The saying ‘there’s nothing new under the sun’ is true

Published 9:23 pm Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I was afraid of the shenanigans that were played out in Nevada a few weeks ago and was glad when everything calmed down a little.
I am not sure it’s over, but at least the dust around the OK Corral has settled some.
I couldn’t help but think, humorously, that I had seen that movie before.
I am not calling the dangerous confrontation funny.
The temperature seemed a little too hot for my money, but the funny part for me was thinking that the reality of the situation was just like the movies I had seen when I went to the “show” on Saturday afternoon.
I’m talking about the Saturday matinees that featured the singing cowboys like Roy Rogers and Gene Autry.
For guys and gals my age, those westerns were staples of our double-featured Saturday afternoons, just like the popcorn and sodas we bought for a quarter.
Yes, for 25 cents, a quarter, one could buy a bag of freshly popped popcorn and at least 16 ounces of an ice-cold drink.
The Bible book of Ecclesiastes, in verse 1:9, says “there is nothing new under the sun.”
The drama that played out in Bunkerville, Nev., between a rancher and a bureaucracy ain’t nothing new. I saw that movie all the time. Let me explain.
The ingredients were the same. There were horses, cattle, and grazing land. There was a rancher in a white hat who, supposedly, only wanted to continue the simple life that his family had been a part of for generations.
There were villains with ulterior motives seeking to claim his land and run him off.
There were cattle rustlers who actually stole some cattle. Cowboys riding horses were ready to challenge the villain known as The Bureau of Land Management. The only thing I did not see or hear was a singing cowboy.
It would have been too much if Roy Rogers and Trigger had galloped up and he had said, “Hey boys, let’s head ‘em off at the pass!”
I realize that the script I have just described is too simplistic for what really happened, but those Saturday afternoon westerns were very simplistic.
Our modern day story would have been a little better if Cliven Bundy, the rancher, had been a widow.
It was okay that she was a little behind on the payments for the grazing rights or even disputed them. The Director of the Bureau of Land Management could have been in cahoots with a Senator’s son and wanted the land for some weird project like a Chinese Solar Panel Farm.
The Bureau was thinking that if they could only intimidate the rancher by surrounding the place with a posse of agents and use a few helicopters and new-fangled Tasers; the rancher would just disappear like tumbling tumbleweeds.
The Saturday matinees didn’t end with a defeated rancher; neither did this real-life situation.
It made me think that plenty of spirit remains in some people in this country. I hope so because somebody needs to stand up these days.
The truth of the matter is that we still haven’t heard all the truth of this matter. Who’s right?
Is the rancher a hero or a villain? I guess today is a little more complicated than 1958.
When I left the “show” back then, I knew who the good guys were.

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