Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Damning Effects of B&C Lore

I'm a bit surprised, my "sordid" innuendos post hasn't inspired more comment. It's certainly a rare week, and sometimes a rare day-- when someone doesn't key into the blog with the phrase "Clyde Barrow homosexual" or some like reference-- as was the case twice yesterday. Sometimes these thoughts seem so ingrained in people's perceptions. I like to think positively, and feel that most who search for info on B&C, have a genuine interest in sorting out historical fact from fiction. However it seems some are stuck believing in the "storied" accounts of the outlaws-- and thus more keenly fascinated by rumors and lore-- than perhaps in getting closer to the truth.

I guess some feel if suppositions are written of in a book-- that publishing these claims somehow legitimizes them, and makes them true. But in reality, it's not the book that makes words true or false. The accuracy of ideas brought forth for publication, rests almost solely with the author-- and to a lesser extent, with proofreaders prior to a book's release. But with more than 50,000 books published each year, you just know accuracy cannot be assured. You might think a book's factual integrity would be more likely within the historical genre, however based on many past examples-- I'm not sure that can be stated with confidence. But I feel I "can" state with confidence, when an author's view is that "all written history is ultimately best guess"-- as was exclaimed by a now famous B&C author, that I think it's fair to say everything's up for grabs-- and by his own admission, who knows what's true and what isn't??

Thanks in large part to John Toland, this now "45" year fascination, with fallacious B&C sexual theory-- I think proves my point, regarding the dangers of recent baseless innuendo being advanced within B&C books and media accounts. I will continue to add my voice to the cause of protecting B&C History from unproven lore-- which only serves to cloud the truth concerning an already fascinating history. I'm willing to bet, this new wave of B&C supposition now being thought of as fact-- will have the same damning and damaging effect tomorrow, as the Toland offerings which so obviously-- still ring loud and clear today.

Now apparently, some shoddy research and a lack of historical diligence, has impressed upon many that Bonnie was a prostitute-- and Hamer seemingly "finished off" Bonnie, with numerous shots fired directly into her from her right side-- using his powerful Colt Monitor machine rifle. As politely as I can say it-- "none" of those claims can be substantiated, and all of that nonsensical supposition can be rebuked-- by reasonable and existing "evidence"-- which has so conveniently been ignored?? I would say "don't get me going"-- but apparently I already am.

7 comments:

t o m said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A. Winston Woodward said...

I appreciate your kind words Tom. Thank you. Actually blog activity has been good, and was strong for that post. Hopefully complacency hasn't set in, regarding some controversial B&C topics. It seems many more have keyed in spurring on that post, than have commented on it. I find that interesting, and hope to see that change.

Lori M said...

I believe people do tend to believe what they read regardless of the evidence presented (or lack thereof). I've never read the Toland book so I don't know what evidence he presented for his assumptions though nothing I've ever read about B&C supports his assumptions. Same with the Guinn book (which I did read)....poems do not a prostitute make.

Anonymous said...

I have never read anything written by someone who knew them, or written by someone who used as research sources people who knew them, that ever even suggested, much less substantiated, the sordid rumors. And I have read Blanche's book, the book about Ralph Fults, the book about Raymond Hamilton, the reprint of the early book that relied on the accounts of close relatives, and a whole lot more. I believe that modern sensibilities, combined with the speculations of one author, combined with the artistic imagination of a movie director, are what is behind all of this.

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled onto your blog this evening and have proceeded to spend a good hour reading through some well thought out commentary.

Just thought I might tag a bit of opinion...

I find the sexuality topic interesting, but am one who would tend to see much of it as bunk and sensationalist. We want to make people who live outside the law to be "different from the rest of us" and if a guy is messed up enough to drive around shooting cops and robbing banks (ok gas stations) he's got to be some sort of deviant...right? And no "nice" girl is going to hang out with someone like that...

Although we probably will never know the sortid details of thier private lives, (I doubt with the pressure that they were under it was all that torrid) I think it is a humanizing aspect of the story that will continue to interest people.

What I can say with certainty is that anyone who has been on a college road trip with only enough money for one hotel room sees nothing odd about piling three or more people into the same bed....:)

A. Winston Woodward said...

Thanks for your comments and "welcome" to the B&CHB. It seems many who are interested in the "legends" of B&C, are keenly interested in B&C gossip-- including the sexual fodder, even at the expense of historical accuracy. The legends are cool, but many times have little to do with reality.

There "is" a truth to what actually occurred within this history, which is wonderfully interesting unto itself. In helping tell the history of B&C, my goal is to get as close to that reality as possible. That means addressing the old lore, and whenever possible-- to help keep any new lore if unproven, from becoming accepted as fact. I hope you enjoy the blog.

Nik said...

Thanks for the welcome! (My comment above)It is always nice to be acknowledged even online. :) I hope to frequent this blog as it seems that you update pretty regularly.

The "gossipy" topics are always going to keep people hooked- isn't that why the papers gave them such space originally? And nothing hooks people in like sex and violence!

I am really impressed at the lengths you go to for research and completely agree that whatever actually happened is probably more interesting than "sortid innuendo".

So thanks for giving me a forum to bother someone else about my interest in B&C and leave my poor husband alone!!