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‘Lone Ranger’ missing out on silver at the box office

Features Column

T. Gamble

T. Gamble

I see from press reports that the new movie “The Lone Ranger” is not doing as well as Disney hoped when first released. I guess that is an understatement, given that Disney estimates they may lose as much as $250 million on the production.

I must, at this juncture, confess I have not actually seen the movie, and apparently neither has most of the rest of America. I always really liked the Lone Ranger as a kid. He was brave and mysterious and his sidekick, Tonto, was even more brave and a man of few words, sort of like the Tarzan of the West. He said things like, “Tonto no want to go, Ke-mo Sah-bee. Bad men down there.”

In today’s world, that type character will not do. The politically correct crowd, ever mindful to protect us from ourselves, would call this degrading, despite the fact a 7-year-old white boy found it just the opposite — hero worshipping Tonto because he was brave and noble.

So, I understand the new Tonto, played by Johnny Depp, is more like Capt. Jack Sparrow and less like silent, noble Tonto. Yet they wonder why no one wants to watch it.

The same crowd is after the Washington Redskins to change their name from the Redskins to God knows what. The University of Syracuse was known as the Orangemen for decades, then the politically correct bunch got going and now they are just the Orange. Boy there is nothing like going to a football game and pulling for the Orange.

Sunkist should be proud.

I think Redskins denotes fierce, honorable, proud. Why would any group be offended by the honor? But if they must change the name — which by the way, the owner of the Skins said: “Read my lips. We will never change the name,” which usually means within six months they will change the name — I suggest they become the Washington Wilburs.

Yes, we Wilburs are a proud lot and we’ll not be offended if you name the mascot after us. I will not be demeaned, stereotyped, belittled or shamed. I’ll lead the cheer of “Willllll……..burrrrrrrr.” But I’m sure some well-meaning group will step in the way on behalf of some Wilbur, somewhere, who will be offended, and then, due to public pressure from, well, the one Wilbur, this naming the mascot Wilbur will never happen. One more dream of mine crushed by today’s do-nothing/say-nothing crowd, lest it offend someone even though the offended needed to be offended in the first place.

Instead, we can look forward to the Washington Potato Skins. They can keep the moniker Skins and offend no one, except for every person in America with an IQ above 85 who will be busy throwing up in the toilet over yet another mascot name that means absolutely nothing.

The Braves can’t be far behind. Maybe we can rename them the Atlanta Gays, as that appears to be the only designation in today’s world that garners instant acclaim. No one would dare speak against it or they’d be deemed homophobic.

Then the only one left will be the FSU Seminoles, who so far have fended off attacks by having the Seminole Indian chief state they like being the mascot. But don’t worry, the offended crowd doesn’t care whether the group is offended or not. It is all about them being offended, so change will be demanded.

FSU can become the FSU Melba Toast. Everyone knows melba toast is neutral and stands for nothing. A plainly dressed person of unknown sex or color can enter the stadium and throw a burning cracker of melba toast into the 50 yard line, and I’m sure the home crowd will go wild. Fans can all wear beige to the games so that no color scheme will be offended.

I hope I haven’t offended anyone. I’ll be home watching reruns of the Lone Ranger and Tonto.

Hi-Yo, Silver! Away!

Contact columnist T. Gamble at t@colliergamble.com.