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TV "Programming"
#21
@Michigan Swamp Buck 

Quote:Another thing I noticed is that the earlier westerns portrayed the Native Americans as violent dangerous savages

I appreciated how they were depicted in "The Revenant".  Good illustration of how the superiority of firearms over bows and arrows wasn't so pronounced in close terrain and poor visibility.

Cheers
[Image: 14sigsepia.jpg]

Location: The lost world, Elsewhen
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#22
(04-30-2021, 01:07 PM)Michigan Swamp Buck Wrote: Ninurta and I must be watching similar old TV programs on the same broadcast networks, so he should relate to my observations.

I have been watching the cowboy western TV shows on CW network, they have a lot of the classics from the 50s through the 60s. I find them interesting for a number of reasons, one thing of interest is the plots of the story lines.

In the older TV series, like Rawhide and  Wagon train, the stories have a moral to teach. Wagon train is highly conservative with morals involving the law and Christian beliefs. Pretty much all of the shows from the 50s through about the mid 60s had a plot that involved a lesson to be learned at the end of the program.

Now, sometime in the late 60s and early 70s, the story lines changed. I suspect that Vietnam played a big part, but I also suspect that film director Sam Peckinpah had a lot to do with how westerns changed during that era.

The TV series Gunsmoke ran from 1955 to 1975 and is a good example of how these stories changed. I watched one episode from later in the series with a plot that was just senseless violence and cruelty with Marshal Matt Dillon unable, or unwilling, to come to the rescue. No lesson to be learned, no moral to that story, just mindless gratuitous violence and misery.

Another thing I noticed is that the earlier westerns portrayed the Native Americans as violent dangerous savages (the only good Injun is a dead Injun) and Mexicans as peaceful and hard working villagers. Then by the 70s, Native Americans were characterized as peaceful and the Mexicans became vicious criminal banditos. Toward the end of that era, shows like the Wild Wild West and  Spaghetti Westerns  were more like parodies of the earlier ones and apparently anything goes after that point. Some of the newer westerns like "Dead man" (1995) with Johnny Depp and "Bone Tomahawk" (2015) with Kurt Russell are really bizarre and disturbing.

I've noticed that, too. The changeover to excessive "wokeism" in TV shows seems to have occurred around 1967 or 1968 in earnest, although some earlier show did exhibit it as well. "Highway Patrol" had some wokeism built into the scripts, but the cops were still "good guys" who only excessively exercised their god-like powers for good... then "Dragnet" put the wokeism on steroids, but the cops were still mostly "good guys", but trying to enforce their woke version of morality rather than law. After about 1967 or 1968, we started seeing all the "bad cops" and "cops on the take" enter into mainstream TV and movies.

As you mention, westerns follow the same pattern on about the same timeline. I suspect the writers and directors were trying to inject "realism" into their scripts, but their version of reality appears to be heavily colored by popular opinion among the younger generations rather than objective reality as shown in historical records.

It's absolutely true that Indians could be violent and dangerous savages, but what is rarely pointed out is that the white folks who met them were usually just as violent, just as dangerous, and just as savage. They had to be, in order to not just survive, but prevail. It wasn't a one way street, in either direction, and there is damned little entertainment that accurately shows that.

.
“The nature of psychological compulsion is such that those who act under constraint remain under the impression that they are acting on their own initiative. The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free. That he is not free is apparent only to other people.”

-Aldous Huxley

-- Got mask? Just sayin'...




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#23
(04-30-2021, 05:27 PM)F2d5thCav Wrote: @Michigan Swamp Buck 

Quote:Another thing I noticed is that the earlier westerns portrayed the Native Americans as violent dangerous savages

I appreciated how they were depicted in "The Revenant".  Good illustration of how the superiority of firearms over bows and arrows wasn't so pronounced in close terrain and poor visibility.

Cheers

A lot of Indians didn't transition to firearms until long after the switch to repeating weapons. It seems that a bow and arrow was a lot faster to reload than a single-shot muzzle loader, so they preferred to put rounds downrange and only used firearms initially for hunting, where the game was not trying to kill them right back. Flint locks stayed in vogue long after the transition to percussion firearms for a similar reason among Indians and hillbillies. We could make our own flints for a flintlock, but caps were often harder to come by out in the hinterlands.

That is why some Confederates, even as late as the early part of the Civil War, were still using flintlocks when they had to bring their own guns with them - that was the only thing they had at home to bring. It wasn't a matter of hillbillies being "backwards" so much as it was a matter of practicality in the wilderness, where there were no handy convenience stores if you ran out of stuff to make your gun run.

.
“The nature of psychological compulsion is such that those who act under constraint remain under the impression that they are acting on their own initiative. The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free. That he is not free is apparent only to other people.”

