Friday Firesmith – Execution

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Connecticut just became the seventeenth state to abolish the Death Penalty, but as I understand it there are two men they want dead first. Those two men may or may not be executed, but many people inside the legal system have given up on trying to beat the appeal process and tossed in
the towel not to moral or ethical issues, but that of red tape.

My support of execution is a personal issue. I lived in South Georgia during the Alday Murders and Kimberly Leach lived just over an hour from where I live now. A close friend of mine was murdered in the 80’s, and I cannot help but feel the world would be a safer place if there were fewer people out there who were willing to kill other people for the fun of it.

The “Deterrent Argument” states that the threat of execution does not deter crime. After his execution in 1986, Theodore Bundy did not kill or mutilate anyone else. He had escaped from prison to go on his last killing spree, but Old Sparky put an end to the threat of his escape, and the end to his killing.

I do think the way execution is handled in my home state of Georgia, and the United States is flawed, perhaps fatally flawed, and as such, it is more or less some sort of bizarre game of chance as to who we kill, why we kill them, and even sometimes, how we kill them. There are so many appeals people have died of old age waiting to be killed. Our recent Georgian adventure in the death penalty saw Troy Davis die with a tsunami of conflicted witnesses and last second appeals and drama than a high school girl’s bathroom.

We have to do better than that if we are to call execution justice. If we cannot, then we should not.

At this time there are a half dozen or so human beings that I would gladly see die. Charles Manson would be one of those people. Billy Isaacs would be another. Oddly enough, however, I do not think we did ourselves any favors by the execution of Timothy McVeigh. There are more to that bombing than just one man, and he went to the grave with that secret.

The legal system is broke. Execution is not helping any of the problems facing the justice system and we spend more money trying to kill people than we do keeping them alive forever. I think there are crimes so heinous the punishment ought to be death, swift and clean. But we cannot seem to be swift and the process cannot at all be called clean.

The crimes they commit preclude any act of humanity being offered to them but the sheer stupidity in how we wrangle our laws of punishment ought to preclude the presumption we know well enough when to pull the trigger, any more than they did.

If we cannot kill people in a more civilized fashion we ought to stop doing it altogether.

Take Care,


Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith – How Not To Get Attacked By A Dog

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Let’s say you are a two hundred pound man in reasonable health and under the age of thirty, but over the age of twenty. Another man in a bar walks up to you and tells you he’s going to kill you. You haven’t any military training and don’t have a weapon, but this guy weighs a hundred pounds soaking wet. No problem, right?

Now suppose this one hundred pound guy is a German Shepherd, which isn’t by far the worst dog you could be facing right now. The bad thing is an untrained man getting into an all-out fight with an untrained dog in a situation where the man is going to have to win quickly because it isn’t doing you a bit of good to win after five or ten minutes of intense fighting and then bleed out, which trust me, if you get into an all-out fight with a hundred pound dog, you are going to bleed a lot. This may come to a shock to you but dogs bite. They bite hard and often if they’re fighting. And the human body isn’t built to be bit.

But let’s minimized the damage, shall we?

Never run from a dog. They run at least, at the very minimum, twice as fast, as you. A Greyhound can go from zero to forty-five in two strides. You can’t do that in a car. If you run from a dog and that dog catches you then the dog will grab you by your leg and twist as he pulls you in a direction different from that direction you were going before you got dog bit. At the point of bite, the teeth are going to sink into your flesh and tear it, but even worse than that, the momentum and mass of your body is being used by the dog to maximize the damage. If you are to win this fight, or survive it, you have to stay upright.

Do. Not. Run.

Likely, you are somewhere the dog simple wants you to leave. It doesn’t really matter because most of the dogs you see aren’t going to do more than make noise, but hey, if you leave all is well. Back away slowly. Speak softly to the dog and avoid eye contact. If you can lay your hands on something that you can use as a club, do it, but do not leave yourself exposed by reaching too soon. If the dog keeps pressing keep backing away. Watch the dog’s body posture because it will tell you everything.

