Evidence of resistance
In his series, Behind a Little House, Manuel Cosentino transforms a tiny little house on a simple hill into a series of dramatically majestic landscapes. For two years, the Italian photographer documented the same location, capturing the house set against the changing light and weather throughout the years.
And now you know…
The real “Lone Ranger,” it turns out, was an African American man named Bass Reeves, who the legend was based upon. Perhaps not surprisingly, many aspects of his life were written out of the story, including his ethnicity. The basics remained the same: a lawman hunting bad guys, accompanied by a Native American, riding on a white horse, and with a silver trademark.
Historians of the American West have also, until recently, ignored the fact that this man was African American, a free black man who headed West to find himself less subject to the racist structure of the established Eastern and Southern states.
While historians have largely overlooked Reeves, there have been a few notable works on him. Vaunda Michaux Nelson’s book, Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal, won the 2010 Coretta Scott King Award for best author. Arthur Burton released an overview of the man’s life a few years ago. Black Gun, Silver Star: The Life and Legend of Frontier Marshal Bass Reeves recounts that Reeves was born into a life of slavery in 1838. His slave-keeper brought him along as another personal servant when he went off to fight with the Confederate Army, during the Civil War.
Reeves took the chaos that ensued during the war to escape for freedom, after beating his “master” within an inch of his life, or according to some sources, to death. Perhaps the most intruiging thing about this escape was that Reeves only beat his enslaver after the latter lost sorely at a game of cards with Reeves and attacked him.
After successfully defending himself from this attack, he knew that there was no way he would be allowed to live if he stuck around.
Reeves fled to the then Indian Territory of today’s Oklahoma and lived harmoniously among the Seminole and Creek Nations of Native American Indians.
After the Civil War finally concluded, he married and eventually fathered ten children, making his living as a Deputy U.S. Marshall in Arkansas and the Indian Territory. If this surprises you, it should, as Reeves was the first African American to ever hold such a position.
Burton explains that it was at this point that the Lone Ranger story comes in to play. Reeves was described as a “master of disguises”. He used these disguises to track down wanted criminals, even adopting similar ways of dressing and mannerisms to meet and fit in with the fugitives, in order to identify them.
Reeves kept and gave out silver coins as a personal trademark of sorts, just like the Lone Ranger’s silver bullets. Of course, the recent Disney adaptation of the Lone Ranger devised a clever and meaningful explanation for the silver bullets in the classic tales. For the new Lone Ranger, the purposes was to not wantonly expend ammunition and in so doing devalue human life. But in the original series, there was never an explanation given, as this was simply something originally adapted from Reeves’ personal life and trademarking of himself. For Reeves, it had a very different meaning, he would give out the valuable coins to ingratiate himself to the people wherever he found himself working, collecting bounties. In this way, a visit from the real “Lone Ranger” meant only good fortune for the town: a criminal off the street and perhaps a lucky silver coin.
Like the Lone Ranger, Reeves was also expert crack shot with a gun. According to legend, shooting competitions had an informal ban on allowing him to enter. Like the Lone Ranger, Reeves rode a white horse throughout almost all of his career, at one point riding a light grey one as well.
Like the famed Lone Ranger legend Reeves had his own close friend like Tonto. Reeves’ companion was a Native American posse man and tracker who he often rode with, when he was out capturing bad guys. In all, there were close to 3000 of such criminals they apprehended, making them a legendary duo in many regions.
The final proof that this legend of Bass Reeves directly inspired into the story of the Lone Ranger can be found in the fact that a large number of those criminals were sent to federal prison in Detroit. The Lone Ranger radio show originated and was broadcast to the public in 1933 on WXYZ in Detroit where the legend of Reeves was famous only two years earlier.
