadist », « La Balade sauvage » , « Starkweather », « Murder in the Heartland », « Fantômes contre Fantômes » et « Tueurs nés ». Il a également inspiré la chanson « Nebraska » de Bruce Springsteen, que Springsteen pensait initialement intituler « Starkweather ». Liza Ward, la petite-fille des victimes C. Lauer et Clara Ward, a écrit un roman, « Outside Valentine », basé sur les événements de la tuerie de Starkweather. (…) Stephen King fut fortement inspiré par les meurtres de Starkweather lorsqu’il était plus jeune, gardant un scrapbook d’eux et incorporant plusieurs avatars de Starkweather dans ses œuvres. Par exemple, il est dit que Starkweather était un collègue de classe de Randall Flagg dans « Le Fléau ». King a également affirmé lors d’une interview que son personnage The Kid, qui apparaît dans la version complète de « Le Fléau » se veut être une réincarnation de Charles Starkweather. Le cas Starkweather-Fugate a inspiré, entre autres, les films « La Balade sauvage » (1973, avec Martin Sheen et Sissy Spacek) et « Tueurs nés » (1994, avec Woody Harrelson et Juliette Lewis). Le téléfilm « Murder in the Heartland » (1993) est une description biographique de Starkweather avec Tim Roth dans le rôle principal, alors qu’en 1983, « Stark Raving Mad », un film avec Russell Fast et Marcie Severson, fournit une version fictionnelle des meurtres de Starkweather et Fugate. Le film « Fantômes contre Fantômes », de Peter Jackson, met en scène un couple meurtrier inspiré par Starkweather et Fugate. Après avoir commis leur 12ème meurtre, Bartlett (l’homme) annonce triomphalement : « Un de plus que Starkweather ! » (One more than Starkweather!). Wikipedia
Est-ce que l’industrie pense que les armes vont aider à vendre des ‘tickets’ Je ne sais pas… Je crois que la question mérite d’être posée. Robert Redford
Le maire de New York, Michael Bloomberg, affirme que les frères Tsarnaev, suspects dans les attentats du marathon de Boston, prévoyaient déposer des bombes à Times Square. Ils voulaient se rendre à New York dans la soirée de jeudi (18 avril), mais la prise d’otage d’un automobiliste a mal tourné et leur plan a échoué. Dzhokhar, hospitalisé depuis son arrestation, aurait fait cette déclaration. Radio-Canada
Selon ses dires, il a déterré une kalachnikov achetée sur Internet avant de faire feu et de tuer deux voisins, âgés de 35 et 45 ans, dans leurs jardins. Il a ensuite arrêté une voiture et demandé à la conductrice de l’emmener à Paris. Devant son refus, il a fait feu sur le pare-brise du véhicule, blessant légèrement la femme à la main et à l’oreille. Puis il a arrêté une deuxième voiture conduite par un sexagénaire, qu’il a abattu d’une rafale d’arme automatique. Selon les enquêteurs, l’adolescent assure « n’être militant de rien », n’avoir aucune conviction politique ou religieuse et ne se revendique d’aucune idéologie ni d’aucun courant de pensée. Le Monde
La forte concentration d’établissements d’enseignement supérieur et de recherche explique le surnom de Boston, l’ « Athènes de l’Amérique ». L’agglomération compte une centaine d’institutions publiques ou privées qui concourent à sa réputation d’excellence depuis la période coloniale. Parmi elles, les 65 colleges et universités27 font de Boston une ville étudiante. Cependant, le Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) et Harvard ne se trouvent pas dans les limites de la ville, mais sont installés à Cambridge, sur l’autre rive de la Charles River. Le Boston College fut créé en 1827 dans le South End avant de déménager à Chestnut Hill. L’université de Boston, fondée en 1869, est aujourd’hui la quatrième plus grande université du pays avec environ 30 000 étudiants et le second employeur de la ville28. L’université du Massachusetts est un établissement d’enseignement supérieur public situé dans le quartier de Dorchester. Le collège Emerson (3 700 étudiants) est situé non loin du Boston Common et propose des formations dans les arts et la communication. La Northeastern University dispose d’un grand campus sur l’avenue Huntington dans le quartier de Fenway. Le Wentworth Institute of Technology propose plusieurs formations de haut niveau en architecture ou en informatique par exemple. L’université Suffolk (4 600 étudiants) est une école de droit qui garde un campus sur Beacon Hill. Il existe bien d’autres établissements d’enseignement supérieur : le Simmons College (1899), l’Emmanuel College (1919), etc. Boston compte également de nombreux lieux de formation aux arts du spectacle, à la musique (New England Conservatory of Music, Boston Conservatory, Berklee College of Music). Wikipedia
The alleged involvement of two ethnic Chechen brothers in the deadly attack at the Boston Marathon last week should prompt Americans to reflect on whether we do an adequate job assimilating immigrants who arrive in the United States as children or teenagers ». Marcello Suarez-Orozco and Carola Suarez-Orozco (UCLA)
It was a blow the immigrant boxer could not withstand: after capturing his second consecutive title as the Golden Gloves heavyweight champion of New England in 2010, Tamerlan Anzorovich Tsarnaev, 23, was barred from the national Tournament of Champions because he was not a United States citizen. The cocksure fighter, a flamboyant dresser partial to white fur and snakeskin, had been looking forward to redeeming the loss he suffered the previous year in the first round, when the judges awarded his opponent the decision, drawing boos from spectators who considered Mr. Tsarnaev dominant. From one year to the next, though, the tournament rules had changed, disqualifying legal permanent residents — not only Mr. Tsarnaev, who was Soviet-born of Chechen and Dagestani heritage, but several other New England contenders, too. His aspirations frustrated, he dropped out of boxing competition entirely, and his life veered in a completely different direction. Mr. Tsarnaev portrayed his quitting as a reflection of the sport’s incompatibility with his growing devotion to Islam. But as dozens of interviews with friends, acquaintances and relatives from Cambridge, Mass., to Dagestan showed, that devotion, and the suspected radicalization that accompanied it, was a path he followed most avidly only after his more secular dreams were dashed in 2010 and he was left adrift. His trajectory eventually led the frustrated athlete and his loyal younger brother, Dzhokhar, to bomb one of the most famous athletic events in this country, killing three and wounding more than 200 at the Boston Marathon, the authorities say. They say it led Mr. Tsarnaev, his application for citizenship stalled, and his brother, a new citizen and a seemingly well-adjusted college student, to attack their American hometown on Patriots’ Day, April 15. The NYT
(…) that personal grievances of some sort must always somehow be responsible (…) is true by definition for individuals who carry out acts of violence for idiosyncratic personal motives, but it misses the point entirely when one is dealing with ideological extremists. It is the adoption of extremist political and religious ideologies that is the primary causal factor in precipitating acts of non-state terrorism. And it should be self-evident that those who formulate or adopt extremist ideologies must necessarily be disgruntled and alienated from the current social or political status quo, whether justifiably or not. Why? Because people who are happy or essentially satisfied with the status quo are neither going to create nor embrace radical worldviews that advocate attacking the existing system in order to establish what they believe will be a better, more just world. Thus there is no mystery at all about why the alleged Boston bombers committed their terrorist atrocity: like the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks and thousands of other jihadist terrorist attacks throughout the world, they had embraced a radical Islamist ideology that enjoined them to wage armed jihad against the “infidel” enemies of Islam. It hardly matters why the Tsarnaev brothers became disgruntled or angry—people can become disgruntled and angry for a vast array of both legitimate and delusional reasons. What matters is that this underlying emotional attitude made them receptive to and ultimately caused them to embrace Islamist doctrines, which offered them an explicit, coherent, and theologically sanctioned justification for perpetrating violence. Yet that undeniable fact is consistently denied in cases of jihadist terrorism, both in the media and even by government officials. Perhaps the most egregious illustrative example is the case of Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, whose jihadist terrorism at Fort Hood was foolishly ascribed to personal grievances in the U.S. military’s own investigative report. However, the evidence clearly indicates that Hasan had increasingly embraced radical Islamist doctrines, and that in the months before his attack he had extensive email contact with Anwar al-Awlaqi, the al Qaeda  operative who was linked to numerous jihadist plots, became a key figure in al Qaeda’s affiliate in the Arabian peninsula after leaving the United States, helped prepare the group’s English-language magazine Inspire, and was killed in a drone strike in 2011. Here one can observe a blatant double standard at work, since Islamist ideology, uniquely amongst extremist ideologies, is rarely if ever identified—much less highlighted—as the primary motivational factor behind terrorism committed by certain Muslims, even those who proudly proclaim their adherence to that ideology. In contrast, the media have no qualms about rightly emphasizing the role of white supremacist ideologies in precipitating acts of violence or terrorism by neo-Nazis, Klansmen, and certain right-wing militiamen; the impact of extremist interpretations of Christianity in fomenting anti-abortion violence; or the degree to which apocalyptic millennarian doctrines have generated violence by groups like Aum Shinrikyo. Nor do the media customarily refrain from noting the communist ideological agendas of left-wing terrorists, or the underlying beliefs fueling the violent actions of certain eco-radicals. Why, then, is the role of Islamist ideology so often downplayed or denied in connection with acts of jihadist terrorism? Those who are now claiming that the Boston bombers’ actions had nothing to do with their adoption of particular interpretations of Islam are seriously mistaken. And those who are foolishly endeavoring to portray the two Chechen Muslims as the innocent victims of covert manipulation or anti-Muslim prejudice—rather than as brutal victimizers—are either being disingenuous or living in a state of psychological denial, if not in a parallel mental universe. Jeffery M. Bale
But, if I follow correctly, these UCLA profs are arguing that, when some guys go all Allahu Akbar on you and blow up your marathon, that just shows that you lazy complacent Americans need to work even harder at « assimilating immigrants ». After all, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan were raised in Cambridge, Mass., a notorious swamp of redneck bigotry where the two young Chechens no doubt felt « alienated » and « excluded » at being surrounded by NPR-listening liberals cooing, « Oh, your family’s from Chechnya? That’s the one next to Slovakia, right? Would you like to come round for a play date and help Jeremiah finish his diversity quilt? » Assimilation is hell. (…) We’re collapsing our own skulls here” the parameters in which we allow ourselves to think about abortion, welfare, immigration, terrorism, Islam shrink remorselessly, not least at the congressional level. Maybe if we didn’t collapse the skulls of so many black babies in Philadelphia, we wouldn’t need to import so many excitable young Chechens. But that’s thinking outside the box, and the box is getting ever smaller, like a nice, cozy cocoon in which we’re always warm and safe. Mark Steyn

