Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Buckle up, we're experiencing a little Injun trouble...

I heard this ad the other day on the radio for a local casino, and it was inviting the public to come (ante up and) spin their Thay! More Ovaltine, Mom!Love Of Money Wheel... I couldn't help but shout back, "That's the root of all evil!" {Thought you'd like that one, Jamie.} I think I saw a Hieronymus Bosch painting of one of those once, sort of a 'Catherine wheel of chance'. Same ad said that on such-and-such day you could come see the [name of Indian tribe] Bikini Girls! For sure I know I've seen them in a Bosch painting, probably next to the Love Of Money Wheel doing the gameshow-hostess variety spinning. "They're cute as the devil!"

Okay, out of fairness, now that I've dissed on the indiginous population of my area, I must say something complimentary. Back in college I was sitting around with my paramour and there was this demonstration of Yakama tribal fancy-dances. (If you've never seen Native American hoop dances, you're missing some amazing work.) The drummers beat their hide drums and chanted in the stereotypical "huy-ya-yi-yuh" while the dancers told a story about Coyote with their bodies and motions, and the group congregated to watch were deep-pocketed local farmers and businessmen that the college wanted to woo for money. Some were quite literally rednecks, pasty white guys with bright pink flesh around the collars because they were orchardists and owners of cultivated fields. I sat there for a moment listening to the chanting and watching the dancing, and turned to her and said "I know a little Sahaptin so let's see if I can translate..." I cocked my head and said in delayed segments, "You stupid... white guys... You stole... our land... You raped... our cattle... You gave us... alcohol and... social disease... And now... you give us money... for surviving... Pay up... Ha ha, ha ha." (If you don't get the joke, see this Far Side cartoon for a related jab. I grew up on the Yakama Rez and love the history of the tribe; a couple of my closet Yakama friends are a lot more critical than I could ever be of tribal politics and personal behavior, and that clarity is why they're my friends.)

There's another stupidity in my craw, but this shouldn't surprise me. At my work (dealing with cellular data service) there are two separate systems in use, which I have a unified interface to use. A few weeks ago someone decided that we technicians should not be able to edit details in one of the systems, meaning that when someone gets a replacement PDA or a function isn't working so account provisions need to be removed and replaced to 'remind' the system what the thing is supposed to do, we have to put the customer on hold then call Customer Service to get things straightened out. Customer Service has a substantially longer queue hold time than my department, and by policy Customer Service charges to change Electronic Serial Numbers under normal circumstances (my department does not). I love how folks who don't do the work come up with ways to throw a spanner into the functionality of those who do do the work.

When I was living in upstate New York in the 80's there were occasional headlines about the tribes further North in NY State, the Seminoles, I think. Usually it was about some lawsuit to try and get some of their land or the rights to it. That just never sounded right. After all we've taken from them, isn't it time we left them alone?
The time has come
To say fair's fair
To pay the rent
To pay our share.
The time has come
A fact's a fact
It belongs to them
Let's give it back.
-- Midnight Oil "Beds Are Burning"
(which is about the aboriginal population of Australia)

There was a story in the news here not long ago about a tribe trying to get rights to a large rock. Seems that it had ceremonial meaning to the tribe generations ago, and when the expanse of land was parsed out it wound up being on the white man's side of the line. Granted, it wasn't a huge issue because this land wound up being some not-exclusively-private thing like a summer camp, but the tribe did wind up securing visitation rights.

Looking around at what some people have done with the land their forebears stole, it's understandable why Iron Eyes Cody shed a single tear at the end of that ecology PSA. On the Yakama Rez, you can tell which part of the circular hillside (Toppenish Ridge, Horse Haven Hills, Ahtanum Ridge) is reservation land and which is not -- the rez part is still covered in forest, the rest is bare and amber.
That's a telling reality-metaphor, with the barren hills.

I looked up Indians, and it seems that the Seminoles were in Florida. I probably heard about the Iroquois or Mohawks, or some lesser known name.
Tee-Hee.. You wrote do do in the last sentence.
Made me think of doodoo. Yes, I'm THAT juvenile.

As for that graphic, I do not wish to feel gay in the morning, so I will avoid that product.

The Far Side cartoon is funny, as most of them are.
One of my favs is the one that's captioned:
Boneless Chicken Ranch
All of the chickens are laying around all over the place on the ranch because they are boneless.

Your interpretation of the dance (or at least what was in the heart of the dancers) was most likely right on the money.

Have you thought of adding a Flickr-type account link from your blog so your photography can be viewed?
Just a thought.
Jamie: What, no comment about the Root Of All Evil Wheel? :) The Polish rock band Lady Pank had a cool song on their only American release called "Do, Do" (chorus: Do, do, do you realize / that things just haven't changed? / Do, do, do you recognise / Jumping Jack Flash in flames?) and mine was about the same reaction as yours. I was of course 15 at the time.

If you clicked on the graphic, you noticed it's an Ovaltine ad. I can't picture drinking that first thing in the morning though I have no problem with (real) chocolate milk. [group of kids at a vendor's cart (WTF?): "More Ovaltine, please!!"]

Favorite 'Far Side' - where the Bluebird of Happiness has abandoned Ned, leaving him with the Chicken of Dispair.

No, I'm keeping my photos -- found or otherwise -- in my own webspace, and could go linking if I wanted to. Uploading stray pictures to Blogspot is good enough for my needs, and if I had vacation photos I'd send them here. While I do have a Flickr account the material there isn't related to my found photos and aren't series that fit in with my blogosphere focus.
I don't think that money is the root of all evil. AND, I don't think that the love of money is the root of all evil unless it is the only thing one loves in this world. I LOVE money and wish I had tons & tons of it. Money makes the world go 'round! Plus, it makes life a lot easier. Bills are the root of all evil.

I actually like Ovaltine. We buy Hershey's Chocolate Syrup for our milk, and I also like Nestle's Qwik.
I'm happy with chocolate flavored milk of any kind.
Even YooHoo.

Have a nice weekend. Drink some Ovaltine!
Oh, BTW. I am part Indian. So much so that my great-grandmother (mom's side) was a squaw.
I have a pic of her. She was very neat looking.
This is off topic to the post, but I just had some entertaining laughs at the March photos. This was a good month!
It's Sunday, and this afternoon while grocery shopping, I came THIS close to buying some Ovaltine.
Most Indians consider "injun" a slur, you know. (Same with "squaw.")
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?