Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Future of History: Circles Within Circles

November 27, 2018
  First, a confession: for a guy who flunked art history, not once, but twice, in college, I have to admit I am in the same exact, same boat with the Duke of Earl: 

   "Don't know much about History. . ."

   Okay, okay, that was technically Sam Cook, with music by Herb Abert and Lou Adler, HOWEVER, it should have been The Duke of Earl—know what I mean?

   And, if push comes to shove, that is where I got the self-appointed title: The Duke of Dust.

Selected Scenes from The Duke of Dust

The Duke of Dust

Hysterical and Historical Conclusions

   I've been seeking out the truth about Old West history for at least four decades. Here's what I have learned, so far:

   Old West fans, especially the men, seem to have a very conflicted (constricted?) idea about sex in the Old West. When we featured Jane Russell, above, on the cover of True West, it didn't sell well. This went against every Madison Avenue bromide I have ever learned (nothing sells magazines, or products, faster than a come hither look from a woman who appears to want sex!).
  This troubled and confused me for some time.
  Eventually, a couple from Wyoming came into the True West World Headquarters, and I asked them the usual questions (How did you find us? What cover first got your attention?) and then I pointed to the Jane Russell cover and asked the cowboy what he thought about it and he scrunched up his nose in a distasteful way and said, "Might (he pronounced it as Maht) as well put a red light on it." This blew my mind. I took this to mean he was not interested in "sex" in the context of the Old West. Go figure.

More Hysterical and Historical Conclusions

   Nothing changes more than the past.
   Everything in this world tries to be round. All the planets are round, all the atoms—same—all the cycles of crops, the days and the weeks and the months, all cyclical. Records are round, and even the progression of records to other delivery system platforms has turned out to be round.

What goes around. . .

   Plus, the more things change the more they remain the same (because it's all tracking on a big wheel!). When I was growing up, what appeared to be a progressive arc, up and up and away from fascism and tyranny has turned into a circle and here we are, back in the year 1930,  with the rise of Hitler, or is it 1890 when anarchy ruled? Or, 1850? Each of those years is when fascists and capitalists squared off against socialists. So, here we go again.

Circles Within Circles Circling Circles

"Big wheel keep on turnin', Proud Mary keep on burnin'. . ."
—John Fogerty of Credence Clearwater Revival, "Proud Mary"

   Ties go out wide, then they go in narrow. Dress hems go up, then they come down.

Another Serious Swimsuit Violation

   Mark Twain was right when he said, "History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme."

   The rock solid formula of history is the tension between two opposing forces and the destruction of one of them. Or both. 

   "If you fail to prepare for all that might happen, you'll ensure that some of it will."
—John Lewis Gaddis

Cowgirl Actress Olive Borden, 1926

"Don't know much about the middle ages, looked at the pictures then I turned the pages,
Don't know nothin' 'bout no rise and fall, don't know nothin' 'bout nothin' at all.
Girl it's you that I've been thinkin' of, and if I could only win your love, oh, girl,
What a wonderful, wonderful world this would be."
—The Art Garfunkel version of "Wonderful World"

1 comment:

  1. Good post on using the Beatles album. Glad I still have a turntable for vinyl. Been a long time since "Honkytonk Sue". Glad to see you're still keeping the old west alive!


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