Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

25 greatest songs for a Funeral (actually at a Wake)

By no means am I a Christian person, but do I ever like the music played at Wakes. You know the services for the recently deceased. In our Reserve people come out and sing. Not everyone mind you but a few people and do they ever sound good. The songs are of the country and gosple type. You know the songs?  I saw the light by the great master Hank Williams Sr.  I'll have a new body, and so on.  There are the guitars playing and maybe a bass guitar as well. Usually it is acoustic guitars. Anyway, I have been to a number of Wakes in our Reserve and the music is something that I enjoy (as well as the food, treats and tea -- for some reason there are white mints there?) This got me thinking about what kind of music I would like to hear at my Wake (should there be one -- kind of leaning against one but you never know)

At first I thought I would list one hundred. One hundred? Who has time for that? So twenty five is not too overwhelming of a number.

I will start with what I think is the best Wake song out there. I would love for this to played at a Wake that I am part of (should there be one):

Boogie Wonderland by Earth Wind and Fire. If you watch this video, there is no way you can't say that is fun fun fun!  After this song, it doesn't go in order of what should be played next. The tone of the Wake has been set. 

Lust for Life by Iggy Pop

Rebel Yell by Billy Idol

Whole Lotta Rosie  by ACDC or you can go with Let there be Rock. You can't beat Bon Scott. He was the man! 

Slow Ride by Foghat Now who can resist a Wake with this tune playing? 

Wammer Jammer by the J. Geils Band "A little bit of chicken picken"

Got My Mojo Working by the Great Muddy Waters.  In this version you can see him signal his band to cool it down a bit as they started. Or you can switch this one with Mannish Boy.

 Dead Flowers by the Rolling Stones, of course the original by Towns Van Zandt version would be cool too. If you are not a fan then another Stones Song would be groovy.  I have always liked Emotional Rescue

Nobody Knows Me by Lyle Lovett.  Of course anything by Lyle would make the list. So a nice ballad to let people rest after abit is cool. 

Come on Up to the House by Tom Waits. Shit if you're going to start with Lyle might as well get the master out there as well.  Tom and his Ballads kick arse. His lyrics are so damn cool.  "come down of the cross, we can use the wood"...

Bright Side of the Road.  No Wake is complete without Van the Man. Van Morrison.  Heck you could fill up the list with one album of Van. 

1999 by Prince.  Or one of his songs from Purple Rain.

YesterMe YesterYou by Stevie Wonder. I have been a long time Stevie Wonder fan. His song Superwoman is awesome. This song is a reflective song. You know you got to give them some ballads to soothe.

Illegal Smile by of course John Prine.  You could put any Prine song here.  He is a story teller and I like that.  "You may see me tonight with an illegal smile. Please tell the man I didn't kill anyone.  I'm just trying to have me some fun."  Funny how he can make a good story out of most anything.

Three Little Birds by Bob Marley.  Hell just put on his greatest hits cd and let it play.  You be Jammin'.  But didn't the U.S. force the Buffalo Soilders to kill Indians?  I don't know me.

Over the Rainbow by Israel IZ Kamakawiwo'ole.  I think this song is a classic and it is a real Wake song. One that could go in anyones home.  Just cool.  All I can say. It played at the Wake at my Boys.  Makes me sad and think of my Mom. So what is a Wake without a few tears. But mostly you want joy for the person.

Sunday Morning Coming Down by Johnny Cash. Although Kristoferson is good, John played Kris's song to perfection.  

I'll have a new body  by the greatest white country blues player Hank Williams Sr. My Dad was a big fan so I heard lot of Hank as a Kid. I think lot of Indian homes playe Hank in the days. If you don't have this one, the favorite is I Saw the light. A real Wake Staple.

Life During Wartime. by Talking Heads.  One of my favorites by Talking Heads. Makes you want to just kick open the casket and start dancing.   A very cool tune.

