2016 Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Award Winner

Author GP HUTCHINSON - 2016 Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Award Winner

Political Correctness and Westerns (Part 1)

What do they say? Perception is reality? Well perception certainly helps create some realities.

Blazing Saddles Poster

Movie poster for the American theatrical release of the 1974 film Blazing Saddles. The poster art copyright is believed to belong to the distributor of the film, Warner Bros., the publisher of the film or the graphic artist. (Wikipedia)

I cringe (for more than one reason) when I think of Mel Brooks’s 1974 movie Blazing Saddles. It fostered a perception about Westerns that, according to some, brought about the demise of the genre.

The perception? That Westerns are racist and sexist. True or not, it’s an opinion that a sizable segment of society seems to hold. But does this perception match reality?

It would appear that political correctness prompts a good number of potential readers to steer clear of Westerns without ever giving them a chance. I, for one, believe the loss is theirs. And it’s sad. A lot of folks are missing out on some very captivating stories–tales that not only entertain, but that also provoke deep thought about a lot of meaningful issues.

So let’s examine political correctness and the Western genre of fiction and film. Continue reading

Five Things That Make Westerns Cool

On the Trail Bill Gracey

“On the Trail” Flickr Photo by Bill Gracey

Perhaps our memories are short and we’ve forgotten just how utterly enjoyable a good Western movie or book can be. Or maybe some of us have never been exposed to Westerns. Either our families never introduced us to the wonderful world of the Old American West or our nascent curiosity about this golden era and this captivating literary and cinematographic genre was prematurely snuffed out when the moguls of cool decided some time ago that Westerns didn’t pass their litmus test. Well let them scurry off to another round of Grey Goose martinis while you and I go have some serious fun. Open your eyes and ears, my friends. Westerns are exceedingly cool, and here are five of the many reasons why. Continue reading