Crossing the Line: Blood Meridian or The Evening Redness in the West

Crossing the Line: Blood Meridian or The Evening Redness in the West

August 23, 2017

by Doug “Uncola” Lynn:

On August 21, 2017 the narrow line of a solar eclipse’s shadow cut a path of totality right through the middle of the United States, dividing north from south.  If one believed in signs from the heavens they could make a pretty good case of an astronomical pairing to recent headlines depicting America as broken in two.  Of course the division began long ago, perhaps from the time of our nation’s constitutional convention, through the Civil War era, and onward into modernity as the country has once again become mired in a civil war; this time the fight raging between the globalists and those striving to maintain constitutional national sovereignty. Obviously, before the utopian one-worlders can realize their ultimate new economic, political, and possibly spiritual, order, the atavistic and anachronistic United States must fall.  It is a fight unto death.  The winners take all.

Like any anthropological conflict that has ever commenced upon the earth from the time since man first discovered stones to be denser than craniums, the squabbles are, at the beginning, ideological in nature.  Next, the divisions manifest, then materialize, politically and socially until finally, they are decided by rocks or blades or bullets and bombs.  No matter how noble sounding are the pronouncements of each side, soon lines are drawn, then crossed, as men drown in rivers of blood ebbing from battlefields into oceans on fire before coagulating down upon the ashen and soot-stained floors of hell.

It has been said that money is power and that slavery is rooted in economics and, perhaps, this explains why elite bankers are never concerned over spilled blood and shattered lives.  No.  Like vampire legends and monsters from fairy tales of old, they feast on both.  Seeking dominion over the earth they finance nation states and the working-poor alike, promising them material prosperity, while utilizing fractional reserve treachery and Orwellian newspeak designations like “securities” and “trust departments” and “Federal Reserve” when nothing is what it appears.

And just as the international bankers finance both sides of wars so do they pit politicians against one another in government-style kabuki theater dramas according to scripts previously written.  The globalists furthermore stratify societies into warring segments and then feign to provide solutions by promising equality and fairness through collectivist principles.  They conspire to control and seek power for its own sake.  Of course the game is rigged as they make politicians their pets, consolidate multinational corporations, censor the internet, and turn journalists and entire media venues into obedient drones.  The moneymakers have become like suns radiating over the earth, creating economic storms, and establishing the order of planets by their weight and gravity; all rotating with circular synchronicity and in random pandemonium.

Indeed, there is an eclipse on the horizon and, as its shadow approaches, lines are seen and crossed with certain inevitability.  Lines between the privileged and the poor.  Lines of color, race, and ideology.  Lines of freedom and slavery; law and anarchy; tyranny and justice; life and death.  These are the lines of the times and once crossed there can be no return because the older orders are falling away and being replaced by new ones.

So what comes next? How bad will it be?

Let’s look back to a similar time.  A time when lines were continually crossed.  A time when border wars raged, and violence reigned.  When burgeoning race battles began to bud and blossom; when anarchy prevailed and greed satiated the empty souls of warriors blazing new paths. Combatants, all, fighting for survival and supremacy during desert storms fueled by fate and fortune in a place where the sun is a cruel taskmaster daily defining the blood-red meridian between life and death; order and chaos.

These were the heady times of Manifest Destiny, an age of rampant nineteenth-century American expansionism and imperialism along the Texas-Mexico borderlands during the years of 1849 and 1850; as chronicled in Cormac McCarthy’s 1985 masterpiece of historical fiction:  “Blood Meridian or the Evening Redness in the West”.

McCarthy extensively researched Blood Meridian, writing first drafts of the book as far back as the mid-nineteen-seventies and critics contend the narrative to be historically accurate even unto its minor details.  The story describes the transgressions of the notorious Glanton Gang, a cadre of scalp hunters who were initially commissioned to wipe out indigenous indian populations before crossing into the kind of darkness that can only be recognized by the blood-red aura which circles a complete eclipse of conscience. McCarthy based his fictionalized Blood Meridian upon a nineteenth-century book entitled “My Confession: The Recollections of a Rogue”, which was written by Samuel Chamberlain, an actual member of the Glanton Gang.



Although Blood Meridian is widely regarded as one of the greatest American novels of all time; and even though Time magazine included the novel in its 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005, it is without a doubt one of the most graphically violent books ever written.  Moreover, the literary density and utilization of uncommon vocabulary, including archaic terminology and Spanish dialogue, in addition to the author’s odd disdain for capitalization, punctuation, and quotation marks, makes it one of the more challenging books to read as well.

