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It was a lazy Sunday morning and I was surfing the TV channels looking for some good noise to accompany my breakfast. I came upon a Brad Pitt movie, “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.”
Assassination? Jesse James was a sociopathic moron who killed for money and pleasure. He was wanted by the police for a long list of atrocities, including a string of bank robberies and his role in the guerrilla attacks by Quantrill’s Raiders on civilians and prisoners during the Civil War.
So what does society do? Missouri erects a museum in his honor, portraying him as a latter day Robin Hood who stole from the rich and gave to the poor. People name their kids “Jesse James.”
Several Hollywood actors and members of professional sports teams wear the name proudly. There’s even a Jesse James Sports Bar in Toledo, Ohio.
Why would anyone care how Jesse was killed? The same people who brand Ford as a “coward” somehow neglect to do the same for James.
But this is a common theme for America legacies in crime, psychopathic creeps who rob and murder and then are idolized as folk heroes.
John Hardin. Harvey Logan (Kid Curry). Henry Longabaugh (The Sundance Kid). Robert Parker (Butch Cassidy). Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.
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