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