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  • Bart

    Wheter or not he should return is not the point to me but Bart is my first encounter with a black character especially with a heavy role in a LR story. And he was no slouch as a villain or in symbolism that eye alone says a lot about the empty hole in the character. Also the fact that he can no longer see clearly without looking through a racial lens is pretty powerful. Not to have too much sympathy for the devil but considering the things done to him justice would not be part of his world view. And the things he's done he has probably seen done elsewhere and without any rationale. But then there is that strange sense of honor he has at the last with John and the sixguns. I could see him being taken aback by Linda's and John's treatment of him and yet his dialogue with Tonto whether literal on his part or facetious is true enough commentary on the Old West and completely at odds with LR's Creed and even Striker's handling of the time period. If Matthews can make a "henchman" this complex I can't wait until he digs deeper into Cavendish. OK so I do wish Bart shows up again aloooong time from now.

  • #2
    racism

    i agree with tonto. i found Bart even more fascinating than butch. the display of racism (both BY Bart and AGAINST him) was hard-hitting and a wonderful contrast to Linda's courtesy (a white woman inviting in a black male and offering him tea??? wow.) and John's absolute innocence of the concept either with bart or tonto. contrast that with the shopkeeper's statement of "a spade for a spade."

    i praticularly liked Bart's exclamation of 'a white boy like you with his very own half-breed willing to die for him?" [not a quote] it was inconceivable to a man whose whole life had been shaped and tainted by racism. he hadn't even considered that tonto was more in control of that situation than John--tonto the "savage" and only "half a man," who was shaping the white boy's future. a marvelous contrast, i thought.
    i hope Bart does come back, tho if he does it would be in a different facility, i'm guessing--ally or information source, but probably not active enemy. wonder how john would feel if he realized Bart was the one that dug up his father and brother.... um, and how did he feel if he was the one that retrieved the unburied bodies from bryant's gap and reburied them on the homestead? yeep!
    Cindy

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    • #3
      I had forgotten about the spade thing. It was a shock to see that in a LR story Bart also cut off a certain word at the n if you know what I mean. That scene nearly made me drop the book. the racial interplay and with the creed as a foundation definitely sets the character of the Lone Ranger apart from the monochromatic shadings of most action heroes (again you'll have to catch my meaning) which have basically become horror films in reverse in where the "hero" for whatever reason ,mostly for revenge rarely justice, proceeds to eliminate the baddies in increasingly unique and novel ways without hardly any lines drawn save youth (gender is no longer an issue nowadays and you never see the Irma Bunt types anymore). But having drawn out what the Ranger stands for broadens the spectrum of heroism. in the creed's idealism a hero is a hero is a hero. Heres an idea what if Tonto was to wear the mask? and would that be accepted by fans or not.

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      • #4
        Tonto and the mask

        would i accept tonto in the mask? Heck, no. Why?
        Let's use the mask to represent the whole package of the Lone Ranger. the ranger as we know him embodies a certain... call it a certain 'purity' of soul. and so far we have seen that--the boy is still human and susceptible to anger and grief, but we've seen a lack of what has tainted others in the story. he's never killed, has no prejudices, is willing to die for justice and what he believes in, etc.

        tonto is definitely not pure though also nobly willing to die for what (and who) he believes in. Killing, scalping his conquests, drinking regularly, embittered...more of a man who's faced a harsh, unjust life but not a bad man; just one who lives by harsher rules. He's not someone i would hold up as a symbol of purity. But i think that's what he sees in the boy, don't you?

        and that's what i love most. the contrast. two men with different backgrounds and cultures and value systems, learning from each other. We've seen tonto shape the boy's path (protecting him and sending him after Bart), and we've seen the boy's example shape tonto's outlook (as symbolized by his throwing away his knife and rethinking his view of hmself as a killer). Love it!
        Cindy

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        • #5
          Weeeellll

          I'll give you that Tonto does have blood on his hands and if he doesn't have a purity of soul at least he's forging a purity of intent. The mask would be ill fitting for the time being but the older Tonto I could see it. But how about Dan jr. if we are to see more of him (a bit older of course, Kid Ranger just sounds too Marvel doesn't it). By the way do you think that John should come out and tell the little guy he has family left. I can understand the need for secrecy but the mask didn't really protect Linda and Dan from Bart coming after them it their not knowing could be a weakness to be exploited.

