‘The Lone Ranger’: As American as apple pie

Commentary by CJ Click
Times-News correspondent

Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels are shown from "The Lone Ranger" TV show. / blogspot.com

For most Americans, “The Lone Ranger” is more significant than just a TV show or movie franchise. It holds memories of spending time with moms, dads, grandmas and grandpas.
“I watched it with my grandmother all the time. She would watch it every evening,” my grandfather said when asked about his memories of watching “The Lone Ranger” as a boy. The show is an iconic piece of Americana, referenced in countless shows, movies and commercials.
“Hi-Ho Silver! Away!” is about as American a line as any. With the anticipated release of Disney’s “The Lone Ranger” Wednesday, there is a newfound interest in the “trusty scout.”
First appearing in 1933 as a radio broadcast, the character is 80 years old this year. With the new film starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, Disney is ensuring that the story of the masked man lives on for at least another generation.
There’s something about the Lone Ranger’s character that is disappearing from American society.
“The thing about the Lone Ranger is that the good guy always won back then,” my grandpa recounted. “Ke-mo sah-bee,” as Tonto calls him, embodied characteristics that aren’t seen today.
When he had to use a gun, he never shot to kill, he simply disarmed the criminal. He also never drank or smoked; salon scenes were designed like cafés with waiters and food instead of alcohol and bar fights. And the creators of the series never made criminals appear in positions of wealth and power, being careful not to make them appear successful or classy.
And there’s a characteristic of the Lone Ranger that today’s generation could take a lesson from. The creators made sure that the character always used perfect grammar, never allowing him to use slang words. You wouldn’t find the masked man tweeting or sending a text.
These elements are missing in our modern TV shows. Violence, greed and injustice are flooding our channels and it’s guaranteed to influence our children in some way. Hopefully, this Disney film will be beneficial to the children who see it. And maybe  it will take Americans back to a simpler time — when the good guy always won.

CJ Click is a rising sophomore at UNC-Chapel Hill and a Teens and Twenties writer.


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