Wednesday, September 25, 2019

I Drunk Your Wine

Not wanting to invite conflict but it seems we are destined for trouble.

Regret is a sore which never heals. At night I sit and listen to songs on the youtube channels. It is here regret, sorrow, loneliness, longing, hurt and guilt enter my heart and body. My eyes hurt and there is a pain over them. It is damaging to keep the hurt but how in the heck do you extinguish it?

We all know regret. We all know hurt. We all know loss.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Playing the 911 Card.

Every September 11 there are public events held in the United States aimed at remembering the killing of three thousand people by Airplanes smashing into the Twin Towers. It is a date destined to be remembered and an event not forgotten.

September 11, 2001 has become the Card for America. The image of the Jets crashing into the Twin Towers as fire and explosions ripped through the sky is awe inspiring. Not awe inspiring in any good way whatsoever. But rather a picture of horror no amount CGI could depict, as it was real. The villains could not be scripted any better; a barbaric, harsh sounding American hating peoples. What better rallying cry for revenge and war? 

So what do I mean when I say it is the "Card" for America? Am I implying the deaths caused by terrorism is going to be used in not so sincere ways? I am. With the 9/11 terrorism acts so fresh it can be viewed as callous to be played as a "guilt trump card".  The sad truth is, the "card" is played everywhere. 9/11 is a relatively new Card to played when wanting to influence emotions.

In Hollywood, you see the Card played out in stereotypical characters of sitcom's and movies. The race card is catch phrase for a quick laugh. Laugh at the expense of someone's history, someone's background, someone's ethnicity. The Simpson's cartoon sitcom is notorious for many of its cheap laughs at the expense of some group. In one episode Homer is being found guilty of a crime and as he is about to be lead away, Homer raises his fist at this lawyer and says in his angry funny way, "Play the race card.  Playyyyy it!" The race card is running gag, while the Jew Card has also found a home as well. The "Jew Card" being played in sitcoms, movies ironically, humorously, and tearfully. 

Larry I just figured out what your problem is. You hate Jews! Which is so odd, because your children are Jewish.
Debbie Don't play the Jew Card, Larry.
Larry I'm not playing any Jew Card.
Debbie Seriously? It's used up.
Larry You can't use up a Jew Card. That's the whole point of a Jew Card.
Barry That's right. You can't use it up. It goes forever.

The Holocaust Card is another form of the Jew Card, in that is relives a horror of a magnitude that many still live with. The Card for many is not a card but it's really part of who they are and the "hand they are dealt"; living with the agony of mass murder just for being who they are. There are those who want to remember but to stop being victim, to stop using the Holocaust card. 
For its owner, the Race Card has lost some of its power today. Society sees itself as colourblind and the race card no longer relevant. So as far as playing a Card it is ineffective. Of course the Racial inequities are still there and even more so, but society doesn't care. They say deal with it. Society sees colour more so than ever, regardless of the colour-blind statements. The Race card is not being played by People of Colour but rather by those who hate colour. So the race card is used to promote hate and violence against those who would have previously used the Race card to gather support and guilt. You see, Cards usually being played have a horrible hand to begin with: The Jew being slaughtered and attempted genocide by Nazi, the Black being Slaves of cruel owners-mainly white colonialists, Indigenous people facing genocide by colonialists, Women used as doormats and a killing field for men.  Some how the Cards are being used not for guilt of a wrong but for more calls of separation, hate and anger.  Even with the relatively new cards Cards in play: the gender card, the LGBTQ2 card there are those who are immune. No amount of "show and tell" will change the mindset of the closed minded. The increasing number of Women being killed does not matter. The high number of suicides by youth of LGBTQ2 community raises not a care. So why does the 9/11 card resonate with American and White countries? Never Forget is the rallying cry and it is a loud one.  The US is really capitalizing on their Card. It is used frequently and with heavy effect. 

Where is our rallying cry for our Card?
I say never forget the Slavery of Black people in America. I say never forget the Land Americans live on is not theirs. I say never forget the lives lost to expansion of Transport routes by Immigrants of Colour. I say never forget the Sand Creek and Wounded Knee murders of our relatives by soldiers of Army.  I say never forget the Women who give life but are not respected. 
The question remains, which is the heavy hand? Which Card trumps the others? 
I guess it really depends on who is playing the card, doesn't it? 

Friday, September 6, 2019

Cute Pukatawagan Kids Drumming & Singing

This is so cute; young Cree kids drumming on a recycling box.  Their little voices singing without anything more than just having fun.

Beautiful isn't it? This small act of playing and having fun is really significant. It shows us their parents are doing something right. In a world where our people are struggling, these kids show us how it is done. They are showing the Indigenous community and all of Turtle Island, "look at us, we are still here."

They maybe unaware of what they have done. They have essentially given the proverbial Middle Finger to colonialism. Their small voices are resonating loudly in Indian World, and they are saying "we love us."  I would like to think they are also saying a big Fuck You to all those genocidal efforts by Canada, the United States, England, Spain and all those colonial nations.

"Kill them all, Big and Small, Nits make Lice" is but one sentiment which has been part of the mindset and the actions colonial powers have towards Indigenous folk. The first attacks of genocide where brutal and many. Using force in genocide activities can be expensive and costly.  So there was the move towards a more "subtle" approach of genocide taken by the colonial overlords:

“I want to get rid of the Indian problem.....Our objective is to continue until there is not an Indian that has not been absorbed into the body politic, and there is no Indian question, and no Indian Department…”1920 Duncan Campbell Scott
"The great aim of our legislation has been to do away with the tribal system and assimilate the Indian people in all respects with the other inhabitants of the Dominion as speedily as they are fit to change.” 1887 John A McDonald 

Of course the damage to Indigenous communities was devastating. The damage is visible today.  The cuteness of the boys singing shows the world: We are still here, We are still living, We are strong, We are relevant, We love our people, We are the Good Life.

All of this coming from a group of young children just singing a song in a Reserve most of the world has never heard of.  These young innocent children renew our hope in the world. They make us feel good, feel the pride of our heritage. We know they are just playing; a chance encounter with an adult with a phone who takes a video and a post to social media. This makes me think about all those who are doing the Good Life Mino-Bimaadiziwin: the Boys with Braids, the Women and Girls Carrying Water, the Language Speakers, the Name Givers, and those who receive their names and more, much more.

And for some, it is just kids being cute...

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 ...