One Name Stands Out of All the Rest; or, Bat Masterson’s Song of Myself

Every night that I remember to pray (after a good slug of whiskey to provide the appropriate gravitas), I pray for my family, my friends, my Urban Cowboy, my godless country (for if more Americans prayed, for example health insurance execs, we would have better health care). On good days I sprinkle in a.) when it’s . . . → Read More: One Name Stands Out of All the Rest; or, Bat Masterson’s Song of Myself

A Manly Star in the Firmament; or, George Montgomery’s Vox Viri

Mortal humans who play silver-screen western gods–I mean heroes–have to go through rigorous vocal exercises to deepen their voices, strangle their vowels, and clip off extraneous words like adjectives (the last being a good plan for anyone, actually). These exercises serve to broaden the chest and strengthen one’s cajones–as George Montgomery can attest to.

In The . . . → Read More: A Manly Star in the Firmament; or, George Montgomery’s Vox Viri

From William S. Hart to the Dude; or, We Have Met the Hero, and He Is Us

In the 1920s, William S. Hart was the icon of the West. As well as Uncle Sam, a shining-knight cowboy, west-ho adventurer, and all-around patriotic patriarchal figure.

Thirty years later, John Wayne became the next icon of choice for manly men everywhere. Embodying home and hearth as well as risky adventure, Wayne’s shade of derring-do was equally . . . → Read More: From William S. Hart to the Dude; or, We Have Met the Hero, and He Is Us

In the Beginning; or, William S. Hart and the Western Cliché Genesis

William S. Hart bid adieu to the West and westerns as he loved them in the prologue of 1925’s Tumbleweeds, his last film, reissued in 1939.

He wore too much makeup (OK,unfair–all actors did in silent films), acted in a stilted manner (OK, OK, it goes with silent-film territory), and moralized about how little the westerns being made . . . → Read More: In the Beginning; or, William S. Hart and the Western Cliché Genesis

On the Procrastination Trail; or, From the Wild Western Collection

Beside my desk is a tall rack of westerns, part of my 350+ collection (a sign of an obsessed mind, yes). It’s perfect for procrastination purposes…

Trail of the Macaw, by Eugene Cunningham Popular Library, 1950 from the collection of es

…such as when I admired this beaut, from 1950. It has the . . . → Read More: On the Procrastination Trail; or, From the Wild Western Collection

Get It On; or, Western Fetishes, from Michael Jackson to Appaloosa

Get it on! Another da bomb of a Wild Western Web find! Michael Jackson as cowboy, circa 1977. *swoon*

Even through the anemic strains of a stoopit disco arrangement, you can discern the moves that made MJ great. Taking on the butch character of a cowboy/gunslinger, Michael Jackson’s dancing transforms classic western movie clichés into fetish objects. Check . . . → Read More: Get It On; or, Western Fetishes, from Michael Jackson to Appaloosa

The Wild Western Web; or, Sauerkraut Cowboys and Le Far West

Some days of Wild Western Web trolling yield zero results. Some yield perfect storms of epic perfection and all kinds of wonderful.

God bless the Cowboy, especially in an Italian theme park.

Cue Sauerkraut Cowboys.

Once I got the memory of the taste of pickled-ish cabbage from my mouth (avoiding sauerkraut most assiduously since I was a . . . → Read More: The Wild Western Web; or, Sauerkraut Cowboys and Le Far West

Thirty Million Words Can’t Be Wrong; or, Max Brand and His Pulps

What better way to be miserable over the slow pace of revisions than celebrating a prolific author?

THE MAN I LOVE TO HATE

Frederick Faust, aka Max Brand

Max Brand (Frederick Schiller Faust) wrote close to 30,000,000 words in his lifetime, and was clocked at 12,000 . . . → Read More: Thirty Million Words Can’t Be Wrong; or, Max Brand and His Pulps

The Curse of the Return of; or, One More of the Worst Silver-Screen Animal Hero Westerns

The deadline hit my shoulder with the force of a bullet and the reins of the stagecoach dropped from my nerveless hands. The coach careened across the dusty road as its six horses, freed from my steady presence on the reins, bolted. The passengers–my beloved characters–shrieking, I tried in vain to pull the brake but nearly . . . → Read More: The Curse of the Return of; or, One More of the Worst Silver-Screen Animal Hero Westerns

The Good, the Bad and the Rinty; or, Another of the Worst Silver-Screen Animal Hero Westerns

The chasm yawns below me. My fingers ache from their grip on the rock; my feet kick wildly for purchase, nothing between them and novel-revision and work deadlines except dead air–and too few hours.

I feel my fingers giving and I regret the many hours I spent on Twitter rather than doing finger exercises, and I . . . → Read More: The Good, the Bad and the Rinty; or, Another of the Worst Silver-Screen Animal Hero Westerns