Tales of the Heart

I’m not planning on seeing the Lone Ranger any time soon.  It’s not that I don’t love me some Johnny Depp – but the genre of Western escapes me in the same way I just can’t quite get Country music.  Both have boots.  Maybe that’s my issue?

I have, however, been following some of the storyline behind the storyline:  Depp’s stating that he based his face-paint and headpiece on extant documentation; the use of mechanical horses in certain scenes due to the danger posed to the actual critters; and of course, the violence.  The rallying cry is that the original series (radio and tv) didn’t feature any of the blood, guts and heart-eating moments that this newest spin incorporates. 

Now, before we as a society nod our communal heads at that notion and tsk-tsk at the shame of the loss of ‘good family entertainment’, consider for a minute the other ‘story behind the story’.  The original series may have been a heart-warming (as opposed to heart-eating) good tale, but it sanitized the Wild West.  It didn’t display the anarchy of the times.  It didn’t show the massacre of indigenous peoples.  In a sadly ironic way, the original series “Disneyfied” the time period in a way that recent Disney film did not.

I’m not claiming the new film is authentic in any way, shape or form.  I am suggesting that if you’re looking for a family film, perhaps it might be wise to avoid anything that glamorizes or sanitizes a time period that is marked with violence.  Any treatment of such a story that attempts to portray it as other than it was is a dis-service to those who died during that time.

Yesterday, three people were shot in my community.  The details are unknown.  The violence is heart-wrenching.  I pray that as time passes and the present becomes the past, no one will think to write a fun family film or series about the violence in our streets.  Whether it glorifies or sanitizes the violence, it would be unjust to those who continue to bury their dead.



Cynthia Cochran-Carney July 7, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Thanks Karen for your insights. Violence in your community and violence as entertainment are heart breaking.

Violence in ours streets is becoming commonplace…..sorry about your town. Living outside of Chicago, we are getting immune to each weekend’s statistics about how many killed, and how many shot. I hosted a few teens from a Village Harmony Teen Tour last week, and one girl was from Chicago. She was only 12, but one of her first questions to me was “what’s the murder rate out here?”. She is allowed to go to school only. She is not allowed to be outside for any other reason, especially not to play. They hang out in the back part of the house; not near the front room in case of stray bullets. What a different lifestyle than us, just 20 miles away in the suburbs….I wish there was any easy solution to end all of this killing, especially of our children….

    Ann – these stories are becoming commonplace. Unfortunately, Roselle has a gang presence (Blood, Crips, etc.) and so the cycle of violence is pretty entrenched. Often we don’t hear about it. This story, however, made the news.

    The struggle, for me, is what to do about it. I don’t think there are any clear-cut answers. I do think it’s something we’re supposed to struggle with… and that God is waiting for us to respond. “Love thy neighbor.” So much easier to say than to do.

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