America was never innocent. We popped our cherry on the boat over and looked back with no regrets. You can’t ascribe our fall from grace to any single event or set of circumstances. You can’t lose what you lacked at conception. Mass-market nostalgia gets you hopped up for a past that never existed. Hagiography sanctifies shuck-and-jive politicians and reinvents their expedient gestures as moments of great moral weight. Our continuing narrative is blurred past truth and hindsight. Only a a reckless verisimilitude can set that line straight. ..It’s time to demythologize an era and build anew myth from the gutter to the stars. It’s time to embrace bad men and the price they paid to define their time. Here’s to them.
I think it well exemplifies Deadwood. My best guess (and a quick google search) leads to me to James Ellroy.
But what's the point of building a new myth, if a myth is a lie? Is he saying we need to, or should, replace one false version of the past with another? If Deadwood is in one sense historical reconstruction, isn't the point of that to show in art an accurate iteration of the ways things were? If that's so then the new myth is myth in a thin sense, in the way that every fiction is a myth, or is myth in even a thinner sense, that every historical account being an account only, a necessarily selective story of events and significances, albeit presented as history, is also perforce a fiction, which is to say, a myth.
I don't think he's making existential point about the inescapability of myth-making; seems to me he's saying that American was built by self-interested motherfuckers whose dignity resided in their strength and guile but not their kindness or idealism.