Attention: une balade sauvage peut en cacher une autre !

« Balade sauvage », « balade meurtrière », « souffle nouveau », « réponse au carcan social », « modernité », « révolte de la jeunesse contre l’autorité (gouvernementale, parentale, etc.) »,  « escapade insouciante », « naïve » « réponse au carcan social », « modèle » de « road-movies meurtriers », « film-source de Sailor et Lula à Tueurs-nés en passant par True Romance », « portrait d’une jeunesse qui, malgré les cadavres qu’elle laisse sur son chemin, se démarque par sa grande innocence », « mort jamais comme un drame mais comme une étape », « pas de drame, pas de coupable », « ode à l’innocence », « jeunesse », « liberté » …

Alors que la France s’interroge sur le début heureusement avorté de balade sauvage, qui (l’amour en plus, « ode à l’innocence » oblige) avait en son temps tant ému nos cinéphiles, du passionné d’armes et de jeux de guerre en ligne et admirateur de Mérah d’Istres …

Et qu’après l’autre balade sauvage avortée des apprentis et fils de jiahdistes de Boston, l’Amérique bien-pensante a repris son auto-flagellation sur le véritable enfer anti-immigrant qu’est devenu, sous la présidence du premier président non-blanc de l’histoire américaine, l’une des plus grandes concentrations mondiales de matière grise (centaine d’universités, 250 000 étudiants pour 620 000 habitants) …

Pendant que le même Robert Redford qui dit s’interroger sur les tomberaux de violence fournis quotidiennement par son industrie est en ville pour nous vendre sa dernière ode en date au bon vieux terrorisme Weathermen des amis de la Maison blanche

Comment ne pas voir, avec l’éditorialiste canadien Mark Steyn, le véritable décervellement qu’est en train de s’auto-administrer l’Occident pour tout ce qui touche, entre avortement, aide sociale, immigration, terrorisme et islam, les dernières vaches sacrées en date de ses belles âmes ?

No Mystery About the ‘Why’ in Boston Jeffery M. Bale USNI News April 26, 2013

Ever since the two alleged perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombings were identified as Chechens living in America, the constant refrain in the media—as is almost always the case after terrorist attacks—has been to ask “why?” Apparently, many media pundits simply cannot comprehend how seemingly normal and relatively successful individuals could be motivated to carry out such actions.

Clearly, they have been misled into believing that one must be poor and disenfranchised or mentally disturbed to carry out acts of terrorism, despite a wealth of empirical evidence indicating that terrorists tend to be relatively well-educated, from higher socio-economic strata, and do not exhibit disproportionate levels of psychopathology. Still, the default assumption — at least in cases of jihadist terrorism — is that personal grievances of some sort must always somehow be responsible. That is true by definition for individuals who carry out acts of violence for idiosyncratic personal motives, but it misses the point entirely when one is dealing with ideological extremists.

