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
We’ll find ’em in the end, I promise you. We’ll find ’em. Just as sure as the turnin’ of the earth. —Ethan Edwards (John Wayne), The Searchers (1956)
The Meaning of Life was easier to know before World War II. They were bad; we were good. Since 1945, it’s been harder to maintain the line in the . . . → Read More: Did the Duke take the Myth to the Grave?; or, Tim Neath’s Search through Western Films
Two pics from Django, Unchained are seeding the Wild Western Web. Be still, my beating heart. You’re making me type typos.
One is of Leonardo DiCaprio wielding a hammer and Mephistophelian eyebrows, the devil with a red suit on, degeneracy signified by not only a cigarillo in a holder (instead of tucked into the corner of mouth, . . . → Read More: Clothes Maketh the Man; or New Silver-Screen Western Hero Django Unchained
Ponderosa Ranch meant wholesome family entertainment with guns and cowboys, and first lick of flame burning up the hand-drawn map of the ranch meant “Bring in your TV dinners, kids, Bonanza is starting!”
Ponderosa Ranch (Autry Collections Photo)
Check out the cultural landmark on display at the Autry National Center, a must-see museum in Los Angeles, chockfull . . . → Read More: Bonanza’s True North; or, Re-Orienting to the Cartwrights
In the right hands, stories of sex, love, and murder go beyond tabloid sensationalism to reveal truths about the human condition, drawing not just tears and laughter but the somber recognition that we are all flawed (so get over it with wine, women, and/or song). As soon as Glenna Bell gets behind the mic with her . . . → Read More: Sex, Love, and Murder; or, Glenna Bell’s Perfectly Legal Tale
True Grit has accomplished the impossible. Unity! It’s a miracle! It’s hope, change, and Old West dialogue all mixed together!
True Grit has bridged the red state/blue state divide, Frank Rich of The New York Times writes. It’s a hit with coastal elites and Middle America family-values families alike, something that the blue/red mix of voters . . . → Read More: The Purple States of True Grit; or, Bridging the Gap, One Movie Theater at a Time
Writers are badasses. They have to be. The stereotype of a writer is a coffee-shop-writing fop in a cravat not needing to cling to a 9-to-5 job, but honestly, to get images to incarnate as black-and-white correctly spelled prose between a front and back cover with ISBN number, and read and critiqued and/or praised by more . . . → Read More: Of Western Writing and Dreaming; or, William Post’s The Mystery of Table Mountain
Cowboy accidentally fires gun in hotel.
Is this what the Wild Western World has come to? “Accidentally”?
Aren’t cowboys–the rough-riding kind that gallop through streets shooting guns in the air, whooping and hollering and making schoolmarms dive for cover behind Randolph Scott–supPOSED to fire guns in town streets, saloons, and hotels?
Oh, movies. Right. Where . . . → Read More: What to Do When You Shoot Up the Town; or, The Cowboy Code in Action
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
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