Actor’s life a counterpoint to the feeling left


Found out Thursday afternoon that a paragon of 1970s cinema, and certainly an example of rampant masculinity, Burt Reynolds, passed away at age 82.

Reynolds was the quintessential man’s man, unapologetically virile and unapolo-getically a lady’s man. His start came in Westerns and war movies, but he just wasn’t an action star.

In all, his career spanned 60 years in Hollywood, although most folks will remem-ber his amazing turn as The Bandit, or maybe Wood Newton from “Evening Shade.”

I remember myself, and pretty much most men, wanted to be him. I remember talking with women, many of which swooned over him.

His life and actions are in sharp relief to the current crop of stars and beliefs that are bouncing around Hollywood these days.

You could say that’s only because enough time had passed that our society has “moved on” from the gender roles of the movies of the last century, and maybe in the make-believe world of film that’s true, but there are many of us — especially in Texas — that place less emphasis on political correctness and more on being OK with the lot you’ve been dealt.

This is not a treatise on gender fluidity; everyone has an opinion about that. This is more about the way men are portrayed anymore, social justice being what it is. Reynolds was a man, acted like a man, and didn’t make excuses or apologize for toxic masculinity, whatever that is.

He brought joy through his work, and that is enough, and who cares about the rest of it. That joy was made possible because of his masculinity.

It might seem a bit morbid to make the connections I’m making here, but I won’t apologize. I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with acting like a man if you are one.

Men are men. Let them be that way. Burt was one, and he was awesome.

Godspeed, Bandit. Eastbound and Down.

•I started the Headline of Note to point out some of the more ridiculous things that news organizations do, mostly with an eye to wasting the time of people reading those missives.

Other times, it’s because journalists have forsaken their craft and begin trading opinion as fact.

Then there’s this, which just plain puzzles me: DJ driven mad by ant trapped inside computer screen for 5 months. posted this, after it was written in The Sun, a newspaper in the U.K. There’s no sinister event, no redemptive moment, no real resolution. Just a bug in a computer.

Now that’s something you know.

Tony Farkas is publisher of the Madisonville Meteor.