When a dog charges you can run and get bit. You can stand your ground and that works better than 99% of the time. Or, if you really feel like the standing your ground might not work, try this, and there’s a couple of conditions to this, by the way. The first is if you are afraid of the dog nothing you do is going to intimidate him. I’m not afraid of dogs and I’ve done this to many a charging dog, just to see it work. Drop to one knee, stick out your left hand, and say very loudly and very strongly, “COME HERE!” The dog sees you as a threat and he doesn’t want to do anything you want him to do and you just told him to come. So he has to stop. Brakes smoke and suddenly, he’s confused, wait, I was, no, he said, hold on…Worse, if you do this and that look on his face makes you laugh he realizes he’s been had and that really screws up his head.

Oh, and if it doesn’t work?

Your leg muscle is the most potent weapon you own. When the dog gets close enough bring your knee off the ground and forward. I caught a dog under his chin with this and it damn nearly broke my knee. It did knock him silly. I kicked him twice in the ribs with my good leg and that stopped the attack. If you get into a fight with a dog remember they are morale based creatures. If you score a point, no matter how small, press the attack. Don’t get cocky. Let the dog retreat if you can, but do not allow him to regroup and attack again.

If a dog is running at you and it stops, and looks back, relax. When a dog looks back it is looking for back-up and it believes it needs back-up if it looks for it. Most dogs are more afraid of you than you are of them, and if you show no fear that puts them off. Most dogs see humans are friends and bringers of food and pettings. Most dogs are merely saying something they think needs to be said, and if you charge a dog most of them will run. If they don’t…?

Look for a club, did I mention that? Kicking at an attacking dog uses the best of what you have but it also might cause the dog to become attached to your leg. If you go down to the ground you have trouble you have not known. In that case, keep your face away from the dog’s face, and try to use your legs against him. If you have to, and this is something you do when all else had failed and you think you may be truly screwed, ram your hand down his throat. You might lose the hand if the dog is big but when a dog has you on the ground you’re about half done. Remember to get that club.

If you think that soft talking the dog isn’t helping, and you have a stick, or a bat, or something, yes, a club, then scream. Draw attention to yourself. Yell “NO!” at the dog because most people teach as dog that word. Take the stick and bang it on the ground in front of you, a foot or so, and let the dog start thinking that is your strike range. Wait until it comes close enough and charge at it, aim at the head, and scream. The dog will realize you’ve tricked him and that causes confusion. Keep backing away from the dog but …DO…NOT…RUN.

If this is a trained police dog then lie on the ground and be still. The cops will come rescue you from the dog. A trained dog can and will beat a trained human being. If you are armed you may consider shooting the dog but the law enforcement officers who trained and love the dog will take umbrage at this. Firing at the unarmed dog, fierce as he may be, will cause cops to shoot you dead. If there are dog people around they will shoot you too. If there are cop people around, hell, they’ll shoot you too, and send their dogs to eat what’s left. Trained dogs are a sign you should lie down and reconsider your recent actions and those in your immediate future. I wouldn’t run from them either, by the way.

Most dog attacks are dogs telling strangers they are too close. Respect a canines personal space and you have little to worry about. Respect the space they share with their humans. Look at how a dog is standing. Is the hair on his back standing up? Ears back or up? Watch how he moves; is he standing still and barking or is he moving back and forth like a shark? Are you close to children the dog might think you are a threat to for some reason? Everything you need to know about a dog he will tell you by how he holds his body.

Sometimes you have to be a fast reader.

Most dogs are, or were at one point, a pet. They like being touched and petted but do not put your face, or let your kids put their faces, near the business end of a strange dog unless you know dogs in general well and that dog in particular well. Respect their space. They will be more than happy to let you in as soon as you show them you’re okay. This might take .00001 seconds for most dogs.

Treat a strange dog with respect. Treat that dog with kindness. Treat that dog as the long lost friend he or she just might be. Open your heart open to the possibility of family, forever, and you will have done 99.999999% of all you need to do to prevent a dog attack.

Take Care,


Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Mike’s Movie Review – In Time

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I’ve started many more works of fiction that I have finished and sometimes you just have to know when to say when. If it isn’t working them just shelve it for a while and then come back to it later, right? Also, I’m all in for weird coincidences. Now, the last time we gathered here for a movie review, Olivia Wilde was in the cast, and lo! Here she is again. The name of the movie is “In Time” and it stars Justin Timberlake along with Wilde, and oh no, now it’s getting goofy, because there is also Amanda Seyfried along for the ride and all three of them were in a movie titled “Alpha Dog”.

Considering that in “Alpha Dog” Wilde plays Timberlake’s lover and in “In Time” she plays his mother, well, damn, you see where this has some oddness before the opening credits, don’t you? Bringing these three together again is a distraction the movie doesn’t need.

The premise of the movie is everyone on earth has so much time left to live, but can buy, steal, or be given more time. Time is a currency and you use up your time in life to get things like food and bus passes. When your time runs out you die. Everyone is frozen at twenty-five years old so no one grows old but there are those rich enough to live forever, at the expense of course, of those with less time. It’s a classic class warfare with a timely twist and there is nothing wrong with the plot.

Oddly, Timerlake isn’t half bad. Wilde has a bit part and she is wasted in it, but there is real chemistry between Timberlake and Seyfried and they do a good job of selling their characters. Cillian Murphy plays an interesting yet undeveloped character, as does Vincent Kartheiser. But the story is more or less carried by Timberlake and Seyfried, and carried better than I expected, until about an hour before the movie ended. It is as if the writers got to a certain point and then had no idea what to do next, and that is just about where Timberlake and Seyfried begin to falter.

The sad thing about this all is the movie was looking good for about an hour. The plot has some interesting twists. There was the class warfare thing and the dialog is filled with such gems as “gotta minute?” which suddenly means a lot more when time is literally the money everyone uses to live. The concept of everyone on earth being twenty-five or younger is an odd but intriguing treat. A man one hundred and five years old looks twenty-five. A woman celebrates being twenty-five for the twenty-fifth time on her fiftieth birthday. Time is stolen, wasted, and borrowed, but this time, no pun intended, it is real.

“In Time” won’t satisfy an action movie buff’s need for action, and it won’t serve up as good science fiction and it lacks enough drama to be a dramatic film and it just doesn’t carve out its own territory. While not a waste of time, “In Time” doesn’t isn’t worth the time it takes to drive downtown to see it. Rent it and enjoy your time.

In Time (2011)  –  PG-13

Take Care,


Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Friday Firesmith – Liar

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The story captivated Georgia. A Pizza Delivery guy sees a young woman, naked, in handcuffs and gagged, lying behind a sofa. She motions to him to call 911 and after he leaves, a desperate call for help goes out. The police arrived and arrest the monster, save the woman, and the pizza guy is a hero. The monster, while in jail, is fired from his job, divorced from his wife and held without bail.

Back in Blakely Georgia, the young woman’s hometown, there are some glances being exchanged from the people who once knew her. She had set several fires in the bathrooms of churches she once attended, and she had this odd habit of being caught up in all sorts of drama all the time. Why, she even accused a man of raping her.

Meanwhile, back in Atlanta, there are some odds things beginning to surface. It seems these two not only knew one another but phone records show a lot of contact between the two before the incident. A surveillance video shows the man’s car parked at a gas station with the woman in the front seat, clearly unbound and ungagged, alone and waiting for him to come out of the store. She seems to be trying to hide, somewhat, like a woman dating a married man would. Before it was all said and done, the man’s story of him dating a much younger and much more insane
woman turned out to be true.

