Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ride the Revisionist Pony

Where is the statue to honor the Pony Express, that hallowed institution of the wild wild West? Where is the statue depicting a horse at a gallop with a rider barely holding on to his hat and his reins? I can say now with no embarrassment that this vacancy is an honor. After all, the Pony Express is nothing more than a government boondoggle: during the mere 18 months of its operation, which was always at a loss, the founders staked the whole enterprise on the hopes of receiving a million dollar government appropriation. When that fell through, and thank goodness it did, the Express folded. It simply wasn’t sustainable. Not mention that its riders flagrantly trespassed through Indian Territory without any compensation to its owners. And besides, two days before the Express closed, the telegraph went transcontinental, making the pony information transport system as obsolete as the smoke-signal.

The views expressed here are independent of the Pony Express Museum and expression thereof may deny you entry.

I find it astounding, simply astounding that the Pony Express has any renown.


pondpilot777 said...

It's a tribute to "we'll try anything once" and "sounds good to me". It's our way to go out on a limb in the pursuit of good ol' profit.
I didn't know about the hopes of a fat government contract, I must admit.
Obviously, the PE has been romanced into all the Old West lore.
But, where would Frederick Remington get all his subject matter for paint and sculpture?

bear-sophie said...

Has email rendered snail mail irrelevant, even with PDFs?

People love a good story, I view it aas a good example of early successful mass marketing.