OLD SCHOOL MAN: Gran Torino and the 31 Old School Man Habits of Walt Kowalski

This is probably one of the greatest Old School Man flicks ever made, hell – it’s hard to go wrong when you combine Clint Eatswood and a 45. auto. I am actually surprised that Hollywood green-lit a movie with a main character who acts like a man, especially considering that movies with metrosexual male leads are the norm now.

To say it is refreshing to see a man on the big screen that curses, smokes, drinks beer and has solid Old School values would be an understatement on my part. And besides being a great Old School Man flick Gran Torino is also a good example of how the old school man genome doesn’t always pass down the family tree.

Now allot of the naysayers dismiss this flick as just a story about a bigoted ornery old man. Well as the main character Walt Kowalski (Clint) would say; “Fuck You” because the meaning of movie is much deeper than that. Sure Walt starts off a racist old man, but he sees the fault in his thinking and (despite being old and stuck in his ways) he changes his flawed way of looking at people and eventually comes to love the Asian family next door more than his own spoiled family.

To see a movie where the main character is a man of values who despite being a flawed man is still a good person with solid Old School Man values is a breath of fresh air amongst the “sex and the city” crap Hollywood normally vomits out nowadays. And the huge success of Gran Torino at the box office and the academy awards American Film Institute (AFI), National Board of Review, Broadcast Film Critics Association and Chicago Film Critics Association Awards is proof positive to Hollywood that the American male is damn tired of seeing men portrayed as bumbling pussys on the big screen.

So in tribute to this great Old School Man movie I have thrown together a list of the 31 things that today’s man can learn from Walt Kowalski

-Old School Standards of behavior for children

One of the first things we see in this flick is a bunch of kids acting stupid at Walt’s wife’s funeral, his granddaughter shows up in a midriff shirt with her belly ring sticking out and starts texting wile her grandmother is lying in her casket right in front of her and his grandson is disrespectful to the church right of the bat.

Now the Old School Man doesn’t expect everyone to follow what he considers to be proper behavior for kids, but letting them act like an ass at their grandmothers funeral is unacceptable.

When I was a kid if I acted that way at a funeral I would have gotten an ass tanning I would have never forgotten. But parents these days don’t bother teaching their kids respect because they are too busy picking up a raspberry latte from starbucks.

-War Chest

The green army locker in the basement filled with old war souvenirs is a classic Old School Man possession. And Walt is no exception, he has his War Chest filled with great B&W pictures of him in Korea with his Army buddies, metals and the guns he was issued.

As expected his grand-kids don’t even know about his service (their grandfather was awarded the Silver Star and they don’t know!!) or even where Korea is.

-Curses

Walt has a salty mouth just like all Old School men do, he will throw out a “fuck you” or “pussy” at the drop of a hat.

These days if you say “fuck” in front of some men they will blush.

-Owns an old dog

He has a great old dog that sits on the porch with him while he drinks beer. And it’s a big ugly mutt because the Old School Man doesn’t own a poodle, he eats them.

-Can realize that he is wrong and admits it

Even a stubborn guy like Walt can admit when he is wrong, he was wrong about his neighbors, he was wrong about the kid and he admits it to himself and changes his ways. This is one of the lost Old School Man traits, men these days will go to the grave swearing that they were right when they make mistakes.

Humility is a true Old School Man trait.

-Muscle Car and Pickup truck

Walt owns the two classic Old School Man vehicles – Grand Torino classic muscle car and a pickup truck, both in mint condition because he knows how to fix them himself. The only thing he is missing is a motorcycle and a tank.

Don’t even get me started on the Prius driving man-girls I see driving to the vegan-mart these days.

-He Doesn’t Own a 45._ he carries a 45.

Yep, he not only owns his 45. from the Korean War, he packs it. The Old School Man knows a gun sitting in a drawer is about as useful as tits on a bull.

A man owning a handgun was once a “normal” thing, now days you hear pussy-men saying things like “guns scare me’

-American Flag on His House

Walt has an American flag hanging off his porch not because it suddenly became trendy, he hangs an American flag because he is a patriot.

I believe that some men have actually sued their neighbors because the flagpole that was flying the American flag was too high and “didn’t fit in with the look of the neighborhood” – I guess some men feel that patriotism has a height requirement.

