A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

Where have all the cowboys gone?

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on June 3, 2008

I’ve just finished a big project, and now its time to catch up on all the posts I had meant to write last month … 🙂

Just before the “events” started in May, a whole series of Marlboro ads went up around Beirut and its suburbs.

Even after several years of living outside the United States, seeing cigarettes advertised on billboards still surprises me. And these ads are very attractive – an iconic image of a cowboy in various poses on a plain background:

As we watched the television coverage of the shoot-out in Beirut, I thought of these ads. The Marlboro Man is such a strong visual representation of the heroic American cowboy: silent yet sure of himself and his abilities – especially when it comes to standing up for justice.

I see a lot of “cowboys” in Lebanese politics today (and in US politics, for that matter), and I see a lot of Marlboro smokers in Lebanon. But I’m not sure I see any who fit the cowboy ideal.


3 Responses to “Where have all the cowboys gone?”

  1. moose said

    You forgot to mention that the original American Cowboy who posed for Marlboro died of lung cancer. Now, THAT was quite a message.

  2. Moose, good point! I had forgotten about that – one of life’s many instructive ironies.

  3. Tantalus said

    We can only wait and hope the same fate befalls the other “cowboys” you speak of.

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