Many years ago I had an argument with my Dad about a painting of the OK corral. He said “It wasn’t like the painting at all. They had the facts all wrong”. I said “People don’t want the facts, they want things to be aesthetically right. They want it to “feel” right and meet their romantic idea of how it was …….
Here is a little theme music for you….
John Ford helped paint a picture of the west that still has a foothold in our imaginations. His backdrop was Monument Valley. (He may have been influenced by the Krazy Kat cartoon that had the characters in front of the buttes circa 1920). I doubt it, but who knows. Ford also created a concept of being manly that is also locked into our national psyches. He cast John Wayne (Marion Morrison) and honed a brand of machismo in the film Stagecoach. As Ford commented about The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, “when the legend becomes truth, print the legend.”
Well, “a mans got to do what a mans got to do”…….
The reality (thanks Dad) of Monument Valley presently is a landscape dotted with crummy little houses,lots of people in motor coaches,cars and busses.
Vendors selling jewelry and pottery. People waiting in line to get in to the Monument and people waiting in line to get a 75 dollar jeep tour in a Jeep that holds 20 people. Janet actual tried to screen out this stuff and show you what you want.
The Monument Valley that sits alone in a pristine wilderness surrounded by clear blue skies where the hawks circle seemingly forever. It was a challenge to shoot photos w/o the tourists circling around actually forever.
The Monument Valley gift shop as an equal distribution of Monument paraphernalia and John Wayne items. You can buy a chunk of the west and some bravado and stick them right on the fridge in your motor home.
Monument Valley lives on in Forest Gump,Thelma and Louise and Back to the Future, however notions of masculinity seem to have changed in these films.
Well,……..Pilgrims its damned near sunset for this little, bitty, old blog post.
Always glad t’ see y’ back.
Good thing femininity has remained a constant.