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          • #6
            the mask, etc

            I'm withholding judgment for now since we don't know what tonto's intent is. no clue yet! that seems to be something matthews is holding close to the vest for now, though i will give you that i too believe his intents are honorable. he seems to be a good man, embittered as i said, finding something new inside in relation to the boy. we've seen him throw the knife away; was that new conviction that he's not a killer? a possibility within himself to explore, or something he's willing to tolerate to stay with his new friend? i think that internal dichotomy will be interesting in the time to come.

            interesting thought if matthews carries the racial divide further: an indian hero would not be accepted by the people he sought to help; i wonder if tonto needs a *white man or boy to carry out his intent (whatever it is)?

            Dan Jr didn't impress me. he's pretty vacuous for all he's the same age that John was when contemplating the moralities of killing. though i liked linda quite well (didn't think i would), i'd be happy to see dan jr. as *very little as possible. I don't think they need protection from Bart; that danger is past and Butch has shown no interest. i think telling linda would be enough.
            Cindy

            Originally posted by tonto
            I'll give you that Tonto does have blood on his hands and if he doesn't have a purity of soul at least he's forging a purity of intent. The mask would be ill fitting for the time being but the older Tonto I could see it. But how about Dan jr. if we are to see more of him (a bit older of course, Kid Ranger just sounds too Marvel doesn't it). By the way do you think that John should come out and tell the little guy he has family left. I can understand the need for secrecy but the mask didn't really protect Linda and Dan from Bart coming after them it their not knowing could be a weakness to be exploited.

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            • #7
              Dan jr. vs. John (age 6)

              Dan doesn't seem too empty headed to me because we only saw John in relation to his own father and his line of work. Initially John was like any other brainwashed kid, probably sold on guns and the male perogative of heroic virtue by domination, but a quick paternal slap will quikly make you rethink your worldview. Its interesting that Dan and John's roles at that age are reversed John having lost his mother and Dan his dad. As for his insight we haven't seen how he would have reacted to his dad's profession since it was so far away from the homestead maybe a lesson Dan sr. learned as a kid (don't bring you're work home). I think adult john falls in between his dad and Tonto because after the ambush the guy wanted blood creed be damned.

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              • #8
                Dan and John

                i think i disagree on a few points. Reason 'cause....
                first, John was shown to be extraordinary. even Dan Sr. remarked on little brother's 'big brain.' i think he was thoughtful and more intelligent than others his age. i see dan jr as more like dan sr--big (or will be), genial, and not as swift. DO agree that that paternal slap drove any boyish notions out of John's head and drove home just what they were talking about--human lives.
                but i mostly don't agree about john being anywhere between dad and tonto... er, actually, i'm not sure what you mean by dad. (come back to that) john was ONLY out for blood because he'd been driven mad by grief; once he could think again, he swore never to kill. i don't think being driven mad by grief counts.

                but i don't know what you mean about dad? James Reid DID kill albeit regretting the necessity. and tonto killed because (i am assuming) he thought the other guy deserved it. ?? what do you think?
                cindy

                Originally posted by tonto
                Dan doesn't seem too empty headed to me because we only saw John in relation to his own father and his line of work. Initially John was like any other brainwashed kid, probably sold on guns and the male perogative of heroic virtue by domination, but a quick paternal slap will quikly make you rethink your worldview. Its interesting that Dan and John's roles at that age are reversed John having lost his mother and Dan his dad. As for his insight we haven't seen how he would have reacted to his dad's profession since it was so far away from the homestead maybe a lesson Dan sr. learned as a kid (don't bring you're work home). I think adult john falls in between his dad and Tonto because after the ambush the guy wanted blood creed be damned.

