Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Quote of the Day: the Murders We Romanticize and the Murders We Don't

The city of Deadwood, they stage the murder of [Wild Bill] Hickok fourteen times a day. People have the security of knowing that that story is going to go on, and they'll be able to see Hickok killed 365 days a year.  Which might be an alternative argument in terms of continuing stories past the point of their utility. ...

All of Chinatown [in the Deadwood series] was intended as a venue for storytelling, to show the people who were invisible to what history takes to be the main story of a place.  And the process of servicing the illusions of those who are telling history what history will take to be the main story of a place -- the process of servicing that is never very pretty.  They used to bring in whores for the people too poor to pay for the white prostitutes.  The only way to make that economically feasible was not to feed the Chinese whores.  So they would just let them get fucked to death, until they starved.

They don't stage that fourteen times a day in Deadwood.

-- David Milch, "The Meaning of Endings: David Milch on the Conclusion of Deadwood" (
The heart of this fabulous little DVD extra -- available, I believe, only in the DVD set containing the complete series (which has a disk above and beyond the extras disks contained in each of the three season sets) -- is excerpted here.  A summary of the whole is here.  (Via Canavan, who comments at the link.)  It's just Milch rambling -- but "just" is very much not le mot juste here.  It's Milch, rambling -- and doing so with grace and insight.  The bit above isn't the best bit, but it's good, and I hadn't seen it quoted or transcribed anywhere, so I thought I'd quote it.

Here's one more sentence, more in tune with the main theme of Milch's rambling:
The biggest lie is the idea that we are entitled to a meaningful and coherent summarizing, a conclusion, of something which never concludes.

-- Ibid.

1 comment:

northierthanthou said...

The final quote here is pretty amazing.