It is the adoption of extremist political and religious ideologies that is the primary causal factor in precipitating acts of non-state terrorism. And it should be self-evident that those who formulate or adopt extremist ideologies must necessarily be disgruntled and alienated from the current social or political status quo, whether justifiably or not. Why? Because people who are happy or essentially satisfied with the status quo are neither going to create nor embrace radical worldviews that advocate attacking the existing system in order to establish what they believe will be a better, more just world.

Thus there is no mystery at all about why the alleged Boston bombers committed their terrorist atrocity: like the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks and thousands of other jihadist terrorist attacks throughout the world, they had embraced a radical Islamist ideology that enjoined them to wage armed jihad against the “infidel” enemies of Islam. It hardly matters why the Tsarnaev brothers became disgruntled or angry—people can become disgruntled and angry for a vast array of both legitimate and delusional reasons. What matters is that this underlying emotional attitude made them receptive to and ultimately caused them to embrace Islamist doctrines, which offered them an explicit, coherent, and theologically sanctioned justification for perpetrating violence.

Yet that undeniable fact is consistently denied in cases of jihadist terrorism, both in the media and even by government officials. Perhaps the most egregious illustrative example is the case of Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, whose jihadist terrorism at Fort Hood was foolishly ascribed to personal grievances in the U.S. military’s own investigative report. However, the evidence clearly indicates that Hasan had increasingly embraced radical Islamist doctrines, and that in the months before his attack he had extensive email contact with Anwar al-Awlaqi, the al Qaeda  operative who was linked to numerous jihadist plots, became a key figure in al Qaeda’s affiliate in the Arabian peninsula after leaving the United States, helped prepare the group’s English-language magazine Inspire, and was killed in a drone strike in 2011.

Here one can observe a blatant double standard at work, since Islamist ideology, uniquely amongst extremist ideologies, is rarely if ever identified—much less highlighted—as the primary motivational factor behind terrorism committed by certain Muslims, even those who proudly proclaim their adherence to that ideology. In contrast, the media have no qualms about rightly emphasizing the role of white supremacist ideologies in precipitating acts of violence or terrorism by neo-Nazis, Klansmen, and certain right-wing militiamen; the impact of extremist interpretations of Christianity in fomenting anti-abortion violence; or the degree to which apocalyptic millennarian doctrines have generated violence by groups like Aum Shinrikyo. Nor do the media customarily refrain from noting the communist ideological agendas of left-wing terrorists, or the underlying beliefs fueling the violent actions of certain eco-radicals. Why, then, is the role of Islamist ideology so often downplayed or denied in connection with acts of jihadist terrorism?

Those who are now claiming that the Boston bombers’ actions had nothing to do with their adoption of particular interpretations of Islam are seriously mistaken. And those who are foolishly endeavoring to portray the two Chechen Muslims as the innocent victims of covert manipulation or anti-Muslim prejudice—rather than as brutal victimizers—are either being disingenuous or living in a state of psychological denial, if not in a parallel mental universe.

The main substantive questions still to be answered in the Boston Marathon bombing case are whether the two bombers were part of a larger local cell or had received any tangible logistical or operational assistance from an organized jihadist group or network abroad. But it is all too obvious why they committed the reprehensible acts of terrorism.

Voir aussi:

The Collapsing of the American Skull

The parameters in which we allow ourselves to think about vital issues shrink remorselessly.

Mark Steyn

National  Review online

April 26, 2013

One of the most ingenious and effective strategies of the Left on any number of topics is to frame the debate and co-opt the language so effectively that it becomes all but impossible even to discuss the subject honestly. Take the brothers Tsarnaev, the incendiary end of a Chechen family that in very short time has settled aunts, uncles, sisters, and more across the map of North America from Massachusetts to New Jersey to my own home town of Toronto. Maybe your town has a Tsarnaev, too: There seems to be no shortage of them, except, oddly, back in Chechnya. The Tsarnaevs mom, now relocated from Cambridge to Makhachkala in delightful Dagestan, told a press conference the other day that she regrets ever having gotten mixed up with those crazy Yanks: « I would prefer not to have lived in America », she said.

Not, I’m sure, as much as the Richard family would have preferred it. Eight-year-old Martin was killed; his sister lost a leg; and his mother suffered serious brain injuries. What did the Richards and some 200 other families do to deserve having a great big hole blown in their lives? Well, according to the New York Times, they and you bear collective responsibility. Writing on the op-ed page, Marcello Suarez-Orozco, dean of the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, and Carola Suarez-Orozco, a professor at the same institution, began their ruminations thus:

« The alleged involvement of two ethnic Chechen brothers in the deadly attack at the Boston Marathon last week should prompt Americans to reflect on whether we do an adequate job assimilating immigrants who arrive in the United States as children or teenagers ».

Maybe. Alternatively, the above opening sentence should « prompt Americans to reflect » on whether whoever’s editing America’s newspaper of record these days ‘does an adequate job’ in choosing which pseudo-credentialed experts it farms out its principal analysis on terrorist atrocities to. But, if I follow correctly, these UCLA profs are arguing that, when some guys go all Allahu Akbar on you and blow up your marathon, that just shows that you lazy complacent Americans need to work even harder at « assimilating immigrants ». After all, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan were raised in Cambridge, Mass., a notorious swamp of redneck bigotry where the two young Chechens no doubt felt « alienated » and « excluded » at being surrounded by NPR-listening liberals cooing, « Oh, your family’s from Chechnya? That’s the one next to Slovakia, right? Would you like to come round for a play date and help Jeremiah finish his diversity quilt? » Assimilation is hell.

How hard would it be for Americans to be less inadequate when it comes to assimilating otherwise well-adjusted immigrant children? Let us turn once again to Mrs. Tsarnaev:

« They are going to kill him. I don’t care », she told reporters. « My oldest son is killed, so I don’t care. …  I don’t care if my youngest son is going to be killed today. … I don’t care if I am going to get killed, too and I will say Allahu Akbar! »

You can say it all you want, madam, but everyone knows that « Allahu Akbar » is Arabic for « Nothing to see here ». So, once you’ve cleared the streets of body parts, you inadequate Americans need to redouble your efforts.

