Friday, March 07, 2008
Full of western promise
When I say I’m a fan of the western, I include the memorable TV shows I watched in my circus days. A lot of people imagine that my life in the circus must have been pretty cushy. “GB,” they say, “you were a natural performer who didn’t need to rehearse, so you must have had loads of free time to get up people's noses and generally arse around.” They’re basically right, of course. However even arsing around gets boring if you’re doing it all the time. That’s when watching a TV programme featuring gunmen, gamblers, cowboys and Injuns can rescue you from a daily routine of putting itching powder in the ringmaster’s trousers (and deeds of similar frivolity).
So which TV westerns did I enjoy the most? A lot of people loved Bonanza, but it certainly wasn’t my favourite. I could never believe that the men were brothers, nor understand why the big fat one was called “Hoss”. Did he eat like a horse? Did he smell like a horse? Did someone ride him like a horse? That unexplained mystery nagged away at the back of my mind and stopped me getting into the stories. I generally preferred humorous, wisecracking shows like Alias Smith and Jones and Bret Maverick. Yet the one I relished most of all was a fairly serious cowboy drama called The High Chaparral. This was the name of a cattle ranch in
Especially commendable was the show’s sympathetic portrayal of the Native Americans. The local Apaches, it must be said, were not the friendliest types – prickly customers to a man, particularly when forcing their hapless foes to canoodle with a cactus plant. Yet when the Indians stole a cow from the ranch, the last thing on Big John’s mind was summoning the US Cavalry for dose of retribution. Instead, he’d ride off to the tepee park for a pow-wow with Cochise & Co, listening patiently to their grievances against the arrogant Palefaces. More often than not, it was all the fault of a corrupt federal agent, who’d typically end up as buzzard food in some dusty canyon after one double-cross too many.
Yet in all honesty, it was worth watching the show just for Big John’s wife
and paprika is hungarian, not mexican. it's barely even a spice.
As someone who was never in to sci-fi (Dr Who was ok because it was so tacky but I never liked the pseudo-flashiness of Star Trek), 60s bobbie shows, such as Dixon, and especially Z Cars, and westerns used to help get me through the evening after the incomparable Batman had retired to the batcave.
High Chapparal you've nailed, but, my dear simian, did you never have time for The Virginian? James Drury and Doug McClure - names you can roll your tongue round. And all that black. Surely it resonated with a silverback such as yourself? Or did the green-eyed monster rear his ugly head?
Don't go there if it's too painful. I can almost feel your pain from here, and it's not a pretty feeling at all.
I've always had mixed feelings about those peppy gals. I know men (and apes) enjoy their antics, but as a woman I've been privy to the manipulative underpinnings. If I were a dude, an ape, or a lesbian, I'd prefer my women straight up. But then maybe I'm just jealous because tall girls like me just cannot pull off peppy.
That is seriously hysterical!
I don't watch westerns. But I read Louis L'Amour in my youth.
Brad Bitt sucks since he left poor Jen. I am still not over that.
Maybe there is a place for his Ratt Pack in the Circus that you retired from. Gosh now that would be a ticket I would buy.
Jen: I'm glad to hear it, Miss. What I'm saying that you should keep on working on your game. If you rest on your laurels you'll gradually lose the pep.
Baba Doodlius: Heh, you're witty for a parrot. A pack of birdseed is on its way to you.
Sam: I think you'd get on great with her, Sam. So whaddya think of Big John? Some husband, eh!
Liv: Ah, you don't have to be peppy to be cute, Liv. You just have to smile.
Kara: Haha! You just knew I was talking about you, didn't you? The lighter coloured paprikas are the hottest. I'd like to feed you a teaspoon by hand.
Ulaca: The Virginian was a classic, only literary constraints stopped me from mentioning it. And what a great foil Trampas was for the brooding, soulful V.
Ms Dgny: Tall girls have their own way of being delectable in a vulnerable statuesque kind of way. Or even in a butch Amazonian way, like Xena the warrior princess.
Bridget: Hello Bridget, I do like your name. I think I read one of his novels a long time ago.
Jahooni: Do you want me to spank you again? You know I was never in the zoo. I thought it was Jennifer who broke Brad's heart.
Victoria: If that is true it is because yours is the heavier burden.
(Quotes from Season 4 in the episode of New Lion of Sonora)
This so sounds like you and I Mr Bananas ..... and I shall then swoon and fall into your strong hairy arms!!
but the western to beat all westerns is the incomparable Deadwood.
I swoon for the evil Al Swearengen. he can tear off my corset any day of the week
I still can't believe Michael Landon is dead.
One thing that used to bother me a little, though, was that Linda Cristal didn't really look Mexican. I grew up with and around plenty of Mexicans, and she never quite cut it. But I'm just envious: I don't do peppy either.
I remember High Chaparral and Big John's voice. I also recall his feisty wife - that's the way to do it! I have many qualifications in 'feisty' - do I need to study afresh for 'peppy' or will my 'feisty' do?
I do agree with you about Victoria. As a young lad, I was taken with her dark hair and figure. I think that's what put me on to foreign types.
Nursemyra: Trust you to have the hots for a bad boy, Nursie! Raw, snarling lust is what you want!
