Consider the outlaw Josey Wales.
You remember him, right?
The Movies quintessential Three “S” Man: squint, spit, shoot.
A good ol’ rebel jest tryin’ to get by in this Mean Old World of Brutal Establishment Yankeetarianism.
A lonesome soul looking for a little peace & quiet and finding friendships hard to come by:
Josey Wales: When I get to likin’ someone, they ain’t around long.
Lone Watie: I notice when you get to dislikin’ someone they ain’t around for long neither.
The delivery was in that pure, laconic Eastwoodian deadpan and it still solicits an out-loud laugh even today.
Or does it?
After all, if we are to go about tearing down and covering up and basically de-Confederatifying village squares all hither and yon down Dixie way why should Josey get a pass?
Or for that matter mustn’t we now name The Man With No Name as a racist slave-mongering psychopath rather than the Noble Vessel of an Honorable Lost Cause?
(Good Lord people, not only did he fight for Jeff Davis he literally hung the unfortunate Azaltan banditio Tuco Ramirez from more sour apple trees than John Brown has a-moldering in his graveyard.)
I mean if we’re to go The Full Social Justice Warrior route then by all means let’s go the whole nine yards.
And don’t forget Shane, Rooster Cogburn, Ethan Edwards and the Keach and Carradine, I mean James and Younger Brothers.
Now this ain’t an original idea with Your Uncle Bruno.
In fact he is most liberally pinching The Plot Line from a post by the estimable Victor Davis Hanson entitled The Strange Case of Confederate Cool:
The supposedly left-wing 1960s and 1970s, in fact, were the heyday of Confederate Chic.
The contemporary hippie style of long hair, beards and mustaches, resistance to government authority, twangy folk-song strains, and hard-edged metal all fed into the rural, down-home Confederate romance. Notions of slavery, segregation, and secession mysteriously disappeared. Southern attitude was no longer Bull Connor but airbrushed Sixties-era resistance, at least at the superficial level of pop culture.
The unlikely common denominator that brought together left-wing Sixties popular culture with Confederate cool was a mutual hatred of a supposedly big, square, soulless, and powerful Washington, hated for its insolence in Vietnam and for stifling the individual — as if the poor lost South had been once as defenseless as the Vietnamese in the face of such a godless steamroller, or as if the Carradine clan were like the Allman Brothers with six-shooters.
But in 2017, there still remains a disconnect: If stone-dead Confederate generals are now fair game for nocturnal sledgehammers, sandblasters, and cranes 150 years after the end of the Civil War, why haven’t the thought police, on campus and off, Trotskyized Civil War chic, erasing its counterculture symbols?
Apparently, it would be a lot creepier (and more work) to ban “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” from the airwaves and downloads than to put on a black mask and chip off Stonewall’s nose, winning applause from CNN and MSNBC.
For progressives, there are two Confederacies: the benign, hip mythology that channels counterculture defiance and that has been conveniently cleansed of slavery and secession, and the pernicious sort that imputes racism to its supposedly white-trash adherents.
In other words, all Confederate romantics are bad, but some are not so bad after all.
That’s the Bruno’s Notes (take that Cliff!) version, but you’d be well advised to click the link and read the whole thing.
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly..