What the Death of the ‘Western’ Says About Our Culture


If you want sterling example of top-down social engineering, look no further than the death of the western.

The western genre dominated novels, magazines, comics, and movies for decades. Contrary to common misconceptions, westerns never faded in popularity. One day, the word came down that westerns were over. These days, this once noble genre is a haven for vanity projects by over-the-hill actors.

Our overlords hate the western. Gary Cooper’s iconic 1952 film High Noon shows why.

The quintessential White Hat Western, High Noon stars Cooper as retiring Marshal Will Kane. After five years spent cleaning up the flyspeck town of Hadleyville, Kane is ready to depart on his honeymoon with his new bride Amy, played by future princess Grace Kelly. A deadly serious wrench is thrown in Mr. and Mrs. Kane’s plans when news reaches town that Frank Miller–a gang leader, not the comic book writer–is on the inbound noon train.

To say that Kane and Miller have a history is putting it mildly. It was Kane and his posse who broke Miller’s stranglehold over the town and sent him up the river. Now a miscarriage of justice has set Miller free and gunning for revenge against the Marshal.

That’s a conflict-laden, high-stakes story in and of itself. It only gets more compelling when every single citizen of Hadleyvillle, including Kane’s deputies and even his wife, refuses to help him confront the returning gangsters. We get an intriguing character study every time Kane approaches someone for help–a study in rationalizing cowardice. By the time the climactic showdown begins, Kane’s odds are down to four against one.


Internet pundits are fond of declaring various films from Network to The Muppet Movie to be parables of our troubled times. In the case of High Noon, the parallels are chillingly accurate.

Here we have a town facing an existential threat. A gang of rootless sociopaths is coming to take over and bring in every vice and racket under the sun. The people know exactly the kid of fate they’re in for. They suffered the same tyranny before and only freed themselves after a long, bloody, and hard-fought struggle.

Now the man tasked with defending the town from descending into a thugocracy comes around asking for volunteers to help him fight the invaders. One by one, they all say no.

The soggy denizens of the local saloon actually welcome the gangsters. They look forward to enjoying the debauchery Miller will usher in.

Both of Kane’s remaining deputies are willing to help at first. But one makes his help conditional on taking Kane’s job when the fight is over. Knowing that anyone so venal isn’t worthy of the responsibility, Kane rejects his offer. His other deputy stands firm at first but backs out when nobody else shows up.

The congregation of the town’s church vocally supports Kane. At first, I thought we might actually see Christian men fighting in defense of their homes and families. No such luck. Cowards masquerading as Kane’s friends, enabled by a milquetoast preacher, rationalize taking the cowardly way out with legalistic rhetoric and BoomerCon style buck-passing.

Even Kane’s new bride decides to abandon him because she swore off all violence and became a Quaker after seeing her father and brother shot dead.

Meanwhile, a Mexican immigrant who openly hates the town prepares to move on after extracting all the value she could.


It’s not hard to see today’s death cultists and popcult paypigs in the degenerate saloon patrons. They’re the fifth columnists eager to open the gates for usurpers in exchange for a fix.

The deputies and the judge who turn their backs on the problem perfectly represent our corrupt law enforcement and court system. Today the authorities are too busy making up crimes to prosecute innocent citizens for to go after real criminals.

Reverend Millstone is the picture of a Church hierarchy that’s so out of touch they don’t even know there’s a problem, much less how to tackle it.

Like I mentioned before, the cucks in the congregation who whine that they pay their taxes so they don’t have to fight outlaws are Conservative leaders who stand on principles that somehow always mean giving the Left everything they want.

I trust that the woman who marries a man only to abandon her husband the second the chips are down needs no further exposition.

There are two important differences between the story of High Noon and the saga of Clown World we each face every day.

In the movie, Mrs. Kane comes back to stand by her man.

And in real life, we have no Will Kane to fight for us.


For a thrilling tale of outlaws–IN SPACE–read my acclaimed weird adventure novel Nethereal now!


Originally published here.

Brian Niemeier

Brian Niemeier is a best selling science fiction author and a John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer finalist. His second book, Souldancer, won the first ever Dragon Award for Best Horror Novel., and its sequel, The Secret Kings, became a 2017 Dragon Award finalist for Best Science Fiction Novel. He's currently crowdfunding his latest work Combat Frame XSeed: CY 40 Second Coming on Indiegogo. Read more of his work at brianniemeier.com or pick up his books via Amazon.