VERY pleased to announce an excellently fun gig with History Channel–the daunting task of recommending a series of westerns to savvy history buffs. Check out my recs at their History Shop (oh, and buy some westerns for holiday gifts, especially if you or your friend/lover/pard is the laconic hero type!).
As a special bonus for this roundup of . . . → Read More: A Fistful of Westerns; or, History Channel Rounds Up Bucko’s Greatest Westerns
Two words: Special Features.
If your Silver-Screen Western Hero wanna-be has a New Year’s resolution that entails
learning to kick miscreant butt in showdowns
wearing spurs that jingle, jangle, jingle
eating calf nuts on the range in between cattle drives and drinking bad rye in shot-up saloons (whee!)
then he or she is going to need a go-to pick-me-up for those . . . → Read More: The Modern Buckaroo’s Guide to Happiness; or What Else to Give the Silver-Screen Western Hero of Your Life
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 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
The Number One Silver-Screen Western Drinking Cliché
Real men drink whiskey, right? Wrongo.
Example #1: Destry Rides Again (1939) In which the new sheriff in town turns every expectation the town has about him upside down.
Deputy Thomas Jefferson Destry, Jr., (James Stewart) arrives in town with a killer reputation to clean it up . . . → Read More: Real Men Drink Milk; or, Overturning Wild Western Clichés
“Quick! Get your horses! it’s time to rescue the bad guy and shoot the girl! I mean…”
That’s how Flapjack42 began, as soon as I asked her to write about these animal hero movies she’d been watching. No, Flapjack42 isn’t a glutton for B-movie punishment–she is a connoisseur of all westerns, whether they be . . . → Read More: Animals Can So Be Heroes, Too; or An Epic Cowboylands Top 10 Guest Post
Revise what? Nothing less than the ideals of Manifest Destiny, which proclaimed the superiority of European white manly manliness. As soon as westerns became awesome, they began revising, folding, mutilating, and spindling this textbook tripe.
A little western history: The heroes in pre-1939 Westerns had to follow five commandments:
Thou shalt be white, male, heterosexual asexual.
Thou shalt . . . → Read More: Revising the West; or (Bucko’s) Top 10 Revisionist Westerns
The most satisfying part of a quiz are the answers. It’s as if having something hard and fast–a yes/no/write/wrong/you are this/you are that–keeps all the demons of uncertainty at bay and hence make us happier and more satisfied, right? Who wants to be consumed by doubt when so much is at stake (you, your love interest, . . . → Read More: Which Silver-Screen Western Hero Are You?; or Part III, The Answers
Another movie for the Iranian president to see, or any other person who yearns to be a movie-type cowboy instead of a real one.
Lonely Are the Brave, filmed in 1962 with Kirk Douglas as the drifter rejecting the modern West, and the great Gena Rowlands and Walter Matthau as his costars.
It was based on The Brave . . . → Read More: Lonely Are the Brave; or, Hearting/Hating That Brave Cowboy Thing
“…the beauty of things that can’t be known for sure.”
Mining Equipment (Throat Obstruction Demo), Mining Museum, Silverton Colorado © 2008 es
These words absolutely do not address the queasiness I feel when I wonder about the motivations of a certain plumber-cum-Republican mascot. Instead they describe the Museum of Jurassic Technology, a larger-than-life cabinet of wonders beside an . . . → Read More: Beauty, Eye, Beholder