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Friday, 3 June 2011

Cockfighter!


After two decades of being out-of-print, Charles Willeford's classic rumination on man's stubbornness and obsession with personal codes, competition and masculinity -set against the back drop of the southern cockfighting circuit- is finally available again!

Perhaps you've seen the 1974 film adaptation, directed by Monte Hellman (Two Lane Blacktop) and starring possibly the greatest american actor of all time, Warren Oates? If you have, then you know that this story, the story of Frank Mansfield - a man with a vow of silence and a chicken- and his quest to win the Cockfighter of the Year Award is about as down n' dirty as it gets. If you aren't familiar, allow me share with you some of Frank's observations (many conveniently collected by Jesse Pearson in his insightful introduction) :

"A man can learn four things from a cock: To fight, to get up early, to eat with his family, and to protect his spouse when she gets into trouble."

"When a woman starts to scream uncontrollably, it's time to leave."

"Two-toned shoes indicate an ambivalent personality, a man who can't make up his mind."

"There is no such thing as a passive interest in cockfighting."

Alright then, get in the ring and let those feathers fly!

(Though we dig both Charles Willford and Warren Oates, D & Q does not endorse animals-fighting- to-their-death competitions, they're awful.)

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