My dad always had a fascination with the Wild West, from Wyatt Earp to Billy the Kid to the James Gang and beyond. He loved that era and wished to himself that he could have been a part of it. My whole life I never truly understood why Dad loved that era so much, I just went along with him on our adventures to Lincoln County, to Tombstone and the like. I just enjoyed spending time with my Father regardless of what we were doing. In later years he did the same thing for me, traveling to San Diego every year for Comic Con. He probably never understood my fascination with comic books, but he did know I enjoyed them so very much. Now, sadly after his death, I think I finally understand what Dad’s draw to that era was.
Dad enjoyed watching me play Red Dead Redemption all those years ago, in fact he called it a horse riding simulator since all he ever walked in on was me riding my horse to my destination. He rarely caught the action or story events but I know he was impressed that the Wild West seemed to be more popular due to the game’s release. Dad knew I had pre-ordered the game but sadly never got to see me play it, after playing about ten hours of the game, tinkering with Strangers and robbing a nice sum of trains I know my dad would have loved to watch me play. However, all the action somewhat hides what really showed me why my dad loved the West so much, freedom. The Wild West was the last time anyone could truly be free.
Dutch and Morgan mention freedom several times in the opening parts of the game and once you finally get out of the snowy camp and the into the main world you really are free. Sure you can go see what Hosea or John want, or you can fill up your satchel, grab your horse and go live off the land for as long as you like. No job tying you down, no care in the world, no bills to be paid, just enjoying the land, hunting to eat and being free. That is what my dad loved most about the West, he didn’t have to pay bills, worry about the plumbing in the house, get the oil changed in the car. Had he been in the West he would have just been out in the wilderness, living off the land and loving life; nothing there to squash your will to live.
In today’s times we all have bills, we all have jobs and we all having things holding us back from being free. Rockstar nailed the freedom of the West by allowing us to do what we want when we wanted. You have a problem with someone? You fight it out then have a drink.
Now, if someone is offended, they report you on Twitter or Facebook instead of facing you like a man. Problems that slapped you in the face could not be hidden from, you had to face them head on or leave town or worse, die. If you weren’t strong enough you didn’t make it, so the West also thinned out the human herd. That is no longer done in our society, we have warning labels on everything and we allow the stupid to live and sadly procreate. That didn’t happen back then, if you were stupid you starved to death, end of story. So back then you also had freedom from the ignorant masses, which must have been a dream!
The West truly was the last time to be free, we are not free now and we never will be. The banks keep us living from paycheck to paycheck, our jobs take away forty to fifty hours of our lives, and we honestly don’t eat real food anymore which is slowly killing us from the inside. You drank fresh water, ate fresh meat and fresh veggies, it must have been wonderful making up a stew or cooking up your rabbit. GMO’s are poisoning us, our veggies are filled with pesticides, Pop Tarts don’t have real fruit in them and so on. Life was grand one hundred and fifty years ago, it’s sad we lost this freedom for some small comforts and lots of stress and bills.