Antiheroes and the Reefer Ranger

McCutchenI’ve had several people ask me about the Reefer Ranger. More specifically, why is he a racist, self-righteous SOB? On that note, I’d like to ask all of you kind readers a similar question, but just a bit more generalized.

Can an antihero be a self-righteous, racist SOB?

Of course, the answer is yes. It is easy to fall in love with more reasonable and cuddly antiheros. You know the types. The Dukes of Hazzard and Malcolm Reynolds. But let’s face it. Those guys are barely antiheroes at all. In the world we live in today, they’re borderline, straight up heroic. An antihero, by definition, is supposed to be:

a main character in a story who lacks conventional heroic qualities such as idealism, courage, and morality.

So let’s take a closer look at the Reefer Ranger as a black hat, antihero. He has courage a plenty. And boy howdy does he have idealism. But his ideals and his morality would be recognized by the vast majority of us (including me) as prejudice, to say the least. He is hypocritical, self-righteous and downright cruel at times. I can hear the violent protests from my home state of Texas as I type. “But he’s a Texas Ranger, for criminy sakes!”

Read moreAntiheroes and the Reefer Ranger

More Bionic Horses

Malcolm Reynolds from FireflyAt times like these civilized society needs more celebrities and swindlers like it needs a pudding can without a pull tab. They promise you sweet chocolaty goodness, but then stiff you when the cows come home.

In past posts I’ve written about the sustainable ethics of such outlaw heros as Bo and Luke Duke and Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly. And it still stands true, what we need today are outlaws with a heart of gold — bad guys who make us want to be good. But where have they gone? (click here to jump ahead to the punchline.)

In a day and age too glib for good guys to survive and too corrupt for the general populous to continue its complacency, we need these law-flauting, damsel-rescuing, firebrands more than ever, and yet… where can we turn?

Read moreMore Bionic Horses

Dukes of Hazzard Parenting School

Jesse Duke
Parenting by Jesse Duke

What ever happened to raising polite hellions? Have parents either become so snooty or given up entirely such that there’s no longer room in our society for the “cram it, ma’am” or “Hell no, sir” mentality that once guided the formation of American youth?

This issue rose to the surface of my life like so much butterfat when my wife and I recently returned south after double digit years in the footloose Rocky Mountains. Was our two-year-old going to be taught to use ma’am and sir? “Hell yes, sir!” was my initial response. But my wife countered with a quandary. Will people think our son is weird when we inevitable wander back out into the larger American milieu?

“Cram it, Ma’am!” was my second response. But dang it all. My kids are going to have a hard enough time in life explaining their father’s behavior to their friends without using a bunch of folky platitudes and formal epithets. That’s when I realized this problem wasn’t my fault at all. It was everyone else’s.

Read moreDukes of Hazzard Parenting School