A couple of weeks ago Film Twitter re-discovered that John Wayne was a sexist rightwing militaristic asshole, and that if he were to somehow reanimate and reappear in 2019 he would be immediately damned and shunned by wokesters. Indiewire would run a series of editorials against the Orange County beast, and Brie Larson would let him know what for!
My father always despised Wayne politically, and I never saw any reason to disagree. Especially for Wayne’s blind support of the Vietnam War. He was also a racist, which was unfortunately par for the course among guys of his ilk.
But Wayne was an old-fashioned, 20th Century rightie. A traditionalist, a man’s man, a soft-spoken gentleman, “nice to the ladies”, a chip off the old Patton block. Obviously a dinosaur in today’s terms but…
He certainly wasn’t cut from today’s lunatic-conservative cloth — anti-science, corporate-fellating, religiously mule-like, stinking with hypocrisy. Ask Peter Bogdanovich or James Caan — you could relax with Wayne. He joked and smiled a lot and generally behaved like a human being. Which is another way of saying he wasn’t (at least in personal face-time terms) an asshole.