Stetson is the classic brand for cowboy hats.  Founded in 1865, the company specialized in high-end headgear for the frontier, including the wildly popular Boss Of the Plains model.  The original Boss Of the Plains design (above) with its narrow brim looks a little dorky these days, like a hat that would be worn by an Amish farmer.  With a wider brim it looks very cool, like a dashing version of the traditional gaucho hat


In the movie Tombstone Kurt Russell’s Wyatt Earp (above) wears a modified Boss Of the Plains with a wider brim.


Stetson hats are particularly associated with Texas because of the Open Road model, favored by Lyndon Johnson (above) and Texas law enforcement agencies.  One of the Dallas policeman escorting Lee Harvey Oswald when he was assassinated was wearing a Stetson Open Road.

The legendary Dallas police detective, James Leavelle, who was handcuffed to JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald when he was shot by Jack Ruby, has been honored by the Dallas Police Department.

The narrow-brimmed Open Road became popular in the 1940s, probably because it seemed more modern than traditional cowboy hats, a bit closer to the conventional fedora.


Resistol hats, however, are the real Texas cowboy hats — because they’ve always been made in Texas, beginning with the founding of the company in 1927.  When I first spent some extended time in Texas in the 1980s, the straw Resistol was ubiquitous — if not worn at least parked in the back of almost every Cadillac and pick-up.

The standard model, the Cattleman Oval (above), is iconic.  Stetson makes a version, The Alamo, which is indistinguishable from it, but for my money, only the Resistol is mainstream Texas headgear.


Resistol calls the Cattleman Oval “a simple classic that easily transitions from farm work to a night on the town”.  That’s the definition of a real Texas hat.



For a while, watching this movie, I had the idea that it was going to be a profound and important evisceration of the moral depravity of the Wall Street institutions that crashed the world economy in 2008 — a moral depravity at the heart of the American system.

It’s nothing of the sort.  It posits the idea that there are elements within the American system determined to bring the morally depraved criminals on Wall Street to justice, and capable of doing so.  In short, don’t worry too much about Wall Street criminality — the    F. B. I. is on the case.


Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Martin Scorsese, once a fiercely independent filmmaker, has become an apologist for the plutocracy.  Fuck him.

Click on the images to enlarge.



One shouldn’t get too fancy about the meaning of this play by Shakespeare.  It is not a subtle philosophical meditation on human existence.  It is, instead, a rather simple and brutal drama based on the idea that human existence is a preposterous puppet play, that pomp and glory are strictly theatrical phenomena, and that sex is the only thing that matters.

The tragedy of the play is cheap melodrama, the philosophy is dime-store nihilism — but the poetry . . . the sublime poetry of the play is pure eroticism.  It creates its friction, it achieves its climax . . . and it echoes forever through the ages.



This is a little masterpiece of a film, astonishing as much for what it’s not as for what it is.

You probably know about the unique logistics of the production — it follows the lives of a divorced couple and their two kids over the course of twelve years, and it was filmed over the course of twelve years, so you see the actors age in real time as their characters age in narrative time.


This is not actually what’s amazing about the film — what’s amazing is the way the process informs the narrative, disciplines the narrative.  The wages of time, visible on screen in the aging of the actors, free director-writer Richard Linklater from the temptation to create synthetic dramatic milestones for the story.

The world simply moves on, and the characters move with it, coping as best they can with the changes time dictates.  Their coping mechanisms are heartbreakingly inadequate.  The catastrophe of an absent father and the heroism of an absent father trying to make amends, the instincts of children to feign indifference to their parents inadequacies and their desperate need to believe in their parents in spite of everything — the paradoxes in these situations are presented without judgement or resolution or hope of resolution.


There is a hopeful coda, an affirmation of the miracle of life itself, all the more powerful for not insisting that this affirmation answers any questions, heals any wounds.  The film is about accepting a life without answers, without healing.  You can read it as an endorsement of grace — or not.  But in your heart of hearts you will receive it as an endorsement of grace.