I almost called this blog post “…from Jane Fonda,” but then I realized two things:

1. Everything I learned from her I can relate through my favorite of her works without even touching others, and

2. She’s all, like, controversial and stuff.

Whatever. Free speech and whatnot. And it was the seventies…so…let’s get over it and focus on what’s really important: western comedy films of the 1960s.

I have to first fill you in on how I, a teenager in middle school, ended up watching and subsequently falling in love with this 1965 sleeper hit sometime around Y2K. This, like most idiosyncracies in my life, is my dad’s fault. Big effing surprise, right?

See, my dad is truly the empathetic type. I mean, when I was little and would come up to him with my big blue eyes full of tears, holding my (barely) bleeding finger up in the air for him to fix, he would always ask, “Does it hurt?” Of course, tiny-me would nod, probably causing a solitary tear to drip down my round little cheeks, and he would say, with love (or so he claims), “That’s funny, I don’t feel a thing!”

This may be why I have trust issues.

And if it’s not, then his bad habit of renting random-ass movies from Blockbuster when I was home sick from school and couldn’t move from the couch actually is. That’s how I ended up watching such classics as The Vikings and Spartacus. Damn him.

Clearly, Dad can’t resist a literally captive audience.

Every once in a while, though, I ended up inadvertently seeing a decent film. Luckily, Cat Ballou was one of these decencies. Apparently, my dad saw this movie multiple times in the theater when he was a kid himself – so he thought that I might enjoy it, too. And he was totally right.

Not only did I enjoy it, it educated me just a bit. So, without further ado (there’s been quite enough already, wouldn’t you agree?), here you are: the 7 lessons I learned from Cat Ballou.

#1: Just because a man looks like a man of God doesn’t make him a good person.

#2: By the way, if you need people to trust you when you’re doing something shady, dress up as a religious leader.

#3: When hiring outlaws, make sure that they’re actually bad enough to to what you want.

#4: Your heroes are fallible, but that doesn’t make them useless.

#5: All the manners in the world won’t help you when it comes to certain situations – it takes a rougher hand.

#6: If you must murder someone, make sure you do it whilst looking as sexy as humanly possible.

#7: Sometimes a hero and a villain are just two sides of the same person. 

In honor of all of the important life skills I gained from this movie, today, I am dressing like Cat Ballou. Well. There’s the whole honoring thing plus the whole “It fits in my professional dress” added on to that. My students are going to think I’m ridiculous. As if they didn’t already

Photo Oct 31, 7 45 03 AM

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About Imagine Truth

We seek to learn, and when academics do not present the answers, we look inside our own beautiful imaginations for the key.

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