Night time is the Right time by the sensational Ray Charles.  This is one of my favorites of Ray. He is of course just great. This song would make you move your head as you sit and visit at the Wake of your loved one (me).  You know what is a great song? but wouldn't make my 25 greatest Wake songs? A change is gonna come by Sam Cooke. It might be a good song for someone else's Wake. " It's been too hard living but I'm afraid to die Cause I don't know what's up there beyond the sky..."

Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd. You can't have a Wake without Floyd. This song is special to me personally.  It reminds me of a son that I had. He's gone now. but I remember him in this song. Heck you could through on this live album and be cool with it as well.

Welcome to the Boomtown by David & David. It's okay but its a take or leave. Maybe shouldn't be on the list, but feeling the timing of the song.

Hard Times in the Land of Plenty by Omar and the Howlers.  Okay this one is pretty good. "Some people some people have not".   I used to like this tune at the time.  Not sure how it came to my mind.  But its okay. 

Copper Head Road.  By Steve Earle.  Of course we have to have this one on here. People love this song. Its a good one. I like his new style as well but you got to admit his old country rock was good.

Check it Out. by John Mellencamp.  Either this one or the Cherry Bomb. But I like this line "you can't tell your best buddy you love him".  Tells you a lot of society.  Reflective song, but not too sappy or I should say sad.  "Check it out, time to question my own behaviour".

I'll Stand by You. by Chrissie Hynde. One of the sexiest women in the music industry (her and Mary Chapin Carpenter). 

If I should fall from Grace of God.  The Pouges. You just can't have a Wake without playing some Pouges. I am a fan and so was my boy.  I just love their Christmas song. best one out there.

There are many songs out there and singers but this list could be one to start of your Wake. So your arse won't get sore sitting around drinking coffee.



Monday, October 13, 2014

'Kia ora' - Maori are really loved by Indians.

'Kia ora tatou'

Maori are the tangata whenua.

We are fortunate to have met some Maori over the years.  When they come to Canada they are treated as Royality.
Actually they are treated better than royality they are treated like family - Cousins. That Which is better. I believe this to be true from the Indians I have seen interacting with the Maori.  Perry, Jigson, Ivy, and a host of other Reserve people. That is because they are our relatives. But we don't treat them like the cousins we see everyday. We treat them like the cousins that live a couple of Provinces over. Because when you see the same old cousins everywhere, you just give them the 'yeah yeah' treatment. (Smile and wave boys, smile and wave.) The cousins from aways away are treated a little better. You still tease the heck out of them and make fun of them, but you are more generous to them. Sure you will pull your everyday cousin out of the ditch in the middle of winter but you won't give him your last five bucks. If we treated our far away cousins  like royality they wouldn't be able to use the toilets. We would need to bring in a new toilet everytime they want to go take a dump.  I guess that is the gossip of what took place that time that Her Royal Highness came to Winnipeg.  The rumour was the Queen had to have a new toilet, one that was not used by anyone else. So the Maori can use the regular toilets in any Reserve home that they visit. They don't need to be treated like anything other than "cuz", our far away relatives. So that way we would give them our last five bucks. So we treat our far away relatives like our close relatives; with fun, kindness, happiness, generousity and openness. We don't treat them good to impress them. That is not the way. We treat them good because that is the way.

I like to think that Indigenous Folk like other Indigenous folk. Aroha
If you go to their home community, they will treat you with kindness and with an open home.

It was nice to meet new Indigenous people and it was also great to see an old friend, Carmine Heteraka. These Maori came to the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba as part of a get together (conference) on health.  I was not part of the conference at all.  I like to go to conferences to check out the trade shows. Lot of good information, lot of great craft and art. And to top it off you get to collect a lot of free pens. You can never have enough pens. There may even be a bag or two that you can score. I know, I know it is a Pa-chaak move. A Pa-chaak is (although I am not sure of the english translation) kind of a jerk. The jerk can be good or bad. You know the type, come into your home, doesn't take off their shoes, looks in your fridge, takes your last beer, jumps to the front of the line, mouches food for free at conferences. That's what I did. I am glad I did. I ran into our friend there from New Zealand - Aotearoa.   I also met a bunch of new relatives from New Zealand.  

