Monday, July 5, 2010
Strolling through Google and Wiki
I once thought my absolutely perfect job would be research assistant except that I would have to research what my boss wanted to research. I admit to having issues with focus. And Wiki and Google do not help. I am one of those people that click on all the hot links for related topics. Before the internet I was probably the single most frequent noon time caller to reference librarians.
I blame this annoying trait on World Book Encyclopedia. My father bought us kids a set of them when we were in grade school. It was touted as the easy to understand alternative to the Encyclopedia Britannica. But I digress. You are wondering, no doubt, about what the movie poster has to do with all of this. Well, I was looking up historic border disputes and found out my knowledge of the Comancheros comes from this rather poorly researched movie. Not unlike pirate movies of the same era.
Wiki informs me: The Comancheros were primarily New Mexican hispanic traders in northern and central New Mexico who made their living by trading with the nomadic plains tribes, in northeastern New Mexico and west Texas. Comancheros were so named because the Comanches, in whose territory they traded, were considered their best customers. They traded manufactured goods (tools and cloth), flour, tobacco, and bread for hides, livestock and slaves from the Comanche. As the Comancheros did not have sufficient access to weapons and gunpowder, there is disagreement about how much they traded these to the Comanche.
They seem to have run afoul of the United States Government with that suspected trading of weapons and gunpowder issue. Does this sound like Iran and Iraq and Korea? Only this was only guns not nuclear weapons. But back to the 1961 movie, The Comancheros with John Wayne where the Comancheros were seen as ruthless pirates of the land who majored in weapons and gunpowder. Paul Wellman, the writer of the original book in 1951, was an American Journalist which could make him right or wrong in his assumptions depending if you are aware of Fox news or not. Or there could have been a major hatchet job by the screen writer for the movie.
All of which leaves me with a great deal more Googling and Wikiing to do (just one of the reasons I left all the links in). And I probably need to find the book and read it. And go to Netflix and get the movie. Reference librarians everywhere are so relieved I can do all this myself these days.