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Johnny Cash: The Man Comes Around
7.9.2003 by Dan Beirne, every Wednesday.

Nathan Lane comes over every Wednesday to the house to watch a movie, or just chat with Dan. Dan found these little chats so interesting, he decided to tape-record them and tell the world all the neat things Nathan had to say about movies and stuff.

Wednesday, July 2nd, cloudy.

Johnny Cash: The Man Comes Around (2003): New album from the legendary country singer. Mostly other people's songs. Maybe all other people's songs, I couldn't really say.

Me: I don't think he can really sing.

Nathan: You shut your mouth.

Me: So, welcome back.

(you can hear a crow cawing. a white crow)

Nathan: Was I ever gone?

Me: Oh, I get it.

Nathan: I don't think you do.

Me: So what'd you think of that album?

Nathan: What a grumbling stab in the dark at every--

(the door bell rings)

Nathan: thing that leads to...

Me: I'll get it.

Nathan: Are we doing this, or are we not doing this?

Me: I invited someone.

(enter Cynthia)

Me: Hey, thanks for coming.

Cynthia: Dan. Hey Nathan.

Nathan: Oh, hey.

Cynthia: Brendan's waiting in the car, so I can't stay long.

Nathan: Oh, cool.

Me: Have you listened to Johnny Cash's The Man Comes Around?

Cynthia: Yeah I have...

(Nathan starts breaking all the pencils in my desk)

Cynthia: It's really an expression of himself, you know? He's just a really sad guy, and that comes through...

Me: What are you doing?

Nathan: What? You don't need full pencils. Nobody needs full pencils. When's the last time you used a pencil all the way to its bottom?

Me: Just stop it. Sorry, Cynthia, please continue.

Cynthia: That's all right. I think that comes through, and it's not like a "oh, look at how sad I am" kind of sadness either, when listening to it, he seems to take into account the sadness of the entire world...

(a tennis ball hits the window)

Nathan: What the--

Cynthia: With songs like "I Hung My Head" and "The Streets of Laredo", these are about cowboys who must die for their sins. While he may be making the statement that he is this and every cowboy...

Nathan: Hey, you fucking kids! See this! This is mine now! (looking back at us and smiling) Yeah, I'm keeping it! Fuckers! Ha ha!

Cynthia: ...but their existence as ballads makes them still timeless and story songs. Nathan, what are you doing? Are you yelling at Brendan?

Nathan: Naw, I was yelling at those kids.

Cynthia: Why? They're just playing hockey.

Nathan: Hey, look this tennis ball has a tear in it.

(begins ripping the tennis ball apart with his hands. Using all his strength, his face turning red)

Me: What's going on?

Cynthia: I read somewhere that Cash seems to be spitting on his whole life, but I think rather than it being about hating himself, and looking down on everything, it may be just a realization that a lot of things don't really matter...

Nathan: Fuckin' ball is tough--

Cynthia: ...Hence the lack of accompaniment on his songs. While there is some production on the songs, most of these feel like Johnny Cash is in your living room. I think with the recent death of his wife, he may be...

(Nathan can't rip the ball completely apart, so he whips it at the floor. It hits Cynthia in the breast)

Nathan: Oh, sorry.

Cynthia: You know what, Nathan? You're being really immature and stupid. I've never seen you act this way, and I don't think I deserve to be treated like this!

Me: Yeah, Nathan, you're being an idiot.

Nathan: Fuck you, Dan!

Me: Why don't you start crying?

Cynthia: I'm just gonna go.

Nathan: K, bye.

Cynthia: Bye.

(exit Cynthia)

Me: Man, what is your problem?

Nathan: I hate you, and I'd leave if she weren't still out there--

Me: Isn't Brendan your--

Nathan: --And I'd live if she weren't still in here.


June Carter Cash (1929-2003)

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