The cast of players who inhabited the Country Club on a Saturday night only reinforced the notion. Miners, cowboys, truckers, hunters, itinerant singers, Indians, Mexicans, Whites and Basques, we were all drawn to Bruno’s in a kind of marvelous modern rendezvous. It could, and sometimes did, get rowdy.
Looks like the punditry is catching up to a principle that underpins The Running Iron Report’s worldview: The Imperial Colossus is just too damn big. In a May 11 op-ed in The New York Times, sociology professor Neil Gross notes that: Last month the Pew Research Center released a poll showing that Americans are losing faith in their system of […]
If you were ever lucky enough to live out on the great sagebrush sea, like I was during a certain vanishing era, you might have enjoyed a slice of old Americana in perhaps the rarest of ways: trailing cattle and working horses. The outback was, in those days–and still is to some degree–a kind of underworld, a parallel universe, richly populated with characters and stories both real and imagined.
Lately I’ve been reading and hearing a lot about toxic masculinity and its destructive effects on individual men, and by extrapolation on society in general.
But what is it?
My life was shaped by tramping through forests, mountains and deserts. That may be an exceptional thing for someone who grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles in the latter half of the 20th century, but it is true. When I was 3–1/2 years old, my little sister Cathie was born with severe cerebral palsy. She would […]
We can never know, beyond reasonable doubt, who the first european to make contact–in their own territory–with the Plains Indians was, of course, but Elizabeth Fenn, in her excellent book Encounters at the Heart of the World, makes an interesting case for a frenchman named Louis Armand de Lom d’Arce Lahontan, who left a travelogue of his travels from the tip of the Upper Peninsula in Michigan, across modern Wisconsin and Iowa, through Nebraska into the present day Dakotas in 1688–89.
Editor’s note: The following is a guest post by Rick Schwertfeger of Austin Texas. Rick is an outdoorsman, a historian and a contributor at FrontierPartisans.com. This article is inspired by Running Iron Report’s Craig Rullman, and his righteous, passionate initiative to become native to the lands and animals of his Figure 8 Ranch. As an outdoorsman who has lived […]
The Mandan, as a nation of people, were hit by numerous waves of smallpox and cholera, whooping cough, measles, and pivotally, epidemics of Norwegian rats that came in on riverboats. At first, the Mandan and Hidatsa, who had never seen a brown rat, were entranced and even happy to have the rats, because they ate the deer mice that had long plagued their earthen lodges.
Last week I went to Port Townsend, Washington, for some “executive training,” since I’ve taken on full management responsibilities at the paper where I work — the revenue side as well as the content side. During our session, each of the participants was invited to make a one sentence statement about what makes us tick. I did not miss […]
• Chemical atrocity. The Syrian government allegedly unleashed another chemical attack on its own people last weekend. Russia is warning of “most serious consequences” if the U.S. strikes Syria over the attack. Get the feeling that we’re walking along the crumbling edges of an abyss? From the New York Times: BEIRUT, Lebanon — Dozens of Syrians choked to […]
It is no small endeavor to race from sea-level to the mountains, throw on a heavy pack, and start climbing without a minute of real preparation or training–it’s probably stupid, in fact– but purpose is a powerful engine. I had studied the topos, conferred with Don, an accomplished mountaineer, and set my sights on a peak in the 10,000 foot range above the valley. The map is never the territory, of course, so I wasn’t under any illusions about the challenge. I expected, and wanted, a brutal climb as the necessary price of admission.
I like big things: Big mountains; vast swaths of desert; endless forests lorded over by towering, majestic trees. Big steaks. Big-bored blackpowder rifles that make a big boom and a tremendous cloud of white smoke. A big, steaming mug of coffee on a chilly morning. Big books. But big human organizations suck. A great many of modern civilization’s discontents can […]