Nevertheless, Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian is the quintessential Western, and pure to its bleached white bones.  The story centers upon a character by the name of The Kid, who flies in from obscurity like a bedimmed meteorite tumbling from the blackest recesses of outer space.  Rough-hewn and scarred, he violently crashes through the sand-strewn desert that comprised the mid-nineteenth century southern borderlands; where blood flowed like fresh streams during a flash flood; and scalps blew in the breeze like space dust in a solar wind.

In a world where wolves and coyotes dig up the bones of the dead thus depriving even the dearly departed and the deservedly damned their undisturbed dormancy, the Kid suffers through some early misadventures before soon finding himself in the cabin of a desert hermit who shows him an actual dried and blackened heart of a Negro man.  He says:


They is four things that can destroy the earth…  Women, whiskey, money, and niggers.

 – McCarthy, Cormac. (1985). “Blood Meridian or The Evening Redness in the West”, Modern Library Edition, 2001, Random House, Inc., Chapter II, pg. 18


And later, while sharing an evening meal, the hermit drifted into some solemn contemplation and conversation that seemed lost, and wasted, on the Kid:


A man’s at odds to know his mind cause his mind is aught he has to know it with. He can know his heart, but he don’t want to. Rightly so.  Best not to look in there. It aint the heart of a creature that is bound in the way that God has set for it. You can find meanness in the least of creatures, but when God made man the devil was at his elbow. A creature that can do anything. Make a machine.  And a machine to make the machine.  And evil that can run itself a thousand years, no need to tend it. You believe that?

– McCarthy, “Blood Meridian”, Chapter II, pg. 19


Soon the Kid takes up with a filibustering army expedition under the leadership of one Captain White, an idealistic imperialist who was embittered in the aftermath of the Mexican-American War and desired to liberate the “dark and troubled land” populated with those, who in his opinion, were “unable to govern themselves”.


They took to riding by night, silent jornadas save for the trundling of the wagons and the wheeze of the animals….  They moved on and the stars jostled and arced across the firmament and died beyond the inkblack mountains. They came to know the nightskies well.  Western eyes that read more geometric constructions than those names given by the ancients. Tethered to the polestar they rode the Dipper round while Orion rose in the southwest like a great electric kite.

– McCarthy, “Blood Meridian”, Chapter IV, pg. 46



Unfortunately, however, Captain White’s company eventually met their horrible, violent end by the bloodstained hands of a colossal coterie of Comanche’s:


…there rose a fabled horde of mounted lancers and archers bearing shields bedight with bits of broken mirrorglass that cast a thousand unpieced suns against the eyes of their enemies.  A legion of horribles, hundreds in number, half naked or clad in costumes attic or biblical or wardrobed out of a fevered dream…  all the horsemen’s faces gaudy and grotesque with daubings like a company of mounted clowns, death hilarious, all howling in a barbarous tongue and riding down upon them like a horde from a hell more horrible yet than the brimstone land of christian reckoning…

– McCarthy, “Blood Meridian”, Chapter IV, pgs. 52-53


Amid that orgy of blood and gore, the Kid escaped the carnage but not before he witnessed, along with the readers, the full measure of the savage butchery:


…. they had circled the company and cut their ranks in two and then rising up again like funhouse figures, some with nightmare faces painted on their breasts, riding down the unhorsed Saxons and spearing and clubbing them and leaping from their mounts with knives and running about on the ground with a peculiar bandy-legged trot like creatures driven to alien forms of locomotion and stripping the clothes from the dead and seizing them up by the hair and passing their blades about the skulls of the living and the dead alike and snatching aloft the bloody wigs and hacking and chopping at the naked bodies, ripping off limbs, heads, gutting the strange white torsos and holding up great handfuls of viscera, genitals, some of the savages so slathered up with gore they might have rolled in it like dogs and some who fell upon the dying and sodomized them with loud cries to their fellows. …

– McCarthy, “Blood Meridian”, Chapter IV, pg. 54


Although Blood Meridian is littered with numerous fascinating and violently foul characters, none are more enigmatic, or mysteriously malevolent, than the antagonist of the story; the one who is known as Judge Holden, or simply, The Judge.   He is claimed to be an actual historical figure, but to date, the only mention of his existence occurs in the aforementioned Samuel Chamberlain’s autobiographical account, “My Confession: The Recollections of a Rogue”, whereby the Judge is described to have been very intelligent, of large physical stature, and as the most ruthless of the killers in John Joel Glanton’s gang.