There is a stupidity to this, but also a kind of decadence. Until the 1960s, it was assumed by all sovereign states that they had the right to choose which non-nationals were admitted within their borders. Now, to suggest such a thing risks the charge of « nativism » and to propose that, say, Swedes are easier to assimilate than Chechens is to invite cries of « Racist! » So, when the morgues and emergency rooms are piled high, the only discussion acceptable in polite society is to wonder whether those legless Bostonians should have agitated more forcefully for federally mandated after-school assimilationist basketball programs.

As Ma Tsarnaev’s effusions suggest, at the sharp end of Islamic imperialism, there’s a certain glorying in sacrifice. We’re more fatalistic about it: After Major Hasan gunned down 13 of his comrades and an unborn baby, General Casey, the Army’s chief of staff, assured us that it could have been a whole lot worse:

‘What happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy, but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here ».

What happened at Boston was a « tragedy », but it would be an even greater tragedy if there were to be any honest discussion of immigration policy, or Islam, or anything else that matters.

Speaking of glorying in blood, in Philadelphia the Kermit Gosnell defense rested, without calling either the defendant or any witness to the stand. As I wrote last week, « Doctor » Gosnell is accused of cutting the spinal columns and suctioning out the brains of fully delivered babies. The blogger Pundette listed some questions she would have liked the « doctor » to be asked:

« Why did you chop off and preserve baby hands and feet and display them in jars? »

There seems to be no compelling medical reason for Gosnell’s extensive collection, but bottled baby feet certainly make a novelty paperweight or doorstop. « I think we already know the answer », wrote the Pundette. « He enjoyed it ».

Unlike the Boston bombings, even the New York Times op-ed team can’t figure out a line on this. Better to look away, and ignore the story. America is the abortion mill of the developed world. In Western Europe, the state is yet squeamish enough to insist that the act be confined to twelve weeks (France) or 13 (Italy), with mandatory counseling (Germany), or up to 18 if approved by a government « commission » (Norway). Granted, many of these « safeguards » are pro forma and honored in the breach, but that’s preferable to America where they’re honored in the breech and the distinction between abortion and infanticide depends on whether the ‘doctor’ gets to the baby’s skull before it’s cleared the cervix. The Washington Examiner’s Timothy Carney sat in on a conference call with Dr. Tracy Weitz of the University of California, San Francisco:

« When a procedure that usually involves the collapsing of the skull is done, it’s usually done when the fetus is still in the uterus, not when the fetus has been delivered. » So, in terms of thinking about the difference between the way abortion providers who do later abortions in the United States practice, and this particular practice, they are completely worlds apart ».

Technically, they’re only inches apart. So what’s the big deal? The skull is collapsed in order to make it easier to clear the cervix. Once a healthy baby is out on the table and you cut his spinal column, there’s no need to suck out his brains and cave in his skull. But Dr. Gosnell seems to have got a kick out of it, so why not?

You can understand why American progressivism would rather avert its gaze. Out there among the abortion absolutists, they’re happy to chit-chat about the acceptable parameters of the « collapsing of the skull », but the informed general-interest reader would rather it all stayed at the woozy, blurry « woman’s right to choose’ level.

We’re collapsing our own skulls here” the parameters in which we allow ourselves to think about abortion, welfare, immigration, terrorism, Islam shrink remorselessly, not least at the congressional level. Maybe if we didn’t collapse the skulls of so many black babies in Philadelphia, we wouldn’t need to import so many excitable young Chechens. But that’s thinking outside the box, and the box is getting ever smaller, like a nice, cozy cocoon in which we’re always warm and safe. Like ” what’s the word?” a womb.

Mark Steyn, a National Review columnist, is the author of After America: Get Ready for Armageddon.

Voir encore:

A Battered Dream, Then a Violent Path

Deborah Sontag, David M. Herszenhorn and Serge F. Kovaleski

The New York Times

April 27, 2013

BOSTON — It was a blow the immigrant boxer could not withstand: after capturing his second consecutive title as the Golden Gloves heavyweight champion of New England in 2010, Tamerlan Anzorovich Tsarnaev, 23, was barred from the national Tournament of Champions because he was not a United States citizen.

The cocksure fighter, a flamboyant dresser partial to white fur and snakeskin, had been looking forward to redeeming the loss he suffered the previous year in the first round, when the judges awarded his opponent the decision, drawing boos from spectators who considered Mr. Tsarnaev dominant.

From one year to the next, though, the tournament rules had changed, disqualifying legal permanent residents — not only Mr. Tsarnaev, who was Soviet-born of Chechen and Dagestani heritage, but several other New England contenders, too. His aspirations frustrated, he dropped out of boxing competition entirely, and his life veered in a completely different direction.

Mr. Tsarnaev portrayed his quitting as a reflection of the sport’s incompatibility with his growing devotion to Islam. But as dozens of interviews with friends, acquaintances and relatives from Cambridge, Mass., to Dagestan showed, that devotion, and the suspected radicalization that accompanied it, was a path he followed most avidly only after his more secular dreams were dashed in 2010 and he was left adrift.

His trajectory eventually led the frustrated athlete and his loyal younger brother, Dzhokhar, to bomb one of the most famous athletic events in this country, killing three and wounding more than 200 at the Boston Marathon, the authorities say. They say it led Mr. Tsarnaev, his application for citizenship stalled, and his brother, a new citizen and a seemingly well-adjusted college student, to attack their American hometown on Patriots’ Day, April 15.

Mr. Tsarnaev now lies in the state medical examiner’s office, his body riddled with bullets after a confrontation with the police four days after the bombings. He left behind an American-born wife who had converted to Islam, a 3-year-old daughter with curly hair, a 19-year-old brother charged with using a weapon of mass destruction, and a puzzle: Why did these two young men seemingly turn on the country that had granted them asylum?

Examining their lives for clues, the authorities have focused on Mr. Tsarnaev’s six-month trip to the Russian republics of Chechnya and Dagestan last year. But in Cambridge, sitting on the front steps of the ramshackle, brown-shingled house where the Tsarnaev family lived for a decade, their 79-year-old landlady urged a longer lens.

“He certainly wasn’t radicalized in Dagestan,” the landlady, Joanna Herlihy, said.

Ms. Herlihy, who speaks Russian and was friends with the Tsarnaevs, said she told law enforcement officials that his trip clearly merited scrutiny. But she said that Mr. Tsarnaev’s embrace of Islam had grown more intense before that.

As his religious identification grew fiercer, Mr. Tsarnaev seemed to abandon his once avid pursuit of the American dream. He dropped out of community college and lost interest not just in boxing but also in music; he used to play piano and violin, classical music and rap, and his e-mail address was a clue to how he once saw himself: The_Professor@real-hiphop.com. He worked only sporadically, sometimes as a pizza deliverer, and he grew first a close-cropped beard and then a flowing one.

