White People Fighting
“Let me tell you what fair means. Fair means one side got exactly what they wanted in a way the other side can’t complain about. There’s no such thing as fair.”
So explained the character of John Dutton to his young grandson on a recent episode of the television series, Yellowstone. He was using an account of buffalo, Indians, and the U.S. Army in American history to teach the young boy a life lesson.
There is much about popular culture I struggle to explain and most of what I cannot understand I do not desire to learn. But I do think I have put my finger on the reason this program is so wildly popular.
Yellowstone is virtually unique. It is scandalous, when a popular television program today presents something you will be hard pressed to find anywhere else in contemporary entertainment — white people fighting.
The storyline follows the Dutton family of Montana. Patriarch John Dutton (Kevin Costner) refers to the massive ranch he owns as “my kingdom” and not only declares, but demonstrates aptly that he intends to fight for it and keep it in spite of the multitudinous and consistent attacks he, his family, and his subordinates have encountered in the four seasons the show has aired. These attacks come from the likes of national parks, land developers, and an Indian reservation with whom he subsequently makes an alliance.
John Dutton is almost the epitome of what the left hates the most. He is white, male, over fifty, conservative, extremely wealthy, and staunchly possessive of the land he owns. And it’s not the financial value of the land that stirs him. When pressed by his daughter to sell the ranch to avoid the price of defending it, he tells her this is something he cannot do. “I made a promise…not one inch.”
A very poignant scene from the second season elaborates on this promise. A younger John Dutton is comforting his 90-year-old father while the two gaze across the beautiful mountainside on the property. The father speaks of the land that has been passed down through the generations. “Don’t let them take it from you son. Not a godd***ed inch.”
John puts his arm around his father’s shoulder and tells him he will miss him. “No, you won’t. You’ll miss what I was a long time ago. And when you get to my age, only thing you miss is being young. The chance to do it all over. See the look of wonder in your grandchildren’s eyes. The look in your eyes when you were a kid.”
John Dutton is a man who cares deeply for his family and his heritage. And that is not something white people are supposed to do in 21st-Century America. Indoctrination through the public “education” system has always been with us, but with the effects of electronics and social media the idea that white people should hate themselves and their ancestors is now hammered into young brains from the first moment they are able to put together rational thoughts.
To the “progressive” left, a disbelief in what they call “progress” is a top-level sin. In the most-recent season, John Dutton announces himself as candidate for Montana governor at a press conference by declaring:
“…there is a war being waged against our way of life. They’ll tell you all the reasons why our way of life is bad for Montana, bad for this country, bad for our future, how it’s immoral that you live here, work here, grow their food here. They will tell it so much you might even start to believe it yourself, question what you do and who you are. They’ll tell you that the land’s only hope is for them to be its steward. The ugly truth is they want the land, and if they get it, it will never look like our land again. That is progress is today’s terms. So if it’s progress you seek, do not vote for me. I am the opposite of progress. I am the wall that it bashes against, and I will not be the one who breaks.”
Sweet Ethiopian eunuch, I was about ready to grab my checkbook and write a campaign contribution from my couch.
We also have the appealing character Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser). Rip is the head ranch hand at Yellowstone. He is at the same time the unequivocal leader of the hands while also reverentially respectful, loyal, and obedient to John (his father figure). Rip is not afraid to use fists and weapons to get his point across, and fits in with the Dutton family for his propensity to fight for what and who he loves.
Being chided by his girlfriend, Beth Dutton (John’s daughter), for not stopping John from entering into a dangerous situation, Rip counters, “Beth, I can’t stop your father from doing anything. He does what he does because he thinks he’s right. I can either help him or I can watch him.”
Yellowstone is not without its faults. It will take moments to burn the incense to the politically-correct gods. There is a token black ranch hand who, of course, carries on an interracial affair with one of the three petite women who also, inexplicably, are physically able to perform ranch labor on par with the men. The profanity is repetitive, terrible, and unnecessary. Beth Dutton could more easily be admired for her grit and tenacity if she was not such a foul-mouthed, crass, poorly-dressed tramp. But these are bearable negatives.
So what gives? Why aren’t the leftists screaming and boycotting outside the set? Why are there no protestors and no political commentators on CNN bemoaning such an open display of toxic masculinity, of white people so boldly exhibiting forbidden traits such as self-respect, family loyalty, heritage preservation, and standing their ground? Dear heavens, they even wear cowboy hats, rise early, work hard, and listen to country music. How is it the Paramount network is allowed to continue to poison woke minds in such a vile way?
Because this is Hollywood. While those people will habitually pay tribute to the social-justice causes of the day, The Almighty Dollar still rules. And, as it turns out, there must remain a huge contingent of people who really enjoy seeing a white family portrayed in a positive manner. Some of them have lost that nerve themselves. Many of them would never say so in polite company, or espouse such dreadful things at work or places where there may be ramifications for such impermissible expressions.
