Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Dear pointless western,

As I staggered out of my study after two hours of online student appointments, at night, I heard you, pointless western, drifting in from the other room in the estimable voice of Jimmy Stewart.

Oh, I know. How pointless could you be? Because Jimmy Stewart, who is the ne plus ultra of old time movie stars. I love him, which is why I kept on staggering into the room, and fell onto the bed,
movie star!
and leaned up against the historian, and watched, sort of.

'Is that Henry Fonda?' I asked, about some other ancillary character who had what seemed like a Fonda-esque voice, at least at first

'No, that's Arthur Kennedy,' said the historian, who had been watching for awhile before the Great Weariness emerged from my study. Of course. Henry Fonda's voice would have been reedier.

Pointless western, we watch a lot of movies in your neighborhood, because there are channels that specialize in old movies, and in old movie days, there were a lot of westerns. Plenty of them were pointless because most of the time, most movies are pointless. Most of the time, you're a kind of old time-y noise. A relic, except for the aesthetic, sometimes, and the movie stars.

To be honest, pointless western, I couldn't even recount what the story actually was, or what happened in and among the flirting with the storekeeper and the plot about who sold rifles to the Apaches, except at the end, I know there was a showdown and someone paid the price for some perfidy. There was some shouting to that effect. Lots of conniving and some high-minded speeches, and an old man who dreamed terrible dreams. All of it in black and white. Big skies. Horses.

There might have been something else on to watch, but I was too busy laying there and then doing one tiny bit more of work to find the remote.

In the end, justice, of a sort, and the hero rides away. Back to Laramie. I envied him that, pointless western--maybe not the Laramie part, but the riding away, and the sunset, even in black and white.


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