Tuesday 15 January 2008


The Wind That Shakes the Barley is one of a handful of films I can honestly say I got a bit emotional about.
A truly amazing film.

Because it really does have a powerful message.

We cannot know the hour, we cannot know the day.
And we cannot know where we will find ourselves when it happens.

The central character in this film, did not.
He did not want to be part of it.
But he became part of it.

Could we pass the test?
Would our nerve hold?

Most of us will never live to know whether we are made of stone or straw.

I guess you can only really know that when you face the choice 'Lose your principles, or your life.'

Would I pass the test? I don't know, there's no way I'll ever know.

So in a sense, I envy the lucky few who get to find out the answer to that question.

And a part of me will always envy them.

They at least get to find out the answer we all want to know.

To know our worth.


Anonymous said...

Yes. Is it part of modern life? Fewer opportunities to test oneself in a grand and meaningful way. I suppose there are opportunities to do so, if one were to seek them out. There's a quote, I can't remember who, 'anything worth dying for is worth living for,' but you're right, there's no way of knowing unless you are in that situation.

Anonymous said...

I'll always assumed that I would pass the test, but hoped never to be tried. It's a good way to live. You don't actually need to know the answer, just act as if it would be yes.

Anonymous said...

I think I need to have seen this movie to understand this post.

I am alive!!!

Anonymous said...

I don't think I'd pass the test.

Partly because I'm not sure what my principles are. It's not something I've ever been confronted with,

Mainly because I'm a big wuss. If faced with the decision to pick my principles or my life. I think I'd more than like choose to live.

Anonymous said...

I think we test ourselves in small ways every day. It's leading a life of integrity.

Anonymous said...

i always fail tests

Anonymous said...

even if time is said to be the greatest teacher of them all, me & tests dont get well togheter...

Anonymous said...

Paul- There is a Chinese curse 'May you live in interesting times'

One can ask the question, do martyrdoms do any good, would the martyts not have been better living to fight another day, but against that, we should note that nothing recruits for an idea than the fact that people give their lives for it.

It makes people look at what they died for.
Early Christianity, for example.

jmb- I guess so.
In some senses, it must be the worst test to fail. And yet throughout history so many must have had to live to old age in the knowledge that they reneged.

Phish- it's worth watching, it's a bit bloody in parts, but very, very accurate so much so you can believe yourself there.
Of course, it is one of my pet historical episodes, the Troubles and the Civil war, but if you don't know much about it, it pretty much tells it like it was.

Oestrebunny- I suppose you have to ask how you can then continue to live a life by principles. You've sold them.

Though you raise a good point. In a sense you CAN only judge the worth of a cause by how many of its adherents couldn't live without those principles.

Helen- We do. You have to, if you aren't living by SOME internal principles, your life becomes chaos.

Gledwood- I once had an exam called for a module called 'Introduction to literary theory'

I failed to attend any lectures or seminars to the subject, or get any books on the subject.
At 9Am oof the morning of the exam (11.00), I found myself in the library reading a book entitled 'Introduction to literary theory'.

Sadly, I only get through the introduction.
By some miracle, mainly by sticking to the generic questions, I scraped 60%, the 2"1 threshold.

You never know with tests.

Crasdummie- Same holds true as for Gledwood.
I don't think you ever know with tests.

Anonymous said...


and basically how every one is a different garment of THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES