Its no mystery

by Don Hartness

Our modern culture, through music and movies, has pointed out this problem of misguided love for decades now.

Al Pacino, in my opinion (and the opinion of many), is a great actor. So it isn’t surprising that The Devil’s Advocate is a favorite of mine. Yet, it wasn’t just Al Pacino’s acting that I enjoyed (of which, for a long time, in every movie casting him, I couldn’t see Al – I saw the devil). No, it was also the caricature of the devil in the story.

Evil is rooted in lies, but the best lies contain the most truth.  John Milton (Al Pacino) doesn’t manipulate the young Kevin Lomax (Keanu Reeves) with outright lies. Instead, he combines self-love with pressure-filled situations to manipulate others into doing what he wants, a fact that Kevin learns too late.

In the middle of the movie, Eddie Barzoon (Jeffrey Jones), the managing partner of Milton’s firm, threatens Kevin Lomax after he discovers Lomax’s name on the firm’s charter (“like it was always there”), indicating a future take-over attempt. As he gets read to go out on a jog, he tells Lomax to “tell your mentor!” (Milton, aka the devil) that the next time the feds call him, he just might sequel.

As Eddie discovers the price for betraying the serpent, Milton gives a speech revealing how he hustles the world (without implicating himself, of course). You don’t have to believe in a devil to get a chill…

(To watch, click here. Warning: graphic)

“These people, it’s no mystery where they come from. You sharpen the human appetite to the point where it can split atoms with its desire. You build egos the size of cathedrals, fiber-optically connect the world to every eager impulse, grease even the dullest dreams with these dollar-green, gold-plated fantasies, until every human being becomes an aspiring emperor. Becomes his own God! Where can you go from there?

And as we’re scrambling, from one deal to the next, who’s got his eye on the planet? As the air thickens, the water sours, even the bees honey takes on the metallic taste of radioactivity–and it just keeps coming. Faster and faster! There’s no chance to think, to prepare, it’s `buy futures, sell futures’ when there is no future!

We’ve got a runaway train, boy!! We’ve got a billion Eddie Barzoons, all jogging into the future. Every one of them getting ready to fist-f%#& God’s ex-planet, lick their fingers clean, as they reach out toward their pristine cybernetic keyboards to total up their f%#&ing billable hours!! And then it hits home: you gotta pay your own way Eddie! It’s a little late in the game to buy out now!! Your belly’s too full, your d**k is sore, your eyes are bloodshot, and you’re screaming for someone to help! But guess what? There’s no one there! You’re all alone, Eddie!

[mocking] You’re God’s special little creature!!”

– John Milton (aka “the devil”): “The Devil’s Advocate”