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                • #9
                  Between

                  It took me awhile to fully form this theory since darn it you busted me I just threw it out there last time. I think that John's idea of justice falls between Jame's and Tonto's sense of justice. James is justice by if not exactly whatever means then at least by time honored often lethal tactics.
                  Tonto on the other hand seemed to exhibit an eye for an eye mentality early on. A man without a tribe or personal code would have little reason to take scalps. If you raise a weapon towards that Tonto be prepared to use it or die.
                  John as we have seen has placed boundaries on his search for justice mainly he won't kill. And with his big brain he'll use other tactics like disguise and detective work rather than just his gun. Raise a weapon to the Lone Ranger you'll most like be disarmed or unconscious before you know it.

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                  • #10
                    justice

                    ahhhhHHhhh. now i got you. i didn't understand before what you meant. guess i do agree with you after all and think that you phrased this very well. although i agree with you in re the lone ranger's tactics, i think you described both James' and tonto's extraordinarily well. i was especially impressed with the description of tonto having an eye-for-an-eye mentality. that sounds exactly right-justice but not *necessarily mercy.
                    which makes me even more interested to hear why tonto showed john reid so much and more than one time. not just mercy but kindness and even protectiveness after a bit. makes it even more interesting, doesn't it?
                    cindy

                    Originally posted by tonto
                    It took me awhile to fully form this theory since darn it you busted me I just threw it out there last time. I think that John's idea of justice falls between Jame's and Tonto's sense of justice. James is justice by if not exactly whatever means then at least by time honored often lethal tactics.
                    Tonto on the other hand seemed to exhibit an eye for an eye mentality early on. A man without a tribe or personal code would have little reason to take scalps. If you raise a weapon towards that Tonto be prepared to use it or die.
                    John as we have seen has placed boundaries on his search for justice mainly he won't kill. And with his big brain he'll use other tactics like disguise and detective work rather than just his gun. Raise a weapon to the Lone Ranger you'll most like be disarmed or unconscious before you know it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm thinking somewhere in his past an occurence like Bryant's Gap happened to Tonto. Tonto was amazed that there was a survivor and probably was also amazed as to why he would even want to survive.
                      Matthews has set up a great deal of mystery around Tonto. His "mask" being that not much has been revealed to the audience about him. Done right Matthews could put the definitive stamp on the Ranger's "faithful Indian companion" or we could end up with Wolverine an old song with more layers (and each one less believable than the other) than Connor Macleod.
                      To me they key theme in the LR/Tonto relationship should be friendship. Whether they get there immediately or not isn't the point but it should be a strong bond of brotherhood which makes enough sense to me. Today it seems true friendship between men doesn't matter or is read as veiled homosexuality (and theres nothing wrong with that). Even Superman and Batman can be partners but not Superfriends.

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                      • #12
                        friendship

                        I'm thinking maybe tonto lost family, wife, or whomever because half-breeds were considered pariah's. look at even Black Bart's opinion. i'm looking forward to finding out.

                        How perfectly true about the friendship aspect. this is what i most want to see-the gradual development of the brotherhood that marked the original characters. in some of the books it was quite clear that they loved each other; in the innocent setting it was also quite clear that it was like two brothers--something far more difficult to show in today's tainted society.

                        neither man seems to consider the race aspect interestingly; the ranger seems innocent of it, and tonto--the one i would expect it from given where we suspect his background is from--is impervious to it at least regarding the boy. i can see where the boy's feelings would begin with gratitude; what on earth is motivating tonto????
                        Cindy

                        Originally posted by tonto
                        I'm thinking somewhere in his past an occurence like Bryant's Gap happened to Tonto. Tonto was amazed that there was a survivor and probably was also amazed as to why he would even want to survive.
                        Matthews has set up a great deal of mystery around Tonto. His "mask" being that not much has been revealed to the audience about him. Done right Matthews could put the definitive stamp on the Ranger's "faithful Indian companion" or we could end up with Wolverine an old song with more layers (and each one less believable than the other) than Connor Macleod.
                        To me they key theme in the LR/Tonto relationship should be friendship. Whether they get there immediately or not isn't the point but it should be a strong bond of brotherhood which makes enough sense to me. Today it seems true friendship between men doesn't matter or is read as veiled homosexuality (and theres nothing wrong with that). Even Superman and Batman can be partners but not Superfriends.

                        Comment

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