The World According to “Yellowstone”

We’ve been meaning to devote an episode of the 3WHH podcast to a consideration of “Yellowstone,” which has been a monster hit on streaming TV the last few years. One problem is that I am two seasons behind, as is my typical TV viewing practice. At some point we’ll all get caught up and try it. The fact that the New York Times and other typical media morons have run puzzled stories about why the show is popular with conservatives makes it suitable fodder. (Besides, Beth Dutton is Lucretia’s spirit animal and role model, needless to say.)

How to describe it? The Godfather as reimagined by John Wayne? Not really, but beyond the family aspect of the show, a careful viewer will pick up here and there some specific conservative themes. This is not a coincidence. I happen to know that executive producer and showrunner Taylor Sheridan has kicked around certain story ideas and details with knowledgeable friends of mine in Montana who can close down a bar for a week about the defects of federal land policy and the perfidy of environmentalists.

In the current season, which to repeat I have not yet seen, John Dutton has contrived to become governor of Montana, and in the scene below, starting at around the 28-second mark, heads in to meet with his “policy advisers.” It is a microcosm of the administrative state in action. Watch through to the very satisfying climax at the 3:05 mark (and skip the rest of the video).

Hard to believe Hollywood has allowed this through. Meanwhile, in a case of life imitating art, we see this:

Wind energy company pleads guilty after at least 150 eagles killed in U.S.

BILLINGS, Mont. — A subsidiary of one of the largest U.S. providers of renewable energy pleaded guilty to criminal charges and was ordered to pay over $8 million in fines and restitution after at least 150 eagles were killed at its wind farms in eight states, federal prosecutors said.

NextEra Energy subsidiary ESI Energy was also sentenced to five years probation after being charged with three counts of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act during a court appearance in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The charges arose from the deaths of nine eagles at three wind farms in Wyoming and New Mexico.

In addition to those deaths, the company acknowledged the deaths of golden and bald eagles at 50 wind farms affiliated with ESI and NextEra since 2012, prosecutors said. Birds were killed in eight states: Wyoming, California, New Mexico, North Dakota, Colorado, Michigan, Arizona and Illinois.

I like to call wind farms “Cuisinarts in the sky.”

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