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Topic: Culture & Communities     Department: Letters

Wake up and smell the cowboy coffee

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I love the myth of the cowboy. It gives me respite from the realities of life. Still, it is a myth. The marvelous article by Jeffrey Lockwood also is a myth (HCN, 6/09/08). It reads well and makes excellent points but is based principally on fictitious characters. Conagher was born in the mind of Louis L'Amour, a mostly fiction writer, and portrays what L'Amour wanted to portray. It is not reality. Shane is one of my favorite movies, but it is also fiction. Independence, sensitivity, fortitude, compassion and other characteristics of decent people need not be, should not be, limited to fictional characters. Communism, religions and politics all are based on myths. We now have a president who has built a myth of competence about himself and about our security. In reality, he is a vindictive moron with no traits of the mythical cowboys of the past, except lack of schooling. What we need is to face reality, not depend on myths.

Charles Calisher
Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

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