Telling America’s Story, and Why It Matters

There is actually one more chap[ter in our trilogy on how the western myth has shaped America. It cams quite a few years later when I was reflecting on various things that go with it. I think it sums up the series fairly well.

We have often talked about the role of the western in how America sees itself, and indeed in how the world sees America. In fact in one her very first posts here, Jessica started the topic, saying…

My father was fifty when I was born, and his tastes in movies became mine. When other teenage girls were swooning about Kevin Costner (really???), I was dismissive. John Wayne was my hero – and remains so. He summed up America for me. Strong, but never boastful about it. I remember crying when I saw ‘The Man who shot Liberty Vallance’ – it was so unfair – it was Tom Donovan, not Ransom Stoddard who shot Liberty Vallance, so why did the latter end up with the girl? Huh, I remember thinking, if I had been ‘the girl’ there was no way I’d have chosen Jimmy Stewart over John Wayne – what was she thinking?  But, as Tom Donovan might have said: “Whoa, take ‘er easy there, Pilgrim”.

The film’s message, which passed me by in my indignation, was about the passing of the old West, and the place of myth in the making of a nation. America is a nation build around myths and legends. That is not to say they are wrong, it is to say that those movies told a bigger story about the making of a great nation and what made it that. All nations need myths, and the point about the American one seemed to be encapsulated in my second favourite John Wayne film – ‘She wore a Yellow ribbon.’ Captain Nathan Brittles was the quintessential quiet American. A man who, having lost his family, was married to army, and who did his duty, no matter what. My teenage heart went out to him, and I was very sniffy about the heroine going off with those ‘boys’ rather than a ‘real man’.

I really can’t see how ‘the girl’ was going to lose, having to choose between John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart, but Jess’ later reflection is dead on point, I think. Very good insight for a young British err Welsh lass, I think. Building a civilization is one time (and not the only one) when the only thing that will stop a bad man with a gun is a good man with a gun.

I also think it a very good analogy for what we are now seeing in our cities. To me, many of the leftist politicians closely resemble Liberty Valance. 

In fact, a few days later, in a music post that summed up the week, called True Grit, I said this.

My background is Scandinavian  our myths had to do with gods and goddesses. But, we have something else as well, we have our sagas from the time when we went out into the world, and settled Iceland and Greenland, many say we founded both Moscow and Dublin, and the Eastern Emperor’s Varangian Guard were Swedish as well, and a fair number of Anglo-Saxons found it a welcome refuge starting in 1067. A little boastful perhaps but, it’s well to remember that the Viking age ended in a resounding clash of arms as the Danish King of England defeated the King of Norway and two weeks later lost to the Duke of Normandy.

That’s what these films are: The Saga of America.

Jess asked her Mummy a very valid question back when she was 10 when she asked “What is America for, Mummy?” But she got it a little wrong, the real question is, “Who is America for, Mummy?”

Because it’s the Saga of ordinary men and women, who dreamed of living free, and were willing to do the hard, dangerous, and often dirty work of making that dream happen. Even if they were a one-eyed fat man or a Texian whore. America has never been about class or social standing. That’s what I think America is, the new start of western civilization and of the people with True Grit.

And you know, we’re not the only ones. Last week in The Federalist,  Inez Feltscher Stepman, told us about her favorite top ten westerns (and ten extras). Her ranking are somewhat different than mine, but not all that different. I think she might have seen more of them than I have, which is a low bar. One thing stood out for me. Did you know that one of the most effective posters made and used by Solidarity, in the eighties featured Gary Cooper, in his role in High Noon? I didn’t, but the character shown by one man standing alone against evil is a central part of most of the westerns, and of the American character. It’s also why the collectivists all over the world hate us. Here’s a bit from Inez…

No film genre is more quintessential to the American soul than the Western. The virtues Westerns champion—courage, moral clarity, self-reliance, individualism—are American virtues; their vices—excessive or hokey moral simplicity, caricatures of the enemy—are American too. Westerns are so synonymous with the legend that is America that it’s little wonder that from their heyday in the 1950s until today, they’ve played a key role in shaping our perception of ourselves, as well as the world’s opinion of us.

The white-hatted cowboy standing firm against long odds is iconic, and not only within our borders. Western imagery has had such a powerful impact across the globe that Gary Cooper’s character in “High Noon” (No. 3) was used by the anti-Communist Polish party Solidarity in a poster campaign urging people to overcome their fear of tyrannical system and show their true colors at the polls.

