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Tony Grist

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Rio Grande [Jun. 1st, 2007|10:42 am]
Tony Grist
Rio Grande is about loyalty. 

A Yankee soldier is married to a Southern Belle but under orders from Phil Sheridan he burned her plantation in the Shenandoah valley. This kind of soured the marriage, but they still love one another. Does love trump tribalism? Lets find out.

His command is full of former confederate soldiers. Where does their loyalty lie? To the old South? To the new nation that is being put together under the Stars and Stripes? To the regiment and their brilliant mates?

As always in Ford everybody seems to be Irish. So how does loyalty to the Old Country square with loyalty to the New Country? The Sons of the Pioneers serenade Phil Sheridan with "The Bold Fenian Men". Victor McLaglen dabs at his eyes. Pick the bones out of that one.

The poor, old Indians are The Other we unite to fight. The West is the neutral territory where a New Nation is forged in war. Only it's not quite that easy. Because (though we don't see much of them) there are Indian scouts fighting alongside us and they get medals too.

And in the end the cavalry rides out to the strains of Dixie. Oh my!

It's really difficult being an American.

P.S. I just Googled Victor McLaglen. I wanted to find out who he really was. Famously cast by Ford as a big tough catholic  Irishman, McLaglen was the son of an Anglican Bishop and was either born or grew up in Tunbridge Wells- arguably the most genteel town in Southern England.  Words fail me.

[User Picture]From: solar_diablo
2007-06-01 03:53 pm (UTC)
It's really difficult being an American.

We're mutts to the fullest extent of the word. One small illustration - Columbus Day usually causes no small amount of controversy between Italian Americans and Native Americans, while the rest of us look on bemusedly. What's the right thing to do? Apparently for us it's to let one ethnic group have their day celebrating their hero, and the other to voice their disgust over honoring a villian. Who's right? Neither and both. Somehow it all seems appropriate, though.

Welcome to America.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-06-01 04:27 pm (UTC)
We Brits are the same but different. How do you define Britishness in an age of mass immigration and at a time when the Scots and the Welsh are pulling further and further away from the English? All the answers are either trite or racist.

Nationality is an illusion.
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[User Picture]From: mokie
2007-06-08 02:23 am (UTC)
Don't forget the Leif Erikson snark from the hecklers in the back of the parade route!
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