I have a number of observations to make today. I think they’re connected, but let’s keep throat-clearing to a minimum and get to it….you can decide for yourselves at the end.
The night before last, I watched a Netflix movie, The Highwaymen, starring Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson. Despite the title, it’s actually a story about two former (now socially shunned) Texas rangers, who’ve been put out to grass because the Governor wants to reduce State violence and give Texas an air of greater “civilisation”. Unfortunately for the Governor, Bonnie and Clyde appear on her watch…..and as usual, Hoover’s well-dressed and College educated G-Men are full of “science” and methodology, but no match for two feral psychopaths.
The real Bonnie and Clyde cast themselves as Robin Hoods who robbed banks and were kind to the poor who had been mercilessly repossessed during the Depression by those folks we have to learn to love. The truth is that the couple (with other gang members) mainly preyed upon the poor security of general stores and gas stations. So chaotic are the FBI files about them, they may have killed thirteen or thirty-five people, and perpetrated anything from twenty-four to forty-nine robberies between 1932 and 1934. Many of the killings were gratuitous in the extreme – they included ordinary cops whose families would starve without Dad’s income – but the Sherwood Forest myth (built by those other fine citizens in the Fourth Estate) took hold among mid-Western and Southern victims of the financial sector. By late 1933, Bonnie and Clyde were the only rock n roll the dispossessed US Main Street lower classes had.
What makes The Highwaymen a far better than average film is first, that it forces us to ask serious questions about our species; second, the sets, costumes and period research are absolutely impeccable; third, it is in myriad ways highly relevant to life nearly ninety years later; third, it portrays both hysteria and hypocrisy without use of club-foot shoes; and last but not least, the story is true.
The Costner and Harrelson characters were hired ‘unofficially” off-stage by a desperate Governor. Having been told after a few weeks to call off the search, they used their own experience and wisdom to find a straight local police department and then trap the two killers. Predictably, Hoover’s G-men then took the credit
Here’s the dilemma the movie presents: we want to move beyond bounty hunters, but Homo sapiens will always have it’s mad dogs. Que faire?
Fast forward to 2021, and some more psychos. The next three paragraphs below are Wordpad page-captured to confuse the Bots.
Those running the State in the West at the moment feed us right back into the real land of Bonnie and Clyde. Dumb but desperate citizens needed the Dark Knights to be golden dawns. A broader spectrum of the less than dumb today need to believe that the political and media whores have their best interests to heart.
In 1933 in Germany, the desperate classes wanted to see only a Fuhrer-God who would make Tomorrow belong to Us.
The blind eye being applied to the telescope is a fundamental element of the human condition. But observing that doesn’t help the 10% of contrarian Bravehearts facing a latter-day yellow Jewish star being sewn into their clothing. In 2021, I have followers, acquaintances, friends and very close colleagues who have been bullied by both peers and family members keen to offer excuses for unforgivable State behaviour. I see daily tweets bemoaning the fact that “I have posted these damning facts a hundred times this week, but gained no traction” – observations with which I entirely sympathise. Now these courageous people face the State itself applying the selfsame leper colony status to them.
Over the weekend, I was toying with the idea of trying to create some kind of Support Group for those with the vision and insight to stand up to insouciant Nazis. My gut feeling now is that such could be helpful, but on its own far too apologetic: we must of course support the Few ready to man the barricades. But ultimately, the problem remains the same as ever: we need exceptional journalists, celebrities and promoters of small Parties to break ranks, leave the stockades, join hands and accept the red in tooth and claw risks.
The Highwaymen‘s main fault, ironically, is that – in concert with almost every Hollywood film these days – the necessary air of brutality and menace is peppered with weaponry fascination, fist violence and machine guns. Most of those who took in the movie two years ago probably went for that alone. But then, the 1968 film Bonny and Clyde sanctified the couple; at least this one had a real message about false Messiahs, gullible publics, the nasty side of financial capitalism, and the dilemma of how to defend liberty and democracy. The director John Lee Hancock set out to get his history dead right, and he succeeded: even the spot where the couple were finally ambushed is where the event actually happened. In a contemporary world where nothing is authentic any more, that’s something to be celebrated.
Ours is a world of counterfeit provenance, casual mendacity and fallen idols. One after another in the last few months, media motormouths with a tendency to look down on us have blown the chance to have us look up to them. As my close buddy Dolly often says, in the end its the commonsense proletariat who are more likely to rescue us.
The yob in the mob is not a prospect I relish. But unless the hypocritical chic Left and metropolitan luvvy worms make an abrupt about-turn, that’s what we’re going to get.
Johnny & Slog is a tragic story of multiple aliases unlikely to be released by Netflix any time soon