Saturday, June 6, 2009

B&C History "Controversial" Quotes

Here is installment 2 of "Controversial Quotes. Try this one on for size-- and please offer a response, by clicking on the comments button-- in the white box just below this post. Again, no authorship is revealed or should be revealed, unless by the author if desired. As such, just the quote is offered for your comment. This one was taken from a B&C message board.

"Clyde WASN'T "lazy" though. IF you ever bothered to read about what he actually did and didn't do prior to busting Henry out of Eastham, you'd know this. He was a capable hard worker, but his efforts to do right were thwarted one too many times. I don't think he "felt the world owed him something" at all, except maybe a chance to succeed honestly, but he was denied this opportunity. And "no morals"?! Oh please, get real here. Clyde had plenty of morals - and integrity. He was fiercely loyal to those he loved and cared for, but he hated rats. He gave money to strangers in need, and he treated his hostages with kindness and never harmed any of them. He was not motivated by greed; he gave most of his money away. He hated the oppressors, but showed great compassion for those who didn't have it so good. Are you not familiar with that concept at all?"


Anonymous said...

some of this i can agree with, exept his treatment to some of his hostages he kidnapped. clyde did like to intimidate people, and he scared stone and darby half to death. i don't think he ever ment to hurt them, but they didn't know that. they thought they would be killed. mental torture is sometime's as cruel as physical torture. and yes, i beleive clyde gave away most of the money he stole. he had some good quality's about him i'm sure, but nevertheless, he was a dangerous outlaw.

A. Winston Woodward said...

As I've previously responded to this specific statement elsewhere, for the benefit of those within this forum-- I will briefly provide my take on this quote. To me, common sense among those who believe in God and respect their fellow men and women, would dictate-- that having upstanding morals and integrity, are not attributes of one who was ultimately responsible for more than a dozen murders.

Loving and being devoted to your family is a wonderful thing. But killing members of other people's
families, to leave these many unions husbandless and fatherless I would think, easily outweighs Clyde's love for his own. And how many murders Clyde himself was responsible for is irrelevant. As the leader of The Barrow Gang, in my view, Clyde was culpable for all murders committed by himself, or members of "his" gang while on his watch.

By most accounts it "does" appear, that B&C had a soft spot for the poor-- as they themselves came from these meager roots. Thus their generousity to those in need, was most admirable. However, in total, I find this particular statement hard to defend. I believe it overly heavy in praise for Clyde, where in reality, praise within "this" focus is hard to justify.

When Clyde came out of Eastham-- very little time passed, with his exhibiting an honest effort, before Clyde was at the wheel in the Bucher robbery and murder. Apparently, going back to his old ways was more desirable, than carving out an honest life after prison. Yes, there were hints of a change-- and no, the law wasn't in the business of making it easy
for Clyde. But in the end, it seems Clyde expended the most effort-- in going back to his old ways and quickly, and as a result-- a positive change, was not to be.

A. Winston Woodward said...

I wanted to add, I consider the author of this quote to be a friend. Even so, I don't usually find myself agreeing with her overly impassioned and zealous defense of B&C-- often focused on scapegoats and broadly stroked rationalizations in their defense.

I'm not so sure, that if B&C were alive to comment, that even they would necessarily agree with the numerous excuses attributed to them by some. To me, a more balanced and as mentioned centrist view of this history, is likely closer to the truth.

There were some hard realities both in the times in which they lived-- and within B&C themselves-- which all likely combined, to result in this history as we know it. I also believe these were more complex individuals, than may ever be revealed. I like being more within the center point of view myself-- rather than too far removed one way or another. The idea of "balance" is an important view within my life in general-- as it surely is, in considering the history of Bonnie and Clyde.

Anonymous said...

Clyde was a lazy, selfish. egomaniac. He never even tried to go straight; he was so lazy. Why work when you can just take? His parents are to blame for not beating his and buck's ass when they were little beginner crook wannabes.
Clyde killed Bonnie. Clyde killed Buck. Burn in hell

Anonymous said...

i'm sorry, but the last comment was a riot. clyde killed bonnie? i dont think so. bonnie could have left clyde anytime she wanted, clyde even tried to get her to, but she would not leave him. clyde killed buck? i dont think so. let me ask you, do you buy that story of buck wanting to find clyde after he got out of eastham to try to talk clyde into surrendering? i dont think so! buck knew what he was doing, and i think it was his intention to make a little "easy" money with clyde for awhile. as far as the burn in hell comment,(here it comes) i dont think so!!

Anonymous said...

It was Clyde's fault Bonnie died. it was Clyde's fault Buck died. I guess it is an abstract sort of blame that your smoke addled brain can not comprehend.

Make excuses for Clyde. Nothing was ever his fault.

Take away his stolen guns and what is left? A rat faced, lazy; trashy sawed-off punk that culdnt fight his way out of a wet paper bag.

burn in hell

Anonymous said...

did i ever say that clyde was mr nice? or anything to that degree? like i said, clyde did NOT kill bonnie, he did NOT kill buck. he DID do a LOT of rotton, lowdown, and horrible thing's, but DONT blame him for something he DID NOT do. and,BTW, in your reply, you act as you know me. i dont think so. or you would know i DO NOT smoke.

A. Winston Woodward said...

After just posting my take on why civility is necessary elsewhere, in commenting on B&C-- I would ask please, that the same hold true here. So far-- so good. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

People are complex, not any one thing or trait, and Clyde was no exception. All people tend to unconsciously accept arbitrary limits that affect their lives. You can see it everywhere: people who stay too long in bad jobs or relationships, people who don't consider alternatives, who rule out college or different careers, who stick or return to a beaten path. Clyde would have had better luck making a new life after Eastham in an area where he was not known, because the dissemination of criminal records was crude and limited compared to what it is today. But, his attachment to family and friends (NOT a negative trait) helped to thwart him here. Ditto his very real love for and loyalty to Bonnie (a GOOD trait) as it mixed with her similar attachment to kin and hometown. Clyde could turn out good quality, honest work given the chance, and the targets of their robberies typically produced so little cash that he had to keep going, keep robbing just to eat. I often get the impression that he put as much effort - and had to put as much effort - into his criminal career as an honest living would have cost him, even during the Depression. Another aspect of his upbringing cost him dearly - the farmer's lax attitude towards formal education. As a result, Clyde's thinking was short term, and he seems to have had problems with abstractions and long term planning. But povery does that to people. I went through an episode of life-threatening poverty (during divorce litigation) and I can tell you, your horizons shrink and everything seems too uncertain for any constructive planning. It's easy to criticise in hindsight - Clyde and Bonnie got ample education according to the standards of their place and time. But if he had been born maybe 10 years latter, we might be reading about him as a WW II hero today, and he might have come back and utilized GI Bill benefits .... We should not underestimate the damage of the Eastham experience. Such abuse tends to make people mean, cynical, and cause them to sometimes lose control of their emotions as a result of triggers that might not throw you or me. Clyde sometimes acted impulsively or negligently, and people around him died. He may not have always pulled the fatal trigger, but was at least guilty of what we now call 'felony murder' even then. He was also very young, and having sons in their teens and 20s has been tricky at times for me nowadays. They need urging, sometimes intervention, to keep them on constructive paths when life wallops them. My youngest was victimized by a hit and run driver, and was almost lost to a criminal career himself as a result of the pain and cynicism in the wake of that incident, but we got him back and it is now long in the past. Clyde's parents did the best they knew how, and got socked by the collapse of cotton prices, the boll weavil, and the Great Depression. It's striking to see how much better the older Barrow kids did than the younger ones.