June 23, 2008

Cowboy Up

Nice piece here in Texas Monthly. I know, I know. Texas?

It's about cowboys. Real ones. Be still my heart. This is my weakness. I love the genre in literature, movies, everything. I would watch Lonesome Dove a dozen times before I'd watch Sex and the City once.

The author, Elmer Kelton, is taking exception to the offhand way we toss around the word 'cowboy'. I'm guilty of this, and hadn't really thought about it. He sees the ridiculous example set by George W. as a reason for the word to be slipped into our vernacular all covered in slime. I've done it myself - associating 'cowboy' with some kind of wanton disregard for rules, safety, or honour. Kelton makes his point. I'm wrong. The very thing I've always admired (at least in the cowboys I've come to know through my reading) is a remarkable sense of honour. When did it get so skewed?

It's a contemplative piece. It also reminded me to watch how I use words, or misuse them. They're powerful, and we show our ignorance when we start throwing them around.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lorraine: Don't call them a cowboy in Alberta either, back in the hills where ranching is ranching, not hobby farms as we have around here. No different than Texas. 1000acre spreads, and these boys/girls take their occupation quite seriously. I have a family member who is going to get into this style of life. Freedom and to ride the wind. I wish her all the best, infact, I envy her for the guts and the drive to do such. I am a tad jealous.


June 23, 2008 11:48 AM  

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