He seemed isolated, too. Since his return from Dagestan, he, his wife and his child were the only Tsarnaevs living full time in the three-bedroom apartment on Ms. Herlihy’s third floor.

Mr. Tsarnaev’s two younger sisters had long since married and moved out; his parents, now separated, had returned to Dagestan, his mother soon after a felony arrest on shoplifting charges; and his brother had left for the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, returning home only on the occasional weekend, as he did recently after damaging his 1999 green Honda Civic by texting while driving.

“When Dzhokhar used to come home on Friday night from the dormitory, Tamerlan used to hug him and kiss him — hold him, like, because he was a big, big boy, Tamerlan,” their mother, Zubeidat, 45, said last week, adding that her older son had been “handsome like Hercules.”

Not long after he gave up his boxing career, Mr. Tsarnaev married Katherine Russell of Rhode Island in a brief Islamic ceremony at a Dorchester mosque in June 2010. She has declined to speak publicly since the attacks.

His wife primarily supported the family through her job as a home health aide, scraping together about $1,200 a month to pay the rent. While she worked, Mr. Tsarnaev looked after their daughter, Zahira, who was learning to ride the tricycle still parked beside the house, neighbors said. The family’s income was supplemented by public assistance and food stamps from September 2011 to November 2012, state officials said.

It was probably not the life that Anzor Tsarnaev had imagined for his oldest child, who, even as a boy, before he developed the broad-shouldered physique that his mother described as “a masterpiece,” dreamed of becoming a famous boxer.

But then the father’s life had not gone as planned, either. Once an official in the prosecutor’s office in Kyrgyzstan, he had been reduced to working as an unlicensed mechanic in the back lot of a rug store in Cambridge.

“He was out there in the snow and cold, freezing his hands to do this work on people’s cars,” said Chris Walter, owner of the store, Yayla Tribal Rug. “I did not charge him for the space because he was a poor, struggling guy with a good heart.”

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was born on Oct. 21, 1986, five years before the dissolution of the Soviet Union, in Kalmykia, a barren stretch of Russian territory by the Caspian Sea. A photograph of him as a baby shows a cherubic child wearing a knit cap with a pompom, perched on the lap of his unsmiling mother, who has spiky black bangs and an artful pile of hair. Strikingly, she did not cover her head then, as she does now; she began wearing a hijab only a few years ago, in the United States, prodded by her son just as she was prodding him, too, to deepen his faith.

When he was still little, his parents moved from Kalmykia to Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet republic, where their other three children were born. They left there during the economic crisis of the late 1990s and spent a few brief months in Chechnya, then fled before the full-scale Russian military invasion in 1999. They sought shelter next in his mother’s native Dagestan.

In an interview there, Patimat Suleimanova, her sister-in-law, said the family had repeatedly been on the run from war and hardship in those days. “In search of peace, they kept moving,” she said.

Finally, Anzor Tsarnaev sought political asylum in the United States. He arrived first, with his younger son, in the spring of 2002. His older son, a young man of 16, followed with the rest of the family in July 2003.

Their neighborhood in Cambridge was run-down, with car repair lots where condominiums have since arisen. But the city has long been especially welcoming to immigrants and refugees; its high school has students from 75 countries.

The schools superintendent, Jeffrey Young, described Cambridge as “beyond tolerant.”

“How is it that someone could grow up in a place like this and end up in a place like that?” he said of the Tsarnaevs.

Unlike his little brother, who was well integrated into the community by the time he started high school, Mr. Tsarnaev was a genuine newcomer when he entered the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, from which he graduated in 2006. Enrolled in the large English as a Second Language program, he made friends mostly with other international students, and his demeanor was reserved, one former classmate, Luis Vasquez, said.

“The view on him was that he was a boxer and you would not want to mess with him,” Mr. Vasquez, now 25 and a candidate for the Cambridge City Council, said. “He told me that he wanted to represent the U.S. in boxing. He wanted to do the Olympics and then turn pro.”

Jumping right into boxing after his arrival in the United States, he called attention to himself immediately in more ways than one. During registration for a tournament in Lowell, he sat down at a piano and lost himself for 20 minutes in a piece of classical music. The impromptu performance, so out of place in that world, finished to a burst of applause from surprised onlookers.

“He just walked over from the line and started playing like he was in the Boston Pops,” his trainer at the time, Gene McCarthy, 77, recalled.

Having trained in Dagestan, where sport fighting has an impassioned following, Mr. Tsarnaev boxed straight-legged like a European and not crouched, American-style. He also incorporated showy gymnastics into his training and fighting, walking on his hands, falling into splits, tumbling into corners. So as he started working out in Boston-area clubs — and winning novice tournament fights — he made an impression, although not an entirely positive one.

“For a big man, he was very agile,” said Tom Lee, president of the South Boston Boxing Club. “He moved like a gazelle and was strong like a horse. He was a big puncher. But he was an underachiever because he did not dedicate himself to the proper training regimen.”

In 2009, Mr. Tsarnaev won the New England Golden Gloves championship in the 201-pound division, which qualified him for the national tournament in Salt Lake City in May. Introducing what would become his signature style, he showed up overdressed, wearing a white silk scarf, black leather pants and mirrored sunglasses.

Stepping into the ring, as The Lowell Sun described it, Mr. Tsarnaev floored Lamar Fenner of Chicago with an explosive punch that required an eight-count from the referee, and then he seemed to control the rest of the fight.

Bob Russo, then the coach of the New England team, said: “We thought he won. The crowd thought he won. But he didn’t.”

Mr. Fenner’s mother, Marsha, said her son had called her the night of his “bout with the bomber,” thrilled to have defeated an opponent he described as unnervingly strong. Her son, who died of heart problems last year at 29, ended up coming in second in the tournament and turning professional, she said.

If Mr. Tsarnaev was chastened by the defeat, it did not temper his behavior. During a preliminary round of the New England Golden Gloves in 2010, in a breach of boxing etiquette, he entered the locker room to taunt not only the fighter he was about to face but also the fighter’s trainer. Wearing a cowboy hat and alligator-skin cowboy boots, he gave the two men a disdainful once-over and said: “You’re nothing. I’m taking you down.”

The trainer, Hector Torres, was furious and subsequently lodged a complaint, arguing that Mr. Tsarnaev should not be allowed to participate in the competition because he was not a citizen.

As it happened, Golden Gloves of America was just then changing its policy. It used to permit legal immigrants to compete in its national tournament three out of every four years, barring them only during Olympic qualifying years, James Beasley, the executive director, said. But it decided in 2010 that the policy was confusing and moved to end all participation by noncitizens in the Tournament of Champions.

