Posts tagged ‘maverick’

November 8, 2008

Americans Can Now Tighten Their Belts; or, 51 Cowboy Facts Continued

by cowboylands


Now that Americans have to tighten belts, a small but important accessory becomes ever more integral to the psyche of the modern-day cowboy. Whether you seek utility or bling, you still have to be able to be able to keep your damn britches on. Buckaroos and Buckarettes, may I re-introduce…the belt buckle. 

The Cowboy of the collective imagination tends toward the spare. A simple square or rectangle of metal cinches the belt tight. For those western fetishists out there, you will want to accessorize with holster belt and bullets–crisscross the belts for a playful yet rugged look that will also allow you to hunt for food in the days to come.

As TV shows appropriated cowboy heroes and elevated them to pop star status, the buckles became more ornate. An interesting touch from the star of TV’s Maverick, one that showcases the gambler in all of us. Neat and utilitarian, this buckle goes a step further; its gold filigreed scrollwork points toward the upside of this downward spiraling economy–we can still have our dreams of glory.

For the real mavericks out there–those who want to have their beefcake and eat it too–Randy Jones of the Village People does a bang-up job with his own take on the buckle. Why wear one at all? Sex is the cheapest pleasure we have. 

And last but not least, we have the showpiece of champions, or those who want to look like them. Gold, silver, bucking bulls, rearing horses…whatever your fancy, the platter-sized rodeo buckle adds the metallic gleam that is missing in your wallet.  Real champions have to work hard for theirs–bone-breaking labor and long hours on the road. Nouveau champions, especially those of the hedge fund variety, may find that their faux flash will make  them itch.

Which brings us back to some little-known Cowboy Facts.

19. Real cowboys don’t get their panties in  a twist; they wear their belt-buckle identities a little loose on their hips.

18. Whether the belt buckle is for show or for real, it still has to have a core, decent, family value: hold the britches up, please.

17. A real cowboy knows that the most important aspect of the belt buckle is ease in taking it off. In preparation for the outhouse or for bedding your pard, the simpler the buckle’s action, the better. 

P.S. A special thanks to a great site that has belt buckles up the wazoo: Gold Mountain Mining. Their stunning buckles included the two rodeo beauties above. God bless ’em.


November 5, 2008

I Heart the Obama Kid

by cowboylands

The Kid is in. The Great Decider is out–and so are slimy campaign innuendos. I’ll not be sorry to hear the last of the slander of the good Maverick family name. I’ll not be sorry to have less of cowboy-diplomacy-this* and cowboy-foreign-policy-that drop into my inbox with such alarming regularity. And I won’t be surprised if this James Stewart-esque president-elect (see Wanted: Cowboy Presidents) learns to appropriate a little more of the cowboy attitude to lead this nation. So I have a few cowboy wishes for him. 

May his hat always be wide enough.

May he never step in horseshit.

May his belt buckle never get bigger than his head.

May his boots never pinch.

May he never say the word “maverick.”

May he never have to pull the six-gun from the holster.

May the horse he rode in on be a sturdy mount for the next four years.

Happy virtual trails!

* Darn, what the heck is everyone going to do with 100 of these? 

October 8, 2008

Maverick; or, Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child

by cowboylands

MAVERICK. Ask not how many times you can say a word, but why you need to say the word so many times in the first place.

“Maverick.” Thou shalt not repeat a word in the hopes that it sticks. 

“Maverick” took on a pop culture tone in the 1950s with James Garner’s hat-pushed back, insouciant gambler. The middle class may well look askance at the connotation of “gambler”; I, for one, would not hand over my hard-earned cash to a gambler. I wouldn’t hand over thousands to myself without some sort of “understanding,” much less some person who has a moniker that means a motherless calf.

October 7, 1979,  was the last day that the Ninety-Six Ranch ran a round-up. Northern Nevada was home to buckaroos and cattle-punchers bringing home their bacon–er, beef–for a century at least, and these 1979 photos (minus the Maverick TV show still, show colors from the cusp of the twilight of the twentieth century that are richer than any digital camera. The figures more dense and alive, the villains and heroes less everyday. 

A cattle drive had its beginning in the birth of calves. You can imagine the difficulty in figuring out whose calf belonged to whom. Just picture the satisfaction in being able to brand the animals whose mothers had died or gone MIA–they were mavericks, whose provenance was unclear. 

Maverick connotes a being who does not have a master, but the conception of it is rooted in animals whose uncertainty drives them erratically from dam to dam, looking for the suckling milk. Unless the brand sears them with a place, name, and all-around sense of well-being, they are driven by need to be liked, wanted, and appreciated. 

The TV show does its share of creating a devil-may-care feeling toward the name “Maverick.” The reality of bawling calves suggests the opposite. 

Just a thought: It’s time for twenty-first century politicians to publicly acknowledge the bawling calves and the gambler when they appropriate the word “maverick.”  It’s only right.