Mark Terry

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Story of the Zen Master

June 8, 2008
If you've seen the movie "Charlie Wilson's War," then you already know this story. And if you haven't seen CWW (it's good), it's the based-on-a-true-story of Texas Congressman Charlie Wilson's efforts with the CIA to fund Mujahadeen rebels in Afghanistan to battle the Russian Army's invasion. It was successful, sort of, because the Afghanis did, in fact, chase the Russian Army out of Afghanistan. Of course, once that happened, the U.S. gave up all support of Afghanistan and forgot about it, leaving a country with a bunch of orphans, no schools, roads or infrastructure. Then the Taliban took over and the rest is pretty much history, and an ugly and unpleasant history it is. As Charlie Wilson said recently, "We won the battle but screwed up the endgame."

Anyway, toward the end of the movie, after the Russian Army has fled Afghanistan and Charlie Wilson and his staff are throwing a victory party, Charlie's CIA contact played absolutely perfectly by Philip Seymour Hoffman, hauls Charlie out onto the balcony and says, "I've been wanting to tell you the story of the zen master."

Which is this:

In this village, a little boy is given a gift of a horse. The villagers all say, "Isn't that fabulous? Isn't that wonderful? What a wonderful gift."

The Zen master says, "We'll see."

A couple years later the boy falls off the horse and breaks his leg. The villagers all say, "Isn't that terrible? The horse is cursed! That's horrible!"

The Zen master says, "We'll see."

A few years later the country goes to war and the government conscripts all the males into the army, but the boy's leg is so screwed up, he doesn't have to go. The villagers all say, "Isn't that fabulous? Isn't that wonderful?"

The Zen master says, "We'll see."

So right at the moment, with all my angst about clients and writing, etc., I'm going to take the Zen master's philosophy to heart: "We'll see."

Cheers,
Mark Terry

14 Comments:

Blogger MissWrite said...

I LOVED that movie.

8:16 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Misswrite
--me, too. Got it for my wife for her birthday. I think Philip Seymour Hoffman's scene in the CIA office where he tells the window repair guy not to go away is priceless.

8:39 AM  
Blogger MissWrite said...

OH yeah, PSH did a great job all the way through with that character. I do think my favorite line was when Tom Hanks said (paraphrasing here I think, lol) You know you've hit rock bottom when you've been told you have charactger flaws by a man who beheaded his predecessor in a political coup.

The whole movie was full of priceless gems though. All of the actors pulled off terrific performances.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Erica Orloff said...

Brilliant flick--actually one I would liek to own (I rented it). Didn't expect to love it that much. Hoffman . . . he's great in everything he does.

And yes . . . amazing how life . . . you never know what's going to happen next. Curveball, or one right over the plate. (I have a baseball-themed post today, so there you go with my analogy . . . LOL!)
E

10:12 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Hoffman is such a chameleon. I haven't seen Capote, but compare his acting in Twister with Charlie Wilson's War with Mission: Impossible III and it's hard to believe it's the same actor.

11:09 AM  
Blogger Jude Hardin said...

I just added Charlie Wilson's War to my Netflix queue. Sounds good!

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