No one knows why on earth this woman decided to do this. It could very well be she wanted to end the relationship and you have to admit, this would be a way to final it out, forever. No one knows why she set fires in the trash cans in churches. No one knows why she liked being handcuffed and gagged during sex, but that has nothing at all to do with the rest of the story, but it will assure her that anyone who ever asks her out again will know what to expect.

And now we have the mother of seven who claimed to have a winning lottery ticket and she wasn’t sharing with anyone. Wow! Talk about an ice breaker! So the media buys into this, the public wants to know more, but there isn’t a ticket. The woman gets a lawyer, he calls a press conference, and tells people to leave her alone she’s tired of the attention. You call a press conference to tell people you don’t want attention. The most memorable quote so far is “ I didn’t make up no story to get no attention” Yet she at one point claim to have hidden the ticket in a McDonalds and then claimed to have lost the ticket. The fifteen minute ticker on this lady has just about closed. But maybe some magazine will offer her money to pose nude like the
Octomom. She can be the Lottomom.

So why would anyone claim to be a rape victim when thirty seconds of thought would have led to some serious doubts about long term belief of the story? You can, in fact, have an affair with a man, engage in kinky sex, and still be raped by the man, but you can’t make up a story about being abducted and then show up at a gas station trying to hide your face. Why would a woman make up a story about a lottery ticket if she didn’t have one? Of course, the attention might be good for a few minutes but sooner or later this gig will end and no one in their right mind is going to hire you.

Write fiction if you have the urge to make up stories, but don’t take anyone down with you when you go.

Take Care,


First rape story here:

The truth:

The Lottomom:


Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith – Children and LSD; In Public

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I am not a people person. I am not a child person. For me, the logic in having children totally escaped me, and it still does. I do know people whose lives are magical and joyful because they have kids, but I also know people whose lives are magical and joyful because they do LSD. I don’t do LSD either, by the way, and for those of us who do neither children nor hallucinogens, I would like to have a word with those of you who do.

If you are going to do strong drugs that make you scream or weep or reasonably demand things in your loudest voice, then perhaps LSD isn’t a drug you are much suited for, and you should stick to Sangria or perhaps you should smoke pot. If you have trouble controlling your bodily functions or your ability to discern when you are annoying other people when you’re stoned out of your mind, perhaps you should have stayed at home and not gone to a restaurant after all.

Now, for those of you with children.

Oh, you saw it coming a mile away, didn’t you? What? Really? How can that be?

The reality of the situation is in my lifetime I can count on my thumbs how many times stoned people have done anything at a restaurant that wasn’t at least mildly amusing, but not socially unacceptable.  A guy I knew was tripping fell over laughing and couldn’t stop, but that was during Spring Break, in Panama City Beach, and it was the 70’s.

Now, let’s review the activity of the two groups of people involved here:

Since the 70’s, how many times in a restaurant has a child begun to cry or scream and not stopped until there was at least one person in the building ready to pony up enough money for a vasectomy right there on the spot, with a butter knife and a shot of tequila as emergency ER tools?

I went out with a friend for lunch today and they had to put an infant in a wooden stool with a seat on it in the middle of the aisle. For course, the child began some high pitch wailing and would not stop. Because of the chair placement we had to either push the child towards the table, and towards its rightful parents, we assumed, or we had to walk all the way around the restaurant to the other door, cut across the parking lot, and finally make good our escape.

There was no hope of enjoying a meal with someone who was short on years but long on tears.

I blame the parents. If your kid is kicking up that kind of fuss in public then get the hell out.  Take the kid to the car, take the kid to an adoption agency, take the kid to Afghanistan and the terrorists will run fleeing from that place.

I rather sit next to a table where someone is looking at his hand and all zoned out than next to a six month old whose voice is pushing people to leave the building rather than sit through another long wail.

