COMMENTARY | COLUMNISTS | LARRY STIRLING

Raspberries to the hokey ‘Lone Ranger’

“The Hollywood Reporter” is estimating that Disney will lose over $150 million on the release of the film “The Lone Ranger,” directed by La Jolla High phenom Gore Verbinski and starring the entertaining Johnnie Depp.

I saw the movie and was aghast at how dumb a bunch of “smart” Hollywood people can be.

People go to the movies to be entertained, i.e. obtain some diversion from the hurly-burly of our private lives.

We don’t go to the movie to be told that our country, our God and our historic accomplishments are immoral blunders.

My heart bleeds for Disney and the lost 150 million but they deserve it.

The company that America came to rely on to be pro-America, middle-class values, and law-and-order produced instead a film that dissed every one of those values and then some.

No wonder people are staying away in posses.

La Jolla High grad Verbinski started his entertainment career as a member of several punk rock bands that would embarrass Black Sabbath for their crudeness.

He eventually tore himself away from the La Jolla beach “keggers” to attend UCLA film school and then go on to a successful film career culminating in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, which were fun to watch and featured Depp.

I like watching Depp. For a guy that got into movies accidently, he certainly does well.

But if it were not for the then-hot Nicolas Cage getting Depp an extra’s job in his then-current movie, Depp might still be trying to scrape a living out of second-rate garage bands.

The tabloids say that Cage is in deep financial trouble with everyone including the IRS.

I hope Depp will remember his old friend in his time of need.

Too bad about Depp that someone who can play cute cartoon characters in movies thinks he has grounds to hate America, the same America that bore him and made him rich and famous. What does he have to beef about?

He hated us so much that he moved to France and stayed there until … oops, he found out that his fellow socialists there wanted him to pay taxes of all things.

Depp believes in high taxes, just not on him, so he skedaddled home to the hated United States.

Verbinski enjoyed a stellar ride in Hollywood until he directed a supposed update of the “Lone Ranger,” based on an old radio show by that name.

Those of us born last century remember the floor-model radios with the one big dial in the middle and the “Lone Ranger” “from the thrilling days of yesteryear.”

The radio “Lone Ranger” transported us to a time when lawlessness flourished (sorta like now).

Yet in spite of that, one courageous man and a faithful companion named Tonto fought for truth and justice on the Texas frontier.

There were indeed Rangers on the Texas frontier and they did their best to protect the settlers in East Texas from the regular slaughter, cattle rustling and kidnapping that was the way of life of the local Apaches.

And lest you feel that Americans somehow caused natives to act that way, you might want to know they did the same to the Spaniards and the Mexicans and to other Indian tribes for thousands years before any USA gringos showed up on this side of the Atlantic.

The radio Lone Ranger became “Lone” after being left for dead as the result of an ambush.

The radio Tonto supposedly found him and nurtured him back to health and as a result they became “faithful companions.”

Given Hollywood’s current affection for anything gay, I am surprised that the movie director didn’t weave in that subplot too.

The radio Lone Ranger was introduced to our ears via a passage from the “William Tell Overture,” accompanied by the pounding hoofbeats of his horse Silver, and then for some unknown reason shouted: “Hi-Yo Silver … away!!!

Gosh, it still gives me shivers and I haven’t heard the passage since well … last century.

The radio Lone Ranger would then encounter this week’s varmint who was scourging Texans and, through good police work augmented by the frontier wisdom of Tonto, dutifully arrest him and hold him for the circuit judge.

The movie story line revolves around the completion of the first transcontinental railroad.

The leading evil character, though unnamed, is Leland Stanford.

The Stanford character is fat, white, a capitalist, and a praying believer in God. I am surprised they didn’t have a picture of Richard Nixon in his private train car.

And if the “white” indictment is not clear enough, Johnny Tonto Depp articulates the white man’s guilt several times.

In a subsequent interview Depp describes his “adoption” by an Indian family (not the whole tribe) and how he played Tonto as a powerful equal partner to the Lone Ranger.

Actually since Depp was the only talent in the hokey movie, he was the franchise.

Other icons that suffer director Verbinski’s movie-town scorn are: anyone who worked on or supported the completion of the railroad; capitalists (though everyone in Hollywood is) the United States Army; silver miners, but most of all the “white man.”

If the movie were reversed to dis black men or “red” men for that matter, they would burn the country down.

The mistake that both Depp and Verbenski make is my old bugaboo “iconoclasm” defined as dissing others or their values …you know crappy stuff like “The Book of Mormon.”

Iconoclasm is nothing but a cheap joke told at others’ expense.

It’s all good fun until YOU are on the receiving end … white man.

By not meeting expectations, Disney disappointed moviegoers, the worst crime imaginable in entertainment.

We Americans are tired of being the butt of every joke and the subject of every unanswered Muslim demonstration demanding the murder of Americans and the destruction of our country while our government sits around patting its ever fattening ass.

We have to take this crap from our president and the New York Times. We don’t have to pay for more of it with our entertainment dollars.

It is not entertaining, it is maddening.

Go back to France, Depp and take Verbinski with you.

Stirling, a former U.S. Army officer, has been elected to the San Diego City Council, state Assembly and state Senate. He also served as a municipal and superior court judge in San Diego. Send comments to larry.stirling@sddt.com. Comments may be published as Letters to the Editor.

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