February 25, 2008

Educating Russ about historical accuracy

Russell Bates wrote:Show writerfella a picture of either Larry McMurtry or CBS claiming that COMANCHE MOON was a documentary or a historical treatise or even a docu-drama.Unfortunately, you lose again, Russ. Here's the information you so obviously missed:

One more ride for 'Lonesome Dove' characters"Buffalo Hump was a historical figure," McMurtry said. "He had a long career. That's not to say that the character in the movie is exactly like Buffalo Hump, but he was a real figure. He was a real leader . . . and he did lead massive raids on south Texas."

Ossana said that, even though the miniseries is "billed as historical fiction," the "Indians are portrayed much more realistically" than in recent Western miniseries.

"They're neither particularly heroes nor villains," the producer said. "They're just realistic. I think their culture is portrayed very accurately. . . . We were adamant about the language being accurate. . . . We felt very strongly that it should be authentic and respectful to a time and a place and those characters."

But it's an inauthentic aspect of Westerns that "has become our national ritual drama," McMurtry said. That would be the classic image of the solitary sheriff taking to the main street of town for a quick-draw showdown at high noon.

It's "the shootout in the street, which, of course, had nothing to do with life in the old West," the Texas native said. "It was entirely invented by Hollywood. In the old West, sheriffs like Wyatt Earp would rather walk up behind their victim and whack him on the head with a gun and drag him off to the jail. They didn't stand in front of him and invite him to shoot them--to draw faster."

It's another cliche that McMurtry is all too happy to shoot down.

Wes Studi--Indian Country’s leading actorOssana, in a conference call before the premiere, described Comanche Moon as a fable, a historical fiction which is intertwined with authentic Comanche traditions. She spoke proudly about how the movie’s Comanche actors and consultant were not paid during the time they were partaking in their Comanche traditions. Such as the ceremonial preparation that takes place before an eagle feather is worn. Ossana also excitedly noted that the eagle feathers used in the movie were real, a big first for television westerns with a strong Native American genre.Comment:  So McMurtry shot down the cliché of the shootout while reinforcing the cliché of the marauding Indian savages. Since McMurtry and Ossana claimed their work was accurate and authentic, we have every right to judge it on those qualities. And so I did. Comanche Moon failed as an accurate and authentic look at Indians for the reasons I've given previously.

Let me remind you that Russ couldn't touch my question about historical accuracy in King Lollipop in Comanche Moon. Amazingly, he thinks historical accuracy isn't an issue even though writers such as McMurtry and Ossana have said it is. Perhaps that explains why they're major cowboy-and-Indian writers and he isn't.


writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
It matters little what either Larry McMurtry or Diana Ossana says about COMANCHE MOON "after the fact," only what either said BEFORE the project aired. It was a ratings success, a high payday and high profile project for the writers (who also received production credits), and became a landmark recent career achievement for them both. They now are household names with grateful TV executives begging to wash the writers' feet just to get first peek at what other projects they have to offer. By the bye, McMurtry is NOT a member of the Writers Guild of America, west (whether Ossana is or not is unknown), and presumably freely continued to work on his next offerings. He could say COMANCHE MOON was the GONE WITH THE WIND of the small screen and no one at CBS would argue with him, save for critics who only can wave tiny clenched fists at him.
Examine what Ossana said, as well: ...even though the miniseries is "billed as historical fiction..." Which means CBS BILLED it so, not the writers, and again, "after the fact," the writers can say whatever they want, as they laugh at their critics all the way to the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank in Denver.
Now, let's hear what they may(or may not) have said BEFORE the airing of COMANCHE MOON...
All Best
Russ Bates
POSTSCRIPTUM: And Rob only 'educates' persons on how to iterate and reiterate the same exact things in the same exact words over and over and again without so much as forgetting to repeat even the commas. Only the dates are changed to confuse the innocent...

dmarks said...