-Says it how it is

Old School men like Walt don’t mix words or sugar coat stuff, they tell it how it is. They don’t do this to be rude, in fact it’s just the opposite – it’s because the Old School Man does respect you. He talks to you like you are a grown ass man and not a child whose “feelings” will be hurt.

I once told a former friend of mine that he was being a pussy when his ex-wife left him because he had been moping for almost two years straight, he never spoke to me again. I guess I hurt his feelings.

-Respect for Elders

Walt even makes priests that are younger than him call him Mr. Kowalski, because that’s what people are supposed to do when talking to their elders.

When you say things like “you should respect your elders” to kids (and even adults) today they give you some sort of stupid look like you are speaking Chinese.

-Drinks Beer

Walt drinks Pabst blue ribbon straight from the can, not pumpkin and chestnut stout. Even better he keeps it in a beer chest at his feet.

-Killed a man with a shovel

I can’t really add much to this one, but killing a man with a shovel is right up there with killing a man with a spoon on the “tough guy” scale.

-His first thought when hearing someone in his garage at night was “grab my M-1 Garand and check it out

When hearing a rattle in the garage an Old School Man like Walt grabs the rifle that he had already killed several men with and checks it out himself.

If most “men” these days hear someone breaking into their house they will hide under their freshly pee-stained sheets and dial 911.

-Zippo Lighter

Walt lights his Camel non-filters up with a First Cav Zippo that he has owned since 51, you can’t get much more Old School than that.

-Just wants to be left alone

Walt like other Old School Men sometimes just want to be left alone, it’s not necessarily because they are ornery – sometimes a man needs some damn time to himself and his thoughts.

Now days if you ask your wife or girlfriend to leave you alone for a wile you are some sort of “insensitive” jerk that wont “talk” about his feelings.

-Gets his hair cut at a barber shop

Walt gets his hair cut by a barber with a salty mouth at a barber shop that has wood panel walls and playboy magazines on the table for customers.

-Helps the weak

Walt helps people that are not strong enough to help themselves – not because he likes them, because that’s just what an old school man does.

These days entire apartment buildings full of men stand by while a screaming woman gets raped and murdered right under their windows.

-Old school values

Walt considers seeing someone do small things like helping a lady with her bags to be a good indicator of personal character.

The term “personal character” doesn’t even exist in most peoples vocabulary’s anymore.

-Carries a picture of his family in his wallet

Walt carries a picture of his wife in his wallet like most men did in his time; oddly today’s man is more likely to have Starbucks membership card in their wallet than a picture of their family

-Eats like a man

When asked what he ate that day Walt replies; “I had a piece of cake and some beef jerky” at the BBQ he asks; “can I come back for seconds” because a man eats until he is full and beef jerky is the 8th food group.

-doesn’t flash his illness around for sympathy

When Walt becomes progressively more ill he doesn’t wine about if to everyone so people can feel sorry for him. When an Old School Man is sick he keeps it to himself, he doesn’t want people to make a fuss over him.

-He is a handyman

Walt can fix anything around the house that needs a fixing; he even calls himself a “handyman” – something that all men used to call themselves.

Walk up to 10 men on the street while holding a ball-peen hammer and ask them to tell you what it is; 6 won’t know what it is, 2 will scream for the police because they think you are robbing them and the other 2 wont even speak English.

-Mentors a young man

After seeing the fault in his thinking he decides to mentor the kid that lives next door. He shows him a hard day work using his hands, quote “mans him up”, teaches him how Old School men talk to each other, how to be polite, the proper way to swear, having balls to talk to girls, buys him his first toolbelt and even vouches for him so he can get a job.

Mentoring a young man was once the unspoken duty of every man, teaching a kid to fix a car or chop some fire wood was the norm. Today’s man seems too busy with the 400 channels on his TV to even mentor his own kids no less the wimpy kid that lives next door.

This is one of the main reasons why the pussifacation of the American male is out of control these days – no one is teaching boys to be men anymore.

-Uses a push lawnmower

Walt doesn’t use some yuppie electric or motorized mower to cut his lawn, he uses an Old School push mower and sweat.

-He has a garage workshop filled with tools

Walt has the classic man workshop in his garage filled with tools that he acquired over a period of 50 years.

Walt Says: “WD-40, Vice grips and some duct tape” – “Any man worth his salt can do half of the household chores with just those three things”.

-Worked in the Ford factory for 50 years

Walt had a good honest job working with his hands like most other Old School Man had back in the day, He even helped build his car on the line.

