Sunday, August 21, 2022

Decolonize? My Sweet Arse.

 Oh my sweet arse is so tired of decolonizing white stuff. Decolonizing is hard stuff, just like cleaning mustard off of your white dress shirt. It has to be done right away or it won't come off. It is not part of the fabric, but it just becomes imbedded there for all to see. Lot of folks get it wrong when they think about decolonizing. They automatically focus on todays' gems in society: the car, the Batman Leggo, the pink polka-dotted bottoms with leopard tops, tailor-made cigarettes and of course the cellular device. Personally I don't know how I have managed all these years without an Ipod. Good god wearing Crocs, I would literally go on a fad diet if I didn't have access to tunes (even ABBA). So people (mostly Settlers aka W-T's, and white folk in general) go for the "you should go back live in Teepees then." It's an easy lazy attack about the whole decolonize movement. People will try steer the narrative away from the true story. The story of unending greed, the depravity of acquisition, and the horrors of hierarchy. 

"How can we dance when our Earth is burning?" "Easy, I wear headphones and just look at my feet." This my friends, the question and answer is our society. No, it is true. Our society is asking what the fuck and our society is answering with "no speak English." If you really truly think about it, the 'Decolonize the shit out of our lives' is our salvation. And no you're not going to find the answers with business, capitalism, democracy, socialism, political monopolies, and all those other unitary states. Those Decolonize weirdoes have it right, it is the foundation of modern society which is killing us, all of us, even those wealthy dudes waving their dicks in space flights. We live on the same planet. 

I listening to a Massey Lecture on CBC radio a number of years ago. It was Adrian Clarkson of all people. She spoke on The Paradox of Citizenship - Ubuntu. Clarkson: "a person is a person because of other persons." Clarkson does a great job at body slamming colonial scholars who make fun of Ubuntu.  There is a fierce defense of society as it stands.  The foundation of society is of course based on accumulating goods. Clarkson borrows on the Indigenous Way of Life and shines a spotlight on the absurdity of European way of life. Clarkson is sharing about decolonization without labeling it as decolonizing. As a younger person (and still much) I was a shit-head. I wanted to be more than a shit-head so I tried becoming aware of my shittyness. I even bought the book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I didn't finish the book. One book I did read was The Tao of Pooh. Clarkson's stories in her lecture took me back to my own colonial coat which is part of my being. There books I read were part of the tool kit I was amassing over my lifetime. 

You see we are born into a colonial minded society. The colonial mind we have is all about getting stuff, judging others and our appetite for more. Decolonizing is about that. Essentially we have to start being generous in our being. Living a life for all of us and not just some of us. We see it all the time in our daily routines: Blood first, Be a man, Work for success, Family comes first. On the surface the messages seem to be righteous, good even. Each message is based on a colonial footing. Decolonizing our minds is difficult. The colonial messages are everyday, every second and everywhere. With our own people we see the white person, actually the white male as the superior being. The message has been imbedded deep into our being: white Jesus, white cowboy John Wayne, white Elvis Presley, white Winston Churchill, white Popes, white Doctors, white everything. The message is there and it's hard to recognize. I have seen some really staunch proud Indigenous folk yield their voice to white men and white women. We have some strong voices in our Native community but they are muted when compared to Karen's and Chester's of the world. So being mindful is not the same as letting people get away with colonial acts of privilege, judgement and bullying. Decolonization also means amplifying your own voice when others are trying to mute it. Inserted video below is decolonization in action. It is of course the Women who stand strong with their voices. The were strong without being mean. Their voices were strong in the situation. The Women stood their ground and it was beautiful. 

"My sweet lord, oh my lord, my sweet lord, I really want to see you," is a line from the George Harrison's song and although the meaning behind the song is a decolonizing of religion, the irony is the image which comes to mind in society (Western and Europe) is a white male when we hear my sweet lord.  A beautiful song by the way, may it bring some good feelings your way. The other weird thing about the society is there always a white woman being named as the most beautiful woman in the world. That is very surprising since Asia, India, Africa make up 75% of the world's population. You would think the odds are in favor of the most beautiful found in that percentage area?  Then again, we are fed a whole bowl of whiteness when it comes to what is beauty. If we are wanting to decolonize we should start with being mindful of others and try not being an arsehole. Even a sweet arsehole is still an arsehole. Like the Women in the video, they were strong, confident and didn't need to be sweet arseholes. These Indigenous Women, they were elegant in their position, they were passionate and they were true. So we need not bend over and anal bleach our sweet bums when we are soaping up for a good decolonizing. We can be mindful and still be a force against the machine of colonial stamps. 

I have this acquaintance, he is originally from Vietnam. He was telling me about how Indigenous Women are viewed. He said they (Indian Women) are easy, and are willing to do anything. I was angry when he said this. He wasn't trying to be mean just sharing what he was thought. It is quite weird for me, because I once got an email video from a Iranian colleague. It was a video of these two Asian girls and one was using a funnel to pour small fish into the canal of the other woman. After awhile the woman shot the fish out of her orifice. So we are prone to getting different messages. The movie industry sends mixed messages when it comes to Asian Women; the mild meek subservient, and the abnoxious bossy woman. We see things from a skewed point of view.  The movie Jerry Maguire, when Dorothy Boyd says about Avery Bishop, "she must be real classy" and the scene has Avery hammering Maguire with her blonde naked body and she is yelling "don't ever stop fucking me." is a metaphor for how things are not what we believe. We have been led to believe many things, white is right, white is pure, white is justice, white is everything. Only thing is, we are not enjoying this movie and we are not going to sit through it. For movies to sit through go with Exterminate All the Brutes. The view from here only gets clearer. I don't think you need to be bleaching your sweet arseholes any longer. 

