And I played along with the new narrative because I didn’t know any better. John Wayne represented something uncool and corny and outdated and so square, you could cut yourself on all four corners. By the late 1980s, proto-wiggers such as myself were cheering black nationalist rap group Public Enemy when they shat upon Elvis Presley and John Wayne.
But that all changed the day I saw Stagecoach, the 1939 film that made John Wayne a star. From the moment he first appears until the brilliantly paced final gunfight, he burns a hole through the screen and commands one’s attention to a degree I can only compare to how Rita Hayworth dominates Gilda from her very first hair flip. John Wayne carried himself like more of a genuine rebel and individualistic badass than any of the latter-day neo-Marxist musician fops who saw fit to smear his legacy. It was clear The Duke could bitch-slap both “Mittens“ in Monument Valley until they fell to the desert floor.
But the cultural script has been drastically altered. What was once a hero is now a pariah. All former matters of pride are now causes for shame. The old altars must be razed to make room for the new ones. In the current climate, dutifully progressive white male bloggers who look like lesbians from outer space pat themselves on the back for calling John Wayne a “racist creep.”
And just like in Stagecoach, the Apaches are causing trouble again”this time in Orange County, CA, home of the John Wayne Airport. But in this new real-life Western movie, the cowboys are not only the underdogs”they’re the villains.
Get ready for the rockiest stagecoach ride in American history.