Friday, January 11, 2019

Heck With You and Anyone Who Looks Like You

Yeah, we laugh at shit.

At the Southbeach Casino in Brokenhead First Nation my cousins were playing the machines. An elderly lady fell down. So one of my cousins, went to give aide (most likely he was being nosy). As he was bending over to ask how the woman was doing, another cousin walked by and poked him in the arse. He screamed, fell backwards, flaying his arms all over the place and rolled around a little bit. He is kind of a big guy so he couldn't jump up and recover like a Ninja. Another cousin was sitting at a machine and witnessed the commotion. He did not tell the cousin on the floor who had poked his arse. The elderly lady was fine and same with my cousin who rolled around by the slot machines.

When my Dad started getting forgetful and on his way to having Alzheimer's, my brother Don and my brother-in-smiley visited him quite often. They also used to tease him. Dad was living alone after Mom had died. They would be sitting in the kitchen having tea with Dad. Some how my name would come up, with Don and Smiley saying "Steve's going to put you in the home".  Our Reserve has an old folks home, otherwise known as a Care Home. Dad would be asking "what for?"

My Dad was very much against using the same Funeral Home who did my Mom's services. He said Giesbrecht Funeral was a "rip-off." My Dad also didn't want to be buried with a casket. My brother Don and Smiley would tell my Dad, "Steve's going to use Giesbrecht for your service".  My Dad would get wild and swear about Giesbrecht and the funeral industry. "It's a scam. Big money for a box. If you put me in there I'll fucking kick myself out of that casket."  Dad was adamant about Geisbrecht being a crook. Turns out he was right. A few years later Geisbrecht was busted for defrauding dying people. We didn't end up using a casket for Dad and we didn't hire Geisbrecht.

My brother Pancho had a brain aneurysm. So he was rushed to the City hospital by ambulance. My brother and I met our sister-in-law Jeannie at the hospital. The doctor came and spoke to us and he was pretty grim about the whole picture. I tried to ask questions and Jeannie didn't say anything. So my brother told the Doctor to operate and give him a chance to live. We went to the waiting room after the discussion. We looked at our sister Jeannie and told her "geez, your already kicking dirt on his grave and he's not dead yet", as we laughed about the whole situation. Jeannie denied she was throwing mud on Pancho. She married into this family so she knows the price. So the teasing is constant. Pancho never did recover, he did end up dying.

The Vancouver Winter Olympics of 2010 was a mixed bag for the First Nation community; some welcomed the party while others resisted. In Manitoba there was a rally to bring a spotlight on the Indian situation in Canada. The Olympic flame was being driven through Manitoba. A few stops were scheduled on the route to give some locals the chance to carry the Olympic Torch. The Town of Richer was one of the stops. So a group of Indians, with their horses, a bus load from our Reserve and a number of individuals in their own vehicles drove up to the Trans Canada Highway. There at the cross roads near the town of Hadashville. Hadashville is on the Trans Canada Highway, (known as Number One Highway) and is 40 kilometers east of the town of Richer. So there are these Indians on their horses, a few Chiefs with their Headdresses, and some Indians with Eagle staffs, and some with signs.  I am there with my camera. The day was cold and windy. We stood at the side of the road. We waited for the Olympic Torch.  Finally, we were rewarded for our wait as a cascade of black SUV's drove by. You could see little Canada flags hooked onto windows. We all stood there.  We watched the cars carrying the Olympic flag drive by.   We wondered "Hey didn't they see us?" Nothing happened, they didn't stop, wave at us or even slow down?  So the Indians on horse back had nothing to do so they went up the road for a little ride, I took pictures. The people laughed and teased each other. They loaded up the horse trailers and the buses, and we got in our car and went back home. It was a good day.

I was a bar with some of my cousins. This was at least 39 or more years ago. My cousin and I were playing pool against his older brothers. We won the game, surprisingly because one of the brothers was a skilled pool player.  We won a buck each. So we teased and we teased the older cousins. The oldest cousin, didn't like to lose. He took out the dollar bill and wiped his arse with it. We let him have the dollar. I look at this as a teaching moment. I see people kissing money.

At a Band meeting (public meeting held with  the community and Chief and Council of our Reserve) the people were talking about what offices would be open during the holiday season. There were a number of old people there. My Dad said out loud "hey for those of us who don't work, do we get a holiday too?"  An old man who was known to never work said "Yeah, what about us?"

"Heck with you and anyone who looks like you. Never did like you anyway."  Words of endearment from the reserve. 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Eve of Destruction

What do you think, are we experiencing an era of destruction?

We are so plugged into the world via the internet and other media that we see lots and lots of ugly. The ugly is right there for us to digest. Natural disasters becoming more frequently and in intensity.

Just looking on Twitter and we see two young girls in North Dakota age 11 killed themselves. How isolated or crushed must they have felt to do this. How ugly the world must have looked to them. Eleven years old can you imagine? Get this, a woman who has been in a coma for 14 years just gave birth. It's a page out of the Pulp Fiction movie; "My name is Buck and I'm here to fuck, hehehehe". How sick is that?

The amount of ugly is just coming into our homes. People are experiencing ugly in all sorts of situations. Politicians are appealing to the ugliness in society so they can get elected. People are using the rise of bigoted politicians as permission to openly attack ethnics, and minorities. Politicians are actively promoting fear as the driving force of their punishing and cruel policies. Governments are turning blind eyes to when an oppressive regime murders and chops up individuals. The divide between people making a living and the rich is beyond belief.  Politicians are using police forces as their enforcers rather than looking out for the safety of the public. Police Forces have transformed into military forces. Ultra Racists are being elected in to power.

In Canada the anger over oil Pipelines has the government using police to remove Indians from their home lands. The Canadian government is rolling out new changes which will undermine the Treaty promises. The RCMP are treating their own Female members with abuse and continue to abuse Indigenous people throughout the country. With the RCMP linked to deep seated racism.

The Middle East is still engaged in killing each other. Yemen's Children are caught in a war and are starving to death.  In China they are jailing Canadians due to the arrest of a Chinese business Woman. Russian is attacking the Ukraine territory and undermining it's sovereignty. While critics of Putin seem to end dying of radiation poisoning; other regimes like Israel are getting more and more ruthless. The Palestinians are systematically killed and forced out of their homes. In the United States, the government has separated children, infants toddlers from their parents and jailed the children. The people of South America are dying to get out of harms way. The amount of displaced and refugee people is in the millions.

The ugly the world is experiencing rises and subsides like a tsunami. Although it does subside, it is never to the same depths.

Although we see the rise ugly in the political realm  it is also in our homes, our schools, our police, our hospitals and in the streets. The tidal wave of ugly hurtful events seems to be the norm these days. There is the problem, we are believing the ugly to be normal. There my friends is where we come to the eve of destruction. When the ugly is just everyday part of living, we are truly fucked.

I rather walk in a garden where you are refreshed with the goodness of society rather than steamed over, crushed by the wave of ugly.

So my friends don't accept the ugly. Speak out against the man who is attacking a woman. Speak out to the teacher who is cutting hair of a student. Speak out against the ugly racism disguised as fear of your safety. Speak out against ugly even if it is uncomfortable.

* By the way many artists, writers have all seen this coming. Just see the books, movies, television shows. We all know how it ends with the government capitalizing on a made up fear and seizing absolute power.

Cherokee Fiddle, cause Good Whiskey Never Let Him Lose His Place

 Urban Cowboy is a 1980 movie with a soundtrack steeped in western songs that had great Redneck lines like, "single bars and good time ...