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At the End of Aryan Time
Sam Finlay and James Discuss a 1970s Update on the Classic Caucasian Hero


There have been a few things that have come down the pike recently that seemed too Lafondian not to touch base and appraise you of them and see how you are.

I got into James Butcher's urban fantasy series The Dresden Files, which led me to one of his favorite authors, Robert Parker. Parker wrote the Spenser for Hire books, as well as the series beginning with the book on which the movie Appaloosa was based. Reading Parker's stuff made me wonder if you'd read them, and if so, what were your thoughts.

If you haven't, the Spenser books revolve around this middle aged ex-boxer/bookworm who works as a private detective in 1970's Boston. The dust is settling on the Sexual Revolution and the culture wars have began to take the shape we currently recognize. He tear-asses around the proto-SJW landscape solving problems. Spenser is unapologetically masculine and has a strong sense of honor, and there are a few times where the women in the story bump up against it, and them trying to understand the male impulse toward it made for amusing reading. At times it seems like Parker's trying to have it both ways; he plays footsie with things like Feminism and whatnot, however, in the end, it's the tough guy Spenser who saves the day. (The cynic in my suspects he could be trying to write a hard-boiled mystery and tap into the 70's female/counterculture audience to sell books; sorta like doing a mystery/romance hybrid. Then again, he could've just been having fun with what he had.) The guy wrote like 40 of them, and I don't know if I'll go past 4, but what I read was fun.

Appaloosa was similar, though set in the Old West. There was a line in which Virgil Cole remarks as he watches this stallion on a hill with his mares: "He's free. He's alive. He goes where he wants. He's got what he wants. All he got to do is fight for it." Seemed like something the Great Khan would appreciate.

-Sam Finlay


Sam, in the 1970s, all I was reading was history, fantasy and science-fiction. I didn't even know such books existed. However, in the 1980s, as I ground my soul away at a menial night job, I found occasion to view a certain TV show as I put on my boots and knife and ate breakfast.

The show was called Spenser for Hire, starring Robert Uric, who I thought was a convincing masculine protagonist, out of time in a sissy age. One episode stands out. Spenser is at an indoor public place, when a man began threatening and/or beating his woman. Spenser steps up and intervenes verbally, to which the man advances on Spenser and gets dropped with what I think was a shovel hook-right combo. I remember that Uric had believable boxing form, which was my primary interest in the character.

Well, it urns out that the man and the woman are running a scam to get Spenser in trouble, are in fact married and the wife is going to testify that Spenser—a pro boxer—brutally assaulted her husband. I had seen this a few times in my life and this section of the story rung true.

Another thing than rang true for me at the moment—and I don't have any idea how faithful this is to the books—is Spenser's black sidekick, Hawk. In fact, that character was so respected among blacks that I know two men who were nick-named after the menacing black man that was Spencer's ally. Hawk is possibly the most realistic magic negro in all of modern film or TV. He was so popular he had his own spinoff series that tanked, titled A Man Called Hawk. Imagine Morgan freedman or Will Smith playing a character in a movie who would say to a white man, "I was out of line."

The idea of two masculine outsiders of different races, helping each other navigate a duplicitous and sissy social scape, mirrored much of my own life at the time.

One day I hope to sample one of these books, Sam.

Breakfast with the Dirt Cult Paperback – October 12, 2012

Son of a Lesser God



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