I think there are many Natives out there that feel the same way. You may have met some great folk from other Reserves, different Tribes from different provinces or from different States or countries. That is what has generally been the experience I have seen. Other Indians will treat you pretty good when you go to their community.  I have gone to quite a few different Reserves in United States, Canada and in Manitoba (Cross Lake, Shoal Lake, Pukatawagan, Berens River, Bloodvein, Dog Creek, White Dog, Hazleton, Alderville, Fox Lake, Rocky Boy, etc) and the folk are good.  The close by Reserves are okay, but because they are close by they treat you like that, a close cousin (so no giving you their last five bucks, although some will).

For me I have some great feelings of comfort and happiness when I think of the  Maori and New Zealand. I was very fortunate to have gone there, thanks to a relative from Sagkeeng (Perry). At New Zealand we stayed at the home of Marlene and Mak Leuluai of Whangaruru.  They opened their home to a whole group of us. Fed us, shared their families and their culture with us. It was fantastic!  My Son was on the trip as well. He was about 12 or 14 at the time. I wish he were still here today. It is our hope, Suz, Chloe and I to go there one day. I have mixed feelings about that. The first time there was so wonderful, I am afraid that going there again may not be as I expect it to be. You know what I mean?  You don't want to be disappointed.  Weird I know. Its like that saying "you can't go home again".  "... took it to mean that things and you change, and that you can never recapture the feelings you had in the past. It will always seem different."  If and When I go to New Zealand I want to be treated like a God (not thee God but "a" god).  I want people to treat me as a long lost relative or a far away relative. Not like strangers. I guess that is what I am afraid of.

I was lucky this time around that I got to take a few people to visit my cousins. And I was happy because I knew my cousins would not disappoint, they would be good hosts. Because that is the way. They are open and kind.  Right away they looked for gifts for the visitors. My other friend in Sagkeeng I know him and he is the type to feed the people. So I am sure that when the Maori went to visit in Sagkeeng he would feed them.  I can guarantee that would happen.

That was one of the things I notice about Indigenous folk, they want to make sure you eat, you are fed. When I was at the conference, hanging around the people told me to eat. Make sure to eat.

That is a commonality amoung Indians, they want to make sure you are fed. It is important.

So if you ever get the chance to meet some Indians or Maori or other Indigenous folk, make sure to feed them. They know that is the way. 

Māori are the tangata whenua – the people of the land

Friday, September 26, 2014

Michele Titler: You are the sunshine of my life.

There is a woman living in British Columbia Canada that really really hates Native people. She hates them so much that she has started an internet page with the aim to get rid of them.  There is no doubt she has supporters and like minded individuals. People who don't like the fact that Indians were here and many of them negotiated agreements with Britain and Canada.  These people don't like the fact that there are obligations for the privilege of being allowed to stay in Canada.  I wonder how they feel about recent immigration, the increase population of Indo-Canadians, Chinese Canadians and others? I suspect once they catch their breath they will add other non-Whites to their target sights as well.  I think she doesn't like Quebec as well, but really who does?  Just kiddin'. 

That Michele Titler is really quite a character. She openly promotes hatred towards Indian people and is extremely focused and committed to ending any of the obligations that Native people are owed. If Native people were not the Original inhabitants of this Land she would be using the mantra of send them back to where they came from. Unfortunately that is not applicable in this situation. Michele Titler is certainly prolific with sending her message of anger, hate, and misinformation. Now that takes dedication and focus. I wish I could be like that; focused, intense, determined and crazy. Sadly I don't have the drive to take on a cause. Titler has named her cause "End Race Based Law".  She is not a fan of the Charter of Rights, Section 35 in the Canadian Constitution.

This is the place in Canada's Constitution where it says things like Canada recognizes and affirms Aboriginal Rights. You know, us Indians, being the Aboriginal people in this case. That upsets Titler where you can almost see her "foaming at the mouth, snarling and gnashing her teeth in righteous anger and furious anger".  ( I couldn't resist stealing a piece from one of the great thespians of our modern era - Samuel L. Jackson, when he said "And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon you.", He is so the epitome of cool, don't you think?) I wonder how a conversation would go with Samuel L. Jackson and Michele Titler?