Misssy: Little House on the Prairie a western? Hehehe! I never thought of it as one, but technically I suppose you're right. I liked Mrs Olson. I would have goosed her.
Mary: Was she too white to be Mexican? The Montoyas were a wealthy land-owning family, so maybe they had only Spanish blood. Can you shoot a rifle?
Kitty: You strike me as easy-going rather than feisty or peppy, Kitty. It's a great way to be. Don't worry about the odd spelling mistake, we're all adults here.
Nuttycow: You like a boyish type then? Some women would choose Big John over Brad.
Kynoord: I never noticed that before. I felt sorry for Blue Boy.
Randall: Great review, Randall, I think the critics liked it as well. Have the folks in your locality gotten over their hatred for President Lincoln yet?
I'll have to see if I can rent Bonanza and find out what "peppiness" is.
Do gorillas make porn? I'm struggling to imagine what a monkey might think of as porn, given what they'll do in front of children.
(snorts, stomps foot, and turns on heel. exits stage right.)
Ms Dgny: Why would gorillas need porn? Everything is done in the open in the wild.
Liv: I saw that picture of you, Liv, and greatly admired your supple body.
Mrs Cake: I think the son's name was Billy Blue, although they always seemed to call him 'Blue Boy'. He and the actor who played Manolito (Henry Darrow) are still alive. I'm surprised you didn't fancy the actor who played Kid Curry the most. He was an obvious heartthrob.
Jahooni: I'll remember you said that!
Mary: Ah, so maybe she'll teach her own daughter.
As far as movies go, I am a big fan of Once Upon a Time in the West. Bit of a long title, but not annoyingly long like the title of an indie rock record. Watching that movie made me realize I'd be Claudia Cardinale for Peter Fonda any day of the week.
I have to tell you though, Leif Erikson is the spitting image of my father-in-law (who is a Dane).
Hardly recognized Cameron Mitchell - (he, of the wavy blonde hair). I know him as "Jigger Craigin" from Rogers and Hammerstein's Carousel.
Oh, by the way. T'would be wonderful if some of our corrupt politicos mysteriously ended up as buzzard food. No?
Mzungu Chick: I'd like to tickle you with one of your own feathers!
Poetikat: Leif Erickson's real name was William Anderson, so maybe he was of Danish Stock. As a vegetarian, I would not favour politicians being eaten...unless perhaps they were vegetables.
Mosha: I've not seen it, but boobs always add an extra dimension to any TV show. I imagine Ian McShane must have been good in it.
Clea: Really? Then you must be the perfect lady on a good day!
He makes some damn fine bale trailers, and no mistake.
When our glorious Welsh-language TV channel S4C was launched in the 80s, some bright spark decided to dub some films into Welsh for the two-year-olds who can't understand English. In "Shane" they gave all the bad guys North Welsh accents. Cardiff-Bay latte-sipping bastards.
But it would be nice to see High Chapparal again :p
Mr Boyo: The South Welsh look down on the North Welsh? That has to be the narcissism of minor difference.
Sabrina: High Chaparral might have aged better, because it had very good scriptwriters.
Mzungu Chick: I hope you're not too ticklish!
Lady Daphne: Rawhide was before my circus days. Wasn't it in black-and-white?
Daisy: Jesse James has always been portrayed as a folk hero, so maybe that's why you liked him.
Pi: Haunted? I hope you don't lose sleep over them!
Upset Waitress: Are you talking about John Wayne or your father? The only John Wayne western I enjoyed was The Shootist.
Thanks for the memories, Mr. Bananas. I don’t want to spoil the film for you, but I’ve been singing this song ever since I began reading this post:
Jesse had a wife
Who mourned for his life
They were brave
But that dirty little coward
Who shot Mr. Howard
Laid poor Jesse in his grave
So they fight back through the only medium they have, the, er, media.
The Bible is our only book, so this puts us at a disadvantage. But our will is strong, and soon they shall bow before the slate altar of Gogwriaeth (North Welshitude).
Perhaps the Jesse James film title will be deliberately undone by the film itself in a work of self-deprecating irony.
This also reminded me of the thai- titling of a famous action film. They call it 'Big Building Fight'.
You can play a game based on this re-titling.
See, timeless themes. That's still the problem today, no matter where you live, or what species you are.
Mr Boyo: I worry about the natives of central Wales, their loyalties torn asunder by the warring tribes to the north and the south. It's the kind of thing that could break up families.
Cooper: Having never paid much attention to Bonanza, I didn't realise that father/son relations were so formal as to preclude the passing of wind. Hoss certainly had the capacity for it.
Ms Cow: I hope you take inspiration from the way Big John handled such rogues.
Absolutely. Send in the raven-haired Hispanic beauty to lace buzzards with paprika.
Also, the question of whores. A few whores servicing every cow boy who passed must have made for at the very least a syphillis situation. Or did the whores douche with whiskey in between clients.
Upset Waitress: Haha! I forgot about that cute little gal!
Saintly Nick: Ah! So your tastes matured through your boyhood.
Ms Cow: Got it in one!
Emma: Yes, the whores do seem to be surprisingly hale and attractive. A better role was given to Raquel Welch in Hannie Caulder.
Poetikat: Is that a cure for syphilis?
Any particular reason you would assign this attribute to ?