Student Life | The independent newspaper of Washington University in St. Louis since 1878

Where’s John Wayne?

Right when you think things can’t get worse, they do. The politicians are on a mission to make sure nothing gets done until we have a different president, the world struggles to deal with acts of terrorism that cripple entire countries and the bad guys seem to have gotten worse and just won’t go away. Well guess what, we can’t blame it all on the economy! So what do all these plagues have in common? Respect.

I thought about the crazy things going on in the world the other day. I’m not just talking about my daily routine of demanding professors, or my prima donna co-workers, but the big topics that really worry the world. Things are really getting out of hand. From our military’s time in Afghanistan surpassing that of the Russian invasion, to the North and South Koreans fighting each other…again, to the mass killings over drugs south of our border, what is humanity to do? I didn’t really come up with any great solutions on my own so I went to seek some advice from the Bunny. You know, the one next to the bookstore, he looks like he has time to think. I expressed my worries, and I know the rabbit listened. I could tell. He just sat there mulling over his thoughts, but said nothing. Then it came to me, John Wayne. You know, the Duke, now that’s the ticket! John Wayne never knew how to be politically correct, and if you told him what it was to be politically correct, he’d probably tell you to shut up and get out of his way.

See John Wayne never put up with garbage; he beat up the bad guy, rescued the pretty girl and led the soldiers to victory. He knew right from wrong. So why isn’t there a John Wayne anymore? Why can’t someone go up to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and say, “Hey guy, get your head on straight or else.” Someone who could sort of make a world tour of it. Drop by China and tell them to keep their little dog Kim Jong Il under control or they’re going to have to smack him around a little, and then find Osama Bin Laden and the other bad guys and throw them all in jail.

Now see, John Wayne wasn’t always about violence, he tried diplomacy first; it just didn’t work very well. See, the Duke believed that you can’t always just be nice and turn the other cheek. There was always a price to pay for ignorance, a concept we seem to have forgotten. In his deep southern drawl, John Wayne had this elusive ability to say the right thing at the right time. One of The Duke’s greatest quotes is, “Courage is being scared to death…and saddling up all the way.” That’s true. No one seems to want to stick up for the little guy anymore; it feels like everyone’s afraid that they might hurt the feelings of the person causing the trouble. How about, “Life is hard; it’s harder if you’re stupid.” There’s a great point when it comes to our decaying public education system, you know, the one where everyone wants to coddle the lazy kids. “Talk low, talk slow and don’t say too much.” Lately everyone seems to have an opinion on everything. That doesn’t mean you have to express it. And last but not least, “Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday.” This might be the most important lesson of all. We have forgotten to see the forest for the trees, or was it the trees for the forest? Whatever. Something’s got to give and hopefully it’ll be the issue with disrespect. If people would start putting some thought into their actions things would slowly start to change. We can start ourselves by focusing on the little things. Saying “hello” when someone says “hi,” “thank you” when someone opens the door and being kind to our elders. We’re all going to be old someday. And last but not least remember the importance of Dec. 7. John Wayne would’ve liked that.

comments

Log In

2 Comments Add your comment
Student Life | The independent newspaper of Washington University in St. Louis since 1878