“An honest wage for an honest days work” is now a forgotten value, “I deserve my job” is more the way people think these days.

-Takes a handshake for a Thanks

Walt doesn’t need a “thank you” card if he helps you out, just a handshake is fine.

Some people look at you strange these days when you extend you hand for a gentleman’s handshake. I guess the days of a handshake between two men meaning something honorable is behind us.

-Someone messes with his friend (the kid) he takes the fight right to their front yard

When the gang members beat up the kid Walt goes to their house and stomps one of them on the front yard. “Taking the fight to them” is classic Old School man stuff.

Today’s man might call their lawyer if they have a friend with a problem because doing something physical is only something “low class” people do.

-When he is sad he doesn’t cry

When Walt gets pissed off or really sad he doesn’t call up his therapist for a good cry – he puts his fist through a cabinet

-Makes sure he is squared away before he dies

When Walt knows his time is up he has his hair cut, a nice suit made, goes to confession, cleans his guns, gives his most prized possessions to his friend, leaves his dog with someone and squared his will away.

Making sure that all your affairs are in order in-case you die was once a “no brainier” thing that all men did – a man takes care of his damn business, dead or alive.

-He lived the type of life that his friends will always remember him for

Walt was a WW2 vet, he raised a family, was a good friend and died with his boots on.

Will people even remember your name 20 years after you die?

Walt QUOTES:

  • “When things go wrong you have to react quickly”
  • “You ever notice how you come across somebody once in a wile that you shouldn’t have fucked with?” – “That’s me”
  • “The things that haunt a man the most are the things he isn’t ordered to do”
  • “Shut your fucking face”
  • “Shut up pussy”
  • “Now, get your ofay, Paddy ass down the road”
  • “What a load of shit”
  • “And you know why?” – “Because you’re a big fat pussy”
  • “Good day, puss-cake.”
  • “Don’t get flip with me boy”
  • “You have no balls kid”
  • “Just don’t let it slip out of your little-girl hands and crush me”
  • “Dipshit”
  • “Fuck me”
  • “Well I’ll buy you a fruitcake for Christmas”
  • “Cowards”
  • “If I have to come back here it’s going to get fucking ugly”
  • “We stay calm or mistakes are made”
  • “I’m proud to say that you’re my friend”
  • “Now pull those pistols like miniature cowboys”
  • “You shut the fuck up”
  • “-Yeah, well, I’m old school”

—————————————————————————————

~James G
Founder – Editor in Chief

James G is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long. He spends his off time in Indonesia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns and writing poorly written articles.

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62 thoughts on “OLD SCHOOL MAN: Gran Torino and the 31 Old School Man Habits of Walt Kowalski”

  1. Let me be the first to say, this is GREAT work, James! And it’s a message that needs to be told and taught if there is to be any hope for restoring and promoting genuine manhood in this once great country.

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    1. The way American men used to be….not always right, but always men.
      BTW….Walt was a veteran of the Korean War ( The Forgotten War ) not WWII.

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  2. Outstanding “review” and a great objective lesson! Come to think of it, your blog is sort of like a Lessons Learned educational and reminder weekly, just to keep us in line!

    Best regards,
    Albert

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  3. These articles are so worth waiting for every monday.

    Gran Torino I think is some of Clint’s best and most meaningful work.

    Another thing is that Walt died with Honor. I’ll admit that while I was watching it I kinda wanted to see him go rooftop or blow some shit up to get even. But I think Walt’s charachter knew that such action would bring his family and friends dishonor long after his own big ending. Even though he didn’t get along too well with his family the old school man still had their best interests in mind.

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  4. Thanks guys, handshake for all of you

    Note: I also fixed the typos

    ~James G

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  5. RIGHT FUCKING ON!

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  6. My husband told me to check out this article and I was laughing out loud the whole time! Hubby and I watched this movie together and we both loved it. This article is so great, I’m going to send it to Henry Makow to post on his website savethemales.ca which is usually a really good anti-feminist site but has recently started to post a lot of dumb articles. Well anyway I loved this, good job! I, as a woman, am sickened by the fact that I am more masculine than a lot of guys my age and wish that more of them would behave like Old School Men!

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  7. Great article. They are thinking of introducing civics back into schools. Maybe this can be a chapter in the new text. I call this type of life the “retrosexual” lifestyle.

