top of page

Working Notes - Locked Horns

Thursday, 17 October 2019

I tried yesterday to start inputting onto my laptop my pen-scrawled French translation of the second half of Chapter 37 (The Odile Chapter), but I was lassoed by my Western, The Silent Heart.

Major portions of several characters came into place, and a novelist does not refuse that formation of “reality”. I also spent time reading and listening to some documentaries and interviews of classic Stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood — before the 1950s put an end to a true film industry.

It struck me how very tragic and tragically deprived were many of those individuals, the Stars, but people in general were hard-pressed for the basics of life during the early 1900s. Born poor; often orphaned at an early age; transient childhoods; few, if any comforts — dental care was a luxury; medical care was a roll of the doctor dice. Love, real love, was a sometimes thing. Life itself was fraught with danger.

I’d always known of those salient, dismal facts about the world that my father was born into, but I’d forgotten how much that world shaped men, and women, and children. And I wonder if the hardships of the past decade have quietly produced a breed of individual not seen, or encountered, in a very long time.

Not that the Public would ever hear about, or see stories about, these modern Rugged Individualists. Where would the Media be if they were not displaying lurid images of human weakness and the squalor created by such fallibility? Miracles, big and small, and any phenomenon displaying faith are missed by a Media fixated on the warts of life. Their rehashed stories of humanity bore us all to distraction.

A large part of that distraction has become the discovery, and re-discovery, of the locked horns of life. Good vs. evil, people on the edge who claw their way back vs. people eager to go off the edge.

The other day I ventured into a part of town to do some banking business, specifically in a building that was formerly a Big O Tire Store. I was horrified by the sight of the entire locale. Derelict Row, I called it. Druggies congregating; people dressed as if they’d just gotten out of bed, shopping. One ath-leisure-clad soul came into the bank and stood behind me. He smelled like an ashtray.

He’d given up, on life, on himself, on being happy. I suppose he will wait for the Do-Gooders to come and take away his last lit-cigarette in his hovel of a home, and then blame the Government for taking away yet another pleasure, another right.

This scene is not merely the California of Governor Gruesome. The scene has become a fixture throughout America, throughout the world.

The Lost don’t want to be found anymore; and I have to say that impulse goes completely against my way of thinking. It contradicts the concept of health, of living life. The Lost, however, are the flip side of the coin of the people whom I call the Zo-lofts. They always want to be up, on a high, on top, riding the crest of the wave.

It is not natural for anyone to be always in flight, soaring; to be at the crest. Existence, such as it is, and is not, consists of ups and downs, highs and lows, peaks and valleys. Life is the journey through the muck to reach the top of the mountain, and then it is the journey to appreciate that view from a lower plane. Whether or not you e’er rise again to the summit is up more to your Maker than to your Medical Provider.

Most of the people of my Western understand those truths. Many of the aging people of modernity have lost sight of those truths, or perhaps they never knew them and refused to learn them. I’ll venture to say that a great many of the youths of today understand those truths in ways that have not been experienced in a very long time.

Those young stalwarts have locked horns with the coddled cowards within their own generation. And to that fight, I say, welcome to the world!

Only the strong survive, but only the smart, and the loving, are happy.


bottom of page