Tag Archives: movies

Darkest Hour

Rose and I went to see the move Darkest Hour yesterday afternoon. I seem to remember Sarah telling me she had seen it a couple of weeks ago. I told her then of Herman Wouk’s paragraph about Winston Churchill in his book The Winds of War.

I have a few quibbles about the actual history the movie depicts, but of course the essential story is true and I enjoyed the retelling.

Here is Wouk’s paragraph:

Winston Churchill, today an idealized hero of history, was in his time variously considered a bombastic blunderer, an unstable politician, an intermittently inspired orator, a reckless self-dramatizer, a voluminous able writer in an old-fashioned vein, and a warmongering drunkard. Through most of his long life he cut an antic, brilliant, occasionally absurd figure in British affairs. He never won the trust of the people until 1940, when he was sixty-six years old, and before the war ended they dismissed him. But in his hour he grasped the nature of Hitler, and sensed the way to beat him: that is, by holding fast and pushing him to the assault of the whole world . . . He read his man and he read the strategic situation, and with the words of his mouth he inspired the British people to share his vision. . . . [He] acted toughly, wisely, and ungallantly; and he turned the course of the war to the course that ended five long years later, when Hitler killed himself and Nazi Germany fell apart. This deed put Winston Churchill in the company of the rare saviors of countries and perhaps of civilizations.

Zach after Zero Dark Thirty

Zach has an entry for this date, January 21, in 2013. It was MLK Monday that year. He has some angst about his job, but then he tells of going to see the movie Zero Dark Thirty on the previous Saturday. It didn’t make his ‘list’ but he did say it was engrossing.

Then he goes on with this:

What can’t be argued, however, is how it made me felt…I know this isn’t exactly the greatest example, but it made me feel, as I have many times before, insignificant and wanting to be a part of something greater in my life.  Watching a team of navy seals and the intense training and preparation they show…I’m envious.  Watching a recreation of a meeting of CIA and national security personnel…I’m envious.  Hell, in a weird, horribly perverse way, I’m envious of watching a group of analysts sit around at a conference table.  It’s the feeling that I want to be a part of something bigger, something greater than what I currently am.  To be around intense individuals who want something bigger in their life.  This feeling moved me to go back and read a long passage I wrote when I was coming home from Colorado last summer that nicely captured this same feeling.  It’s still there, and at a greater level than it was last summer, as my dissatisfaction with my job and work environment has amplified.  Even today, while I was at work, I had a short risk/reward calculation in my brain of not doing certain tasks and whether I could get away with not doing them.  How horrible is that?  In the same light, I just literally texted someone how I wished I could be in a professional position where someone would just tell me what to do because I was sick of trying to make decisions on what was important at work.  I don’t feel inadequate; I KNOW I am inadequate, with what I am doing with my life.  Maybe that’s an overstatement.  What I do know, however, is that I just spent 15 minutes looking over jobs at the CIA wondering if I should apply to certain programs… I just feel like I’m soft at life.

What’s hilarious about all this?  The federal government and the CIA is rarely known for its ability to do things really well or for having a strong, effective, efficient work environment.  LOL.