A bit over a week ago, John Kindley self-proclaimed anarchist who believes that "anarchy is order" (and though I've read his explanation and others to which he links, I remain perplexed about how the terms can be synonymous) indulged in a bit of foolishness.
But he was also, at some level, channelling part of the myth of The West where men were men and men did what men had to do. which is something.
From James Fenimore Cooper and the Leatherstocking Tales to Owen Wister's The Virginian to Louis L'Amour's Sacketts, from Tom Mix to John Wayne to Clint Eastwood (not so much Jeff Bridges, but him too), and from Johnny Appleseed, Daniel Boone, and Davy Crockett to Ronald Reagan with stops for Crazy Horse and Chief Joseph, Geronimo and Techumseh, The West and our images of it (thank you Frederick Remington and John Ford) have mixed the good with the bad (and the ugly, too, but I don't want to go there now).
The grass was greener, the corn taller, the mountains higher. The violence was a necessary corollary of the freedom given by the great open spaces and the fact that the only law was the Peacemaker. And of course, there was opportunity. Fortunes to be made. And glorious risks to run.
Ah, the Good Old Days.
Which is, of course, bullshit. But it's part of our national myth.
Just as King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table is part of Britain's.
Do I hear mention of Pericles?