Samuel - "Aint that always the way? Elevator music, a nigga with a kilt, and a chick with a nickle plated nine?"

Michele - "Nine? I have had nine before and that's not nine!".

Samuel - “Enough is enough! I’ve had it with these motherfuckin’ snakes on this motherfuckin plane!”

Michele - "Snakes? I have taken an anaconda. Now that is a snake!"

Samuel -  “Yeah, Zeus! As in, father of Apollo? Mount Olympus? Don’t fuck with me or I’ll shove a lightning bolt up your ass!”

Michele - "I am a fan of anal, mounting and Zesus."

Samuel - "Yes, they deserve to die, and I hope they burn in hell!”

Michele - "Zesus loves me yes I know, for the bible tells me so"

Samuel -  “You shut your face! If we want to hear you talk, I will shove my arm up your a** and work your mouth like a puppet.”

Michele - "you make me feel like dancing, dancing, I'm gonna dance the night away".

Samuel - "Mother Fucker".

Michele - "I'm a bad mother fucker..." "gemme a mothufuckin'hug"... "Yeah, I said it! Waste them mothufuckers!"

Yes, Samuel L. Jackson and Michele Titler would have a blast. Michele smiling or foaming at the mouth and Samuel L. Jackson saying his cool movie lines.  Groovy.

Michele is a taste of grapefruit for sure. We see her, large and sour tasting. But you know what? We like it that way.  She doesn't cloak herself in phoney rhetoric. She hates and lets you know that she hates you. She attacks like a trained pitbull with no other purpose.  At least in that way she is not hidden under the sheets of the likes of KKK crazies or linked into some right wing church that uses the bible to spew hate and intolerance, or part of the Stephen Harper's team of conservative hate promoting gang of rich folk and ignorant WT's  (for those who don't know, some of the white folk are WT's. meaning they are what is commonly referred to as White Trash, not judging or anything just clarifying what WT represents).  Nope, her intolerance, hate and bigotry is right out there in your big brown face. The bad thing or sad thing is that she is a magnet for those camouflaged crazy hate filled bigots. They can feed her and that's how she can gain strength. The only way to combat that kind of hate is to fight right back with more hate. Nah, just kiddin'.  I am not sure but hate on hate is probably not a good idea. I think the way to do it, is to shed light on the hate, show how crazy it is. How sadly funny it is. How ugly it is. How repugnant and foul an odour it is. Just maybe some people will smell how awful rancid that bigotry and hate is?  Michele Titler knows her campaign is a fraud!  She knows damn well Canada will freeze over before they tackle the constitution again. And it won't be for the Charter that's for sure. It is just an opportunity for her to spew hatred, pure and simple. It also gives her the chance to do interpretive dance to music on vemo.  Interpretive dance now that's an art. Michele takes it and really shows us how Crazy is to be interpreted. Yes, Crazy like in "puppy cooking crazy". Speaking of crazy; PETA should keep an eye on her.

I lied!  Michele is the not the sunshine of my life.  She stands for hatred intolerance bigotry and ugliness in society.  I can't say things like, "oh I will pray for her, or I feel sorry for her". Nope but  I do  feel kind of bad for her family. They have to live with the rot filt and the foulness of her being.

 You Are The Sunshine Of My Life
That's Why I'll Always Stay Around
You Are The Apple Of My Eye
Forever You'll Stay In My Heart

A little passage from the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry for Michele Titler and her minions to consider:

We believe that there is no longer an issue as to whether Aboriginal people have the right to govern themselves in accordance with their customs and traditions. It is clear, we believe, that they have that right. It also is clear that there is little agreement on how far that right extends into existing federal and provincial jurisdictions. It is regrettable that this vital concern has been addressed in terms of whether our first ministers are willing to "give" power and on what conditions. Instead, we believe that the way in which this should be addressed is to question how and to what extent Aboriginal people lost their original right to self-determination. Those who assert that the right is already limited are the ones who should bear the onus of proving this contention. Their inability to do so would mean that the right still continues in force.
In our view, Aboriginal people have not lost the right to govern their own affairs. This right to self-determination precedes colonization and has never been voluntarily surrendered. There is no evidence that Aboriginal people were ever conquered so as to be susceptible to the victor’s unilateral domination. None of the treaty negotiations in Manitoba indicates any intention by the Aboriginal leadership to surrender their governmental authority. Further, international law today clearly recognizes the right of peoples to determine their own future.
It is possible today to assert that Aboriginal people enjoy an ongoing right to self-determination which is not subject to federal or provincial interference. That position is confirmed by section 35 of the Constitution.
It is our assessment that Aboriginal rights to self-determination must be acknowledged openly and freely by all levels of government.
The law now starts from a presumption in favour of the continued existence of Aboriginal and treaty rights. This reflects a considerable change in Canadian law. Some limitations were accepted by Canada’s courts in previous years, but, in our opinion, such tendencies and those past decisions are no longer valid under the law as it now stands. The legal philosophies and the 19th century theories which gave rise to those decisions must now be discarded.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Suffering From Face Book Rage?

Yes I have a Facebook page.  I use this one to try and network, exchange ideas, share news links, meet new people and sometimes to tease a bit. One of the things I notice on Facebook (and other forum sites) is that people like to complain, fight or air out their individual woes. In other words lot of drama on the site. Some of the sites and Facebook pages are just horrible. Seems like people put them up to cause pain and spread manure stink all over.  However there is the flip side of that where some people are just fun or funny.
That kind that make you laugh out loud as your sitting in your basement all alone, the lights dim, the musk smell of dampness,  with media player playing some smooth blues jazz pop (something like Van Morrison's Someone like you) and you read the post and you laugh out loud like a crazy person. The laugh echoing on the grey concrete bouncing throughout the darkness.  Is it still okay to say crazy person? I am not sure these days, maybe I should say a "touched" person?  Anyway that Facebook is a time waster for sure. It's like a car accident, you don't want to look because of what you might see, but you look anyway, because like most people you want to see the carnage, the damage, the blood and the gore.  

There are those of us that act like pious (my new word of the day) arseholes. We are good to correct the behaviour of all those whiners and complainers on Facebook. Only our view is the right one.  Kind of sickening but what the heck you going to do?  I like to fight sometimes. Not fight fair mind you. Try use that underhanded passive aggressive moves that people just can't stand.  At the same time there are people that just need to be slapped in the side of their big heads.  Their moral compass is pointing directly at you and it's not a good feeling. Or there are those that have the superior perch of being saintly or righteous. You know the type, acting like all their moo (shit) is smelling like tulips and jam.  They need to be hit with a shovel in the head. (Like that poor girl on youtube) Now that is where I sometimes jump in like a Batman or maybe a Wolverine (nah, I think like a Batman, the cape endlessly flowing in the wind making a swoosh sound).  I swoop in on a steel cable from the roof tops of a tall older crumbling building made in the early 1900's.  The Facebook posters are unsuspecting of this fearless anti-hero. Absent in the anti-hero literary posts are profane laced barbs but rather fuzzy flowery prose meant to disarm the wild beasts of the dark dreary allyways of Facebook. Before they suspect they are caught in an innumerable unslaught of witty comebacks, logical statements, back-handed compliments, and mis-direction caused by truth and sincerity. All this by their own volition. After all they invited the today's anti-hero into their home with their asinnity.  I mean come on? What do you expect when you put out a question or statement that is so dumb a rethread ( notice I use the word that is less offensive, you know the word retard?) could dissect.  Not that I am some brainy arse.  Just use some everyday experience and you will see the posts I am referring to here. It itches my arse when people deem themselves to be the rebel with a cause, the protector of the feminine, the leader of the activists. So enamoured with themself, they fail to see the ugliness in their positions.  That is why I do it. I don't really like the one liners or word of the praise that posts are littered with. The anti-hero will bombard them with a paragraph of logic, sacracism, wit, poetry, humour, double speak and cryptic messages. 