Take Care,


Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith – No Love For The Burmese Python

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One of these days we’ll talk about how to avoid being attacked by a dog, but that isn’t something most dog owners think about very much. I have mutts of some size and I’ve learned, the hard way, to start training puppies when they are still puppies. You can, in point of fact, teach an old dog new tricks, but it is a hell of lot easier to start them out right. And it’s less painful. My youngest dog, Lucas, at three years old and at over one hundred pounds, still has a lot of puppy in him. He’s rough and rambunctious because we play hard at my house. But when I tell him to stop he stops cold. When I tell him to sit he sits and if I tell Lucas to stay he will be right there
when I get back.

In my life I have owned dozens of snakes. I’ve never owned an exotic snake before, and never saw much of a need to go out and get something I couldn’t release back into the wild where I found it. Snakes are cool animals and they are interesting, but they are not pets. Snakes recognize three things in other animals, and three things only; those things that are edible, those things that consider snakes edible, and those things that are breeding material. The very best you can hope for in a snake is that it excludes you from all three categories and you become part of the background noise of the universe.

The problem is snakes are not trainable. No, wait, that is a problem, but the biggest problem is they flat do not give a damn about your life. You live, you die, to the snake it isn’t like he’s losing a pal here. A one hundred pound snake is a creature that is exceedingly dangerous. Not because it is likely to kill you but because it is not likely to care if you’re dead. A one hundred pound Burmese python can kill an adult human being and unless you know what you’re doing and you do it fast, you’re going to be dead.

In snake, no one can hear you scream.

A large constrictor may not view you as food but it may just be trying to get you away from it. It may have a bad day. It may be asleep and you startled it. The point here is there is no reason to keep a python. Sure, there are smaller species that cannot kill you but why? Why devote time to an animal who won’t ever love you when you can rescue a stray and you will be loved for it? Pythons belong in the wild as do all snakes. Dogs belong with someone, and maybe someone like you. The current infestation of Burmese pythons in Florida is a very wicked reminder these animals owe us nothing. I love snakes, really I do. But snakes are not pets, and pythons can be

Take Care,



Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith – The Best Laid Plans

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So a friend of mine has a wife that is a nurse, and one of her friends just hit thirty and the biological clock began to tick quite loudly for the woman, who we will refer to as Brenda. As a nurse she works sixty hours a week and does some weekend shifts so her social life consists of
falling asleep with her cat sleeping on top of her. Someone pointed out that one of the guys who works with Brenda, the socially inept Jim the radiologist, who has shown irrational interest in
Brenda from the beginning and is rather an idiot, isn’t a bad looking guy, and the pictures of his young children, well, the little girl looks a lot like Brenda. His ex-wife left him for a member of her own species, but as someone points out to Brenda, Jim has been used to good effect as a sperm donor before. A plan is hatched, no pun intended.

Brenda tells Jim she wants a kid but not him, and he tells her he’s all for it, and so they begin meeting at her place after work for fertilization. She takes a few shots of tequila, thinks about
George Clooney, and prays Jim falls asleep sooner than later, so she can go sleep on the sofa with the cat.

This goes on for the better part of six or seven months with no pregnancy and Brenda is beginning to get used to the idea that Jim is better than nothing, even if he can’t remember to leave the seat down. She actually goes off with him for a weekend of fun and fertilization and her friends rolls their eyes at him, but Brenda is liking the idea of her kids looking like Jim’s kids more and more.

So Brenda is in the ER pulling a shift one day and lo! Jim’s ex comes in with one of the kids, the little girl in fact, who has stepped on a piece of glass and needs a couple of stitches. Brenda, unwilling to tell the woman about the future half brother or sister the little girl might have soon, hopefully, begins to get a complete medical history about the little girl from the mother with sly questions beginning, “Now on her father’s side of the family…” So Brenda begins to learn that Jim comes from a healthy family and in fact, never went to a doctor at all until he had the vasectomy.

Updates as available.

Take Care,



Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.


