I Faced My Fear

Shot from the opening of “Have Gun Will Travel” right before Paladin points the gun at us.

This will sound really trivial, but to me it’s not.

I love the western television program Have Gun Will Travel. It stars Richard Boone as Paladin, a term fans of fantasy roleplaying may well recognize as referring to an honorable and exceptional knight. As described in the ending theme song as sung by Johnny Western, he is a “knight without armor.”

So what does this have to do with facing my fear? The opening of each episode features the same short visual scene, although the words are different, taken from the particular episode.  But each time we see Paladin aim a pistol directly at us–at me.  At that part, I always either skip it, turn away, or close my eyes.  Maybe it was because the fear of being shot by a gun was pounded into me as a kid–at the same time I was encouraged to go hunting.  Maybe it’s because I was once shot (although it was only a small piece of a bullet and the wound was trivial).  Maybe it’s because I’ve been the subject of several death threats.

In any case, today I watched an episode called “The Teacher” written by series co-creator Sam Rolfe.  I did not fast forward through the opening, I did not turn away, I did not close my eyes.  I felt uncomfortable, but I watched.

Later in the day, I watched the video for The Beatles “I Am the Walrus.”  I’ve seen it many times, but it always rather freaked me out.  This time it didn’t.

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About Alden Loveshade

Alden is a philosopher, personist, writer, playwright, screenwriter, director, actor, poet, photographer, dumbek drummer, roleplayer, and educator. Worked for others and freelance as a journalist, investigator, columnist, reviewer, teacher, animal caregiver, photographer, and dishwasher. Claims e doesn’t care about money, but always needs more. Recognized by Phi Theta Kappa, Golden Key International Honor Society, the U. S. Jaycees, and groups of like ilk. They don’t necessarily like em, but they recognize em. Graduated summa cum laude from some university that apparently figured the best way to get rid of em was to graduate em. Alden has worked with Emmy, Oscar, Tony, and Pulitzer Prize Nominees and Winners but they never shared their awards! Alden has dual citizenship in the Principality of Sealand and the United States of America. His official title for Sealand is Lord Alden Loveshade. E thinks that makes em sound impressive.

12 thoughts on “I Faced My Fear

  1. Many people would be terrified by all you’ve gone through, Alden. Nobody’s blaming you for feeling fear. You and Uncle MU are the two bravest people I know.

    • Alden’s more afraid of a TV gun that a real one cuz he can’t shoot back without destroying his TV! 😛

    • My brain is wired weirdly. I don’t cry at the death of grandparents, parents, or siblings. But I’ll cry at an episode of “Father Knows Best” or “Doctor Who.” And sometimes that’s because it reminds me of the loss of a real loved one. But when watching TV or a movie, or reading a book, my defenses are down.

      • Have you considered Pseudobulbar affect ?
        Some find it’s most affective while watching television.
        (Hint: “Family Guy” is not THAT funny ! After a couple of years watching, “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark !”)

        Thank goddess I’ve never seen a Sarah Mclachlan animal cruelty TV commercial !

  2. I saw a program where a woman was afraid of aluminum foil. Fears don’t have to make sense. Glad you’re facing yours.

  3. I am reminded of a Batman comic I read once where he’s fighting the Scarecrow who threatened to hit him with his Fear Gas. Batman was like, “Good! I WANT to know what scares me!”

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