But they will retire to the privacy of their homes, kick back in the recliner, and deliciously watch the rare spectacle of white people fighting.
There is a young boy, Carter, who Beth Dutton brings to the ranch after his father dies. After Carter angers Beth by his behavior, Rip takes him in charge and assigns him stable duty with orders to be the first person in the stable every morning.
After watching how John Dutton conducts himself for a period, Carter tells Rip that when he grows up he wants to be John Dutton. Not to be like him but to be him. Great scene.
I’ve only actually heard about “Yellowstone” recently. I don’t think I have any way of watching it right now (nor, to be honest, the time), but it is impressive that they have the capacity to even write a story that depicts traditional white men in a positive light. So much of the modern dreck comes from folks who I don’t think are capable of producing anything else – they have no life experience, no real knowledge, no imagination, no ability to think outside of mainstream narratives, and little-to-no genuine talent. So good on Mr. Costner!
Just watched the final episode of season 4. Carter appears in the opening and closing scenes.
In the opener Beth is walking through the stable and Carter calls her “mom.” Beth says she is not his mom, his mom is dead and you only get one. Carter says you act like my mom and Beth replies that she acts like his friend, while Carter sheds some tears.
In the closer, Carter leads two horses up to John Dutton who is sitting in a patio chair after Beth has assured him that his foster son is not dead. Carter asks, no ride today? John says there is no point to it now. Carter says a point is not necessary, you ride because it is fun. John and Carter mount up and begin their ride with Carter galloping away as he yells “race you.”
When Carter is on screen, expect some teaching moments. Cannot wait for season 5.
There is another series, 1883, on the Paramount channel. It is a prequel that will explain how the Dutton family move west and established the Yellowstone ranch. Has a mixed bag for a cast but Sam Elliot is in it. Going to try it while waiting for Yellowstone’s next season.
There is also another spinoff in the work, The Four Sixes, based on the ranch in Texas where Jimmy was sent to learn how to cowboy.
I’ve watched the first three episodes of 1883 and have been pleasantly surprised. Casting two lefties like Mr. and Mrs. Faith Hill was a turnoff for me, but so far their acting is good enough to almost make me forget who they are in real life.
By the way, I can almost feel Dr. Fleming’s eyes roll at the thought of all this television watching. I really don’t watch a lot, but with streaming services I avoid commercials and am able to narrow my scope to shows with guns and horses.
Thanks for the tip on 6666. I missed that one.
Dr Fleming will have to get elected President so he can issue an executive order restricting viewing.
Mr Doggrell – regarding the women wranglers, three might be a bit too much, but I know a woman who could do the ranch work. Sue and her husband Bob live on a small ranch in Texas. You can tell they are native Texans as soon as they speak.
Bob is my classmate and after graduation he was a Marine fighter pilot and then a sales rep for IBM. The ranch has been passed to him as a family inheritance. Sue was also born and raised in Texas. They have a large family including four adopted children.
Bob and Sue operate the ranch with some hired help. They board horses and hold training courses to teach rodeo skills to children and young adults. They also train horses for rodeo competition. Sue is also petite but she can do the work. I think part of it is understanding horses who do most of the work.
I’ve heard good things about Yellowstone from other commentators. I suppose that I will eventually pick it up on DVD, preferably in a thrift store. We took the advice of Dr. Fleming and his merry crew over 20 years ago, when we moved into our house, and did not hook up the TV to anything but a VCR and, subsequently, a DVD player (the advice, if memory serves, was to kick the thing in, but we balked and still have the same set). That’s as far as I go. We couldn’t believe how much more time suddenly appeared in our lives. We don’t regret the decision for an instant, but we’re grateful for otherwise intelligent friends who point us in the direction of the very little new programming (Hmm.) out there these days worth watching.
I will respectfully demur on this program. While there is some reward in the beauty of the natural setting, I found the plots and most of the characters ludicrous.
The plots and characters are pretty realistic. It’s our times that are ludicrous.
I have always known my friend Tom Fleming to be a little generous in publishing opinions that might run contrary to his own, but I have to guess in this case, he has not seen any of this series. I understand that Josh’s endorsement does not imply Tom’s, but the series is poorly acted, poorly written, and altogether implausible. Cody said, “ludicrous.” He is correct. I spent nine bucks to subscribe to Peacock so I could watch this program based on Josh’s recommendation. I want my nine bucks back to say nothing of the five or six hours (I really tried.) By the fourth episode there were about a score of dead bodies–and that’s the most plausible aspect of the narrative. Yes, some of the cinematography is lovely, but nothing that rises to John Ford or even Sergio Leone.
Meh. I never wrote that it was John Ford level. I know of nothing current that rises to that level. I was merely writing about what drives the immense popularity of this modern program. And, unlike John Ford westerns, this program has viewership and ratings through the roof with a younger generation. My query was… Why is that? And I hope I answered it. Yellowstone is the only new program out there that presents white people fighting in a positive perspective.