Armagideon Time

Don’t believe in surrenders

December 16th, 2011

In January 1972, sovaldi LIFE Magazine checked in with John Wayne to see what the cinematic legend thought about the wave of social change sweeping the nation. The Duke, shop being “a true all-American hero” (in the sense that he got paid to dress up and perform make-believe acts of heroism) and red-blooded avatar of partiarchal machismo, was not pleased with the current shenannigans where filthy-haired, foul-mouthed hippies said bad things about the country Wayne spent his life pretending to defend.

The problem, in Wayne’s mind, was the lack of modern day frontiers where bands of bold men under lucrative contacts to well-heeled studios and their armies of personal assistants could live life in the rough in Monument Valley for a couple of weeks a year before returning to their late model Cadillacs and plush cabanas in Palm Springs. The younger generation knew nothing about that kind of character-building ordeal, and turned to sex and drugs when they should have been pursuing the real American dream…

…neo-colonial conquest steeped in unapologetic racist attitudes.

It’s no wonder they erected a statue of and named an airport after the man in Orange County.

Recommended listening: Straight talk from deep in the heart of Texas.

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8 Responses to “Don’t believe in surrenders”

  1. Mitchell Craig

    If The Duke had actually gone to war back when he had the chance, his knee-jerk asshole patriotism might have carried some weight.
    Instead, he sounds like the hypocritical chicken hawk he was.
    Here ended the lesson.

  2. bitterandrew

    According to one of his widows, the asshole patriotism was overcompensation for sitting out the war.

  3. Slappy

    So many clowns still desperately believe that “The Green Berets” is an accurate portrayal of The Way Things Were, and that we coulda (and shoulda) stayed until we won, no matter how many bodies it took. (Not THEIR bodies, of course. Never THEIR bodies.)

  4. steve

    It’s not just that he sat out the war, it’s that he made fat bank by being one of the few major Western stars who wasn’t away from Hollywood. But yes, it’s striking to me that this chickenhawk put himself at less physical risk than Carole Lombard and still had the gall to spout off about how people failed to live up to his standards of patriotism. (It does my heart good that Frank Capra — who had served in the Army stateside in WWI then re-enlisted in WWII — told him to go screw himself when Wayne and his lackey Ward Bond started making noises about Anne Revere’s political sympathies during the shooting of It’s a Wonderful Life. (Whole anecdote here.)

  5. Sol B


  6. Slappy

    Thanks for the link, Steve! Even for the few pages I’ve read, that was…illuminating.

  7. bitterandrew

    To “Bob,”

    Get your own damn blog.

  8. Harvey Jerkwater

    “The Green Berets” is one of the great movies for drinking games. My version is “when you see something impossible, drink.” Georgia pines in Southeast Asia? DRINK! Sun sets over the Gulf of Tonkin…which is to the east? DRINK! Or you could just drink whenever the Duke kills a Vietcong in hand-to-hand combat. You won’t finish the movie sober.

    Re: the Duke: ah, those damn do-gooders, who insist that other people are people. Man, where do they get crazy ideas like that in their head? -sigh-

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