Westerns:Learn to Like ‘Em or Else!

Hey there. If you don’t remember my Nick Barkley character, you just best turn on the tube and get your dose of The Big Valley, and quick! Nick, like most cowboys depicted in Westerns, was a rugged individualist. In all honesty, that defines Peter Breck, too.

The hero of the Western film and television show is patterned after the Old West’s rugged individualist who was never asked what his name was or what he did for a living, because it was nobody’s business but his, and he was not too shy in letting people know that. The rugged individualist is just that–an individual, and he had better be rugged enough to handle the disapproval he receives, and the harsh language he is confronted with, because society looks at him as an outcast for disassociating himself from the corporate structure. In other words, he isn’t a conformist; he could care less about joining an organization or gathering with others for a barn talk or uniting with fellow-voters to discuss who to elect.

The fact that the rugged individualist in the Old West and Hollywood West could take care of himself and anyone else around him if he had to, has made the man relying on corporate structure feel like a lesser person (for not being able to live without getting help to carry out his needs, and for possibly being scared to death to do it all himself because of too many detrimental consequences that may come about). Take John Wayne in The Searchers. He was a loner who spent five years battling his way through treacherous territory and harsh weather conditions to find………………………