Friday Firesmith – The Best Of …

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I remember when I traded some bottom of the barrel dreck I had let my older sister talk me into buying for an eight track tape from Jethro Tull called “The Best of Jethro Tull MU” which later became the “The Best Of Jethro Tull Vol. 1” This came out in 1975 or 1976 and it wasn’t a bad start for a budding Tull fan. Forgive me for saying so, but there wasn’t a whole lot of Tull to get excited about after that. The next two or three albums were okay, and then after that, after “The Best of Volume 2” came out, there was a flurry of “Boxed sets” and “Remastered Hits” and “The Definitive Collection Of Jethro Tull For The Person Who Will Buy Anything With The Right
Name On It”.

Really, now. How many times can the band’s close- to–  breaking- into- the- mainstream–  hit, “Aqualung” be put on a CD and someone buy it? I’m willing to be there could be an entire CD with nothing on it but the same old Aqualung song, but taken from the different collections. It’s the same old song, but toss it in with the other five or six well known tracks and three or four slightly less known tracks, and call it a collection.

“Best of” is usually a death knell for a band or an artist. This isn’t always true, but look at where Sheryl Crow has gone since her first “Best Of” collection. The next step in the career of a band or artist is the coffin called “The Boxed Set” which is usually two or three of the great albums, one or two minor works, and then the Best Of Series and an unplugged version of their greatest hit(s). This is normally packaged in some cardboard box that looks like an amp or a speaker, or maybe a musical instrument, but inside is everything you already own, or did before you traded up for something new. Oh, and if you’re a fan of the band Motorhead, their boxed set will cost you six hundred bucks.

Alanis Morissette re-released her “Jagged Little Pill” CD as an acoustic attempt and it was the equivalent of someone going after the pennies tossed into a fountain. There wasn’t anything new there and most of the songs, which were ten years old by that time, sounded less alive when sang by a woman desperately trying not to slip into total obscurity. She is one of my favorite singers, by the way, but that doesn’t mean she’ll make a living redoing what she has already done before.

Don McLean, was still touring the last time I checked, as are many of the once famous one hits wonders, and aging rockers. They started out small, grew large, and now, like McLean, they’re loading a guitar in the back of a rented car and going from small college to small college for a couple of hundred bucks a night, to relive the legend.

Rock and roll is a fickle thing. Fame is even worse. But fans will still pay to see the past, and to listen to it, so there will always be some balding and gimpy rocker taking the stage for a pittance, and for those who really have to hear “Aqualung” one more time… the band is one tour again.

So, fess up…who is your favorite dead in the water band you’d still pay to go listen to, even if they are lip synching and wearing sequined Depends?

Take Care,



Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith on Sunday Morning

Daylight-savings-time-2009When you woke up this morning you were an hour late. We have time pieces now that are accurate to a rate that we can time just how little we have to do by inventing timepieces to time it. Okay, that aside, we’re now playing with the clock in the manner in which we are, because of a man who once lived in a time when a letter, an important letter, let’s say, a letter that could have stopped the Battle Of New Orleans, didn’t make it to where it was going for over six weeks. And it arrived quickly by the standards of the time.

Once was, if someone in England wanted to declare peace across the Atlantic, more than a month or two might go by. If the ship sank, or was blown off course, then the message might have to be late, declared really late, someone would send a message asking if the war was over, it would take two months to get there, two months would go by before there was an answer, and if there was a storm…

These days you can send the message, “peace is gr8 lol” in less time than it takes to figure out text speak.

Less and less we are a people ruled by time in the manner in which we once were. There are fewer people whose life depends on the light of day. There are fewer people who care if it is night. There is an overabundance of artificial light all the damn time so it doesn’t really matter what time it is. Yet here we are. It’s Sunday morning and Benjamin Franklin’s ghost haunts us still.

“Spring Forward” is here, and come Monday morning, this is really going to suck.

