Betty has a new piece up at the Huffington Post that looks at the macho cowboy image of past presidents and the new model set forth by President Obama and his wife, Michelle:
Here’s an excerpt:
The Inauguration of our new Chief this January has miraculously, it would seem, inaugurated a shift in movie genre. Instead of watching a loner whacking brush at the Crawford Corral, most of the nation watched endless reruns of a couple in black and white dancing. Slow dancing. “Old-style,” as President Obama said. In their formal wear, Barack and Michelle looked “like a wedding couple,” as many said.
They looked like Fred and Ginger, who first sang “Pick yourself up, dust yourself off” in Swing Time in 1936 to lighten our hearts in the middle of the first Great Depression. Maybe the true reason movie musicals took off in the Depression was not that they provided escapist fantasy but rather something real — an assertion of values based on neither power nor money but on the hope of togetherness, two by two.
Musicals depended on a romance between men and women, not just the buddyhood of guys with guns. Musicals were by definition inclusive of the very things Westerns typically excluded — gender other than male, race other than white, a community larger than a man and his horse.