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
Don’t get me wrong. I would recommend Clint Westwood’s Unforgiven (1992), even if it was just because people who don’t like westerns say they like this western. To them, I’m like, um, this is a total western, so I don’t get what you’re saying, but whatever–it kicked the genre in its dusty ass at a time . . . → Read More: Unforgiven; or, I’ll Never Forgive the Blood-Soaked Retribution Blah, Blah, Blah Bits
“I want to be a cowboy.”
–Chin Hao, aka Shanghai Joe, played by Sessue Hayakawa, aka Chen Lee, The Fighting Fists of Shanghai Joe, 1973
I’ve always said that Silver-Screen Western Heroes come in all shapes, sizes, genders, and nationalities. Whether SSWHs are male or female, from the East or the West, they share
a certain stillness in their . . . → Read More: Reward Good, Fight Evil; or, the Western Hero Lessons of The Fighting Fists of Shanghai Joe
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
Huh. And I thought it was all in the camerawork.
A recent (April 2012) study at UCLA funded by the US Air Force has found that humans will perceive a man with a gun as larger than he really is. Study participants were asked to judge the size of men holding things like caulking guns, saws, drills, and . . . → Read More: Reach for the Skies; or, Study Says Guns Make People Look Bigger
Silence is golden. Combine that with a serious western hero, and you have gunpowder to burn.
(Just one of the many promos pics of Olyphant aiming a gun. Note the un-western tie.)
One of the best modern takes on the classic laconic western hero is U.S. Marshal Rayland Givens, from the master of gab, Elmore Leonard. Leonard’s dialogue–from . . . → Read More: Justified My Love; or, Elmore Leonard Updates Western Hero
It’s a well-worn stereotype that western heroes don’t talk about their feelings. But it’s not that they don’t have them. Western heroes are deep wells of emotion, actually. If you flicked a pebble into one of those wells, that little “plink” would echo and re-echo a thousandfold-fold-fold-fold-fold…
Spoiler alert: Coop gets the gal in The Virginian.
Take . . . → Read More: Shut up; or, The Eternal Silence of the Western Hero
I get two questions every day as I ride the high country writing a novel (don’t ask about progress, please),
as I work hard (thank you, all the editors I work for–if I could, I would buy you all cayuses),
and as I look for awesome land to purchase out west for my own little rancheroo . . . → Read More: On the Fringe; or, Wearing the West
What to do when your long-awaited field trip to the West didn’t produce lanky cowboys dropping into your lap?
Take this tall glass of cool water I found at a Long Beach bookstore.
A twofer special from Monarch, from the collection of es
Monarch Books doesn’t reveal the illustrator of this western by King of Cowboy Lit . . . → Read More: Brand Fires on the Fridge; or An Out-West Pin-Up Souvenir
Steer the rattling wagons into a tight circle! Protect the women and children! Draw your six-shooters as whooping Indians on painted war ponies streak over the rise of a hill!
Look sharp, Tonto! This isn’t just a tired western stereotype, it’s a Silver-Screen Western Hero Equation!
c. 2011 es cowboylands
In reel life: Earnest pioneers moving to promised . . . → Read More: Circle the Wagons!; or, More Advice from a Besieged Writer