So Mr. Tsarnaev, New England heavyweight champion for the second year in a row, was stymied. The immigrant champions in three other weight classes in New England were blocked from advancing, too, Mr. Russo said.

Mr. Tsarnaev was devastated. He was not getting any younger. And he was more than a year away from being even eligible to apply for American citizenship, and there appeared to be a potential obstacle in his path.

The previous summer, Mr. Tsarnaev had been arrested after a report of domestic violence.

His girlfriend at the time had called 911, “hysterically crying,” to say he had beaten her up, according to the Cambridge police report. Mr. Tsarnaev told the officers that he had slapped her face because she had been yelling at him about “another girl.”

Eventually, charges against him would be dismissed, the records show, so the episode would not have endangered his eventual citizenship application.

But his life was changing. He married. He had a child. And he largely withdrew from Cambridge social life, and from many of the friendships he had enjoyed. “He had liked to party,” said Elmirza Khozhugov, 26, his former brother-in-law, who lost touch with him in 2010. “But there was always the sense that he felt a little guilty that he was having too much fun, maybe.”

In 2011, the Russian security service cautioned the F.B.I., and later the C.I.A., that “since 2010” Mr. Tsarnaev had “changed drastically,” becoming “a follower of radical Islam.” The Russians said he was planning a trip to his homeland to connect with underground militant groups. An F.B.I. investigation turned up no ties to extremists, the bureau has said.

In early 2012, Mr. Tsarnaev left his wife and child for a six-month visit to Russia. His parents, speaking in Dagestan, portrayed it as an innocuous visit to reconnect with family and to replace his nearly expired passport from the Republic of Kyrgyzstan with a Russian one. His father said he had kept his son close by his side as they visited relatives, including in Chechnya, and renovated a storefront into a perfume shop.

But American officials say Mr. Tsarnaev arrived in Russia months before his father returned to Dagestan and so did not have the continuous tight supervision described by his father.

Also, Mr. Tsarnaev, with no apparent sense of urgency about his travel documents, waited months to apply for a Russian passport, and returned to the United States before the passport was ready for him.

After his return, Mr. Tsarnaev applied for American citizenship, a year after he was eligible to do so. But the F.B.I. investigation, though closed, had caused his application to be stalled. Underscoring how detached he had become, he no longer had any valid passport, or international travel document, and Cambridge, to which he had a hard time readapting, was now his de facto home more than ever.

He grew a five-inch beard, which he shaved off before the bombings, and interrupted prayers at his mosque on two occasions with outbursts denouncing the idea that Muslims should observe American secular holidays. He engaged neighbors in affable conversations about skiing one week and heated ones about American imperialism the next.

At a neighborhood pizzeria, wearing a head covering that matched his jacket, he explained to Albrecht Ammon, 18, that “the Koran is great and flawless, and the Bible is ripped off from the Koran, and the U.S. used the Bible as an excuse to invade different countries.”

“I asked him about radical Muslims that blow themselves up and say, ‘It’s for Allah,’ ” Mr. Ammon said. “And he said he wasn’t one of those Muslims.”

Deborah Sontag and Serge F. Kovaleski reported from Boston, and David M. Herszenhorn from Makhachkala, Russia. Reporting was contributed by Michael Schwirtz, John Eligon, Ian Lovett and Dina Kraft from Boston; Andrew Roth from Makhachkala; Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Julia Preston from New York; and Andrew E. Kramer from Moscow. Kitty Bennett and Sheelagh McNeill contributed research.

Voir également:

Coup d’essai d’un palmé

La Balade sauvage

réalisé par Terrence Malick

Julia Allouache

Critikat.com

14 juin 2011

critique du film La Balade sauvage, réalisé par Terrence Malick

Nouvelle réédition pour La Balade sauvage et nouvelle visibilité grâce à la palme remportée à Cannes par le dernier film de Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life). Le premier long-métrage du cinéaste, qui conte la balade meurtrière du couple formé par Holly (Sissy Spacek) et Kit (Martin Sheen) à travers les États-Unis, s’assure d’emblée une certaine carrière en salles.

Depuis son âge d’or dans les années 1970, le road-movie a subi de nombreuses mutations. Revenir sur La Balade sauvage, c’est donc revenir au classicisme d’un genre, ce qui n’est pas sans constituer un certain paradoxe étant donné le souffle nouveau que ce film a représenté en son temps. Mais trente-cinq ans plus tard, on est en droit de se demander si La Balade sauvage a conservé toute sa modernité ou s’il ne pâtit pas du passage du temps. Quel écho de la révolte de la jeunesse américaine des années 1970 contre l’autorité (gouvernementale, parentale, etc.) aujourd’hui ? Si l’escapade insouciante de Holly et Kit comme réponse au carcan social paraît aujourd’hui un peu naïve et présente une idée de la liberté un peu vieillotte, mieux vaut y voir le premier maillon d’une œuvre à venir. Le premier long-métrage de Malick pose déjà la question qui hantera toute sa filmographie : comment créer un lieu de vie idéal au sein d’une terre hostile (déclinée dans The Tree of Life en situation hostile : la mort d’un enfant). Le titre original de l’œuvre vaut ainsi qu’on le rappelle : Badlands, ces mauvaises terres que l’on brûle au son d’un chœur religieux (faut-il passer par l’Enfer pour parvenir au Paradis ?) et qu’on brûlera à nouveau dans la plus belle séquence des Moissons du ciel, lors d’une apocalyptique attaque de sauterelles.

Si le film de Malick constitue le modèle d’une tendance cinématographique qui émergera dans les années 1990 – les road-movies meurtriers –, ce film-source a ceci de spécifique qu’il se construit toujours dans la distance (particularité dont ses petits rejetons – de Sailor et Lula à Tueurs-nés en passant par True Romance, qui reprend presque littéralement la musique de La Balade sauvage – s’émanciperont pour proclamer un style kitch-hémoglobine). Le recul qu’il prend vis-à-vis de la violence passe essentiellement par le personnage incarné par Sissy Spacek (qui se trouve alors à l’orée d’une période de grands rôles : Carrie, Three Women, etc.), dont l’impassibilité désamorce toujours immédiatement l’agitation de Martin Sheen. On se trouve avec La Balade sauvage devant le portrait d’une jeunesse qui, malgré les cadavres qu’elle laisse sur son chemin, se démarque par sa grande innocence. La mort n’intervient jamais comme un drame mais comme une étape, un relais sur la route de Holly et Kit. Pas de drame, pas de coupable. La singularité de la démarche malickienne est de faire de ce fait-divers une ode à l’innocence plutôt qu’un trip sulfureux (comme s’attacheront à le faire David Lynch, Oliver Stone et Tony Scott), de dépasser l’anecdote, la chronique de départ pour dépeindre un état de fait plus global : la jeunesse, la liberté.