I live with the better part of three hundred pounds of tame wolf. “Domesticated” is a relative term. These are three dogs I have trained to go to bed at a certain time and to wake up at a certain time. Now, I have to explain to them time has changed. Oh, and it is damn near a full moon. The dogs drink in moonlight like it’s water and they go a little wooly when the moon is up.

So Monday morning when I should be asleep the alarm clock will go off, startling the mutts into a frenzy. Anything new is something to get excited about, and what was once our normal time to arise is now about the time I’ll be heading to work. The dogs, in their confusion will want to confer with me on the matter, which means while I am trying to get ready to go to work, they’ll be underfoot. People going to work will be weird because they will be late. People at work will be snarky. I’ll get home an hour early and find the dogs cooking up meth in preparation for the full moon howlings. Or at least I’ve always suspected they do this. In the meanwhile, there will not be more sunlight, or less sunlight than there was the day before, or the day after, except that which occurs naturally, as it has since the beginning of time.

The dogs are in tune with this. Is there any reason we can’t be without playing with the clock?

Take Care,


Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Mike’s Movie Review – Cowboys and Aliens


Firesmith Movie ReviewSomewhere in Hollywood, some guys for together and pooled up enough money to get both Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig in the same movie, and offer them both enough so neither would ask what the movie was about. Then these guys called a bunch of other actors, none of them particularly well known, and asked them if they would like to be in a movie with Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig. Of course, the only catch was they all had to wait until they signed a contract
before they found out what the movie was about…

“Cowboys and Aliens”

Wait, wait, hear me out, please, come back, no, really, I wasn’t kidding, no, really.

Imagine the Terminator saying, “Happy trails to you.”

The last western I saw and liked was “The Quick and the Dead” but only because I once thought Sharon Stone was beautiful and not a bad actress all. Then I saw “The Muse” and that ruined Stone for me, forever and ever. On the other hand, give me a movie with an alien and I’m pretty much hooked. I like Sci-fi. And really, if you are ever going to sit down and watch a movie and have some pretty low expectations, “Cowboys and Aliens” will pretty much fill that space in a hurry.

The story is set in the old west, post Mexican War, and there is a dying little town with a petty cattle baron running it. A mysterious stranger shows up with an odd bracelet he can’t take off, and the two forces collide. Just as the battle is about to begin, Aliens show up with lassos and all hell breaks loose.

Don’t worry about any spoilers because this is “Cowboys and “Aliens”.

Harrison Ford seems lost in the movie. He never truly steps into his character and he would have been a good match for the part. But his acting isn’t what it could be, and that’s a shame, because believe it or not, the movie isn’t half bad.

Daniel Craig plays his character wonderfully, as much as he can, and Olivia Wilde of “House” proves she can step away from 13 and play with the big boys. These two have some chemistry, and there is a dog and a kid. You can’t go wrong with a dog and a kid, usually, and somehow, you always expect the dog to be an alien, but that never happens, and I thought that was clever.

“Cowboys and Aliens” is a gutsy attempt at the juxtaposition of Wild West and Sci-fi that hasn’t been tried since “Serenity” came to the scene, and that in fact was a good movie, in my opinion. But this took us back to the west, not forward in time, and at one point, after a chase scene that bordered on the truly absurd, Craig’s character says, “We were flying!” and you remember that we humans didn’t start that until much later and that also, was a nice touch.

Generally speaking, interaction with Aliens capable of intergalactic travel will not look like “Star Wars” or “Star Trek” or anything else we imagine it will, and it will very likely look like all of that, too. “Cowboys and Aliens” is a fun little movie for those of us who like this sort of thing, and I’m betting most people will like it a lot more than they will admit to. Craig carries the film, but Wilde is more than just a pretty face, and the Aliens look scary as hell, kinda, sorta, okay. Cowboys and Aliens delivers above the expectations, not that you would be surprised either way.

Oh, and Wilde in a prairie dress with a six gun strapped to her hip? Priceless.

Take Care,


Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.