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US: Cowboy attitude

Paul Simon comments on the alleged cowboy attitude of the Bush administration: "We New Mexicans resent everyone thinking there is something WRONG with a "cowboy attitude"; the strength, serenity, independence, sense of honor, ability to problem-solve, etc. are VIRTUES in our book! Plus, everyone knows cowboys can live for months on beef jerky and beans! We heartily recommend lots of the latter for Saddam; if ever someone needed a good purgative..." RH: A lot has been written recently about the myth of the cowboy. In the US in the last century Eastern dudes used to go west and play at being cowboys. (The term "dude" was invented in 1883 at the height of the craze). Some still do. In Germany some people dress up like cowboys and act accordingly. The reality is that cowboys led a hard, difficult life, as Miles Seeley can attest. Dudes and Europeans may admire cowboys as symbols of freedom, but not as political leaders. In Argentina there is a similar myth about the gaucho.

Ronald Hilton - 2/21/03