Listening to so much good country has made me appreciate the cowboy so much more. and the outlaw. so i have been seeking out bill hicks videos/cds (the avenging cowboy of stand-up) and the following:
I recently re-read the excellent comic book series "Preacher" by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. It is a hyperviolent on-the-road book about a preacher who is possessed by the innatural offspring of an angel and a devil. He gains the power of the Word of God, decides he must take the deity to task for all the suffering in the world, and sets out to kill God. The plot is fun and all, but what made this series really hit home for me was the (some would say old-world) philosophy behind the book and the charcters within. Jesse Custer is the protagonist, and he is constantly accompanied by a psychological projection that seems an awful lot like John Wayne, helping him endure. The book exhorts us to stand up for ourselves and be real men as it were. You have to be one of the good guys no matter what cuz there are too too many bad guys around. No matter what. You need to stand by your friends and never indulge in self pity. I realize that all this seems to have been disproved by the advent of the "sensitive man," but the more i look at it, the longer i see that type of guy as a dangerous sham. He is merely an excuse to indulge in one's worst traits, ones that only hurt himself and others. Recently i had this purging session with a friend and realized how freaking stupid and unproductive self-pity is. It is a disease and an alluring suck-hole, drawing us in. It's scarily attratcive to believe you are an eternal victim and not in control of at least a modicum of your destiny. I guess this is why i have this visceral reaction to the idea of a psychiatrist, and i refuse to even consider the idea of therapy, even though so many people do it now. i will solve my own problems or not at all. Being this kind of guy (the cowboy, as i see it) is not synonymous with shutting people out or not being in touch with your feelings or being a misyogynist. "Preacher" deals with this by giving tulip the most gunslinging role in the book and having her ultimately defeat jesse's arch nemesis while jesse lies dead in the dust. And by the end, jesse cries. he is a compleat man, one i want to be. He sees wrong and he combats it no matter if it is him against the world.
Wouldn't have it any other way.