-Aldous Huxley

-- Got mask? Just sayin'...




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#24
(04-30-2021, 01:07 PM)Michigan Swamp Buck Wrote: Ninurta and I must be watching similar old TV programs on the same broadcast networks, so he should relate to my observations.

I have been watching the cowboy western TV shows on CW network, they have a lot of the classics from the 50s through the 60s. I find them interesting for a number of reasons, one thing of interest is the plots of the story lines.

In the older TV series, like Rawhide and  Wagon train, the stories have a moral to teach. Wagon train is highly conservative with morals involving the law and Christian beliefs. Pretty much all of the shows from the 50s through about the mid 60s had a plot that involved a lesson to be learned at the end of the program.

Now, sometime in the late 60s and early 70s, the story lines changed. I suspect that Vietnam played a big part, but I also suspect that film director Sam Peckinpah had a lot to do with how westerns changed during that era.

The TV series Gunsmoke ran from 1955 to 1975 and is a good example of how these stories changed. I watched one episode from later in the series with a plot that was just senseless violence and cruelty with Marshal Matt Dillon unable, or unwilling, to come to the rescue. No lesson to be learned, no moral to that story, just mindless gratuitous violence and misery...


The movies and TV series back then -in general, are far superior to the banal programmes they put out today.
I agree with you Swamp Buck, Westerns held simple moral threads that can easily be accessed by young and old.
AND the actor who played Marshall Dillon (James Arness) also played 'The Thing' in the original movie!

[Image: attachment.php?aid=9308]
Back then and just before Mr Arness' death in 2011.

....................................................
I recently watched a film from the days of when I was a kid (1966), a movie that was produced by The Children's
Fim Foundation. Titled 'Operation Third Form', it was an English-made film where school children save an old junk
collector from being accused of a theft and try to prevent his partner from stealing a valuable painting.

Simply made and showing high principles of wholesomeness, a trait lost these days.
minusculethumbsup


Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
   
[Image: attachment.php?aid=953]
"They watch from behind complacent smiles whilst polishing their cutlery. Yet, with egg between the prongs"
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#25
(04-30-2021, 08:54 PM)BIAD Wrote:
(04-30-2021, 01:07 PM)Michigan Swamp Buck Wrote: Ninurta and I must be watching similar old TV programs on the same broadcast networks, so he should relate to my observations.

I have been watching the cowboy western TV shows on CW network, they have a lot of the classics from the 50s through the 60s. I find them interesting for a number of reasons, one thing of interest is the plots of the story lines.

In the older TV series, like Rawhide and  Wagon train, the stories have a moral to teach. Wagon train is highly conservative with morals involving the law and Christian beliefs. Pretty much all of the shows from the 50s through about the mid 60s had a plot that involved a lesson to be learned at the end of the program.

Now, sometime in the late 60s and early 70s, the story lines changed. I suspect that Vietnam played a big part, but I also suspect that film director Sam Peckinpah had a lot to do with how westerns changed during that era.

The TV series Gunsmoke ran from 1955 to 1975 and is a good example of how these stories changed. I watched one episode from later in the series with a plot that was just senseless violence and cruelty with Marshal Matt Dillon unable, or unwilling, to come to the rescue. No lesson to be learned, no moral to that story, just mindless gratuitous violence and misery...


The movies and TV series back then -in general, are far superior to the banal programmes they put out today.
I agree with you Swamp Buck, Westerns held simple moral threads that can easily be accessed by young and old.
AND the actor who played Marshall Dillon (James Arness) also played 'The Thing' in the original movie!

[Image: attachment.php?aid=9308]
Back then and just before Mr Arness' death in 2011.

....................................................
I recently watched a film from the days of when I was a kid (1966), a movie that was produced by The Children's
Fim Foundation. Titled 'Operation Third Form', it was an English-made film where school children save an old junk
collector from being accused of a theft and try to prevent his partner from stealing a valuable painting.

Simply made and showing high principles of wholesomeness, a trait lost these days.
minusculethumbsup

@BIAD 
Good heavens!  I have never seen that picture.  It's a shame what old age does to one's looks.
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#26
(04-30-2021, 08:54 PM)BIAD Wrote: The movies and TV series back then -in general, are far superior to the banal programmes they put out today.
I agree with you Swamp Buck, Westerns held simple moral threads that can easily be accessed by young and old.
AND the actor who played Marshall Dillon (James Arness) also played 'The Thing' in the original movie!

[Image: attachment.php?aid=9308]
Back then and just before Mr Arness' death in 2011.

....................................................

WHAT? Matt Dillon died? Why was I not informed of this? I thought the man was immortal, unkillable!

