Clothes Maketh the Man; or New Silver-Screen Western Hero Django Unchained

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

Fast Times at Liberty Valance High; or The Reel-Life Politics of Ford’s Anti-Western

I knew where it was going. Anyone who’s done his or her western homework would.

There are two American archetypes that were sometimes played against each other in old Westerns.

The egghead Eastern lawyer who lacks the skills or stomach for a gunfight is contrasted with the tough Western rancher and ace shot who has no patience for . . . → Read More: Fast Times at Liberty Valance High; or The Reel-Life Politics of Ford’s Anti-Western

Run, Man, Run; or, High Plains Adventures in Novel Writing

Let’s see…where was I before I dropped off the face of the earth a few weeks ago? Funny how novel writing brings out the best and worst of one’s inner self. (Cue any spaghetti western theme here, as its wailing singers and off-kilter drumming is the only kind of soundtrack appropriate for the angst-ridden wackness of . . . → Read More: Run, Man, Run; or, High Plains Adventures in Novel Writing

The Man from Laramie; or, The One-Two Punch of 1950s America

Ah, the beauty of pulpish western cover art, filled to the brim with all the perfect 1950s western cover clichés, combined and intertwined in a perfect union of cinematic, pulp western majesty.

Can life get any better?

You might recognize the title, perhaps? Anthony Mann’s films with James Stewart, such as The Man from Laramie (1955) are . . . → Read More: The Man from Laramie; or, The One-Two Punch of 1950s America

Real Men Drink Milk; or, Overturning Wild Western Clichés

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

Procrastination; or, High Plains Adventures in Novel-Writing

When I procrastinate in my cliffhanger-filled journey of novel writing (thrills! chills! tears! laughter!) I now know it as a signpost that there is something important I have to tackle and I am resisting it.

(Thanks final girl, for an epically awesome vacation pic!)

The stronger the urge to do something–anything–other . . . → Read More: Procrastination; or, High Plains Adventures in Novel-Writing

I Heart the Obama Kid

The Kid is in. The Great Decider is out–and so are slimy campaign innuendos. I’ll not be sorry to hear the last of the slander of the good Maverick family name. I’ll not be sorry to have less of cowboy-diplomacy-this* and cowboy-foreign-policy-that drop into my inbox with such alarming regularity. And I won’t be surprised if this . . . → Read More: I Heart the Obama Kid

Wanted: Cowboy Presidents 2008

I’ve been unwilling to saddle up the presidential cowboy analogies for some time–Dubya too easy of a target–but THANK ALL THAT IS COWPOKE for recent presidential candidate news. 

Barack Obama resists the cowboy hat–all I can see him as is the lawyer/Dude from a big city, or maybe as a laid-back (yet pistol-packing) James Stewart in Destry Rides Again, . . . → Read More: Wanted: Cowboy Presidents 2008