What Will We Do, Without The Lone Ranger?

The Lone Ranger

The Lone Ranger

Once, small boys thrilled at the  announcement: “Out of the west, on a mighty horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty “Hi Yo Silver!” the Lone Ranger rides again!” But not any more.

The American Old West was fantasy, a literary genre that informed eventually, the world without ever existing but in American hearts and minds. The Western was the basic American morality play with which every American boy identified at some point. Many of those boys became Boy Scouts and the Scout’s Oath was taken seriously.  And Hollywood turned out western movies that entertained adults, following the same precepts.

The Lone Ranger, at the apex of all this, was the ultimate American: self sufficient, moral, powerful, dedicated to helping others and intolerant of evil. An American icon. But nothing in human affairs is permanent but human nature and the Christian culture that generated the Lone Ranger, changed. In those days, boys played cowboys and Indians, shooting at one another with cap pistols and routinely going to school with pocket knives. And for most of them, sex did not exist yet. That turned up along with new glandular activity that brought previously uninteresting ‘dumb girls’ to the fore. We were supposed to be instructed in sex by our parents at entry to puberty and some were while others had to wing it. There were however, few unplanned pregnancies.

As everyone knows, that’s ancient history now, laughable, even. We have stood all that on its head. A long time Lone Ranger, actor Clayton Moore, took pride in always staying in character when accoutered as the Lone Ranger in public. He knew that his character was not only an icon, but an important American hero and he felt a duty to maintain that.

In 2013 however, a new Lone Ranger was released as a movie. The masked man was a secondary character this time;; his sidekick Tonto, played by Johnny Depp, was the true lead. Depp, wearing what appeared to be a dead crow on his head, played it for laughs. He was the American Sancho Panza with a red nose and floppy shoes. Nobody, in 2013, could take the Lone Ranger seriously any more; not when all kids are instructed in sex, a knife at school results in lock down and playing cowboys and Indians gets kids expelled from school. The American Old West has been demoted from a cultural icon to a cultural embarrassment. No one asks “Who was that masked man?” anymore; no one cares.

That’s too bad; the young boys who grew up under that regime made pretty good men …

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About Jack Curtis

Suspicious of government, doubtful of economics, fond of figure skating (but the off-ice part, not so much)
This entry was posted in Culture, Environment, Law and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to What Will We Do, Without The Lone Ranger?

  1. Michael says:

    We are sadly in a reversed McCarthy era, Then if you were a communist you were evil and could get no work, even be arrested. NOW if you are not a communist you are a racist and will be audited by the IRS. You can’t get work in Hollywood unless you are a communist. While I don’t believe either “eras” are something to be commended, it makes me yearn for the past, certainly anyone with a brain can see after shunning communists our standard of living increased and now shunning capitalists our standard of living is falling just as fast.

  2. Jack Curtis says:

    Indeed so; and when the Church was in charge we enjoyed inquisitions. Our problem is not “who is in charge?” so much as government itself, seems to me. And that is so because the species involved, is us. Pogo was right!

  3. Thom Hickey says:

    Thanks. Enjoyed this lament for a lost age. I’ll drop by again. Regards from Thom at the immortal jukebox (drop a nickel).

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