Posted in Books, Political, Televison, Uncategorized

Look life in the eye…justify

1justified8“We are all in the same boat, in a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty.” ~G.K. Chesterton

Feuds in history are many. Fought over land, titles, power, fences, cows, love, but mostly, because whether you were a: Hatfield, McCoy, Boyce, Sneed, Taira, Minamoto, Donnelly, Farrell, Percy, Neville, Crowe, Crowder or Givens – real or imaginary, they were all able to justify their actions.

One thing they all had in common? Patriarchal violence toward women.
Today’s Google graphic is dedicated to Emily Noether, a brilliant mathematician Albert Einstein praised as a “…most significant creative mathematical genius…”.  Her indomitable spirit and astonishing mind were a gift to the world, yet because she was a woman she fought to be educated and to work in her field. 133 years after her birth, women are still struggling for equality, recognition, and respect, for who they are and can be. State, obstetric, domestic, financial, physical, emotional, societal – any type of violence holds them back and keeps them from being all they can be – it’s unacceptable.1justified1

We need to believe the law is moral, even though it’s too often abused and manipulated, for personal gain, power, or even for the greater good.  Laws also evolve. Slavery was once legal. As were wife-beating. Child labour. Apartheid. Did that make them right?

At times, I’m sorry I started watching Justified. In some way, I’m glad it’s almost over. Despite Timothy Olyphant (the main reason I started watching it), it’s ugliness often makes me feel uncomfortable.1justified11
The characters justify all manner of vile actions.
The philosophy behind justification, especially in this series is disturbing and moreover, disturbingly familiar.
We’ve heard it from politicians. Religious figures. Abusers. Tyrants. Dictators.
People get what they deserve, one way or another.
So it’s said.

1justified10Justified and Philosophy: Shoot First, Think Later edited by Rod Carveth and Robert Arp (Open Court) echoed many of the reasons I’ve felt uneasy with this series. For example, choices offered as a way to justify actions. As though offering someone a choice somehow excuses anything you do afterwards.

These philosophers do a fantastic job breaking down the popular Western FX series (based on Elmore Leonard’s Pronto, Riding the Rap, and Fire in the Hole), offering pragmatic analysis of the good, the bad, and the brutal.

Have you ever justified something that you knew to be wrong?
Did you ever feel like you did what you had to do?

History shaped
Hands rocking cradles
Hands in fists
whatever we want
with duty
Lines drawn
Lines crossed
Do first
think later.
We are
within our rights
Look life in the eye



Very me

68 thoughts on “Look life in the eye…justify

  1. I am also addicted to Justified and I agree, it’s often difficult (I’ve got it taped so sometimes I skip through the violence). My experience with the law (primarily tax law) is that when officials can hide behind the law they lose some of their humanity. It’s not that they are evil… It will be interesting to see what Timothy does next, hey?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, about losing some of their humanity…I feel like that happens online too, when people don’t have to say something to your face, they can be extremely cruel.

      It’ll probably make me cringe. 😉


    1. I’m so glad you’re back. I hope you had a relaxing time. 🙂

      Everyone does seem to justify…I was just…I was just…Say what you mean and mean what you say would be a better way. 🙂

      I had a party while you were gone, to fill in the quietness of March Break, but it’s ongoing, if you get a chance (no hurry), drop by and leave your blog info, blog link, etc. so others can find your wonderful blog. 🙂

      Great to have you back. 🙂
      Hope this day is being good to you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a good word to describe watching this series – “uneasy”. Sometimes I felt that it really portrayed the “wild west”, and is it really like this in that part of America?


      1. I’ve never seen “justified” but I completely got your political take…I think that revisionist historians have so besmirched feminism that most people really don’t understand that at it’s heart it was about giving women more choices.

        Most people don’t seem to get the fact that the most active feminists on the political scene right now are Bizzaro World right wing feminists like Ann Coulter and Sarah Palin. Two women who would not even be part of the political debate had it not been for the feminist movement.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Exactly, it’s all about choice and treating all human beings as equals irregardless of sex, race, religion, income status, abilities, etc.