En résulte un film mat et flegmatique, auquel on peut toutefois reprocher de faire tendre la sobriété de son style vers une certaine banalité. Cet équilibre incertain entre la fine mise à distance du propos et le peu d’innovation du style rejoint le débat qui s’est construit autour de l’œuvre de Malick, entre génie et imposteur, et ce jusqu’à son dernier né The Tree of Life, qui alterne moments intimes prodigieux et envolées cosmiques grotesques. On touche là ce qui constitue peut-être la signature d’un réalisateur qui, même à travers cette inégalité qui lui est propre, prouve qu’il est un auteur.

Voir de plus:

5 raisons de (re)voir La balade sauvage de Terrence Malick

Thomas Baurez (Studio Ciné Live)

L’Express

08/06/2011

Alors que tout le monde parle de Terrence Malick et de son The Tree of Life, récemment palmé à Cannes, son premier long-métrage ressort judicieusement en salles. 38 ans déjà, et pas une ride!

5 raisons de (re)voir La balade sauvage de Terrence Malick

1 – Une leçon de road-movie

Ce n’est plus un secret pour personne. A partir de la fin des sixties, Hollywood opère sa mue et l’espace d’une grosse décennie va déborder d’indépendance. C’est dans ce contexte qu’explose réellement le road-movie sur grand écran, un genre synonyme d’espace, de liberté et de tragédie. Easy Rider de Dennis Hopper en 1969, Macadam à deux voies de Monte Hellman en 1971, L’épouvantail de Jerry Schatzberg en 1973 et donc cette Balade sauvageen 1974, premier long d’un étudiant de l’American Film Institute passé par Harvard et Oxford, Terrence Malick.

2 – Société, je vous hais !

Alors que le républicain Nixon s’apprête bientôt à faire ses valises à cause du Watergate et que le Vietnam brûle de ses derniers feux au napalm, la société nord-américaine est en crise. La jeunesse a besoin d’air. La balade sauvage, traduit cet état d’esprit. Nous suivons ici la fuite en avant du psychopathe Kit (Martin Sheen) et de la pure Holly (Sissy Spacek), jeunes et pas franchement innocents, pourchassés par une foule vengeresse.

3 -L’éternel combat entre l’Homme et la Nature

Dans les films de Terrence Malick, les hommes finissent toujours par saccager la nature qui les entoure. Les soldats de la Ligne rouge après avoir nagé dans le jardin d’Eden tombent sauvagement sur le champ de bataille, les amoureux des Moissons du ciel envoient en fumée des champs à perte de vue, le beau colon du Nouveau Monde, lui, souille malgré lui la belle indigène en l’arrachant à sa terre natale. Dans La balade sauvage, si la forêt sert de refuge pour le couple en fuite, elle sera finalement le lieu de leur perte.

4- Sheen-Spacek, un duo de rêve

Si le Nouvel Hollywood a vu l’émergence de jeunes cinéastes (Scorsese, de Palma, Spielberg…), de nouveaux visages se sont également imposés devant l’objectif. Faye Dunaway, Mia Farrow, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, de Niro… Sissy Spacek et Martin Sheen, le duo de cette Balade sauvage, s’imposent immédiatement. Elle, 25 ans, tout en tâche de rousseur, incarne pureté et innocence. Sissy sera bientôt Carrie pour de Palma et l’une des trois femmes de Robert Altman. Lui, 34 ans déjà, réincarnation de James Dean, porte beau le jean et le t-shirt blanc. Bientôt il connaîtra l’Apocalypse pour Coppola.

5 – Pénultième film avant la disparition

Aussitôt apparu, aussitôt disparu ! A l’instar, des protagonistes de La balade sauvage, Terrence Malick était condamné à disparaitre. Ainsi après Les moissons du ciel, tourné 4 ans plus tard, l’homme ne va plus donner de nouvelles pendant 20 longues années. Tel Martin Sheen levant les bras en l’air devant l’objectif, Malick sait qu’il faut parfois se rendre pour mieux frapper un grand coup. 38 ans séparent aujourd’hui La balade sauvage de The Tree of Life. Il est intéressant de voir le chemin parcouru.

Voir encore:

BADLANDS

Vincent Canby

The New York Times

October 15, 1973

The time is late summer at the end of the 1950’s and the place a small, placid town in South Dakota. The streets are lined with oak and maple trees in full leaf. The lawns are so neat, so close-cropped, they look crew-cut. Kit Carruthers (Martin Sheen) is twenty-five, a garbage collector who fancies his cowboy boots and his faint resemblance to James Dean. Holly Sargis (Sissy Spacek) is fifteen. Until she meets Kit, she hasn’t much interest in anything except her dog and her baton, which she practices twirling in her front yard.

In Terrence Malick’s cool, sometimes brilliant, always ferociously American film, Badlands, which marks Malick’s debut as a director, Kit and Holly take an all-American joyride across the upper Middle West, at the end of which more than half a dozen people have been shot to death by Kit, usually at point-blank range.

Badlands was presented twice at Alice Tully Hall Saturday night, the closing feature of the 11th New York Film Festival that began so auspiciously with François Truffaut’s Day for Night. In between there were a lot of other films, good and bad, but none as provocative as this first feature by Malick, a twenty-nine-year-old former Rhodes Scholar and philosophy student whose only other film credit is as the author of the screenplay for last year’s nicely idiosyncratic Pocket Money.

Badlands was inspired by the short, bloody saga of Charles Starkweather who, at age nineteen, in January, 1958, with the apparent cooperation of his fourteen-year-old girlfriend, Caril Fugate, went off on a murder spree that resulted in ten victims. Starkweather was later executed in the electric chair and Miss Fugate given life imprisonment.

Badlands inevitably invites comparisons with three other important American films, Arthur Penn’s Bonnie and Clyde and Fritz Lang’s Fury and You Only Live Once, but it has a very different vision of violence and death. Malick spends no great amount of time invoking Freud to explain the behavior of Kit and Holly, nor is there any Depression to be held ultimately responsible. Society is, if anything, benign.

This is the haunting truth of Badlands, something that places it very much in the seventies in spite of its carefully re-created period detail. Kit and Holly are directionless creatures, technically literate but uneducated in any real sense, so desensitized that Kit (in Malick’s words at a news conference) can regard the gun with which he shoots people as a kind of magic wand that eliminates small nuisances. Kit and Holly are members of the television generation run amok.

