Davy and Me Ep2 - The Alamo
This podcast episode covers my trip to the Alamo where Davy Crockett made his last stand.
It seems like every other movie we watch is about a rag tag team of disorderly yet morally righteous individuals fighting against a uniform technologically superior enemy. In the Hollywood dominated media universe, it is easy to assume that this theme transcends culture-that there is a special part of everyone's brain which appreciates this kind of struggle. I contend that this common narrative is no less learned than buddy comedies.
There is something unique about the American storyteller who either embraces or acts in response to the Revolutionary War narrative. We get that rush of emotion when we watch protagonists who seem unfettered by force in numbers or technology. We find ourselves all choked up about the idea that we can be chaotic and disorderly, but united at the same time.
I remember the first time I felt this very American emotion. I was watching "Davy Crockett : King of the Wild Frontier." When I was in elementary school, my mother rented it from the library. It told the story of the Texas Revolution, where 187 volunteers fought off a very large Mexican army lead by a despotic general. The most famous rebel leader was no general, but an uneducated frontiersman, who despite his status as a war hero, enlisted in the army as a private. Fighting for freedom and sovereignty, the Texan rebels were literally modeling their efforts after the American Revolution.
This second episode of "Davy and Me" is about this emotion that we Americans feel in our stomachs every time we watch rebel good guys face off against another Evil Empire. While the monuments dedicated to this ideology can be found in the movies and collective imagination, when I was a kid I had the opportunity to see first hand that place where Davy Crockett fought in the Texas Revolution. In other words, the journey in developing my identity as an American began with a movie and culminated in my pilgrimage to the actual site where the battle took place.
The Alamo symbolizes the process through which people and cultures of various backgrounds are Americanized. I hope this episode will recall fond memories, but also reexamine how individuals for better or for worse are enculturated and indoctrinated. Neither of these words are bad in and of themselves--but indeed worth examining.
Written and directed by Brian A. Crandall
Music by Kevin Macleod (incompetech.com)
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