Gut Rumbles

March 22, 2005


I've kept my television tuned to "The Western Channel" for the past day and a half. They show a lot of "Gunsmoke" reruns on there, the old black-and-white episodes that I watched as a boy. Matt Dillon was my hero back when those stories first aired, but I look at his character today with different eyes.

Between yesterday and today, I counted 16 people that Matt Dillon killed. Festus threw two more into the body count. Stop and think about that for a moment.

James Arness was EXCELLENT as Matt Dillon, except for one thing. He never had the eyes of a killer. Anybody who shot as many people as he did could not sleep well at night unless he was a complete robo-cowboy, with no sense of conscience or regret. But Matt obviously was an intelligent man. How do you reconcile what he did with how he looks?

I can't. I know that it was just a TV show and I'm silly for waxing all existential about it, but a man who killed that many people, even if they DID need killing, had to think about it sometimes. I could do it, but I would have bad dreams about it afterward. Matt has the face of someone who sleeps like a baby.

That's my only complaint about Gunsmoke, which was the best western ever to appear on television. Matt Dillon just doesn't appear tortured enough to suit me. He didn't have haunted eyes.

Plus, he should have been banging the shit out of Miss Kitty every night.


What about Chuck Conners, The Rifleman? If strangers rode into North Fork at the beginning of the could bet your ass he would be killin' all of 'um before the half hour was up. There must have been one hell of a graveyard in that little town

Posted by: Robert on March 22, 2005 01:55 PM

Maybe Matt shot from both sides.

Posted by: Woody on March 22, 2005 02:16 PM

"waxing all existential"

I have to say, this is something I'd have never expected to read on this site.

Is the pump on the Bionic Roscoe malfunctioning?

Sheesh. Butch up a little. LOL!

I gotcha, though. Matt plays the role like he's busting sod instead of shooting bad guys.

Posted by: og on March 22, 2005 02:21 PM

Matt Dillon did what he had to do ... didn't have many "choices", and he probably didn't get paid enough to bang Ms. Kitty at her "madame rates".

Click on:

Posted by: Max on March 22, 2005 02:24 PM

He was banging Miss Kitty...but back then folks didn't put it on TV....they left it to your imagination.

And that's why he slept like a baby!

Posted by: Maggie on March 22, 2005 03:02 PM

Max beat me to it.

On Matt's salary, he was probably lucky if he got to bang Festus.

Posted by: Steve H. on March 22, 2005 03:51 PM

... bang Festus.... rotflmfao.

I'm kinda partial to "Bonanza", but then too, I absolutely adore Hoss Cartwright. He is (was) "da man". (Especially in that Easter Bunny outfit...)

Posted by: Stevie on March 22, 2005 04:19 PM

I think it's a lot like my great-uncle. In the middle of a lot in WWII, from what little the family found out put a LOT of the enemy in the ground; and for the most part, slept well.

He looked on it as a nasty job that had to be done. I've heard of a number of law enforcement folks who were in numerous shootings, and slept well. They were doing the nasty part of the job, and were supported by the good people, and that pretty much covered it.

Be it said, I've also known of people who killed a bad guy and had nightmares over it.

Posted by: Mark on March 22, 2005 07:09 PM

The theory behind Gunsmoke seems to have been, "Western TV shows are generally percieved to be for children, so if we make one too boring and depressing for a child to sit through, and thow in a ho, we'll have a new high-concept show, an ADULT western". Call me crazy, I preffer an entertaining show. Give me Maverick.

OT, are you going to read a little more about this Schiavo thing and post again, or just leave it at that turd you squeezed onto the net last week or whenever (BUTT OUT!)?

Posted by: Dave Munger on March 22, 2005 08:45 PM

Have Gun Will Travel

Wire Paladin
San Francisco

Posted by: Paladin on March 22, 2005 11:01 PM

Now THERE was a cold eyed dude!

Posted by: Henry Blowfly on March 23, 2005 09:47 AM

INorthern Ireland is a tiny little country and we've only got two jails. There used to be three but after the Good Friday Agreement hundreds of political prisoners were set free and now we've just got one for men and one for women. A lot of those political prisoners had killed but the reasoning behind their release was that if they had killed for political reasons then they were set free. Now this guy I know was inside for fraud. He said that he didn't have to ask which of his co-prisoners had killed because he could see it in their eyes.

Posted by: Nelly on March 24, 2005 02:41 PM
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