        Wow, yes, Rob, I agree about Palin and Coulter and definitely that it’s a Bizzaro World. 😉

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I wonder how a mind shuts down.

        Because it seems so self evident to me that everyone is deserving, that government functions very well with oversight, that a democracy powered by well regulated capitalism and fully funded public services creates prosperity for everyone.

        It seems self evident that we don’t enslave people either outright or through covert means which means that it also seems self evident that the wealth of a civilization belongs to all of its members; that we choose leaders and give them power in order to do the job of allocating resources to everyone’s benefit.

        You may say I’m a dreamer; but I was raised in a country that once used it government to enforce the rights of its minority citizens.

        Even at the risk of offending bigots.

        I know what a healthy democracy looks like.

        It’s as messy as the mess we have now but it’s not as stupid


      4. That’s a cool way to put it, Rob, “It’s as messy as the mess we have now but it’s not as stupid.” Exactly. I like that. I don’t care if I’m a dreamer too, I’d rather have hope than despair and fear and ignorance. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I’m glad you’re ok with what I said. I feel things very deeply and tend to get to passionate.

        Despair, fear, ignorance are all designed to make people lose hope in their own system. There is a reason for voter suppression laws.

        Democracy works when people pay attention and vote–but the stupidity cuts both ways. We’ve got to stop electing democrats to the white house while letting the opposition keep congress.


    1. I think too many girls are feel or are made to feel that way. I think it happens wit races as well, and income levels. It’s sad that people can’t just be left to enjoy who they are. 🙂


  3. Sometimes we have to, to get over it, Donna. Rationalization is another word for it, I guees. Too much is not good, indeed. I have not watched that show, ever. I don’t think I want to because it sounds upsetting.


  4. As my Grandmother once told me, two wrongs do not make a right.

    I have justified a wrong but mainly when I was working, by giving somebody a pay advance (against company rules) just to help them out so they could at least buy some food for their children. It made me feel very good, although Management did not think so once they found out what I had done.


  5. That’s it Donna! You’re having what i call a “Julia Sugarbaker moment” — nobody could get on a soapbox like the Designing Women character. I loved it when she did that — and you reminded me of her just now. Well said!
    I’m cheering you on, Donna. You’re on that soapbox and i’m cheering!
    >As for this show, I haven’t seen it. But there have been others, so well produced, well acted and beautifully costumed that I wanted to watch each episode… Then i just felt bad after the show. I decided that if it didn’t lift me up, then i didn’t need to watch it.
    >Shared this on LinkedIN.
    Mega-hugs my friend.


    1. lol Oh Teagan, I can picture that…I used to like that show a lot. 🙂
      Thank you for cheering me on, Teagan, you’re always so supportive! 🙂
      In some ways I wish I’d never seen it and I agree with you, I’m slowly weening myself off shows that I feel sad or uneasy after. 🙂
      Thank you for the share, you’re so wonderful and hope this day is as wonderful as you – I know, not possible, but it can try. 🙂


  6. Great thought-provoking post, Donna! I watched the first couple of seasons, but didn’t follow through…I watched for the same reason as you (love Timothy…loved him in Deadwood).
    It is interesting that we think something is “justified” if it is the best of two bad choices…great job.


  7. Amen to all of what you have to say here. Yeah, I’m smitten with Timothy, too, and his character’s foibles and failings, and addicted to the theme song and wonky titles. But I compartmentalize the uncomfortable parts and regret the violent examples being shown by creative talent who make shows like this. Viewers seem to be more tantalized by violence to women and children than to men, though men are generally the writers behind it and perpetrators of it. That must be the lesson.


    1. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one this show and others make uncomfortable.
      Excellent points, Jann, thank you so much for dropping by, you always add to the discussion, I love that. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The example that comes to mind isn’t exactly something I knew to be wrong, but a friend commented once on a piece of driving I’d just done, and as a driver I can be–let’s say, ahem, assertive. I listened to myself explain that I’d driven the way I had just then not because it’s the way I drive (and it wasn’t dangerous, just, ahem, assertive) for the good of the universe. It as like listening to a stranger. I was fascinated. And it was total bullshit. I’d driven that way because it was the way I drive.


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