Monday, 31 December 2018

HOW THE WEST WAS DONE...


Image copyright MARVEL COMICS

Here's a question for all you cavortin' Criv-ites to consider as you prepare to 'see in the bells'.  Think back to all the old cowboy movies and TV shows you used to watch as a kid (and even as an adult), and see if you can identify what seems to be a glaring historical inaccuracy in them.  (And no, I'm not talking about the men having 'short-back-and-sides' haircuts.)  Then say what you think it was in our scintillating comments section.  Hah, that's got you pondering, hasn't it?

Happy New Year to all Criv-ites!  

20 comments:

Dave S said...

I've no idea, but can I just say how much I love the Rawhide Kid limited series that that picture is taken from?

Happy New Year when it comes, Kid

Kid said...

You certainly may say that, DS, mainly because I love it too. Happy 2019.

TC said...

I've seen a lot of Westerns and read a lot of books (both fiction and non-fiction) about the Old West, and I've seen a lot of inaccuracies.

Anachronisms involving weapons (1873 handguns and 1892 rifles when the story is set in the 1860s or earlier).

Whitewashing. There were a lot of black and Mexican cowboys IRL.

Batwing doors in saloons. (Impractical in a region where hurricane-force winds commonly blew roofs off of houses and carried away small animals.)

The "town sheriff" or "sheriff of the town." A sheriff's jurisdiction is a county. Towns had town marshals, townships had constables, and federal court districts had U.S. marshals. (There is also confusion with conflating the two types of marshals.)

Somehow, though, I don't think any of that is what you're looking for.

Kid said...

I'm quite convinced that you're 100% correct in your observations, TC, but most people wouldn't know or notice such things due to unfamiliarity with the subject. (Those that ARE familiar with the subject, like yourself, would spot such things right away of course.) The thing I'm thinking of (and there's always the chance that I'm attaching an undeserved significance to it) is something that is much more obvious (or so it seems to me).

Phil S said...

Happy new year. You have to give us a clue. Is there a clue in the Rawhide Kid pic?

Kid said...

Happy New Year, PS. No clue in the Rawhide pic.

Warren JB said...

Um, was it that real cowboys were in colour, not black and white...?

Kid said...

Nope. I'll give it another day or so - then all will be revealed.

Phil S said...

They were based on vaqueros and many spoke Spanish? There were hardly any gunfights?

Kid said...

That may well be true, PS, but that's not what I had in mind. Patience.

Paul Mcscotty said...

Is it the fact that most (if not all) cowboys wore bowler hats and rarely if ever carried guns. Plus they were not all white English speaking people there were lots of other races and languages (German , African and Chinese in particular) the only other thing I know from the History channel is that a lot of Cowboys rode camels and errr were more prone to "Ringo Kid activities" than some folk like to admit.

Kid said...

You're on the right lines with languages, PM. What I was specifically thinking of (and I may be making too much out of it) was that, in Western movies, all white Cowboys (unless they were specifically identified as being British, etc.) spoke with modern American accents. It occurs to me that, as you point out, there would've been a mix of accents, and what passed as an 'American' accent wouldn't have sounded like a 20th century American accent. White Americans would still, I reckon, have a trace of the accents from their original countries and not all sounded like they were from the same place. (Braces himself for scorn and strong disagreement.)

Paul Mcscotty said...

Its a fair point Kid, it's the same in many English and Scottish historical films and TV shows in most cases the Nobility on both sides spoke French or Latin and the other Scots people spoke a mixture of Scots Gaelic (as some still do) and ancient English (Cumbri etc).

Kid said...

There you are, scoffers - PM agrees with me, so it's official.

Paul Mcscotty said...

But does that explain Sheena Easton and Lulu's bloody awful and affected Glaswegian / Mid Atlantic accents :)

Kid said...

Being pretentious poseurs explains that, I think, PM.

Warren JB said...

Fair enough, Kid!

I really want to see a bowler-hatted cowboy riding a camel, now.

Kid said...

Well, that's better than wanting to see a bowler-hatted camel riding a cowboy, WJB.

Phil S said...

You’re right about the accents. The most questionable of course of the “American” accent . Cowboys didn’t sound like John Wayne. They would have had regional American accents. Those areas we associate with the West weren’t even states yet. Even today apart from Texas and perhaps Oklahoma, it’s hard to pin down an Arizona, Montana or New Mexico accent. The best you can approximate is 1930s singers like Woody Guthrie to hear an Oklahoma accent.

Kid said...

Yeah, it just struck me one day that there would still be many different nationalities in America back then, PS, but somehow (with a few exceptions), in the movies they all tended to sound like John Wayne or Randolph Scott. Glad to hear that I wasn't exaggerating my perceptions beyond the bounds of reality. (Someone's bound to say "Now there's a first.")

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