She expanded on that in a podcast with Mary Katharine Ham this week. it’s good listening.

Only one hint, though. Her number one is in my top three, and the exact ranking depends on the day.

Inez also gives the outstanding advice that if you are not enthused with current movies, and who is, why not watch some of these twenty movies. I certainly am going to! 🙂

And that probably has something to do with why Archbishop Vigano wrote to President Trump telling him this amongst other things: (via Human Events).

For the first time, the United States has in you a President who courageously defends the right to life, who is not ashamed to denounce the persecution of Christians throughout the world, who speaks of Jesus Christ and the right of citizens to freedom of worship,” Vigano wrote, adding, “And I dare to believe that both of us are on the same side in this battle, albeit with different weapons.”

Vigano believes Americans “are mature and have now understood how much the mainstream media does not want to spread the truth but seeks to silence and distort it, spreading the lie that is useful for the purposes of their masters.

For as the Archbishop wrote this is indeed the battle between light and darkness, and it will be decided in the United States, And I think the forces of light will win, as light always does over the darkness. You should read that article, snd the Archbishop’s letter which is easily found on the internet.

It may also have something to do with why over 1 million people have asked for tickets for the President’s rally this Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at a venue that seats slightly less than 20,000.

 

 

 

Myths,legends and facts

lvalad

In his comment on Audre’s post yesterday Pontiac said this, ” I find a simple comfort about them. There’s no complexity about them and even the conflict and politics is elementary – you have it, I want it! For the most part, though, the characters are just hardworking, close to the land and want to build something, whether it be their farm or family”.

I suspect for many of us that’s true, but for the best of the westerns, well Pilgrim, they go a lot deeper. Jessica explained it this way:

“This is the West, sir, when the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” One of my favourite quotations from any film, and it is what the newpaper editor, Scott, says to Jimmy Stewart’s character, Ransom Stoddard at the end of The Man who shot Liberty Vallance. Even for the great John Ford, that’s some line. Stoddard, a Washington grandee, former Ambassador to the UK and likely Presidential nominee, has come back to the town of Shinbone for the funeral of a local rancher, a nobody called Tom Doniphon, and the local press want to know why: Jimmy Stewart’s character tells them a story which is not just about how the West was won, but how it became civilized.

The story began quarter of a century before, when what is now the State was a Territory – with men who wanted it to stay that way. The young Stoddard is held up by a notorious outlaw, Liberty Valance, and pistol-whipped. Doniphon, a tough local rancher, takes him back to town and sets him up with the family who run the local canteen – his love interest, Hallie helps the wounded lawyer recover, and he helps out at the canteen – eventually falling foul of Vallance – played by Lee Marvin at his brilliant best. In a scene packed with tension, Doniphon tells Valance to pick up the food that’s been spilled by him tripping ‘Ranse’ Stoddard up: it looks like there will be a shoot out – but Vallance backs away – Doniphon’s that sort of a guy.

So, we have there the old West, men are men and all that. It;s rough and tough, and if you haven’t got a gun – or don’t know how to use it – you’re not going to get far – or even live long. But Stoddard is the new order’s forerunner. He believes in the law, sets up an office in Shinbone and works with the local editor as the Territory moves towards statehood.

Doniphon tries to help Stoddard adapt to the ways of the West, but an attempt to teach him how to use a gun is a failure. But Valance and his type are not to be stopped by the law. They beat up the editor and burn down the newspaper offices, and Valance challenges Stoddard to fight him. The first two shots see ‘Ranse’ injured, and he drops his gun – Valance, wanting to rub it in tells him to pick it up – sure the next shot will be right between the eyes – but to everyone’s surprise, the next shot kills Valance. Hallie runs to help the wounded Ranse. Doniphon, who actually fired the shot, sees that he has, in saving Stoddard, lost Hallie – he goes back home, drinks himself into a rage and burns his house down – being saved by his faithful retainer.

At the convention where the vote for who should represent the Territory in Washington is to be taken, Stoddard is challenged by a rival, who says that he should not be trusted because he shot a man. Soddard hesitates, wondering if that is actually the case – should a gun fighter be a politician. Doniphon removes his doubts by telling him the truth about the man who shot Liberty Valance. The rest is history, Stoddard becomes Governor, Senator and Ambassador, marries Hallie and has the career which opened up to men of his type as the United States moved towards its manifest destiny. Now Doniphon is dead, it is time to tell the truth – but the press don’t want the truth – the legend does them just fine.

