The footage in this video is a short clip from a Spaghetti Western made in 1971 directed by Luigi Batzella.
The American version of the film is called Paid in Blood.The film’s original Italian name is Quelle Sporche Anime Dannate
which roughly translates to Those Damned, Dirty, Souls.
In translating this title, three words appeared which were of much interest to me, “damned”, “dirty”, and “soul”.
In the Webster's 1828 dictionary the word damned is described synonymously with to condemn:
to decide to be wrong or worthy of punishment; to censure; to reprobate.
He that doubteth is damned if he eat. Rom xiv 3. The full passage in Romans 14:23 reads:
“ and he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”
In this binary, what is not of faith must be of sin. What is not of faith is condemned.
The word condemn can also mean to declare to be unfit for use or consumption.
What is sin then must be unworthy of eating, of consuming, bringing into oneself, or onto one’s body.
He that doubteth is entering into a place between the binary of faith and sin,
He will not eat so as to be saved from being damned.
He that doubteth is choosing neither faith nor sin. He enters into the unknown.
The unknown place where He cannot consume the divine.Without the consumption of the divine He becomes secular.
The divine is rejected by His body. The secular body is removed of His “soul”.
The secular body who cannot eat (neither in faith nor in sin), becomes a condemned man. A damned man.
The dirtiness was apparent.
There was a close connection to dirtiness in the making of the piece, and the context which it came out of.
The role of dirtiness, at this point in time, is the thing that facilitates one being damned.
If one is found to be dirty He is, as in the definition of damned: to be wrong or worthy of punishment.
Through mapping the relationship of these words, this became my way of experiencing the obsession with the death of the cowboy.
Four years ago I met a man who had a fetish for getting shot: the word, the idea, the action.
He wanted to role play for hours on end, acting out complicated scenes of getting shot,pretending to get shot at a sleepover,
being an arrogant soldier going off to war who is indifferent to the fact that he may get shot, crying over his lover’s dead body who had been shot.
He was very particular about the way the world “shot” was said in these scenes. He wanted very specific emphasis put on it.
He would correct the way it was said, and constantly direct in how the word was delivered.
It had to be at the exact volume, with the exact emphasis, the exact pause before and after, and the exact eye contact.
He was specifically obsessed with cowboys, and images of young cowboys getting shot.
He showed me a video on his phone of a young cowboy running and being shot in the back.
He showed me on his phone the same video in a few different speeds, and I later noticed
that he had at least 50 different versions of the video saved on his phone, slowed down and sped up incrementally.
I did not know his name, and our first and last encounter only lasted for about four hours
and ended with me lying on the floor, and him crying over my dead body.
“....The cowboys have nowhere to get to. They’re older and they don’t have to make it anywhere because where they are is all there is.
Theirs is not the Old Testament-- no journey to take; nothing promised; no land to land in. For them, life and death are simultaneously equal and present.
The simultaneity of the living who are already dead is filmed as sexy….They all die in a kind of orgasmic rush...
Once the orgasm is over we can just lie back, close our eyes, and relax, though we are neither liberated nor fulfilled…”
The damned man who no longer has a “soul” moves into the realm of objecthood.
He is there for my observation. There is a sexiness and a dirtiness to observing the damned man.
He has become the object of my desire.In observing the damned man I cannot consume Him,
for if I chose to, I would also resign to be eating in sin. Food that is described as sinful is always the food we long to eat the most.
I cannot consume the damned man, and yet I desire to.There are moments when observing Him that I also want to be Him.
There are moments I lust for Him. I wish to simultaneously be Him and be with Him.
He is forbidden to eat and I am forbidden to eat Him.
“..and he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”
Years later I am still thinking of the intricacies of his infatuation, and the image of the young cowboy.
I started to do research online to see if I could find the same footage of the cowboy running.
After hours of scrolling through footage of westerns I was unable to unearth the same video.
However, in the process I found an account online of a man named Gary J who has a youtube account and blog,
which he has been posting on since 2012.The youtube account has exactly 504 videos of compilations of films
including only the parts in which the men get shot. The majority of the videos are compiled from westerns.
On one of his videos I saw a link to his blog, which is called Shot, Strangled, Stabbed Guys, on which he posts frequently.
Each post contains a collection of stills and a video of a different film.
Scattered amongst the posts are short snuff erotica stories that his followers have written and submitted.
I began thinking it may be possible the man behind the blog was the same man I’d met.
Despite everything, I remember his nature being distinctly kind, and soft.
This was echoed in different places around his blog. He would leave sweet messages for his followers,
wishing them happy holidays, or posting a picture of a tired polar bear, saying he needed a break from editing videos.
The footage I ended up choosing is from a video he posted in 2013, and I decided to use this in place of the original footage I was searching for.
“There is no such thing as a good influence, Mr. Gray. All influence is immoral-immoral from the scientific point of view."
"Because to influence a person is to give him one's own soul. He does not think his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions.
His virtues are not real to him. His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed.”