Frontiers and Founding Myths: Deadwood and Emerson's Piano

[The Turner thesis] underwent a tremendous revision in historical literature in the 1930s and 40s. Deadwood certainly takes in that revision in Western historiography. Yet it troubles things further by the sheer excess of its dark, satirical vision: its prurient abundance of greed, chicanery, sex, and violence, its astounding political intricacy.

I didn’t think about it at the time, but one can certainly read Deadwood as an allegory of the Iraq War then ongoing: the exploitative tendencies of vast combinations of capital and political power replicating themselves in atrocities at the local level, where the unlimited desire for natural resources at the expense of presumably ‘heathen’ people make for pornographic spectacles of torture, all heralded in a dubiously complex, highly offensive, fractured syntax spoken by ambitious men.
— Peter Kuryla