You are right. Such considerations are quite obvious when a (an?) historic figure is used in a work of fiction.

I dispute the idea that McMurtry became a "household name" because of Comanche Moon. He was quite well known prior to this.

As for "Which means CBS BILLED it so [as historical fiction], not the writers", see again the quotes from the writers, in which they refer to an attempt at accuracy, and Buffalo Hump being a real person.

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
The writers are guilty of ex post facto, not perjury, and worthy of plenary indulgence, not plenipotentiary. writerfella asks, how many TV viewers saw BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN or can remember the writers' Academy Award for same? Or that McMurtry wore blue jeans to that black tie affair? And how many even were alive when the original LONESOME DOVE debuted? Household names much more are ephemeral than even are military 'secrets'...
All Best
Russ Bates

dmarks said...

"The writers are guilty of ex post facto"

Do you have any evidence of contradictory quotes? Or are you really just making this up?

"Or that McMurtry wore blue jeans to that black tie affair?"

Perhaps once we also know whether he combed his hair to the right, we can add this to the pants thing and that irrevocably proves your case that "Comanche Moon" was not intended to be historical fiction? Of course, it is so obvious. Why else would you mention his jeans?

writerfella said...

Writerfellahere --
Only that what writerfella now has proven is that Larry McMurtry is what once was called a 'scofflaw.' He flies in the face of history and precedent and common knowledge and even his own previous output. In other words, what McMurtry now is presenting makes of himself a 'conundrum,' one that confounds both his advocates and his detractors. Larry McMurtry thus remains a mystery, and he loves it. Everyone, advocates and detractors alike, avidly will be waiting and watching for whatever else he will be doing. You have been warned...
All Best
Russ Bates

Rob said...

What difference could it possibly make if the writers spoke before or after Comanche Moon debuted? Are you seriously suggesting that the ratings affected their view of their own work? Or that they lied to CBS--told its executives they were inventing a story out of thin air, then claimed it was historically accurate after the fact?

Or what, exactly? What are you trying to say in your vague and muddled way? Did you have another of your fanciful daydreams unsupported by an iota of evidence?

Not that it matters. I can't tell if you're idiotic or merely inept, but either way, you lose.

A single click would've told you the first article was published January 9, four days before the show's Sunday launch. As for the second article, I quoted the relevant passage: "Ossana, in a conference call before the premiere...." Repeat: before the premiere. Oooops.

I don't even have to try to kick your butt on the facts. Incredibly, you kicked your own butt by 1) requesting quotes and 2) insisting the quotes be uttered before the show began. Here's a news flash, buddy: Every quote in the two articles from McMurtry and Ossana was uttered beforehand.


This sideshow of when McMurtry and Ossana spoke is irrelevant to my point. You didn't touch this point, so I'll merely repeat it: Amazingly, you think historical accuracy isn't an issue even though writers such as McMurtry and Ossana have said it is. Perhaps that explains why they're major cowboy-and-Indian writers and you aren't.

In short, you just lost as badly as it's possible for someone to lose. Next time, I suggest you stick to listing your credits and awards rather than challenging me. If you insist, I'll show you up as the fool you are every time.

Rob said...

Not that it's relevant to the issue of historical accuracy, but you're wrong about McMurtry's fame, too. He's clearly most famous for Lonesome Dove.

But don't take my word for it. See what others have said. Note that not a single person mentions Comanche Moon as one of McMurtry's most famous works:


What he's best known for is for penning the sweeping historical saga 'Lonesome Dove'.


McMurtry is best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning 1985 novel Lonesome Dove, a sweeping historical epic that follows ex-Texas Rangers as they drive their cattle from the Rio Grande to a new home in the frontier of Montana. It was adapted into a hit television miniseries.


Wrote Lonesome Dove, which won the Pulitzer Prize, and numerous other bestsellers including The Last Picture Show and Terms of Endearment; co-wrote the screen adaptation of Brokeback Mountain.


