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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

“I came here to die with you. Or live with you. Dying ain’t so hard for men like you and me. It’s living that’s hard when all you’ve ever cared about has been butchered or raped. Governments don’t live together–people live together. With governments, you don’t always get a fair word or a fair fight. Well, I’ve come here to give you either one or get either one from you. I came here like this so you’ll know my word of death is true, and my word of life is then true. The bear lives here, the wolf, the antelope, the Comanche. And so will we. Now we’ll only hunt what we need to live on, same as the Comanche does. And every spring, when the grass turns green, and the Comanche moves north, you can rest here in peace, butcher some of our cattle, and jerk beef for the journey. The sign of the Comanche, that will be on our lodge. That’s my word of life.”

Josey Wales, played by Clint Eastwood in the movie, The Outlaw Josey Wales. Context: the film is based in the aftermath of the Civil War, and Wales is on the run and took refuge in Indian territory. I rather like the libertarian sentiments in part of this quote (such as his line about governments), and Clint Eastwood, by the way, has always struck me as one of the more intelligent men to have worked in Hollywood. His movies are famously delivered on time, and on budget.

The Outlaw Josey Wales is, in my view, his best Western. Terrific supporting performance from Chief Dan George.

17 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • llamas

    I love that scene, too. You should have continued to Ten Bears’ reply, where he says ‘It’s sad that governments are led by double-tongues’.

    Here’s you trivia question for the day – there is an actor who appears in this movie, uncredited, who had already worked for 40 years in Hollywood, and who only once got first billing (and an Academy Award nomination) for their last film, after working more than 60 years in Hollywood. Who is it?



  • Scott M.

    llamas, my wild guess is Richard Farnsworth, IIRC he received an Oscar nom for a Western called ‘The Silver Fox’ where he played an aging bank robber just released from prison.

  • Dr Evil

    I agree. If it’s on TV, I watch it. Excellent film. Endeavour to persevere. We thought about that a long time then declared war…………..brilliant stuff.

  • Paul Marks

    A great film – with a great message.

  • neonsnake

    I feel like I haven’t seen it, which is odd, given that most of my Saturdays in my childhood were spent watching Clint Eastwood films with my grandad or Elvis Presley films with my nan.

    I suspect I have, but was probably too young to remember clearly. Something to remedy, anyway.

    I’m probably over-romanticising, as a suburban lad from Greater London, but there’s something in the second half of 18th Century US which I find really rather moving and inspirational.

  • neonsnake (November 1, 2019 at 7:51 pm), do you mean late 19th century (American War of Independence) or do you mean late 1800s / late 19th century (time of the film)?

    I recall seeing the film long ago on TV. The line I chiefly remember (the gist of – not guaranteeing verbatim) was Wales (Eastwood’s): “You might as well ride along with us. [To himself] Hell, everyone else is!”

    I recall (very mildly) thinking the scene with ten-bears (the OP subject) was a bit stiff or ‘posed’ in its style – but it was so long ago I saw it that, hell. I probably wasn’t even consciously riding along with the right in those days. 🙂

  • bobby b

    November 1, 2019 at 2:27 pm

    “Who is it?”

    You are going to tell us at some point, right? ‘Cuz, I can’t figure it out.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “You are going to tell us at some point, right? ‘Cuz, I can’t figure it out.”

    He also appeared in ‘Blazing Saddles’, ‘Gone With The Wind’, ‘Independence Day’, and ‘Lassie’. Oh, and the rather less politically correct films ‘Gunga Din’ and ‘The Soul of Nigger Charley’!

    Hollywood has changed…

  • John


    neonsnake (November 1, 2019 at 7:51 pm), do you mean late 19th century (American War of Independence) or do you mean late 1800s / late 19th century (time of the film)?

    I think you’ve mis-typed what you meant to say… late 19th century would be the time of the film, late 1860s, OOTH, the American war of Indpendence, what we usually call The Revolutionary War, would be late 18th century, — 1770s.

    So, he probably means last half of the 19th century, the late 1800s, but I’ll leave that clarification to him.. fwiw.

  • bobby b

    “He also appeared in . . .”

    Dang. Should’a known that one.

  • neonsnake

    or do you mean late 1800s / late 19th century

    Indeed, I meant late 19th Century 😳

  • SB


    Richard Farnsworth. The Grey Fox is a fantastic movie. He was also excellent in Tom Horn.

  • Hilariously, as John B (November 2, 2019 at 12:26 am) noticed, I mistyped while asking neonsnake if he had mistyped. 🙂

    There is probably a metaphor available here about how easy it is to read what people mean, not what they actually say (or type) – and easier still to read what you yourself mean.

    I think it was Thomas Sowell who said, “If there is anything that could survive a nuclear holocaust, it is probably a typo.

  • Kevin B

    Niall, there’s even a law – Muphry’s law – which covers that situation.

  • bobby b

    It’s a typo cascade!

  • neonsnake

    Muphry’s law


  • Kevin B

    There’s even a wiki page for Muphry’s law.