I Never Liked Western movies, not really…

…until now, that is, what with all the cowboys and Indians fussing and fighting, and people getting knocked over the head with gun butts—not good. Back in the 60’s and/or 70’s, there was much “to-do” over violence on TV, with all the ensuing Congressional committees and so on and so forth, which all seems rather quaint now, what with violence many times over that now standard fare on evening TV, and sex out the wazoo, the yin-yang, the whatever, you name it…

With regard to the violence, the concern was that kids would see the gratuitous stuff and emulate it at home and elsewhere. I’d say that sentiment proved prescient, given the current level of violence in the USA, now just a major Reality TV show. Even all the hubbub over ‘Natural Born Killers’ long ago seems quaint now, even though it made it to the halls of Congress (the fact that Quentin Tarantino intended it as humor seemed lost on them, though not future fans of ‘Pulp Fiction’)…

But the proof was more personal, the fact that I walloped my older brother over the head with the butt end of a toy gun to great fanfare, distress and concern, and loss of liberties to myself (sent to my room, with no conjugal visits). No, that did not go over well, and my protests that, “All the cowboys do it,” didn’t seem to help. No, I was in deep do-do. Nevertheless, I survived, but will we?

Now I like watching Western movies strictly for their historical value. After all, when that genre was all the rage in the 50’s, there were still people alive who knew that era first-hand, and even if they got much of their visual input from Buffalo Bill’s Wild West shows, still there was a direct line of transmission from the authentic previous era of the 1880’s, if not the 1850’s. The Oregon Trail is still there, if you know where to look, and so is Silver City, NM. In fact the old West is pretty much still alive, if you know where to go, not Italy, maybe Argentina, guns optional…

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