American Culture

2016 Cheyenne Frontier Days: five notes

I attended the 120th annual Cheyenne Frontier Days this afternoon and it was awesome.

A few things, first on the competition front:

1: The guy who won the bull riding was a rookie. A 20 year-old rookie. He rode three bulls in three rounds. These are serious bulls, and the idea that anybody rode one of them is ridiculous enough. Three in three days? By a wet-behind-the-ears kid? That’s absurd.

2: The guy who won the all-around was FIFTY. SIX. YEARS. OLD. Are you kidding me? That’s older than I am. Hats off to JD Yates. You are without question the baddest motherfucker alive.

There were other interesting things, as well.

3: We know that climate change is liberal hooey because it’s in the Bible.

4: The Constitution guarantees us the right to pray in public, in a church, in a temple, in a synagogue, in a beautiful countryside to our one true god, Jesus. But, as it turns out, apparently not in a mosque. This is why we’re the greatest nation in the history of Earth.

5: The national anthem is dead. Because Michael Martin Murphey murdered it in cold blood in front of a crowd of roughly 18,000 witnesses. (No, I didn’t know he was still alive alive, either.)

In other words, I had an archetypally American kinda day. How was yours?

4 replies »

  1. It’s good to visit new cultures Sam and as a progressive urban intellectual at the rodeo you were definitely a stranger in a strange land.

    I’m not so sure that it’s good to be dismissive of a culture based on an afternoon visit but it’s your horse cowboy, you ride that knothead any way you want!

    • I used to go to rodeos when I was a kid. This is in many ways what I grew up in, adjusted for regional diffs. And reporting what was said is just that.

      That said, no, I’m not going to accord a whole lot of respect to climate denialist foolishness or to the view that the 1st Amendment means everybody has to worship GOP Jesus. If exercising my free speech the way the framers intended makes me dismissive, then yeah, make mine a double.

      Finally, Murphey DID murder the national anthem. Sweet hell, it was awful. That’s not a culturally dismissive observation, it’s an aesthetic one. These days I hate a lot of renditions we hear of the song, mainly because everyone thinks they have to “make it theirs.” I think I blame Hendrix, who started it all at Woodstock. Regardless, what he did bordered on criminal.

  2. I suppose it depends on the purpose of your communication Sam. If it’s merely to entertain your primarily erudite urban friends/readers at the expense of rubes sure fuck it, why not.

    On the other hand if your intent was to educate then I’d probably take a more measured approach. I feel the same way when visiting a church or conversing with true believers. I want to yell, “Bullshit!” and lay waste to their mythology but I don’t because it would be rude and create no change. In fact it might harden their belief structure further.

    None of this is meant as personal attack on you. Probably a growing sensitivity on my part to our current hyper partisan election season and all the ugly unproductive vitriol that has accompanied it. Slut shaming, denigrating, and demonizing is no way to change hearts and minds. JMHO.

    Glad you had fun and I like the shit kicker hat you were sporting on Facebook that I assume you bought there.