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    1. Well, I wouldn’t go that far. You’d get some smartass saying,
      ” Don’t you mean ‘ metrosexual ‘ ” ? Then I’d have to break off a boot in his ass and go to jail until it all got sorted out. I don’t call
      it ” Old School ” . The attitude came before that, so I call it just
      ” Pre-school ” .

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  8. Not sure if this would count as “academic” but thanks for the complement

    Now go have a drink of scotch

    Grace: Good to see an Old School Woman here

    ~James G

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    1. Loved this movie and love a good glass of scotch, neat if you please.

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  9. My friend, I am crying on the inside (I’m just so happy.) Just dusted my 12′er of Pabst over the weekend with a few friends. Then one brought over “Blue Moon” White Belgian with orange peel and corriander. I would have kicked his ass, but he is bigger than me. Thanks for the site. I’m gonna live here.

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  10. When I watched this movie with my wife and kids, I told my sons that if their kids ever behaved the way Walts grandchildren did at his wifes funeral, I’d punch them in the mouth for disrespecting her that way. Evidently, I’m raising them right, my oldest said I’d have to wait while he did it to his kids himself.

    BTW, I drink Guinness and Bushmills, straight up, no ice. Does that count?

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  11. James, you pretty much hit the nail on the damn head. Outstanding.

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  12. This is one of the main reasons why the pussifacation of the American male is out of control these days – no one is teaching boys to be men anymore.

    Good book called Iron John speaks to that. (Robert Bly) How the system of how boys were guided into manhood has totally broken down. His follow on book, Sibling Society speaks to how we have engineered perpetual adolescence.

    Good reads, both.

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  13. James, wow brother, another great article…i’m impressed by all of them but you really made this article resonate with me.

    Men are becoming Pussies and to suggest openly in public this fact, you are looked at like trash…my wife’s grandfather said it best;
    “What’s a Man to do?” and he would finish it with “the best that he can.”

    Excellent article…i’m not sure if i’m Walt Kowalski OSM, but i know i’m on the right path. keep up the articles.

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  14. BTW, I drink Guinness and Bushmills, straight up, no ice. Does that count?  (Quote)

    No prob there – Guinness is old-old School

    James, you pretty much hit the nail on the damn head. Outstanding.  (Quote)

    Thanks man

    ~James G

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  15. Looks like Kim du Toit would be someone you could appreciate: here’s an essay by him that fits.

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  16. Amen!

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  17. “And the huge success of Gran Torino at the box office and the academy awards American Film Institute (AFI), National Board of Review, Broadcast Film Critics Association and Chicago Film Critics Association Awards…”

    Don’t forget it won the Best Foreign Film award at the French Oscars (Cesars) and the Japan Academy Awards (the fourth time in the last 5 years an Eastwood film has won that title). Oh, & btw, great article, does justice to a moving & meaningful film that is HUGELY entertaining.

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  18. Having read this article me and the gf watched the movie. She said a male chick flick, I said, should be compulsory watching for all.

    Only other value that wasn’t mentioned but that so many of my age companions tend to do is insult people with is being late or leave people waiting. It’s like being spit in the face. Yet they think nothing of it.

    My parents taught me to be on time, the army taught me to arrive five minutes before five minutes before the RV takes place.

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  19. It’s articles/posts like this that make me “need” to take up my own blog once again…

    “Common Sense” is “just two indistinct words” anymore today. “Old School Men” were garnered and even initiated into ‘common sense’ long time ago… Clint’s character reminds me so much of my father-in-law- Navy during WWII [went to sea 4 times and did NOT come back on the same ship each time- blown off the deck once and the other three were torpedoed!] and then Marine Aviator for Korea. Taught me all I ever needed to know about machining my own parts and electrical basics!

    It’s in this nostalgic vein that I humbly ask one thing-

    Would you be adverse to me linking to this blog entry- giving full and complete credit to you, of course? I’d love to spread the word of “Old School Men”!

    Russ

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  20. No problem man

    ~James G

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  21. Great article James. Great movie. Now I want to go out and buy a 67 Camaro. I am glad I can say I adhere to at least half of those rules. But thanks again James, I will raise a glass of Scotch for ya later tonight.

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  22. great work james , i am surprised too that they could make a film like this in this cafe late drinking , mummies boys, electric car driving, therapy taking, sensitive new age guys western world we live in . i only hope the next gen can toughen the f##k up before its to late. cheers to old school values.

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  23. Man you hit the nail on the head, Old school values, the right way of doing things. Great movie and great article. I’m not that old and it makes me long for the way things used to be.

