A friend of mine recently asked me why I like Westerns. My response was this long, meandering, nonsensical struggle to come up with an explanation that seemed even remotely compelling or believable. It involved “spareness” and “archetypes” and “good/evil dichotomies” and “an image of the world that reduces the level of noise to a whisper and allows the actual drama of human existence to be played out more clearly*.” It was crap! A much better answer to the question of why one likes Westerns is because in Westerns, if someone asks you why you like something, you shoot them and go back to your whiskey.

*Haha. Obviously, I have never said a sentence like this out loud. What kind of asshole do you think I am? But I probably said something pretty similar, like, “because Westerns are neat and stuff.”
Comments (80)
  1. Why in the crap is Wednesday Addams in this movie?

    • Why in the crap isn’t Wednesday Addams in all movies?

      • wednesday addams is the only halloween costume i have repeated on multiple occasions. i was wednesday addams as an eight year old, twelve year old, and seventeen year old. to this day i maintain she delivered the best quips in what is perhaps the most perfect movie ever made, addams family values. when she responds “all your life,” to the snotty amanda’s “i’ll be the victim,” i die every time. i feel like christina ricci should only be wednesday addams. it should be a role she continues throughout her life, providing the world with wit and snark that is always on point.

        anyways, i just logged in to say i agree. great comment!

        • Wednesday Addams was actually the celebrity I was compared to the most in high school. I was a little Goth-vampire-ray-of-sunshine. I love her infinitely.

        • The scene that always killed me in AFV was this:

          Wednesday and Pugsley stand on top of the house, one holding a cannonball and the other holding their new baby brother Pubert.

          Wednesday: ‘The cannonball weighs 80 pounds and the baby weighs 20 pounds which will hit the stone walkway first?’
          Pugsley: ‘The cannonball?’
          Wednesday: ‘Very good. But which one will bounce?’

          Also, this film looks amazing. And even though that may well be the editorial in the ‘Arts and Leisure’ section of Duh Afficianado magazine, I still needed to say it.

          • “Is your lemonade made from real lemons?”
            “Are your cookies made from real Girl Scouts?”

            -and also-

            “Why are you dressed like somebody died?”
            “Wait.”

  2. When someone asks me why I like Westerns, I tell them

  3. Hilary Swank is clearly going for the “prosthetics/make-me-ugly” oscar with that facial hair around :50

    • It’s weird that you should say that because as soon as I saw that girl and heard the voiceover, I thought, That character better not grow up to be fucking Hilary Swank.

  4. Gabe, your defense of Westerns only needed to be three words long: Big Money Rustlas.

  5. See, when people ask me why I like westerns, I find glaring at them and pointing at a picture of Clint Eastwood to be an elegant solution.

    Why yes, I do carry a picture of Clint Eastwood with me everywhere I go. It would be weird not to do that. Duh.

  6. I really hope that’s Señor Spielbergo. Spielberg’s Mexican, non-union equivalent.

  7. I like my Mexicans played by Italians.

  8. I have some friends who think this won’t live up to the John Wayne one.

    “Ummm…have you SEEN a Coen Brothers movie before?” -Bandler Ching

  9. When people ask me why I like Westerns, I say The Unforgiven. Then they ask me what Metallica has to do with it and I get mad.

  10. Why do you like westerns? Why do men ride horses?!

  11. If anyone hasn’t read the book, this is a really great book, and everyone should read it, and also The Dog of the South (which might be my favorite book ever) by the same author. This is the most sincere I have ever been on is site.

  12. I hope this means The Walking Dead recaps.

  13. Taxi! Take me to the Fandago. I need to order two tickets.

  14. The Duke abides.

  15. The Coen’s really missed out on a great opportunity by not casting Justin Bieber as Mattie Ross.

  16. Westerns? Sure. Musical Westerns?? Double sure! Calamity Jane, anyone? Oh, EVERYONE? Alright!

  17. I launch into a detailed and enthusiastic, and sure, to some, pretentious, explination whenever I’m asked why I like most any genre-type, except romantic comedies.

    • I usually try to force people to watch the thing in question. Although, since forcing everyone I know to watch The Room, most of my friends are too wiley to fall for my tricks.

      Also, welcome back!

      • If it’s a specific movie, I often go for the forced viewing also, but genre films as a whole. I usually like even crappy genre films just because I find genre interesting.

        Also, thanks! Now I just have to find a job and a place to live.

  18. Defending yourself can be exhausting…

  19. I love the Coen’s as much as the next dour Minnesotan and am very much looking forward to this, but I could have done without that mewling T-Bone burnett music. Is Jeff Bridges contractually obligated to have him score all his films now?

  20. That shot of Josh Brolin reminded me of the goonies. You know that scene when he runs outside and is all “They took my bike! Im gonna ..!!”

  21. “Why do you like westerns?” – Gabe’s friend, Richard Gere
    “Why do men ride horses?” – Gabe

  22. Know what else is a good Western? Pale Rider dubbed in Spanish like on Eastbound & Down. Where the hell was that recap yesterday?

  23. The Big No Country for Serious Men

  24. More like TRUE GREAT.

  25. “Where have all the cowboys gon– what is that? They’re in the new Coen Bros. movie? Gotcha.”– Paula Cole

  26. I never thought I liked Westerns, and then I saw Once Upon a Time in the West. Which is a must-see for anyone who likes things that are the best!

  27. All of these movies people are mentioning are incredible, but in the last few years, the western that’s really stuck with me is “The Proposition”. Completely knocked me on my ass, and changed my ideas of what a western could or should be. It is my measuring stick for all future westerns, and I think this’ll stack up nicely.

  28. Also, someone told me (probably over a year ago at this point) that the Cohens were in the works to do an adaptation of “The Yiddish Policeman’s Union”. Why has this not happened yet!

  29. Aw, no one’s going to mention The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford?
    Also this, too, looks neat and stuff.

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