(MILD SPOILER ALERT)
Finished Deadwood. Was sorely disappointed. The wrapup could be the worst betrayal of Chekov’s Gun I’ve ever seen.
The quality of the work remained high, the characters compelling. But Deadwood spent entire episodes establishing factions and foreshadowing bloodbaths. And when you give us elements like 50 ruthless Pinkertons, 17 1/2 ruffians-for-hire, and 150 opium-crazed Chinamen handling firearms for the first time, you better by God use them. Especially those Chinamen.
And Deadwood didn’t.
Okay, okay, all the Chinamen weren’t on opium. But there had to be enough for some awesome television. So the end of the show disappoints despite all its strengths.
In conclusion, Robert Heinlein famously observed,
An armed society is a polite society.
Well, the effing Dean of Science Fiction never effing saw Deadwood.
“Deadwood” wasted a great deal of potential. In my view, it missed a trick by not dedicating an arc to the Chinese community, with subtitles.
I was also amused by the lack of episodes set in the long and frigid Dakota winter.
My main complaint, however, was that the producers and writers obviously had no clue as to the mores and manners of 19th century Americans. They must have been brainwashed by the spurious conviction that all people at all times and places are essentially alike. Deadwood’s characters are more plausible on contemporary skid rows than on 19th century frontiers.
They are not.
The only way I can enjoy Hollywood entertainment is to understand that anything I see is a fantasy and bears only a cursory resemblence to the actual world. Some documentaries may come close, but apparently anything with political import is fantasy, also.
My expertise is in ionizing radiation, and I’ve never seen Hollywood get it right, even when trying.
So historical apathy is my entertainment friend. I notice but shrug off the anochronisms and errors. In Hollywood it was us that broke the Nazis’ Enigma code, not the Brits. Okay, whatever.
I do still get ticked over inherent flaws: stories and characters violating their own nature, unbelievable stupidity just to move things along, etc.
I am a movie aficionado and that sort of thing irritates me as well, especially a movie violating the premise of the world it exists in. You know, the Deus ex machina type plots.
On the issue of guns and freedom, I recently picked up this bit of wisdom from George Orwell.
” It is a commonplace that the history of civilisation is largely the history of weapons. In particular, the connection between the discovery of gunpowder and the overthrow of feudalism by the bourgeoisie has been pointed out over and over again. And though I have no doubt exceptions can be brought forward, I think the following rule would be found generally true: that ages in which the dominant weapon is expensive or difficult to make will tend to be ages of despotism, whereas when the dominant weapon is cheap and simple, the common people have a chance. Thus, for example, tanks, battleships and bombing planes are inherently tyrannical weapons, while rifles, muskets, long-bows and hand-grenades are inherently democratic weapons. A complex weapon makes the strong stronger, while a simple weapon–so long as there is no answer to it–gives claws to the weak. “