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  24. “When he is sad he doesn’t cry”

    I disagree with this statement. Towards the end of the movie, Walt is sitting in his chair in his living room and he cries.

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  25. An old school man is allowed a few tears under the right circumstances, like the death of a hunting dog,

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    1. An old school man is allowed a few tears under the right circumstances, like the death of a hunting dog,

      Amen Chris…..when my Doberman died last year, it broke my heart. He wasn\’t a hunting dog per se, just a solid old school dog.
      Fierce protector of family and home….and my best buddy who would be right next to me as I sat in the yard on summer evenings with a few cold ones.

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  26. I come back to re-read this on occasion… it is one of my favorite posts and it hits me on so many levels. Today is Memorial Day and it seemed somehow to fit, to read it once more. Today we honor the men, and women, who gave it all up for US; and I sometimes like to be reminded that the OSM still exists, in our elders, our contemporaries and even our younger generations. We just need to nurture that flame until it grows strong and bright.

    The movie is one of my favorites and may be one of Eastwood’s best roles, even though he doesn’t gun down a single scumbag. And I thought that some of the scenes were so deeply moving and powerful. The one where he tried to talk to his son on the phone, just after he read the bad medical report, and the son blew him off… I’ve seen that happen in life and it hurt. But the scene with the kid driving along in the Torino with the dog… that was great.

    One of my few regrets in this life is not having more time with my Uncle Walter – actually, a great-uncle, he was my grandmother’s older brother – a veteran of WWI and an old school man all around. Tall, lanky, bald headed, round wire rim glasses, couple of tattoos…a fondness for drink and a treasury of war tales… Old School to the max.

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    1. I come back to re-read this on occasion… it is one of my favorite posts and it hits me on so many levels. Today is Memorial Day and it seemed somehow to fit, to read it once more. Today we honor the men, and women, who gave it all up for US; and I sometimes like to be reminded that the OSM still exists, in our elders, our contemporaries and even our younger generations. We just need to nurture that flame until it grows strong and bright.

      The movie is one of my favorites and may be one of Eastwood’s best roles, even though he doesn’t gun down a single scumbag. And I thought that some of the scenes were so deeply moving and powerful. The one where he tried to talk to his son on the phone, just after he read the bad medical report, and the son blew him off… I’ve seen that happen in life and it hurt. But the scene with the kid driving along in the Torino with the dog… that was great.

      One of my few regrets in this life is not having more time with my Uncle Walter – actually, a great-uncle, he was my grandmother’s older brother – a veteran of WWI and an old school man all around. Tall, lanky, bald headed, round wire rim glasses, couple of tattoos…a fondness for drink and a treasury of war tales… Old School to the max.

      I come back to re-read this on occasion… it is one of my favorite posts and it hits me on so many levels. Today is Memorial Day and it seemed somehow to fit, to read it once more. Today we honor the men, and women, who gave it all up for US; and I sometimes like to be reminded that the OSM still exists, in our elders, our contemporaries and even our younger generations. We just need to nurture that flame until it grows strong and bright.

      The movie is one of my favorites and may be one of Eastwood’s best roles, even though he doesn’t gun down a single scumbag. And I thought that some of the scenes were so deeply moving and powerful. The one where he tried to talk to his son on the phone, just after he read the bad medical report, and the son blew him off… I’ve seen that happen in life and it hurt. But the scene with the kid driving along in the Torino with the dog… that was great.

      One of my few regrets in this life is not having more time with my Uncle Walter – actually, a great-uncle, he was my grandmother’s older brother – a veteran of WWI and an old school man all around. Tall, lanky, bald headed, round wire rim glasses, couple of tattoos…a fondness for drink and a treasury of war tales… Old School to the max.

      You\’re right….the OSM does exist in our younger generation.
      I have had the honor of meeting many young Service-men and women.
      Most served in Iraq and Afghanistan ….or both.
      Good “kids”….made me proud.
      Respectful, men and women who were sharp and wore their uniforms proudly. They shook my hand and thanked me for my service. I worked in a cemetery and saw many military honor guards. As a Vet, I always thanked them for their service. They had an amazing amount of respect for the Vietnam and Vietnam Era Vets.
      They are the future of America…and they have paid their dues.
      God Bless them

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  27. Classic!What is really classic is that ,i served in Korea in ’74 with the 2nd ID,store stuff in a green US army footlocker,used to have an m1 Garand and a Colt .45 auto until i caught a felony when an asshole stated a fight with me in a bar,and a ’79 shovelhead is my only source of transportation.