So Doniphon, who had saved Stoddard’s life and made his career possible, dies alone and unheralded – but not quite, Hallie and Ranse have not forgotten him, or who he was, and who he was was more important than what he did. He did what he did because of who he was. He was the sort of man who did the right thing because it never occurred to him to do the other thing.

This is Ford’s world at its best – there’s no one does the old world making way for the new better. He admires the values of the old West, and he sees them re-embodied in a different form in the new. Doniphon and Stoddard are two sides of the same coin. Their integrity shines through – and Doniphon is all the more believable for not behaving like a plaster saint when he knows he has lost Hallie. Plaster saints neither won, nor will the hold, the West. And now, as then, the media prefer the legend to the facts!

Let’s think about that a little. How far is that from what we’re seeing these days in Minneapolis, in Seattle, in Chicago and New York, and yes, in London as well? Yes, Tom Stoddard was apocryphal but he existed all across this country, and it’s to him as much as to Jefferson and Madison that we owe the rule of law, the belief that might should be on the side of right.

When we talk about the western as the myth of America that is what we mean, the bringing of civilization out of the chaos. And don’t think for a minute that England never knew men lake Tom Stoddard. They did, William Marshal, First Earl of Pembroke is one of them, a warrior knight who made his fortune fighting in tournaments and wars, he is the man, acting with Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury who made Magna Charta the law for us all.

Jess was right here too when she said, “[…] and who he was was more important than what he did. He did what he did because of who he was. He was the sort of man who did the right thing because it never occurred to him to do the other thing.”

That is the legacy of the men that Antifa and BLM are so busy trying to make us forget. Why? Because they are the men that built our civilization, that their deepest desire is to destroy. Abraham Lincoln said that America is “the last best hope of mankind”. How right he was, if we in this generation go down, there will be nowhere left to run.

Relationships: Who Needs a Partner?

Well, Audre really brought it yesterday, didn’t she? Like her, I think we’ve all written arguably too much about Chinese Bat Soup Flu, and yet there is little else going on. Next week is, of course, Holy Week, one of those times when we are more overtly Christian around here than usual. I suspect we’ll be even more than usual here, as well, simply because we are starting to see the suppression of Christianity in our societies, and that is not acceptable. So we’ll see.

Audre’s article reminded me of an article, considerably more lighthearted, that Jess wrote about John Ford’s reworking of The Taming of the Shrew, which she titled, appropriately A Spanking Good Time, and it is her most popular article ever here, and one of the site’s. If you haven’t read it, you should.

What are we going to do with these girls and their rambunctious posts? I vote we continue to enjoy them.

In any case, the two posts also reminded me of a post recently by John Hawkins. In it, he refers to a correspondent, who has stumbled into a relationship with a woman who wants a submissive lifestyle…

I (M20) am dating a woman (F20) who likes to be mistreated.

Okay. So this is going to sound bad but bare with me here. I’ve been dating this girl for 8 months. Been official 3 months. We care for eachother deeply and really enjoy each others company. From the outset she told me she was a people pleaser and naturally really submissive.

She wanted us to go into a BDSM style Sub and Dom relationship and though I had never been in one I figured it sounded fun and so why not?

She enjoys it when I am commanding and stuff but also enjoys being made to do things she doesn’t want to do. She has a bit of a force fantasy that she enjoys and I currently have her send me a nude every night before bed barring she is on her period when she will just show her breasts.

She is desperate to keep me happy and I sometimes force her to help me masturbate by sexting me even when she’s no in the mood. However when I talk to her about this she says she genuinely is really happy being made to do things. I’ll tell her off for failing to send me a nude every night. I’ll ignore her requests not to do things, if I apologise she says it’s okay she wants me to do as I please.

She sees herself as being put in her place below me and really loves it. It’s now at the stage she told me (because of one of my own sexual fantasies) if I wanted to get her pregnant I could and she’d obey.

The thing is… I just don’t see this as particularly healthy. It’s fun and sexy but the relationship on the whole is largely physical. I find myself being more controlling than I would normally be or would really want to be because I’m now filling a role. It’s wrong to do things when your partner says no but afterwards she will thank me.

I also find myself expecting more of her and demanding she do things I shouldn’t really but it’s part of the role.

I am worried I’m changing as a person and not for the better because of this dynamic.

I also don’t feel challenged or pushed to grow with this girl because… Well she worships me as I am and lets me do as I want.

What do I do??

