Friday, March 26, 2010
I get that John Wayne is not politically correct. He was pro-war, pro-establishment, and anti-hippie. Definitely a chauvinist and maybe a racist and probably a drunk. Yet late in life Harvard's National Lampoon sent him a fake award, not knowing it was a set up, he agreed to show up and accept it. They made fun of him and he handled it with graciousness and humor. (Is it really a surprise that the working-class hates the liberal intelligentsia?)
The cowboy vs indian, WW II, anti commie image Wayne worked so hard through out his career to create came to represent everything that the 60's was against. In fact, John Wayne was the fucking icon of everything they were against. But during WW II he was the fucking icon of everything people were for. And in a way, that still holds true. He represents the best and worst of America all at the same confusing time. Those contradictions is what makes us who we are. And like John Wayne, it really isn't ever who we are (He really was Marion Morrison the son of a pharmacist named Clyde, of course) but who we become. He is the American Dream.
As for me, I fucking love John Wayne. Growing up not knowing my biological father probably had something to do with it. I needed that male ego to come from somewhere. I wanted to be John Wayne- how pissed am I am that I ended up short, cannot ride a horse, and look stupid in big cowboy hats.
John Wayne taught me how to fight other boys, that you should be proud to serve in the military, and that Maureen O'Hara is fucking hot. By the time I was 16 I rejected two of those ideas thanks to reading Jack Kerouac and Jim Morrison's biography. But something of John Wayne stuck. Like a thin residue over my character. I love America because we produced John Wayne and other famous frauds, liars and bullshitters- Bob Dylan, Andy Warhol, The Country Fucker...