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  28. Great article! Politically incorrect and loving it. About time we realized that we are men and started acting like it! Love the site…..Old School Retired Cop.

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  29. Hey dipshit he was a Korean Vet not WW II.
    Outstanding article, now write a book! America needs it.
    Semper Fi, Gunny

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  30. Just found your site – Thank fucking god. Old guys rule was the truth long before it became a T-shirt.

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  31. your rite on the money,loved the movie and loved your article.this is the frirst time I’ve been on this site and be back for damn sure.
    gator

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  32. James- I love your site. Found this article because I actually searched “old school men” in Google, I was that hard up for some kick in the pants motivation.

    I may not be an old school guy, but I could use more posts like these like a fisherman wants a hamburger when he gets to shore.

    Please post more.

    And soon.

    Jack

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  33. Great article. Old school rules!

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  34. Let me be the first to say, this is GREAT work, James! And it’s a message that needs to be told and taught if there is to be any hope for restoring and promoting genuine manhood in this once great country.  (Quote This Comment)

    The reason this nation is in the shape that is in is because this type is few and far between anymore. Hiding behind lawyers and the other ilk of shit was never in his vocabulary or his creed! It is not in mine either! Never has been…..never will be!

    LIBERAL= Little Ignorant Bastards Every Real American Loathes

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  35. I have known a few men like Walt, my Father, a couple of my uncles, and a few old war horses from the Corps.
    I was paid a very good compliment by a relative. “Your generation, just doesn’t understand..”
    I guess that makes me old school. I also guess that is why the son of the lady who said that, came and asked me to teach him to shoot, and how to be a good Marine.
    I taught him to shoot and then handed him Chesty Puller’s Autobiography, and said “If you want to be a good Marine, try and be half the man he was. That is how I became a good Marine.”
    I guess I also need to set him down and watch “Grand Torino” with him.

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  36. FINALLY!

    I was beginning to wonder if I was the only man left who understands what being a man means. Glad to see there are some of us left.

    Hell my 1 1/2 year old son can only say about 6 words but if you hold your hand out to him for a shake he will give you a good firm one.

    I have some acquaintances that are the kind of “men” you refer too. Lawyer calling, latte drinking, never been in a fist fight girly men and some times it bothers the hell out of me to spend time with them.

    Good to see that I am not alone!

    To us! and men like us!
    Damn few left

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  37. 3rd Time Reading this and I have to say for all its coolness and “Kowalskisms,” the end of this movie kills it for me. Those of us who live in “gangland” not Beverly Hills or some other uptight suburb, know that when Walt died, there was nobody to replace him. There are 3 more gangsters to one who gets put in jail or the grave. At least to me, his death didnt make his city safer, but more dangerous. After all he was like Billy Jack, he was the justice. Yeah yeah, I know, its in the script, but the gangs still win…

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    1. Matlock, He is the last of his community in the area, they did their time.
      By having the gang members shoot him he is giving the new community the kick in the guts they need to get offtheir asses.
      He taught the Toad how to be old school, now it is up to him and his community to step up and take the responsibility.
      He could have shot them up, but he decided to give the Hmong an opportunity to step up themselves.
      Now THAT is Old School

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  38. Just awesome.

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  39. Old School values – awesome!

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  40. What Mattlock doesnt understand, is that this may get 10 Walt’s off their ass, and do something besides watch from behind the blinds in a dark room. The gangs like pussies, and hate people who stand up. They might bring back up, but dont expect a shotgun wielding, trained, citizen to meet them at the front yard.

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  41. That,s right… Old School!

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  42. I still like to read this article again every couple of months – especially while I see the nation crumbling under the Kenyan marxist and the rest of the world going straight to Hell. I did note one quote that was omitted – when he confronted the gang with his rifle and tells the punks that in Korea, they used the bodies of fucks like them for sandbags. THAT is a vivid image – reminds you of the scene in The 300 where Leonidas points out the ‘wall’ behind him built of the corpses of a few hundred Persians.