John says, and I certainly agree, that he’s right to be concerned. Back when dirt was young, I tended to attract these ladies as well, probably because I don’t really back down, gracefully or otherwise. The funny thing was, this was during what we now call ‘second-wave feminism’ and without exception, these women in my life were medium or high powered executive types, who took no nonsense from anyone at work, but at home wanted to be totally dominated. Explanations? I have my suspicions, but I’m just guessing.

What I’m not guessing about is that John’s correspondent is correct. It will damage him, it did me, in all the ways, that John talks about. You know the other thing, after some period of time, for me it was about a month, it got boring. It’s hard to carry the whole relationship, especially if your working, and this is worse than most. Like most guys, I like and respect women, and value their thinking, not least because it’s nearly always different than mine. Well, guys, I’ll tell you, as attractive as it sounds to have some hawt cookie who’ll do anything you want, the one thing they won’t do, can’t do really, is be your friend, and I do not think there can be a proper relationship without a friendship underlying it. Your mileage may differ, but I bet it won’t.

Read what John has to say, as well.

American Nationalism, Continued

A  bit over a week ago I excerpted and commented on an article from Steven Hayward in Law and Liberty (it’s called The Minefield called Nationalism). I liked it then and I like it now. But it felt rather incomplete, not answering enough questions to properly answer the questions. Now yesterday comes Ted McAlister also writing in Law and Liberty, and I think he answers some of them.

Steve Hayward has usefully introduced two key problems with the word “nationalism,” one historical and the other conceptual. He is right, furthermore, to note in his Liberty Forum essay that without understanding these problems, we cannot properly assess any claims made about an “American nationalism.” Hayward is wrong, however, about the nature of American nationalism.

First, he notes that the experiences with nationalism in the first half of the 20th century has given a bad odor to the word and any idea that attaches to it. He calls it “the German question,” and rightfully so. […]

See both my article and Steve’s for more on this, it’s important and a major part of why nationalism has a rather bad odor these days.

A Protean Term

Second, Hayward explores the protean quality of “nationalism,” observing that even leftist opponents of the idea are capable of discovering examples of a healthy or favorable sort. But the point is that the word does not have a clear meaning outside of context, such that nationalism for China is radically different from Canadian nationalism, even if the two share enough to bear the same label. We cannot ask whether nationalism is healthy or destructive without understanding the nation (its character, as it were), its context, and the forms or manifestations it takes. […]

We are left wondering about American nationalism—the nationalism of a self-governing people. Hayward does not go here—his essay is about what constitutes the American character, with the implication that this character determines what shape nationalism takes in America. His argument is not focused on our tradition of self-rule. For me, this is its primary flaw. Instead of rooting American nationalism clearly in its tradition of self-rule, Hayward claims that it flows out of American exceptionalism. Hayward connects this exceptionalism with the Declaration of Independence generally and with natural rights particularly.

This is one place where Steve left me unsatisfied, he’s not exactly wrong but it’s incomplete, there a lot more than the Declaration of Independence to making American nationalism. Ted covers at least some of them.

But that is a far cry from saying that our nation was founded on the idea of equality. Some attachment to equality, defined variously, has been and will continue to be a deep part of our story and therefore a part of us. Abraham Lincoln’s brilliant use of the Declaration’s emphasis on equality served the nation well because it was part of our heritage that, highlighted and even abstracted from its original context, served to address a political and moral pathology in ways that no other part could.

Do Not Forget Experiences, Attachments, Affections

The problem with defining American character this way—as grounded on a set of universal ideas—is that it conflates the fact that these ideas are part of our history (and most Americans tend to believe them in some form or another) with much deeper sources of our national character. When talking about something as elusive as a national character we are prone to abstract claims that help us escape the messy, often ironic, but always complex, empirical and historical evidence. If we can call upon sacred texts and well-stated expressions of principles, we effortlessly gain the conceptual clarity that often hovers above the tangled webs of beliefs, hopes, dreams, actions, of a living people who operate in a living tradition and also in changing circumstances that require them to adapt, change, and redefine.

And here we rejoin Edmund Burke because that is about as close as one can come to what he defined conservatism as, as one can without quoting him, for instance:

But a good patriot, and a true politician, always considers how he shall make the most of the existing materials of his country. A disposition, to preserve, and an ability to improve, taken together, would be my standard of a statesman. Everything else is vulgar in the conception, perilous in the execution.

See what I mean?