Quote:I recently watched a film from the days of when I was a kid (1966), a movie that was produced by The Children's
Fim Foundation. Titled 'Operation Third Form', it was an English-made film where school children save an old junk
collector from being accused of a theft and try to prevent his partner from stealing a valuable painting.

Simply made and showing high principles of wholesomeness, a trait lost these days.
minusculethumbsup

I was watching an episode of the Twilight Zone a couple of nights ago, about a teacher who was retiring and all depressed because he had left no mark on the world, and the ghosts of several of his students who had gotten killed here and there for upholding principles he had taught them appeared to him and set him straight. They each introduced themselves by class year and "form", and I was at a loss, not understanding what they meant by "form". It was apparently an educational thing here at one time, but by the time I got into high school, there was no such thing any more, so I am still mystified about that, but the moral message was clear to be seen in the program nonetheless. Nary a BLM'er or Antif-ite in sight - those ghost guys would probably have killed them out of hand if they had shown up. Principles, y'know?

.
“The nature of psychological compulsion is such that those who act under constraint remain under the impression that they are acting on their own initiative. The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free. That he is not free is apparent only to other people.”

-Aldous Huxley

-- Got mask? Just sayin'...




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#27
(04-30-2021, 09:06 PM)Mystic Wanderer Wrote: Good heavens!  I have never seen that picture.  It's a shame what old age does to one's looks.

Tell me about it! I'm not pretty any more! I mean, there is still a handsome young rake on the inside yearning to be free, but he can't find his way out any more through the maze of wrinkles! I keep trying to tell him to exit through the top of my head, because no wrinkles there, and no hair any more either to impede his progress, but you just can't teach some folks nothin'!

.
“The nature of psychological compulsion is such that those who act under constraint remain under the impression that they are acting on their own initiative. The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free. That he is not free is apparent only to other people.”

-Aldous Huxley

-- Got mask? Just sayin'...




Reply
#28
I thought it was somewhat obvious, even Ninurta has seen similar things in other shows, so I thought I'd mention that this may relate to the McCarthy era and his war on communism.

Once the red scare died down, communism infiltrated U.S. culture, esp. in Hollywood. That's when things went from Mom and Dad married but sleeping in different beds to hippies and free love. It went from "the moral of the story is  . . ." to nonsensical stream of consciousness freak outs that pushed the limits. It went from the extreme of not showing a woman's belly button, to near complete nudity.

But was the programming to blame for a cultural revolution, or the reverse?
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#29
Ninurta . . .


Quote:It's absolutely true that Indians could be violent and dangerous savages, but what is rarely pointed out is that the white folks who met them were usually just as violent, just as dangerous, and just as savage. They had to be, in order to not just survive, but prevail. It wasn't a one way street, in either direction, and there is damned little entertainment that accurately shows that.

This period in history, with the idea of manifest destiny, the settlers of European descent were expanding ever further west into the same territories that the Natives had been getting pushed into from nearly day one of colonization. Most of the tribes had been decimated by foreign pathogens like small pox and by then it had become a fight for survival for the Native Americans. They were fighting the very extinction of their race in addition to their cultures.

Of course, even with strong Christian faith, the European settlers found ways to dehumanize the Natives and used scriptural loop holes to rationalize their own savage violence against the Indians. I'd have to say that early on in the colonies and the later western territories, anyone trying to make it in the wild lands were in a struggle to survive by any means necessary.

Now in relation to old western movies and TV shows, the majority of story lines were about wanted criminals of the white kind, bank, train and stage robbers along with murders that were on the loose. They concentrated on the lawlessness of the old west that was highly exaggerated. For example, in Gunsmoke, Matt Dillon and the lawless criminals would have at least one gun fight (or more) in Dodge City in every episode, however, the historical fact was that Dodge City had a law against being armed in town, the level of gun violence portrayed in Gunsmoke is off the charts compared to reality.

In later years, the stories had white violence ramped up, while Native Americans were characterized as the noble savage, a victim of white hostility. It wasn't the clear cut white hats against the black hats and Indians on the war path any more. We ended up with flawed white heroes with selfish intentions, the bad guys that were the good guys by the lower percentage of their lawless acts. Obviously moral relativism had crept into the stories and blurred the line between right and wrong. That was the growing communist influence at work in my opinion.

ETA: From what I've been watching, the TV series "Wagon Train" has the highest content of moral themes of civilized people obeying the law, carefully observing justice and actually using Bible references (Bible frequently mentioned). The Rifleman had similar themes, but no Bible stuff that I remember. It is interesting to note that "No Place to Hide", the unaired 1965 "Lost in Space" pilot episode had the whole family praying with the Bible, but that wholesome Christian family settling in the new frontier theme disappeared for the most part when the program hit the air.
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