Monday, October 27, 2014

Branded!




Just stumbled on this while wasting time and not writing (my fave activity, it seems - writing is for the birds, I'm done with it anyway). It's one of the better themes of '60s TV: a mini-Western in 2 1/2 minutes. Back then, a theme/intro lasted long enough to tell a story, to let it unfold. Whoever directed this was a genius - the stark black-and-white images, one after the other - the drums, the broken sword, the stripped buttons and braid. And Chuck Connors, my God, who remembered this face, he is a GOD! It's not craggy so much as enigmatic, mojo-loaded in its sere stillness like some Easter Island statue about to be toppled. Western heroes were known for not emoting, and he's so good at it that it flips over and becomes its opposite. I did watch a few of these, but I was ten years old, for God's sake, and what did I know of exile? Since then I came to know it by name, I ate that dust over and over again and had my gold braid torn off by any number of varieties of shame. I walked in that desert and went eye-to-eye with snakes and hallucinated with Moses and searched for water in the rock. It changes you, such exile. You never find your way back. Not entirely. That's just not the way it happens.


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