Friday, October 29, 2010

The Decline Of Western Civilization

I hated Westerns as a kid.

I mean, I couldn't even sit through a Western if my dad was watching one.

I really didn't like them.

However, that's changed in recent years.

It's dawned on me as I've gotten older just how awesome Westerns really are.  I don't care if the guy is 10 for 110, part of him will always want to be a cowboy in the old west.

FACT: Every man secretly wants to be this man.
There's something very visceral about the way any good Western plays out.  It's a world filled with anti-heroes and hookers.  What's not to love?

The thing about Westerns, that I didn't realize until I was in my twenties, is that it's not about the action.  Much like the Japanese art of Ikebana, it's about the space between.  It's about the pacing and the tension.  It's about all the moments that lead up to the hero shooting down the line of bandits that have him cornered.

Maybe that's why Westerns don't get made anymore.  In today's fast-paced, gotta-get-it-now society, nobody takes the time to appreciate the moments in between the events.

Maybe it was simply the way of the world.  In today's cinema, Westerns have been replaced with Superhero movies, just as Westerns replaced Historical Epics.

Who knows?  Maybe ten years down the road Westerns will hit it big again.

Though for right now, it seems that we are in the moments between.

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