Film Friday Reflection: The Highwaymen

There is a strange and unexpected moment in this movie about two Texas Rangers on the trail of Bonnie and Clyde. One of the rangers, Maney Gault, is hanging around in a side alley when he spots the outlaws’ car turning off the high street and pulling up near him. A prime opportunity to finally nail the brutal couple. However, as he pulls his gun from its holster he hears the sound of screams and running feet and watches in disbelief as the car is surrounded by adoring fans. Bonnie had become so revered that women were dressing like her. And 20,000 people attended her funeral. The world seemed to have gone mad. What on earth were people thinking? And yet, in many ways we still do it. For example… we know more than ever how much the celebrity life can ruin people, and yet still want to be famous. We still idolise that which is destructive. Romanticising about lives other than our own. We have been constantly speaking of the new normal these past 12 months, well, maybe ordinary can be the new normal. Maybe regular is enough. There is apparently a saying in psychology – wherever you go, there you are. We always take ourselves, and our quirks and fears and weaknesses, with us. Whether we are famous or not. When God entered this world he didn’t come as a power-player, or a gangster, or a celebrity. He came as a nobody. A regular kid playing in the street. A strapped-for-cash carpenter labouring under high taxation. Perhaps he did that because he knew that this is the reality for most of us. Ordinariness. And reality was what was most important to him. Not some glamorous, fabricated existence. But life as it is, gritty, troublesome and a bit of a mishmash.

‘God became a human being and moved into the neighbourhood. Full of love and faithfulness.’
John 1 v 14

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  1. Mark Roques says:

    Very insightful Dave. I’ve seen this film and was also struck by the scene you describe so well. This craving to be famous is rooted in a secular, consumerist worldview which can ruin lives. This mindset captivates peoples’ imaginations and leads them into devaluing ordinary lives. Thanks for your work which I really appreciate.

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