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When I was a kid, I used to go to the movies on a Saturday morning. Or, as my late Uncle used to call it, The Flicks. Others called it “ The Pictures “ or “ The cinema” … no matter, we went to see a movie and it cost a shilling.

We would all sit down in our seats, the lights would dim and a movie of a Lady on a horse would appear.  We would stand up for the Lady on the horse and sing about saving the Queen.

Only then could we sit down again and wait for the Lady with the Ice creams to come around. It was magical. The crowded theatre; the Lady on the horse, the lady with the ice creams and the lady with the torch that led latecomers to their seats.

The room would hush as the feature started. A sense of excitement; trepidation and awe as we  allowed our eyes to adjust to the dim within and the curtains to part.  That was a moment of magic to me: the parting of the massive drapery that shielded the screen from view until it was time to behold the wonder of the Flick that would flicker and send us to another world.

I would often stand there, while we stood for the Lady on the horse and wonder how big the sewing machine was that stitched the hems on those massive curtains… how could anyone possibly cut and hang those draperies that parted each Saturday morning to reveal the wonders hidden beyond their folds?

ladyhorse

But I would soon be gathered up in a swirl of enchantment as I discovered that this particular Saturday morning, I would be confronted by an evil cowboy, a rogue rotter or a dastardly dinosaur.

Fortunately, I never worried. Deep down inside, I knew that the good guys would win, but that I had paid a shilling to see the baddies attack the goodies and I needed to get my money’s worth.

And I did.

The baddies would be mean, attack the innocent townsfolk, abduct ( or attempt to attack a wonderful woman ) but the good guy would come along and rescue her and they would ride off in to the sunset together.

Only, after, of course, shooting all the baddies, rescuing the goodies and becoming a hero who, as he rode off with his fair maiden, would be declared a “ mysterious stranger “ who saved their town.

We would all clap, cheer and laugh, boo and hide behind our fingers – yet part those same fingers long enough to glimpse the baddie being very bad and our hero being shot at, kicked and abandoned by doubting townsfolk who had come to believe that the mysterious hero was a fraud.

Yet our hero would forge on, fight for the cynical townsfolk and deliver the body of the baddie to boot hill.

After he had rescued the town and the girl whose dog had been shot by the baddie, he would ride off, with his lady love and the town would be forever safe.

 rstone

The music would play – we would stand up, walk out, pretend to shoot each other with our finger guns and consider it a shilling well spent.

As our eyes adjusted to the daylight, we would be collected by our parents and we would enthusiastically tell them about the Cowboy who rode in to town and saved the people and we stood up for a Lady on a horse.

“ Was it a good flick? “ my Uncle would ask.

Oh, yes, it was.

The baddies lost and the goodies won.

That is all that mattered.  The rest was window dressing. It did not matter how many Indians gathered around their tepees or wagons were in a wagon train; how many little girl’s pet dogs were shot by a baddie from a greedy Governor of a new Western State – we always knew that the baddies would lose and the goodies would win. All because of the cowboy who rode in to town in the nick of time and had a gun with more bullets than a 6 shooter could possibly ever have – we didn’t care.

The goodies always won.

I wonder if this is what is wrong with our kids today?

The goodies aren’t winning in the movies. The “ woke”  are winning.

Why would you go to see a movie today if the goodies aren’t the goodies, the baddies aren’t the baddies and the curtains close on a scene where the little girl’s dog is butchered by rampaging meat eaters; the hero is a butch lesbian riding off to free another farm from animal slavery and the Lady on a horse is Greta Thungberg.

No ice cream ( that is bad for you – any one care for a kale salad? )

No wonder we don’t go to the movies anymore.

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