    May I mention one more thing from a different movie which still seems OSM to me? The movie, “Ronin” has a scene in which DeNiro is being pestered by a wannabe, who wants to know “Have you ever killed a man?”, asking with an almost sick eagerness, wanting the gory details. DeNiro replies, “I hurt someone’s feelings once.” As I have said before, everyone I know who has ever killed others, myself included, NEVER brags about it when hanging out in a bar or even talks about it at a backyard barbecue or a family gathering – , never tells people about ‘blowing his GD head off and leaving a pink haze’, or whatever. I’m not talking about PTSD either – but men who kill because they have to, still never forget what that feeling was like, and they don’t chat it up to impress others. At least, that’s my experience.

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  43. Great writing with this one. One error, Walt was a Korean War vet, not WWII. The Korean War really is the forgotten war.

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  44. I have this bookmarked, and re-read every so often to remind myself how men were when I was a boy. Town was full of WWII and Korean War vets. Somewhere things began to change, I don’t know what the hell it was. I went into the Marine Corps three weeks after high school graduation in 1976. I think maybe four? out of 240 went into the military. It was strange times; especially after the Vietnam War. Anway excellent site and I am a proud owner of a Colt .45 Series 70 Mk IV purchased during my time in the Corps, an M-1 Garand, and a double barrel 12 guage for extra measure. I am getting too blind for distance, I figure both barrels will delay any advance through a door or window and I work on reloading fast.

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  45. Walt rules!

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  46. Great site !!! Clint had the character of Walt down to a tee. From the Zippo lighter to the cans of beer, he reminded me of every Uncle I ever had ! Thanks.

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  47. FINALLY!

    I was beginning to wonder if I was the only man left who understands what being a man means.Glad to see there are some of us left.

    Hell my 1 1/2 year old son can only say about 6 words but if you hold your hand out to him for a shake he will give you a good firm one.

    I have some acquaintances that are the kind of “men” you refer too.Lawyer calling, latte drinking, never been in a fist fight girly men and some times it bothers the hell out of me to spend time with them.

    Good to see that I am not alone!

    To us! and men like us!
    Damn few left

    Gardens Of Stone…..” To us and those like us…damn few of us” ?
    Either way….another OSM flick.
    Good choice !
    Goo

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  48. I was a kid in the 1950s…..had a brother and family members who served in WWII and Korea, many of them combat veterans. Growing up and working, I met many WWII and Korean War Veterans. Quietly tough men, who raised families and built this country.They were the real Walts. I am a Vietnam Era Veteran and am humbled by the way I was treated by these people when I came home on leave back then. They treated me like I was someone special, when it was them who were the heroes.To this day, I remember their kindness and respect….these were the people who fought all over the world and yet treated me as if I did something special.
    Real men and real women…..sadly, a rarity in our modern society.
    No bragging, no bullshit…..this country had hundreds of thousands of tough, capable men ( and women ) who came back from wars and taught their kids how to be men and women.
    The lack of people like them today really shows…

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  49. I’d like to shake your hand for writing this up. Bookmarked.

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  50. I love the ending drive by the boy in the Grand Torino. It is in Detroit/Grosse Pointe, on Jefferson Avenue heading up towards 8 Mile Road. That is the coast of Lake St. Clair, the smallest lake in the Great Lakes Chain. Is a beautiful ride. When you come to Detroit, take that ride…you will love it.

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  51. Technically I think his dog IS a pure bread not a mutt. But it’s also a Labrador, aka NOT A PUSSY BREED.

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  52. Great article. reminds me of my neighbor Joe. Korean War vet. He retired from the Air Force in 1965. Still wears a suit when he flies. When I went to Afghanistan, he came over to my house everyday to check on my wife and son. When I got back, he shook my hand and said “job well done.” He always wears his shirt tucked in and always had a hankerchief in his pocket.

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  53. Fascinating article, a real joy to read and also to see what behaviour is considered ‘normal’ in the US today.

    But, to take on one of Walt’s habits for a second…

    Note: I also fixed the typos

    ~James G

    No you didn’t, go back and read it with a dictionary to hand, not spellcheck.

    Also, because it is unlikely to be in a dictionary, .45 is a handgun calibre, 45. is not.

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  54. When I watched this movie with my wife and kids, I told my sons that if their kids ever behaved the way Walts grandchildren did at his wifes funeral, I’d punch them in the mouth for disrespecting her that way. Evidently, I’m raising them right, my oldest said I’d have to wait while he did it to his kids himself.

    BTW, I drink Guinness and Bushmills, straight up, no ice. Does that count?

    Fuckin’ “A” !

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