The Cowboy And The Stripper: Prologue
Please forgive me for including a couple of quotes here to set the stage. They are long quotes, which is why they won’t be part of the main entry.
Here is the easiest way to explain the genius of Johnny Cash: Singing from the perspective of a convicted murderer in the song “Folsom Prison Blues,” Cash is struck by pangs of regret when he sits in his cell and hears a distant train whistle. This is because people on that train are “probably drinkin’ coffee.” And this is also why Cash seems completely credible as a felon: He doesn’t want freedom or friendship or Jesus or a new lawyer. He wants coffee.
Within the mind of a killer, complex feelings are eerily simple.
This is why killers can shoot men in Reno just to watch them die, and the rest of us usually can’t.
The following is from one of D. H. Lawrence’s essays on Melville. It begins with a quote from Moby Dick, with Ishmael speaking:
MELVILLE: And what is the will of God? – to do to my fellow man what I would have my fellow man do to me – that is the will of God.
LAWRENCE:-Which sounds like Benjamin Franklin, and is hopelessly bad theology. But it is real American logic. […] You would think this relation to Queequeg meant something to Ishmael. But no.
–from Studies in Classic American Literature