Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Renewed Spirit For B&C Historical Accuracy

As has been the case over many days this past year-- I spent part of yesterday, exchanging comments concerning a seemingly still vibrant debate, over the reasons why some seem to enjoy entertaining the notions and nuances of unfounded B&C lore-- even though many who do so, may realize these innuendos to be false. Today's forum for this exchange was The Boodles Board.

Somehow I just have to wonder, whether those who play You Bet Their Life-- where some apparently bet on when famous people are going to die-- experience a similar sort of rush if you will, as some of the more extreme B&C rumor driven curious-- when exploring the depths of seedy and unsubstantiated B&C lore?? With some having said it's indeed fun to speculate about such rumor, I don't know-- forgive me, but somehow my mind (perhaps unfairly)-- flashed to You Bet Their Life. The You Bet Their Life website, warns that their form of entertainment can be addictive. I suppose it can. I guess so too, that B&C rumor mills-- can be entertaining and addictive as well.

But with my interest in B&C History-- I just can't support the premise or purpose, in debating the incessant B&C "fluff" with such impassioned fervor. To me, the most heated and divisive of these unenlightened and unrelenting B&C rumor factories-- is You Tube. If you want to be entertained in an odd way, and gain a useful lesson in how "not" to be historically relevant concerning Bonnie and Clyde-- just read the comments, connected to many of the B&C videos posted there. There's "so" much impassioned and utterly nonsensical banter expressed there, that unfortunately-- it doesn't seem worth even considering jumping into that darkened snake pit, to try and affect an overall change in mentality. I've thought about it, but have opted not to-- in avoiding what would likely be an acute "slippery slope" of frustration.

Now granted, many there don't seem to be history driven individuals-- but they are the sort of B&C curious who've also read the books, where some of the most blatantly unfounded B&C rumor has been advanced. A good testimonial to my beliefs, concerning the harmful nature of B&C lore being espoused to no good-- can be found within the You Tube environs, where many quote from B&C books in support of one myth or another!! But before you say, You Tube is not a serious B&C forum-- that may be true, however don't forget the importance of this video behemoth's incredible internet reach. According to Google-- You Tube videos are requested 1.2 "billion" times per day!! And one look at the popularity of some B&C videos, and I'm not sure the point needs driving home any further.


Fortunately, some of the same knowledgeable B&C folks who frequent the B&CHB-- participate on The Boodles Board as well. It now seems, many on Boodles are ready to introduce new threads there-- to tackle a number of B&C books, regarding discerning fact from fiction within B&C History. "Bravo"!! May I recommend as a supplement to your experience here on the B&CHB-- the Boodles link blog right>> Great spot-- great people-- and worthwhile debate concerning B&C. For someone like me, this new energy in support of historical accuracy-- is wonderful and most gratifying news. My thanks to so many, for your dedication and passion for this history.

9 comments:

Nicole said...

Ah You tube- it almost makes you want to block comments on anything posted as inevitably the debate somehow ends up as intelligent as a fight between two five year olds over who stole who's crayons.

But it does trickle through to the masses...scary.

Hey I popped over to Boodles and apparently thier new user sign in is disabled ;( Although I am quite satisfied with the history and topics you write and the discussions on here so I do not feel slighted in the least!

Still waiting for that review! Cheers! (Links to You Tube...)

t o m said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nicole said...

Thanks Tom! I owe ya one, see you over there....

Anonymous said...

I need to check out Boodles, and get back to YouTube. I corrected somebody there recently who said he'd heard that Clyde was gay! (grrr)
Did you also see my post here: http://www.amazon.com/Bonnie-Clyde-Collectors-Warren-Beatty/product-reviews/B0010YVCHU/ref=cm_cr_dp_synop?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending#R1HLWCUGPZW2AH You'll have to forgive any errors on my part, I was trying to pack a lot in and work up some interest in the real history, which is so much more interesting than the sordid rumors and cheap psychological revisions. Barb

Anonymous said...

One defense I keep hearing is that the movie was just entertainment, which is true, but my response is that the real story is dramatically and artistically better (also true). To factor in the Eastham experience and its effects raises Clyde's story to the level of tragedy. He's still a rattlesnake and a thug (and not all Greek tragedy protagonists were good guys either), but he's also someone with deep and often understandable motives who trips himself up. Hamer didn't track them because they insulted him, he was hired to bring them down after the Eastham raid. So, just like in the ancient tragedies, people make choices and bring nemesis upon themselves, often in twisted and surprising ways. The movie looked for pathos in the wrong places. Barb

Lori M said...

Thanks for fixing the Boodles board!

t o m said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I'm not dissing the entertainment value of the movie, and it was a beautifully filmed and internally consistent story, but you bet I'd do it differently. One way to look at drama is, the hero is put into a situation where he (or she) makes a choice. His choice is the climax, the rest of the story (the denoument) follows from there. An example: Antigone decides to defy Creon and give burial rites to a brother who was condemned to lie unburied, the rest of the story follows. I would frame the story as Clyde's youthful goofing around with bad company (including Buck) leads to Eastham (he was probably placed there in error), where he forms the ambition to come back someday and free a bunch of cons. It may have been a sort of folie a deux that kept him and Ralph Fults going for a time. Some of his subsequent criminal career was rehearsing and preparing for the raid. Eventually, he does it - pulls off the raid. And, revenge seems to be his, judging from the success of the raid and the bad PR for the prison system. But, during the raid, Joe Palmer shoots Major Crowson, inspiring someone else to plan revenge on Clyde in return. And another of the breakout beneficiaries: Henry Methvin, who started shooting at Grapevine, and whose family would be instrumental in Bonnie and Clyde's betrayal. See how so much of the story follows the raid. Sure,Clyde freed a bunch of cons - who happened to be impulsive criminals in their own rights, so what did we think he was unloosing to fate? No need for any pop psychology about anybody, no sexual speculation. If anything Bonnie and Clyde's very heterosexual love adds to the pathos, as it will never result in family life. That's how I would frame it. You can do the same with Buck, he comes home from prison with a pardon in his pocket, drives a car he legally owns, and decides to hook up with his fugitive brother in a hideout, and ends up running till he's dead. Again, that one choice changing everything, with the help of unforeseen circumstances (film rolls and documents left in the Joplin apartment) If it were up to me, that's how I'd do it. Barb

Anonymous said...

I'm not discounting the beauty of the movie. It's a Netflix 'watch instantly' and I have enjoyed it (at work!). The visuals are gorgeous, and the portrayal of the bleakness of the times is excellent. It's not like Clyde could've easily gone another way in that era. I'm thinking that my approach might go better as a miniseries, as someone here has suggested. I would have it run an hour a day for a five day week, maybe, and I would not show the Eastham raid until night #4 or so. I would spend a lot of setup time showing their childhoods. Henry and Cumie giving up on farming, the service station, etc. I would find a way to feature Bonnie's old school on Chalk Hill road. Noteworthy how all of them posed for funny pictures in cowboy attire.I would show Bonnie's husband, and the real story of how they met. I would also show more of the gang. I wonder if freeing Raymond Hamilton from Eastham somehow contributed to him ending up in the chair at 21, giving him freedom I mean. I would have illustrated the different eras of the gang - especially the W. D. Jones era vs. the Henry Methvin era, whereas the movie collapsed the two into one. I would play Blanche as younger and more charming than Estelle Parsons did. Blanche also had a very straitlaced upbringing and came along just for Buck, I believe. I would show Snowball and Sonny Boy. Well, I could go on and on about what I'd do, but I am hopeful about the new movie having seen how many more characters have been cast this time around. Looks like we'll get to see the gang. Barb