The reactions are all so predictable. At first their will be a volley of returns to the statements, all the while mostly avoiding logic or counter position. Then it will quickly erode into single word attempts of personal attacks, insults, vulgarity and the default position of profanity.  The end result is the poster's rage uncontrolled in a mix of anger, hurt, confusion and defeat.  It is the internet equivalent of road rage. Except they are not having a car to ram you with, or give the finger salute, the poster has only the computer to exact revenge. They can't reach through the monitor and hit you with a shovel. And they can't match your non-aggressive slams of literary genius (don't have to be able to spell to win debates unless you're grammar schooled, now that is another type of troll).  Maybe the beaten beast gets off their office chair and goes over to kick the cat, who knows?  That is the Facebook Rage. With Facebook rage, defenders of the broken will add some band aids to try and soothe the beast. They will say: "we are with you." "We support you." "You go". "You rock". "True words", etc.  The general public see it as the last feeble attempt (at what the Chinese adoringly refer) to "saving face".

Facebook rage is not limited by interaction with an anti-hero but could also be set off by the ever lurking troll. Thing is the troll does not have the applealing qualities or repertoire of the anti-hero musings and wisdom.  The troll, well the troll behaves in a mean spirited fashion, and does nothing to educate the witless dolts that occupy Facebook.  So a troll generally doesn't capture the Facebook rage as most people see them as you would a pest, a bug, an ant at a picnic. Not worth the real effort to get emotional involved with.

So dont' be party to Facebook rage. Keep your posts smart, clean, informed, funny and free of drama. Oh one last thing, don't be afraid to NOT have the last word. 

Oh one last last thing, the anti-hero is not to be adored or revered, at the end of the day she or he is really just an arse.  

Oh one last last thing, Don't worry about the defeated beast coming on to your page, they are enamored with their self, they don't visit other poster's pages. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

When the Moose Barks.

My Dad used to work on the winter road around the 1980's. The winter road is exactly that: it is a road only used in the winter. It is made through the swamp, river and swamps in the winter to get to isolated communities in Manitoba. Much of the northern east side of Manitoba is isolated. You can only get there by air, or winter road (some places have rail line or a boat ferry across the lake). There is a television show called Ice Road Truckers. This is where the winter road is. It has been getting harder to make the road and the road use is getting shorter because of early melting (you know the dreaded climate change, which by the way Canada's PM doesn't buy into).

He told us of the time a Moose barked at him on the road. This of course was a bad sign. He told us of the story of the Moose and what took place that day. Anyway I won't bother you with superstition. Ha, just kiddin', I love that kind of stuff and believe in the Teachings. There are warnings that the Spirits and the Animal world will give you. The Moose barking is one of those warnings. Just as the Owl is a messenger that death will occur. The Moose will bring a forewarning of doom or dire consequences.

The reason I was thinking about the Moose Barks, is I have tenatively choosen the title of a book, should I ever write one, and it will be When the Moose Barks. Alternatively I was thinking of changing this blog title or starting a new blog (and abandoning this one) to When the Moose Barks.  I kind of feel that the blog has not attracted an active following. Maybe time to rethink or renew or rehash or restart things?  What do you think?

In any case I was thinking that the only thing I do have some control over is what I do with time.  I can continue to flounder at attempting different things, like making walking sticks or rattles or even writing.

For those of you that read the blog I am grateful for your time. Time is something that is finite for us. So coming here and spending some time with me, well I like that and I am thanking you.

So if a Moose Barks at you, take heed, try to make amends if that is what is needed and treat those around you in a good and kind way. I think that is what it was telling my Dad. My Dad he was a good guy, not the best in the world, or the worst, but just a good guy who made mistakes and tried to fix them.

I never heard a Moose bark, but I did hear a Deer Bark and it scared the hell out of me.

Want to hear how a Moose sounds when it calls? click Moose