Poor John Wayne. He was a sissy at heart. I'm convinced of this. He was a very delicate artist- look at the grace with which he moved, look at the understatement he brings to all his best roles, look at the fine and sensitive business with which he creates character- the fumbling with the glasses in My Darling Clementine, the right hand grasping the left elbow as he walks off into the desert at the end of the Searchers, consider the intelligence with which- if caught off guard- he could discuss the craft of acting. But America- Bitch mother that she is- insisted on him being a Man- meaning all that two-fisted, raw-steak eating, whisky drinking machismo he fell into in later life. He wasn't alone. American artists of all types keep being squeezed into this mould.
Want a list? Here, have a list.
Hunter S Thompson
And that's just off the top of my head.
Why do so many American artists end up as alcoholics? Because they're running scared. Because they're afraid they're going to be exposed as the sissies they are.
In any other society Wayne's reasons for staying out of uniform would have been accepted as perfectly honourable. In every other society the artist is valued for being an artist and isn't also expected to out-drink, out-fight, out-fuck every man in the bar. Only in America do artists feel compelled to turn themselves into dicks.