First, the Founding should be understood not as a moment in 1776 but as a settlement of peoples, primarily from England, who established a hybrid cultural and political form (actually several hybrids) that stressed, among other things: inherited liberties, common law, and the fact that community is prior to government (that communities create government to serve the prior reality of the community). This beginning place stresses our most important characteristic, that we are a people who want to rule ourselves and that we do so typically through communities and associations.

Second, Americans were from the start more in love with opportunities, with chance-taking, with new starts (and start-ups), with the lure of making their fortune or finding a new opportunity out West, than they were with equality. In this context, Americans were less interested in equal opportunity (which is philosophically nonsense) than with an abundance of opportunities, and, as Wilfred McClay traces so well in his Land of Hope, the ever-fresh spring for new hope that opportunities supply.

Third, that the attraction among immigrants was not primarily our “idea” as expressed by Thomas Jefferson or anyone else, but the same sense that opportunities abounded and that America offered everything from a new profession to a new identity. The confining status and roles of traditional societies dissolved and each person (even if he or she faced all manner of other persecutions upon arrival) could chart his or her own course, craft his or her own identity, and live free from the cultural, social, economic, and political restrictions of Italy or Poland, or whatever the country of origin.

And that is a pretty good summing up: Americans are a people who want to rule themselves, are chance-taking opportunists, who formed a society where you became what you wanted to be if you could sustain it.

He illustrates this with the story from The Man  Who Shot Liberty Valance, and the points he makes are very valid. But I would think so, its a very valid reference around the parts, Pilgrim. To the point that Jessica wrote about it here, and I wrote about it here, as well.

Some more questions about the subject answered I think. Read the linked articles for a fuller picture.

 

 

Missing Rooster Cogburn

You know, like many of you, I’ve become desensitized somewhat to slurs on manhood, when I first saw that infamous Gillette ad, I didn’t quite get what was so bad. A second viewing fixed that, forever. Then came Lou Aguilar to put it all in context.

[S]omething detrimental to manhood happened in the late Sixties, planting an emasculative seed now sprouting in the loathsome new commercial by Gillette. Many of you have seen the shaving giant’s ad, nagging its male customer base for such unpardonable behavior as approving their sons’ rough play, laughing at a raunchy sitcom, or, gasp, approaching a sexy young woman, while brandishing the “MeToo” movement and “toxic masculinity” like hammer and sickle. What made Gillette think it could do this with impunity — even hiring a radical feminist filmmaker to sell razor blades while promoting pajama boy docility — has roots stretching back 50 years, from the end of a once popular genre, the Western.

We baby boomers, and our fathers and grandfathers, didn’t need Gillette and its ilk lecturing us on the liberal preference for male conduct when growing up. We had the Ringo Kid, Zorro, Wyatt Earp, Shane, Matt Dillon, Davy Crockett, Paladin, John T. Chance, Rowdy Yates, the Magnificent Seven, the Virginian, the Barkleys, and Rooster Cogburn for role models. They taught millions of us boys to be strong, tough, face down bullies, protect the weak, and absolutely respect women. Not one of those men would ever abuse or force himself on a girl, or allow less virtuous types to do so.

In the first classic Western, John Ford’s Stagecoach (1939), John Wayne’s Ringo Kid is the only man who treats prostitute Claire Trevor as a lady, shaming others into doing the same. In Ford’s next Western gem, My Darling Clementine (1946), Wyatt Earp (Henry Fonda) realizes Doc Holliday’s genteel ex-girlfriend, Clementine, is more vital to pacifying Tombstone than his gun. Shane and his farmer employer’s wife, Marion, never act on their growing mutual attraction, out of respect for her role of wife and mother. An older John Wayne as Sheriff John Chance in Rio Bravo (1959) gets repeatedly flummoxed by Angie Dickinson’s sexual candidness. The Magnificent Seven risk their lives, and ultimate lose four, defending a dirt poor Mexican farm village. One of the seven, Charles Bronson, delivers the greatest speech about fatherhood in all of cinema, lecturing a group of hero-worshipping young boys.

“Don’t you ever say that again about your fathers, because they are not cowards. You think I am brave because I carry a gun. Well, your fathers are much braver because they carry responsibility. For you, your brothers, your sisters, and your mothers. And this responsibility is like a big rock that weighs a ton. It bends and it twists them until finally it buries them under the ground. And there’s nobody says they have to do this. They do this because they love you, and because they want to. I have never had this kind of courage. Running a farm, working like a mule every day with no guarantee anything will ever come of it. This is bravery.”

These were the men we baby boomers hoped to emulate in our adult life. Many of us to some extent succeeded.

