Villains and Badmen: Your Own Worst Enemy, Part I

So in the What Silver-Screen Western Hero Are You? quiz you figured out you’re a lawman with a touch of singing cowboy and a slice of gunslinger. Excellent. But you still want to walk on the dark side. All right, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Just know that good versus evil isn’t just a story—it’s a way of life. Heroes are born to fight evil; villains are compelled to thwart heroes. The struggle doesn’t end after ninety minutes.

And here comes the best part: It’s a well-known fact that villains, like heroes, have incredible physical prowess and are highly charismatic. Heroes and villains are equally matched—although villains are usually a little faster or stronger because a certain pesky ethical code doesn’t get in their way. But when the showdown between the two comes, take note: Look for the moment when the hero and the villain freeze in their tracks, staring at each other. It’s as if they’re long-lost twins, shocked when they finally meet face to face. It’s as if the two of them are staring in a mirror, recognizing him- or herself in the reflection of the other. It’s as if they are one and the same. Whoa.

So What Does This Have to Do with Me?

Figures you’d ask that. If you still thirst to be a villain, think carefully: In a western, it’s the mustachioed badman and his machinations that keep the hero from getting what he wants.

Who’s stopping you from getting what you want? Look in the mirror, bucko. Chances are, the person most responsible for holding you back is you. You’re already subconsciously playing that villainous part every day. And look where it got you—reading CowboyLands and hoping fictional characters can help your sad, sad existence.

Quiz: How Well Do You Know Your Silver-Screen Western Villains?

Who said: “He paid me a thousand. I think his idea was that I kill you.” [He and his target laugh] “But you know the pity is when I’m paid, I always follow my job through.”

Who said: “People scare better when they’re dying.”

Who said: “I’m going to hurt you. And not gentle like before…but bad.”

Who said: “I don’t mind a skinny girl, just so she has blue eyes to make up for it. You got blue eyes?”

Emmy [bartender]: “Brown.”

Villain: “That’s all right. They don’t have to be blue.”

[They kiss passionately.]

Who said: “People must know they are going to die, and yet they live as though they never will. Hilarious.”

Who said: “You mean I’ll kill him if you have to.”


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