Of course, WXYZ and the later TV and movie adaptions weren’t about to make the Lone Ranger an African American who began his career by beating a slave-keeper to death. But now you know. Spread the word and let people know the real legend of the Lone Ranger.
okay no, but for real, this dude was a badass. he was basically the black batman of the wild west.
acording to wiki: “ Reeves brought in some of the most dangerous criminals of the time, but was never wounded, despite having his hat and belt shot off on separate occasions.”
here’s an article that details some of his career.
Docu-Horror movies from the last few years that are actually good!
I know people hate these movies but I love them, the good ones at least, it’s not really a trend as much as it is a style and for certain things it works a hell of a lot better for certain subjects. Instead of getting irrationally angry at all of them, we should just start promoting the good ones and ignoring the bad ones.
Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes
This is one of several Bigfoot docu-horror films that have been been made in the past few years. This one has the advantage of being the first to have a wide release (WIllow Creek is on the way next). It’s typical in places but watching it unravel to a bizarre, though noticeable if you pay complete attention, conclusion is fascinating. There are also some effective fright scenes that are shockingly well maintained.
A documentary that follows two investigators trying to track down the beginnings of the New York legend of Cropsey, it has some great spooky moments though and it’s fascinating to see what they uncover. Definitely a left-of-field release.
This one is notorious for not being available via DVD (even now!), it’s been around for years via download sites but it had its first premier on UK television a few months ago. It’s about a ton of tapes a serial killer recorded whilst carrying out his acts. There’s a weird cult-like fascination with the whole thing from those who haven’t seen it yet and it definitely lives up to the weird intrigue. It’s genuinely disturbing in places.
A mockumentary involving a group of people making a documentary about conspiracy theories in the modern world, their investigation, naturally, ends up hitting upon places they really shouldn’t be looking. It’s far more of a thriller than a horror but it’s fantastic nonetheless, one of personal favourites of this year as well.
WNUF Halloween Special
I only just watched this a few days back and it’s incredible, it’s a fabricated Halloween TV special from 1987 about a seance that takes place on live TV (a nod to Ghostwatch) and it looks ridiculously authentic with the 80s TV style aesthetic, enough to make you question whether it’s actually real or not. The filmmakers even went out of their way to make commercials for the damn thing. It’s probably my actual favourite film of this year so far, to be honest.
This is a strange one, it’s about a group of people who are making a documentary about one of their friend’s camping for the first time, for a project for class and they end up being attacked by strange creatures. But, that’s only a part of it, at some point there’s a complete shift and it’s utterly insane.
An Australian pseudo-documentary about the network of abandoned underground railway tunnels which were going to be used to extract water from, to help with the water shortage Sydney was going through at the time. However, the Government without warning abandoned the plan and didn’t tell anybody why, so a group of filmmakers set out to find out the reason, which they end up finding out and they wish they hadn’t. It’s really well put together with the mixture of found footage and documentary. It’s also notable for being spread via viral via torrents at the request of the filmmakers.
A modern docu-horror about aliens, finally! It focuses on a couple who go to stay at a rural ranch in Texas that is owned by one of their family members. They start experiencing weird things and start to unravel secrets said family member has been hiding through the years. First released this year and it’s really really eerie in places. A hell of a lot better than the more recent alien docu-horror Skinwalker Ranch.
Not exactly well known, I wouldn’t have heard about it if it wasn’t for becoming friendly with the director. It’s about two young film-makers who are desperate for a separate to document, they end up stumbling upon Anthony McAllistar a cannibal serial killer who lets them document his lifestyle. It’s worth watching for Alviano’s performance as McAllistar and the incredible practical effects. It’s in the same ball-park subject-wise as Man Bites Dog.
Told via a series of interviews, news reports and footage taken from the area, it tells a story about a town that has become plagued by mutant parasites which starts to kill the population. The eco-friendly message is a little too on-the-nose but the performances are effective and Barry Levinson’s (Good Morning Vietnam, Rain Man) direction keeps the pace going for the entire film, it’s also his best film in countless years.
i just lost a follower did someone not like that goat boners