The Western

Jared Axelrod has been dropping story germs over here as an extension of Mur Lafferty’s News From Poughkeepsie project. His latest category tackles the Western genre. He has this to say:

I don’t watch a whole lot of television, but I don’t dare miss an episode of PROJECT RUNWAY. As an examination of the creative process and an intriguing character study of the kind of people who chose to make creation their life, it’s hard to beat. Plus, you get fashion shows and the idiosyncratic charm of Tim Gunn. It’s hard not to like such a program.

But I was watching last weeks episode and I almost punched the screen. The contestants were challenged to come up with an outfit based on a cinematic genre, and nobody wanted “Westerns.” In fact, not only did no one want Westerns, but there was serious Western bad-mouthing through most of the episode.

I just about lost it. What is wrong with Westerns, I ask? What?

Not a damn thing, that’s what.

I happen to agree. It’s one of my favorite movie genres and I tackled it in a sci-fi direction for my first NaNoWriMo. I think the two genres taste great together because they are both most often about people living on the frontier of different sorts. It’s about how that difficult life shapes them, changes them. Sometimes it’s a change for the better and sometimes not. It’s also about looking at the kinds of people that move out to the edges and why they do it. Everything from Little House on the Prairie to Firefly/Serenity to some very enjoyable podcasts (Solar Clipper and Tumbler) fall under the genre.

It wouldn’t break my heart to see Westerns replace or join Steampunk and Zombie in the hearts of geeks everywhere. Heck even mash them up together. They’re certainly compatible. So I’m going to try and do at least a couple of his prompts this week. One of them may even turn into a NaNo thing. We’ll see.

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