You remember one of the lessons we learned from all of those films. Yep, that’s the one. There just ain’t no excuses, if you don’t get it done right, you are quite simply a failure. I’ve lived my life according to that time tested rule, as have many of you. But we’ve failed to pass it on. And this:

Yet so positively ingrained in the American male consciousness was the Western Hero, that one lone figure defied the liberal zeitgeist and continued making billions for the cigarette company he represented long after television tobacco ads got banned in 1970. The Marlboro Man rode on in print until 1999, when anti-smoking pressure and the internet finally unhorsed him. But we older guys remember him — roping a wild stallion then lighting up a cigarette, appropriately to Elmer Bernstein’s stirring theme from The Magnificent Seven. Watching him, even I wanted to smoke, and I didn’t. One of the most successful advertising creations of all time, the Marlboro Man could never occupy the same media universe as the chastened beta males currently populating the Gillette commercial. Neither can I. I threw away my Trac II in disgust.

Well, I haven’t although I considered it, but I only use the accursed thing when I have to fly somewhere, so I don’t have to buy blades for my safety razor instantly on landing. I did throw away my package of Gillette double edge blades though, I’ll stick to Wilkinson Sword from now on. If I can’t have the Marlboro Man anymore, I’ll have to make do with the defenders of Rorke’s Drift.

The Boring Preaching of the Left

Joel Kotkin wrote recently in City Journal on Today’s Cultural Engineers. It’s pretty interesting.

Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin once labeled writers and other creative people “engineers of the soul.” In his passion to control what people saw and read, Stalin both coddled artists and enforced unanimity through the instruments of a police state. Today, fortunately, we don’t face such overt forms of cultural control, but the trends in American and to some extent European mass culture are beginning to look almost Stalinesque in their uniformity. This becomes painfully obvious during awards season, when the tastes and political exigencies of the entertainment industry frequently overpower any sense of popular preferences, or even artistic merit.

Our cultural climate has become depressingly monochromatic. Award ceremonies, once a largely nonpolitical experience, have become reflecting pools for preening progressive artistes. Those emceeing the awards must be as politically pure as possible—sorry, Kevin Hart—and those winning acclaim get the best press if, besides thanking their producers and agents, they take a shot at Donald Trump.

This dynamic is not exactly the byproduct of popular demand. In recent years, ratings for the Oscars have fallen to the lowest levels since the awards were televised, down from over 40 million to fewer than 30 million. The ratings decline tracks the fall in movie attendance, which has sunk to a 25-year low. We’re a long way from a time when awards nights were dominated by popular mainstream winners such as West Side StoryThe Sound of Music, or even the original Lord of the Rings. The movie industry makes money now by producing sequels of movies based on comic books, with relentless action and violence but little character development.

As movies and television shows in both the United States and Britaintoday increasingly adopt the feminist, gay, and racial obsessions of their makers, they have written off a large portion of the less politically “woke” audience. Many of these shows, such as Britain’s venerable Doctor Whohave hemorrhaged viewers since taking on a more preachy, PC aspect. “It’s supposed to be entertainment,” one disgruntled viewer complained. Late-night television, now dominated by stridently anti-Trump comedians, also has seen ratings drop in recent years; no show has close to the number of viewers, let alone the iconic status, enjoyed by the late—and largely apolitical—Johnny Carson.

That’s certainly true for me. We turned off the TV portion of the cable (it’s the best value on high-speed internet) years ago. I have the stuff to watch most anything on my computer – but I don’t. I don’t think I’ve turned a TV broadcast on yet this year and don’t foresee doing so. Just not interested in anything they’re selling. I used to love Dr. Who, I didn’t make it 5 minutes with the new one.

The problem is they (pretty much every TV program, including the news) have become that preacher that always put you to sleep when you were a kid. They won’t shut up and they won’t change the subject, and so we’re tuning out, shutting it off. Who was it that said a fanatic is someone who won’t shut up and won’t change the subject? That’s US and UK news and entertainment media.

Welp, know what? That same software that lets me watch the current swill they call TV, lets me watch the old stuff. Not uncommon at all to sit back here and enjoy a John Wayne movie, hopefully with Maureen O’Hara, or at least Kate Hepburn, where men were men, bad guys wore black hats, the women were gorgeous and powerful in their own right, but still liked guys. You know kind of like the world most of us still live in. It’s better outside the left’s hothouse. I’m staying out, you’re welcome to join me. The whisky and cigars are on the bar.

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