It's telling that even the The San Fransisco Chronicle can't help but dish out praise on The Duke's birthday. Good on them.
Wayne gave us the mythic American man.
Does that sound like nothing? Are we not impressed? Then try watching the last minute of Ford's "The Searchers" or "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" (1949) -- or Hawks' "Red River" (1948) or "The Shootist" (1976), Wayne's lovely valedictory -- and see how it makes you feel. I predict one minute of cold skepticism followed by heart-in-mouth awe. John Wayne is in our collective bloodstream.