Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Cowboy continued...

I want to psychedelically explore the American mind. What's more surreal than John Voight in Midnight Cowboy? Or Li'l Kim in Gang of Roses?

Cowboys(/girls) are everywhere and nowhere. All-pervasive and yet anonymous-- like a pirate, gypsy, or samurai. Here's a quote from a book, The Cowboy Hero:

"As a representative of an occupational group he has received perhaps more attention than any other worker in the history of the world... yet, despite the tomes that commemorate him, the cowboy remains the invisible man in our national past..."

The image of Cowboy is one of capitalism's greatest commodities--up there with naked ladies and Elvis. But once the camera focuses on the actual working stiff cowboy, most of the population loses interest.

Here's dialogue from Bill Moyer's Journal between two old-time buckaroos:

Sheridan: "About the only ones that's cowboys any more is just some old broken-down guys who can't do nothin' else, you know."
"There's nobody around that will know the life we led."



Anonymous said...

Have you ever seen the book 'Cowboy Ethics' (written by Jim Owen, I think... phographs by Sockline?)? My dad read this and was really moved by it. Right before his death he had bought a copy for everyone in his company and asked that they read it. I like it for the beautiful pictures... if your library has it, it's worth a look.

ivee (*

Chris Sand said...

By the end of this week I'll be sick of reading about cowboys. But I'm interested this week. I'll see if the library has it. Thanks for the tip...

Anonymous said...

what about american cowboy magazine? ever read it? i haven't, but i just discovered their website in the course of all this cowboy musing. what's their take on cowboyism?

Chris Sand said...

I like reading American Cowboy and Western Horseman, too. They're like what Rolling Stone and Spin are to Rock music.