At the hand of Cormac McCarthy, though, the fictionalized Judge Holden is given near preternatural abilities almost to the level of a desert djinni or, as some professors of literature have argued; a gnostic archon, or demon.  In 2002, Book magazine ranked McCarthy’s portrayal of the Judge as the 43rd greatest character in fiction since 1900. Highly educated and gifted with a charismatic air of worldly erudition and aplomb, the Judge is portrayed by McCarthy as a hairless albino with pig eyes; and as a supernaturally strong, extremely violent, pedophile. He served as second in command to John Glanton, conversed in five languages with Mexican heads of state, and could create gunpowder from bat excrement and human urine.  Proficient in the sciences, he cataloged what he observed into journals and was an accomplished fiddler and dancer.  Yet inexplicably, and with details denied even to the readers, wherever the Judge encountered populated settlements, there were always search parties formulated by the end of the day, or the next morning, of panicked loved ones looking for their missing children.  A member of Glanton’s gang known as the expriest Tobin, described the Judge to the Kid this way:


That great hairless thing. You wouldn’t think to look at him that he could outdance the devil himself now would ye?  God the man is a dancer, you’ll not take that away from him.  And fiddle.  He’s the greatest fiddler I ever heard and that’s an end on it. The greatest.  He can cut a trail, shoot a rifle, ride a horse, track a deer.  He’s been all over the world.  Him and the governor they sat up till breakfast and it was Paris this and London that in five languages, you’d have give something to of heard them.  The governor’s a learned man himself he is, but the judge…

– McCarthy, “Blood Meridian”, Chapter X, pg. 123


The Kid first witnessed the Judge mischievously making false accusations against an itinerant preacher in a revival tent, which incited the locals to beat the preacher severely and without mercy.  Then later, after the attack by the Comanche’s, and nearly dying of dehydration in the desert, the Kid sees the Judge again as the author introduces the Glanton Gang riding into a Mexican village populated by “blackeyed girls with painted faces smoking cigars”.  The scene is described in statically vicious prose by one of the longer single sentences of the book:


They saw the governor himself erect and formal within this silkmullioned sulky clatter forth from the double doors of the palace courtyard and they saw one day a pack of viciouslooking humans mounted on unshod indian ponies riding half drunk through the streets, bearded, barbarous, clad in the skins of animals stitched up with thews and armed with weapons of every description, revolvers of enormous weight and bowieknives the size of claymores and short twobarreled rifles with bores you could stick your thumbs in and the trappings of their horses fashioned out of human skin and their bridles woven up from human hair and decorated with human teeth and the riders wearing scapulars or necklaces of dried and blackened human ears and the horses rawlooking and wild in the eye and their teeth bared like feral dogs and riding also in the company a number of halfnaked savages reeling in the saddle, dangerous, filthy, brutal, the whole like a visitation from some heathen land where they and others like them fed on human flesh. 

– McCarthy, “Blood Meridian”, Chapter VI, pg. 78


In a short while the kid is recruited into the Glanton gang and so begins his seemingly pre-ordained journey through scene after scene of bloodshed and chaos.


He passed and so passed all into the problematical destruction of darkness.

– McCarthy, “Blood Meridian”, Chapter VIII, pg. 105


I was a soldier. It is like a dream. When even the bones is gone in the desert the dreams is talk to you, you don’t wake up forever.

McCarthy, “Blood Meridian”, Chapter VIII, pg. 103


They rode like men invested with a purpose whose origins were antecedent to them, like blood legatees of an order both imperative and remote.  For although each man among them was discrete unto himself, conjoined they made a thing that had not been before and in that communal soul were wastes hardly reckonable more than those whited regions on old maps where monsters do live and where there is nothing other of the known world save conjectural winds.

– McCarthy, “Blood Meridian”, Chapter XII, pg. 152



One evening in the narrative, while the group was sitting around the fire, the Judge was expertly sketching some colorful birds that he shot, when one of the group, named Toadvine, inquired as to why the Judge engaged in such efforts.  This, in turn, began an exchange to where the Judge replied, in part, with the following excerpts:


Whatever in creation exists without my knowledge exists without my consent.

…. This is my claim.  And yet everywhere upon it are pockets of autonomous life.  Autonomous.  In order for it to be mine nothing must be permitted to occur upon it save by my dispensation.

…The man who believes that the secrets of the world are forever hidden lives in mystery and fear. Superstition will drag him down.  The rain will erode the deeds of his life.  But that man who sets himself the task of singling out the thread of order from the tapestry will by the decision alone have taken charge of the world and it is only by such taking charge that he will effect a way to dictate the terms of his own fate.

… The freedom of birds is an insult to me.

– McCarthy, “Blood Meridian”, Chapter XIV, pgs. 198, 199


During another scene in the story, the men were looking above at the stars and constellations and planets and they wondered if there were others like them out in the vast expanse of the abyss. To which the Judge replied:


The universe is no narrow thing and the order within it is not constrained by any latitude in its conception to repeat what exists in one part in any other part.  Even in this world more things exist without our knowledge than with it and the order in creation which you see is that which you have put there, like string in a maze, so that you shall not lose your way.

– McCarthy, “Blood Meridian”, Chapter XVII, pg. 245


The judge swung his hand and the coin winked overhead in the firelight. It must have been fastened to some subtle lead, horse hair perhaps, for it circled the fire and returned to the judge and he caught it in his hand and smiled.

The ark of circling bodies is determined by the length of their tether, said the judge.  Moons, coins, men.

– McCarthy, “Blood Meridian”, Chapter XVII, pgs. 245, 246



Also in the story there occurred a battle between two men both sharing the same name of John Jackson.  One John Jackson was white and the other black, but to the gang, they were collectively known as The Jacksons.  Although both men were equal opportunity scalpers of Indians and Mexicans alike, there remained a simmering warfare between the two resulting in a very gruesome climax.

Weeks later, the gang’s evening conversations turned to the topic of war:


It makes no difference what men think of war, said the judge.  War endures.  As well ask men what they think of stone. War was always here.  Before man was, war waited for him.  The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner. That is the way it was and will be.  That way and not some other way.

…. Men are born for games.  Nothing else.  …. the merit of a game is not inherent in the game itself but rather in the value of that which is put at hazard. Games of chance require a wager to have meaning at all.  Games of sport involve the skill and strength of the opponents and the humiliation of defeat and the pride of victory are in themselves sufficient stake because they inhere the worth of the principals and define them.  

…. What more certain validation of a man’s worth could there be?  This enhancement of the game to its ultimate state admits not argument concerning the notion of fate.  The selection of one man over another is a preference absolute and irrevocable and it is a dull man indeed who could reckon so profound a decision without agency or significance either one.  In such games as have for their stake the annihilation of the defeated the decisions are quite clear. This man holding this particular arrangement of cards in his hand is thereby removed from existence.  This is the nature of war, whose stake is at once the game and the authority and the justification.  Seen so, war is the truest form of divination. It is the testing of one’s will and the will of another within that larger will which because it binds them is therefore forced to select.  War is the ultimate game because war is at last a forcing of the unity of existence. War is god.

– McCarthy, “Blood Meridian”, Chapter XVII, pgs. 245, 246


When one man in the gang inquired regarding the morality behind the Judge’s apparent contention of “might” making “right”, the Judge responded:


Moral law is an invention of mankind for the disenfranchisement of the powerful in favor of the weak.  Historical law subverts it at every turn.  A moral view can never be proven right or wrong by any ultimate test.  A man falling dead in a duel is not thought thereby to be proven in error as to his views.  His very involvement in such a trial gives evidence of a new and broader view…  For the argument is indeed trivial, but not so the separate wills thereby made manifest.  Man’s vanity may well approach the infinite in capacity but his knowledge remains imperfect and howevermuch he comes to value his judgements ultimately he must submit them before a higher court. Here there can be no special pleading.  Here are the considerations of equity and rectitude and moral right rendered void and without warrant and here are the views of the litigants despised.  Decisions of life and death, of what shall be and what shall not, beggar all questions of right.  In elections of these magnitudes are all lesser ones subsumed, moral, spiritual, natural.

– McCarthy, “Blood Meridian”, Chapter XVII, pg. 250


Stated another way, and according to the Judge, war resolves the conflicts of will between men.  Fate, therefore, reveals every resolution and, thus, the very will of God.  By this logic then, the idea of a divine deity setting things right on the earth becomes moot.  No. It is only the will of men, warfare, and victory, that determines the course of history.  As the Judge stated earlier in the book:


If God meant to interfere in the degeneracy of mankind would he not have done so by now? Wolves cull themselves, man. What other creature could? And is the race of man not more predacious yet? The way of the world is to bloom and to flower and die but in the affairs of men there is no waning and the noon of his expression signals the onset of night. His spirit is exhausted at the peak of its achievement. His meridian is at once his darkening and the evening of his day. 