They are not ill-housed, ill-clothed, or ill-fed. If they are at all aware of their anger (and I’m not sure they are, since they see only boredom), it’s because of the difference between the way life is and the way it is presented on the small screen, with commercial breaks instead of lasting consequences.

Badlands is narrated by Holly in the flat, nasal accents of the Middle West and in the syntax of a story in True Romances. « Little did I realize, » she tells us at the beginning of the film, « that what began in the alleys and by-ways of this small town would end in the badlands of Montana. » At the end, after half a dozen murders, she resolves never again to « tag around with the hell-bent type. »

Kit and Holly share with Clyde and Bonnie a fascination with their own press coverage, with their overnight fame (« The whole world was looking for us, » says Holly, « for who knew where Kit would strike next? »), but a lack of passion differentiates them from the gaudy desperados of the thirties. Toward the end of their joyride, the bored Holly tells us she passed the time, as she sat in the front seat beside Kit, spelling out complete sentences with her tongue on the roof of her mouth.

Malick tries not to romanticize his killers, and he is successful except for one sequence in which Kit and Holly hide out in a tree house as elaborate as anything the M-G-M art department ever designed for Tarzan and Jane. Sheen and Miss Spacek are splendid as the self-absorbed, cruel, possibly psychotic children of our time, as are the members of the supporting cast, including Warren Oates as Holly’s father.

One may legitimately debate the validity of Malick’s vision, but not, I think, his immense talent. Badlands is a most important and exciting film.

BADLANDS (MOVIE)

Produced, written, and directed by Terrence Malick; cinematographers, Brian Probyn, Tak Fujimoto, and Stevan Larner; edited by Robert Estrin; music by George Tipton; art designer, Jack Fisk; released by Warner Brothers. Running time: 95 minutes.

With: Martin Sheen (Kit), Sissy Spacek (Holly), Warren Oates (Holly’s Father), Ramon Bieri (Cato), and Alan Vint (Deputy).

Voir enfin:

Riots Create Irrational Behavior

Apr. 30, 2013 — Participants of group riots have since the end of the 1960s been viewed as rational individuals driven by a sense of injustice. But in today’s world this is misleading, concludes sociologist and PhD Christian Borch in a newly published doctoral thesis, and he encourages the police to take the destructive behaviour of some participants into account when dealing with groups of rioters.

During the so-called ‘UK Riots’ in the summer of 2011, discontented young people set the streets of London alight and looted shopping centres. The initial strategy of the police which was to communicate with rioters soon failed. Instead they resorted to using batons and containment. Within a Danish context, the violent reactions to the clearance of ‘Ungdomshuset’ in 2007 show that a revolt can develop into serious criminal actions.

According to Christian Borch, these examples illustrate that group rioting are not solely based on righteous indignation and considered planning:

« The notion of the 1960s that social movements happened as a legitimate response to social injustice created the impression of riots as being rational. Crowds however do not have to be rational entities, » says Christian Borch.

In a new doctoral thesis « The Politics of Crowds: An Alternative History of Sociology » from University of Copenhagen, Christian Borch analyses the historical development of the concept of crowds in a sociological context.

« The riots in London demonstrate the existence of a lack of rational thought processes as the events had an entirely spontaneous and irrational character. People looted for the sake of looting, for many this was not necessarily born out of a sense of injustice, » says Christian Borch who has analysed the strategies of the Metropolitan police in connection with the London riots.

Danish riots attracted violent supporters

The riots surrounding the clerance of « Ungdomshuset » at Jagtvej 69 in Denmark illustrate that demonstrations are capable of creating a self-perpetuating sense of dynamics which accenture the irrational elements. Thus, setting cars alight and breaking windows became part of the rioting.

« During the Danish riots there existed on the one hand a sense of rationality within the young people’s protests, in so far as they were drive by a political motivated interest. However, other people who were normally not affiliated with ‘Ungdomshuset’ became a part of the conflict and participated in the riots without any shared purpose. They were having fun and the adrenalin kicked in, » says Christian Borch.

It is inner group dynamics which fuel pointless bahaviour.

« Riots can assume self-perpetuating dynamics which is not driven by rational motives. When individuals form a crowd they can become irrational and driven by emotion which occur as part of the rioting, » says Christian Borch.

Inspiration to police tactics

Thinking of crowds as rational entities has since 2000 affected the way in which the British police have handled riots. The UK Riots serve as an example of this. The police worked on the promise that they were dealing with rational individuals with sensible objectives which is why their plan of action was based on communication rather than containment. This however, did not work in practice.

« The interesting aspect of the London riots was to ascertain that it was pointless to address the crowds through a communication strategy. The rational way of regarding the crowds came to nothing whereas the traditional form of containment did. This shows that at certain times a successful solution is not to handle crowds based on dialogue-orientated efforts, » says Christian Borch.

In addition to the police, Christian Borch encourages town planners, sociologists and economists to apply a more critical approach when dealing with the concept of crowds.

6 commentaires pour Tuerie d’Istres: Attention, une balade sauvage peut en cacher une autre (Badlands goes Allahu Akbar: Should the legless Bostonians have agitated more forcefully for federally mandated after-school assimilationist basketball programs ?)

  1. […] ne pas voir, avec l’éditorialiste canadien Mark Steyn, le véritable décervellement qu’est en train de s’auto-administrer l’Occident pour tout ce qui touche, entre avortement, […]

    J'aime

  2. […] ne pas voir, avec l’éditorialiste canadien Mark Steyn, le véritable décervellement qu’est en train de s’auto-administrer l’Occident pour tout ce qui touche, entre avortement, […]

    J'aime

  3. […] ne pas voir, avec l’éditorialiste canadien Mark Steyn, le véritable décervellement qu’est en train de s’auto-administrer l’Occident pour tout ce qui touche, entre avortement, […]

    J'aime

  4. […] ne pas voir, avec l’éditorialiste canadien Mark Steyn, le véritable décervellement qu’est en train de s’auto-administrer l’Occident pour tout ce qui touche, entre avortement, […]

    J'aime

  5. […] ne pas voir, avec l’éditorialiste canadien Mark Steyn, le véritable décervellement qu’est en train de s’auto-administrer l’Occident pour tout ce qui touche, entre avortement, […]

    J'aime

  6. jcdurbant dit :

    L’infini mis à la portée des caniches:

    L’homme de 45 ans a été arrêté dimanche par les forces de l’ordre américaines. Il est accusé d’avoir tué samedi six personnes, apparemment au hasard, à Kalamazoo, dans le Michigan …

    http://www.sen360.fr/people/il-a-abattu-6-personnes-au-hasard-le-tueur-de-kalamazoo-etait-un-chauffeur-uber-432309.html

    J'aime

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