Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Brit villain was right.

An occasional ornament of cowboy movies was the evil Englishman. He had some underhanded scheme to acquire a huge tract of land which, of course, he planned to fence, maybe even graze sheep. Or, perhaps, it was to get his hands on a small tract on which he knew there was gold. He spoke in flowery phrases with a clipped, upper-class accent, and made no effort to conceal his disdain for Yank yokels. At the climactic moment, when the cowboy hero confronted him, pistol drawn, to thwart his crooked designs, the Brit always uttered some comment on his superior intellect or breeding, hoping to so overwhelm the rube as to make him re-holster his gun. It never worked.

One declaration of this ilk sticks in my memory: "The blood of Plantagenet kings flows in my veins." Well, turns out that, if our hero knew about human genetics, he could have answered, "Yup, me too."