The snag with a modern way of thinking, is when you try to force today’s morals on the people of the long distant past. On some matters you dont even have to go back that far to see how different attitudes were. Even when I was a teenager, smoking was seen as a cool thing to do, very different to how we see the subject today! It killed my father, probably helped to kill my mother, but no, I’ve never smoked in my life. As I have mentioned a couple of times recently, I’ve played parts of people who chain smoked, and had to learn the technique, but never ‘smoked’ anything stronger than a candy cigarette, lol.
There is also a famous silent movie, from the 1910’s, that now looks horribly racist. Yes, it is. And in no way would I want to defend DW Griffith, and Birth Of A Nation, but most people back then had a different (though in modern eyes, very wrong) attitude to those sort of matters.
So today, when I see John Wayne (who has been dead nearly 40 years) trending on Twitter, I wondered why. It seemed some modern day individual had found an interview he did for Playboy in 1971, which was racist, homophobic, and several other less than pleasant things as well. But fine, he was a right wing Republican, brought up in an era before diversity was a cool subject (it was barely breaking by 71, lets face it), who was less than loved by a lot of the people who had to work on movies with him. And he was born in 1907, when a man was a man, and he lived up to that image, both in the movies, and real life. The amusing fact was, that the ‘macho man’ was one of those movie stars who didnt volunteer to serve in the war. Hope it wasnt bone spurs, lol?
So, no, I have in no way, shape, or form any desire to defend John Wayne as a person. I’ve not heard too many who back then wanted to do so either. But equally, expecting him to have behaved like a modern millennial, back in the 30’s, and 40’s, why would you do so?
Oh, and going back to the smoking thing, I’ve had fun with that, as have others, with my flapper heroine, Billie (Belinda) Nicholson. Hey, she was a 20’s flapper, so yes, she smoked, more than was good for her. But of course, amusingly, when she’s travelled through to modern times, we’ve all played on the differences between then, and now. And yes, not me, but a dear friend, wrote that she used vapes, instead of cigarettes, in modern times.
And yes, I’m sure there are subjects we think nothing about worrying about now, that in 40 years time… Yes, I wonder what the view to alcohol, for example will be then?
OK, video time. I didnt have to think too hard to remember the only song I know that included John Wayne in the title. I dont think its aged well, but that might be me?