Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Thinking About John Wayne

My friend Judy tells me about a country song she's been hearing where the guy says he's got Jesus and John Wayne on his side. First he'll turn the other cheek,  then he'll hit back.

I marvel at just how muddled some people are.

I yield to no-one in my admiration for John Wayne as an actor and even as a human being, but what can't be pointed out often enough to those who regard him as some sort of political guru is that he was a chickenhawk. He suffered from a minor injury picked up on the football field and used it to keep out of World War II. So while quieter patriots like Jimmy Stewart were putting themselves in harm's way (Stewart was a bomber pilot) Wayne was back in Hollywood taking advantage of the fact that most of the competition had been shipped overseas.

John Ford used to rib him about it.

The whole belligerent, super-patriotic act of Wayne's later years was an attempt to atone for his wartime cowardice/opportunism. (I owe this insight to Guardian writer John Patterson who got it from Wayne's widow, Pilar)

So do you think Dubya went to war in Iraq to make up for having dodged Vietnam?  Naah, I doubt it.  Dubya just isn't that deep.
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