– McCarthy, “Blood Meridian”,  Chapter XI, pgs. 146, 147


And there it is. Is it not the way of the world?  In the end, either by greed, or pride, or bloodlust for dominion of the earth, do old men wage wars for young men to fight.  Whether battles rage over territory or ideology, the lines of demarcation are forever crossed and reestablished anew.  In this manner, does not the Judge remind the reader of the international banking elite?  Of those who wage wars across the centuries, holding sovereign governments to their command, killing freedom, and creating order and chaos?


He never sleeps, the judge.  He is dancing, dancing. He says that he will never die. 

– McCarthy, “Blood Meridian”, Chapter XXIII, pg. 335


America today stands at a crossroads. The lines have been drawn between law and anarchy, by identity politics, economics, and ideology.  American imperialism and exceptionalism is both on the rise and in decline. And only time will prove whether the nation will further eclipse its conscience.

Mao Zedong was absolutely correct when he said “political power grows out of the barrel of a gun” and this axiom remains valid today among those embracing Marxism–Leninism–Maoism.  But what Mao neglected to mention, however, was who bought the gun.  The bankers bought it.  And they sold it.  And they financed it. The bullets too.

History rhymes and the echoes of the past have already foretold of the forthcoming chaos. Just like the astronomical events in the heavens above; the passing of time is marked by the same elements that have always been. Like the Revolutionary War, except today, it is the political establishment and global financial elite, acting as the entitled monarchy.  Just like the First American Civil War, but instead of North versus South, it is now “urban” versus “rural” and lawless anarchists challenging those supporting constitutional law. And, just like Germany during the 1930s, except today, the statist Brownshirts have chosen to wear black facemasks instead.


I know your kind… What’s wrong with you is wrong all the way through you.

– McCarthy, “Blood Meridian”, Chapter V, pg. 66


Recently we saw the shadow from a solar eclipse divide the United States in two; separating north from south.  In seven years, it will happen again.  On April 8, 2024 the moon will again cross over the sun and create a path of totality, a shadow, over America; this time however, dividing east from west.  In what looks to be an astronomical cross, or more accurately an “X” stamped upon the nation in the crosshairs of a divine gun, the centerlines of the two eclipse paths meet at the eastern shore of Cedar Lake in Jackson County, Illinois.  Paradoxically, this county was named after Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, who just so happened to be the principal founder the Democratic Party and was, in fact, the nation’s first Democrat to be elected Commander in Chief.  Jackson was also a soldier and indian fighter who was passionately opposed to abolitionism and signed into law the Indian Removal Act as president in 1830.

Moreover, Andrew Jackson is known as the man who killed the bank.  X marks the spot.  Bullseye.


Gentlemen! I too have been a close observer of the doings of the Bank of the United States. I have had men watching you for a long time, and am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out, and by the Eternal, (bringing his fist down on the table) I will rout you out!

– From the original minutes of the Philadelphia committee of citizens sent to meet with President Jackson (February 1834), according to Andrew Jackson and the Bank of the United States (1928) by Stan V. Henkels



In another, seemingly, astronomically focused paradox, Jackson County, Illinois marks the spot where General John A. Logan, a Douglas Democrat, led a parade of veterans from Murphysboro, Illinois to the county’s largest city, Carbondale, after the Civil War.  Logan, who was a Union veteran, invited the Confederate veterans of the politically divided Jackson County to march with him and, today, the U.S. Army credits General Logan as the founder of the Memorial Day holiday.

Like America, Jackson County Illinois remains today evenly divided along political lines; voting 47% for Hillary Clinton and 44% for Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential Election.  Fortunately, there in Jackson County, like most of the United States, the ideological lines and boundaries are still determined by ballots, not bullets.  For how long, no one knows.

Crossing the blood meridian is about going too far.  It’s about losing one’s way and traversing the lines that were always there, waiting to be crossed. Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre  and the Reign of Terror, or the Purge of Stalin, or Hitler’s Kristallnacht; the night of broken glass.  The globalist’s must divide America.  They must slice her in two and then break her into bits. They may succeed.  Perhaps it was written in the stars from the beginning; and even now foreshadowed in the days ahead. The seven years between 2017 and 2024 will mark another path of totality in the West.  Just watch.

3 thoughts on “Crossing the Line: Blood Meridian or The Evening Redness in the West

  1. Good morning Doug ,
    My two favorite authors McCarthy and you was like a feast of words andthoughts and feelings. My favorite book
    The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy. My whole life I’ve been obsessed with boxing. I’ve thought to explain it as a concurrent 100% offense and a 100% defense; no I know but it really is the victory of the will.


  2. Thanks Gary. Besides Blood Meridian, I have read All the Pretty Horses, The Road, and No Country for Old Men. Have The Crossing on my radar and hope to get to it one day soon.



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