Tag Archives: westerns

Runaway Stage Coach

I gotta stop letting life jerk me around. Take control of the reins, and pull up this runaway team. That’s what it feels like some days when I look around me, jangled and jarred by the verisimilitudes making ends meet like boulders and rocks on my roadway, and see that great chasm opening up wide before me ready to swallow me into obscurity. Will I find myself, soon, clinging to the edge of that cliff, or maybe a couple feet down on some gnarled root where my friends can’t see me, and believe me finally gone?

I exaggerate. Wildly. For Effect.

It’s a nice image, drawn from countless westerns, the stagecoach out of control. It reminds me why the western is so appealing as a genre—where people were their own law, and lived by their own wits. Grab me a gun, a horse, and a saddle, and I could find my own way in the world, seek my fortune. It was wide open.

Modern life just ain’t like that. Each and everyone of us, less the Bill Gates of the world, are being pushed and pulled by external forces we have little to no control over. We’re living in a subprime world where our overlords, the world financial system and the greedy corporations, have so crassly fucked up both our economy and our environment that it feels like we’re all passengers on that stagecoach, and the chasm is only a few feet head of us.

My only consolation is that the stagecoach driver and the guy riding shotgun, in this metaphor, they’re going with us because there sure as shit ain’t no way out for any of us if they don’t pull up those reins quick, and turn those ponies around.

And that, in one metaphor standing in for my life as a passenger in the stagecoach of the 21st century, is the reason for my retooling of my blog. It’s time to skin that smoke wagon, and get to fighting. I’m fighting for my life.

Are you fighting for yours?


Book Breeding

A weird thing has happened to me. In the course of my new move, for reasons outside of my control, all of my books are now in a storage unit, packed at the back behind furniture and other assorted heavy objects. I will need, at some point, to break into this unit, with its similarity to King Tutankhamen’s tomb before it got cleared out, in order to access my copious western research as well as my all important computer techie library.

For the time being, though, I’m stuck in this weird bookless limbo that is both strangely compelling and disturbingly empty. It may cause me to succumb to the allure of the Kindle 2 or the Sony Reader that much sooner (though part of me just wants to hold out for my iPhone when my current phone contract ends). Meanwhile I have four books. I have The Audacity of Hope by our current President, two new westerns I picked up at Borders (new to me, not new to publishing – both are classics), and a western mystery, part of the Holmes on the Range series.

It’s kind of like one of those dreams where you arrive at school and you realize you forgot to get dressed that morning and now you’re in front of all your classmates completely naked. I’m not sure why being bookless feels that way, but it does. It’s both terrifying and liberating at the same time. I never intend to stop reading. I love books. I enjoy literature. I adore historical research through diverse periods. I want my art books so I can peruse the best the world has to offer right from the comfort of my own home.

But, good Galactic Bill and the Stainless Steel Rat, books are heavy sons of bitches. They weigh a ton, fill up many cartons, and then line your walls, demanding acres of bookcases (which also have to be carried). Perhaps if I was a naturally sedentary beast and never moved an inch but settled in one place, rooted like a tree (and not a tumbleweed), it wouldn’t be an issue, but I don’t see my tumbling throttling down just yet. The current apartment is a dream come true, but not an everlasting dream of contentment and retirement.

My bet is that, no matter how hard I try or even if I do get some form of e-book reader, that by the time I leave this place, whether or not I have transported books from storage to here, I will still be carting a couple hundred pounds of books out of here. Four books is quite a good start for any book breeding colony. They’re like rabbits you know.