Christopher Dundee – How the West was won…….
I discovered the Western was dead, when I visited a junk shop, looking down at a collection of model cowboys and Indians, I asked the assistant about the fort that came with them. She smiled and said: Not many kids these days have an interest in a set like that.
It’s just not a part of their world, They hardly even know what cowboys and Indians are.
Well, I think this is partly to blame to leftwing people and indeed the progressive members of society as they left the western all open to the republicans. Ever within the realms of the understanding that embracing this delicate part of history, they let it slide into the slopes of the B-Movie, from Show gun to Ray-gun,
It is hard to understand that at one point there were 25 western series on television. To name some, The High Chaparral, Bonanza, Rawhide, Gun smoke, Tales of Texas Rangers, Lone ranger, The Maverick, Shenandoah, The Cisco Kid, The Riflemen, and a German shepherd dog named RinTinTin. Who took the lead in the blue coat American Army to locate different Indian tribes.
At one point one member of the above mentioned Bonanza organization, found a semi religious hang-out, which was later known as Little house on the prairie.
The Westerner, the film critic Robert Warshow argued that the “cowboy” at his best exhibits a moral ambiguity that darkens his image and saves him from absurdity; this ambiguity arises from the fact that, whatever his justification, he is a killer of men.
Violence as a aesthetic, as a moral form, becomes an entirely necessary cultural act, something the civilized world needs to process.
Watch a child with his toy guns you will see what interests him the most is not (as we much fear) the fantasy of hurting others, but to work out how a looks when he shoots or is shot. A hero is one that looks like a hero.
Later the redneck joke of the era was: ”Hippies are God’s proof that cowboys still fuck the buffalo”.
So were my intimate friends from G4 fit in? Well, with no exception they’re all animal lovers, and to prove their point, the liberated, the buffalo, no longer they were animals with no defense mechanism .
The G4, gave this great animal a new set of power tools, no longer mass victims. The buffalo was on a ramp course, they invited themselves to the homes of suburbia and the out skirts of the mid west.
Cities and towns functioned as resting placea, you could see herds hanging out at tennis courts.
The G4 came with a elaborate design, to make the buffalo invisible,
The buffalo traveled no longer on the grass land of the great northwest planes, South and North Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming to be shot be rightwing rifle men.
From now on, they moved swiftly on the interstate, wearing camouflage outfits.
An other important momentum for this painters collective was the desire to take back the beloved Western from the likes of John Wayne, Jon Voight, Charles Heston, Tom Sellick, Ronald Reagan and off course Clint Eastwood, Well, skip Clint, he improved with time…and is one of us…now.
And by doing so, bring it back in a somewhat neutral area.
The group in there wanted to give the western their social and political form. And by doing so give it back to a progressive audience.
Are the G4 group, loners in this, not really, Frederic Remington did basically the ground work, but in the words of the great Robert Hughes, compared with Remington, Norman Rockwell was a trill daredevil.
And don’t forget the photo works of Richard Prince, who striped the Marlboro men from its logo, and send handsome gay men in jeans and white Stetsons riding into the sunset.
So we must be graceful that the G4 provides us with a dozen pictorial efforts and by doing so liberates and brings the Western in all his glory, back to in our view.
Or in their own words: so there is big difference between the act of
transpose and the act of invent?……..
It is a small step between The Magnificent seven and The Hatefull Eight, and the end is not inside…….