11.30.2011

Eats, shoots, and leaves

True grit: cowboys have it embedded in the seams of their faces.
The cowboys had it right. They were free agents with nothing more to weigh them down than a gun and a (possibly stolen) horse. They weren't burdened with consumerist culture and the accumulations of years of acquisitive tendencies. None of this schizoid postmodern existence. Just the sun on their faces, potentially fatal dehydration, bullets every which way, and the quiet of nature.

Ignoring the deconstructive readings that problematize the lone gunman fantasy with criticisms of the marginalized and mistreated Native Americans, gender politics, general race relations, and the fallout of shootouts and casual mayhem -- the cowboys had it right.

It would be great to go west, where there are no rules. To discover the great untamed land. Walk out of the society that would rather have them working in a store for an honest living. It's an escapist fantasy for people droning in jobs they hate. I can relate. It's all Man vs. Society. Man eats, shoots, and leaves. 

But generations swing like pendulums. Once the tv channels were full of cowboys. Now they're full of cop shows, which tend towards the other side of law and order. But as long as cynicism and darkness are in (see the popularity of the super successful Batman reboot, the popularity of Dexter) the outsiders can do their thing, just in different clothes. Cowboys can't come back in a big way; too many cheesy shows and movies have come and gone.

After all, the wild west is gone. But unexplored territory isn't. 

Now it's time for the wild web?
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