Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Men Who Shot Ransom Stoddard

It has been my experience that every male Conservative in American of a certain age either believes we are living in a John Wayne movie or believes that it's a god damn dirty shame that we don't live in a John Wayne movie.  There is a lot to commend certain John Wayne movies (Rio Bravo, True Grit, The Quiet Man, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Stagecoach, The Searchers and John Ford's "cavalry series" to name a few) 

and a lot to gloriously mock in others.

But I don't want to live in any of them, and in a country already dying under the weight of too many meatheads with too many guns and too much ersatz swagger, the very last thing we need is even more meatheads with even more guns settling their bar bets and child support disputes Imaginary Frontier Style.

And yet, if the remaining establishment Republicans -- those doddering, misbegotten idiots who have decided the best way to survive the collapse of their party is to barricading themselves inside the finest damn stateroom on the Titanic until the ruckus is over -- would really like to understand what's going on below-decks, they should all gather 'round the old teevee machine and take a good, hard look at The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

Because despite the cockamamie Whig fairy tales which people like David Brooks have been selling you as the Pure Quill all these years, the base of your party is never going to root for a rough-but-honorable frontiersman with the good heart:

They also are never going to cheer for the drunk-but-honest ink-stained wretch who tells them truths they may not wish to hear and they are most definitely never, ever going to elect the educated man of high principles who believes in civility, literacy, good governance and the rule of law:

No gentlemen, unfortunately all the time and money and effort you spent to engineer the party base of your dreams has done nothing but build a mob of unhinged, bigoted assholes who no longer have an "Off" switch and who openly root for a braying sociopath who smashes everything in his path:

So congratulations, gentlemen.  Please continue to ignore those ever-louder "Boom" sounds closing in on you as the bulkheads of your party collapses and instead...
have a good drown...
as you go down...
all alone.


milegrinder said...

". . . as you go down all alone." Hmmm. Pretty certain these assholes and the assholes below deck are damned intent on taking the rest of us down with them.

bowtiejack said...

Nailed it.
I'm sure there's something somewhere in the psychiatric literature about "compensation fantasies" [e.g. the adopted girl who is sure her real mother and father are royalty or whatever and she is really a princess].
And that's what this John Wayne thing is.
The GOP "base" is not a bunch of under-100 IQs who have been fcked over by the oligarchs of money, they are really courageous independent cowboys with shootin' arns and freedom! That is why I say again, we have to regulate cowboy hats even if we can't regulate firearms

Barry Mauer said...

Read Robert Ray's book A Certain Tendency of the Hollywood Cinema that deals particularly with the myth of the outlaw heroin American ideology. The official hero (Jimmy Stewart) is the moral center, but the outlaw hero (John Wayne) is the interest center. The film works towards their reconciliation, and thus to the avoidance of choice between the two.

Jerry B said...

You probably know this. John Wayne's worst film, The Conquerors is what killed him. Filmed in a location that was down wind from a nuclear test range, the entire cast and crew were exposed to radioactive soil for weeks. Many of them later died horrible deaths.

Inconstant Reader said...

I've sometimes thought that every libertarian should be required to watch The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, but that would assume they would understand it.