[I]n 1966 McMurtry published perhaps his best-known work, The Last Picture Show, a bleak evocation of the isolation and emptiness of small-town life. ... Other McMurtry novels of note include Cadillac Jack (1982); the prize-winning nineteenth century epic, Lonesome Dove (1985), which spawned a popular television mini-series; Texasville (1987), an ambitious and satirical sequel to The Last Picture Show; and the elegiac sequel to Terms of Endearment, The Evening Star (1992).

Rob said...

As for the numbers, I'm betting more people saw Lonesome Dove originally and in repeats and on DVD than the recent Comanche Moon. And I'm certain more people have read Lonesome Dove than Comanche Moon. So you're wrong about the amount of exposure and you're wrong about the consensus of opinion.

But again, there's no need to take my word for it. Let's go to the evidence:


"Lonesome Dove"--Larry McMurtry's epic tale of two aging Texas Rangers who drive a herd of stolen cattle 2,500 miles from the Rio Grande to Montana to found the first ranch there--captured the public imagination and has never let it go. The novel, published in 1985, was a New York Times best seller and won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. More than two decades after publication, it still sells tens of thousands of copies every year.

The "Lonesome Dove"miniseries, which first aired on CBS in 1989, lassoed an even wider audience. Twenty-six million households watched the premiere, and countless millions more have ridden with Gus and Call each time the movie has rerun on TV, video and DVD. In addition to its popular success, the miniseries has also garnered unanimous critical acclaim. It was nominated for 18 Emmy Awards and won seven. It also won Golden Globe Awards for Best Television Miniseries and Best Actor; a Peabody Award; the D. W. Griffith Award for Best Television Series; the National Association of Television Critics Award for Program of the Year and Outstanding Achievement in Drama; and the Writers' Guild of America Award for Best Teleplay (Bill Wittliff).


For the week of Jan. 7-13, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "NFC Playoff Post Game," Fox, 32.51 million; AFC Playoff: Jacksonville vs. New England, CBS, 30.9 million; College Football: LSU vs. Ohio State, 23.07 million; "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles," Fox, 18.36 million; "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," CBS, 18.19 million; "Grey's Anatomy," ABC, 17.68 million; "Comanche Moon," CBS, 15.76 million; "Law & Order: SVU," NBC, 15.15 million; "Criminal Minds," CBS, 14.3 million; "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, ABC, 14 million.

Rob said...

So McMurtry has been famous for Lonesome Dove since 1985. Since Comanche Moon is one of his lesser works, he didn't need to make extravagant claims about it. Compared to his magnum opus, Comanche Moon is a footnote in his career.

Last but not least....

So now it's my fault because I challenge you repeatedly and you're too inept or inane to respond? That's a nice spin. Is that what you told your teachers in school, too? Did you call them names when they repeated lessons you hadn't learned or didn't like?

Thanks for proving once again how intellectually superior I am. I can read dates on and quotes in an article; you can't. As I've told you before, learn to read. You can't begin to educate yourself until you do.

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
Wow, three posts in a row that essentially say the same exact things three times! Even Larry McMurtry (whom writerfella has met as recently as 2006, as he lives less than 100 miles from the BatesMotel) would be hard pressed to fathom just why he got the same press in triplicate. By the bye, McMurtry was surprised to find that writerfella is in HIS library (five volumes!) and that McMurtry himself appears NOWHERE in The Bates Memorial Library. Love it, love it, love it!
All Best
Russ Bates

Rob said...

Check your eyes, bright boy. I addressed five or so topics in four postings, not one topic in three postings. But with your reading comprehension problem, I'm not surprised you failed to grasp this.

So you have nothing to say about your stupidity in not realizing the quotes were from before the premiere? Or your ignorance of Lonesome Dove's critical acclaim and ratings success? So noted.

Nice try to change the subject, but no sale. Thanks for conceding that I won the debate, loser. When you learn how to read quotes or click on links, feel free to try again.