Monday, August 8, 2022

The Walk Of Life

The other day, well it was yesterday, I went for lunch with my 83 year old brother-in-law and my sister-in-law. We went to a local food place named The Nook Dinner in the Winnipeg's West End. My brother has eye issues and had an appointment as follow up to surgery. As I waited on the street, my sister-in-law told me about a thrift shop down the street, I decided to have a quick look see while I waited for my bro-in-law. As I got to the shop, a commotion was going on between a woman, (who had on a smock, so I recognized her as a worker for the thrift shop) and a young man who had a bike. The two were doing a tug-a-war with a backpack. The boy and the woman were really getting at it. I walked up because I am a nosey bugger and got into the middle of it. I pulled on the bike but not hard and the woman was really letting him have it with her words. Then the young man pulled up his shirt to show his machete. The woman said "you fucking little asshole" as she continued to pull on the backpack. I held on to the bike and told him "don't do that" and he let his shirt fall to hide the machete. She pulled more on the pack and clothes fell on the ground and he let go and again he pulled up his shirt to show the machete, I told him again, "don't do that." The woman took what she had and went back into the store. I let his bike go and the young man picked up the one t-shirt on the ground. I found it very interesting the whole event. I don't know why the woman would take such a risk and why would the young man show his machete. It went from a shop lifting at a second hand store to a much more serious situation. I went into the store just to look around and she was calling the cops. I could hear her talking about the young man and then she said "he was Aboriginal." I saw the young man and I thought he was a young white man, maybe 17 or older, I don't know. It got me thinking, "well isn't this weird, if the young man was doing something good, he would be looked as white, but because he is being a menace, he is seen as Indigenous." Anyways... 

About three weeks ago I went with Suz, who is my wife, and of course my moral compass, to the drug store, Shoppers near our place. As we got there, at the exit doorway a large man was laying down blocking the door, he was in between the door. A few people were around him, I went to look and could hear people saying "he is breathing." So we went in for the prescription of drugs. We were about four minutes to five minutes in the drug store, not a long time. The pharmacist was called over the speaker system. She went out and we went out as well. We went through the entrance doors. I again went to look at the gentleman and this time a man was trying to move him. There was someone saying "he's not breathing." So we moved the man over onto his back as he was laying mostly on his side to the door. The man on the ground was quite large. So I had to grab his belt to help move him away from the door, so CPR could be started on him. As I moved him, it was now clear the man had wet himself, his face was discolored, more purple than pink or light tan. A woman standing there said, "He peed himself he's dead." A week or so later my wife showed me an obituary and asked if I recognized the person. I said, "no." It was the gentleman who died at the drug store. I found it interesting as this was not the first time a person just died in front of us. It was about 10 years ago when I was standing in line at a McDonalds and an older gentleman just fell to the ground as he was about to get a re-fill of coffee. He had died right there. Later on in the news his son was trying to get Public Access Defibrillations into more businesses. 

Jon Mia 

My sister took the trip from Manitoba to Alberta for the Pope Francis visit to Canada. Me I was in Alberta the weekend before to visit my brother and cousin. We did do a day trip to the mountains at Jasper Park. We had a beautiful visit. My cousin Barry made a Smudge Bowl out of rock and my Sister-in-law Val made us a great dinner and gifted us as well. With the mountain trip, we saw Mountain Goats, Black Bear, Elk and a Grizzly Bear, plus we went up the mountain in a gondola. I picked some small quartz pebbles on the mountain. Life is great like that. I don't think I had been out to visit family in many years. We had our baby with us, who is nine. She was a good travel buddy, no drama or complaints, just chill like a cool cucumber in a fridge filled with pickles. I posted on social media about my visit and how we were treated really fine, just like we were the Chief or something. I didn't get no Headdress like the Pope but my greetings were much better, they were the real deal, the love is real.  Hugging was not part of our experience growing up (thank you your Holiness and the Residential School gang for that) but we are doing it now. We are showing each other the love which was not part of the family thing and you know why? Because your agents of destruction beat that shit right out of every single Indian going into your "school." Okay, back to the trip. On our way to Alberta we stopped for gas in a little town. At the town gas station, which was small, really small the gentleman came out to gas our car. There was a woman on a bike there. So I asked her what she was doing. She was traveling from Victoria or Vancouver to Hamilton. I asked her why she stopped at this little town as it was not on the highway. She said she needed to "ice down her knee as she hurt it." Turns out she is a musician doing shows along the way. She was going to be in Regina for a few days. I gave her our number to visit us when she made it Winnipeg. Her name is Liz Pomeroy (0Stella). We talked but she was unable to visit as she had a busy time and had was traveling to Montreal. 

Smudge Bowls
 The other day I was speaking to my Aunt, my Mom's sister and she was talking about how the community cemetery had very tall grass. She said it was sad to see the cemetery not being tended to. My Aunt is now the oldest living sister on my Mom's side. I think she's about 86. She said of the grave site, "those people mattered." We should all think of people that they matter. 

The television production Reservation Dogs has made some good news. The young Native cast (I say Native, but they could be called Indians, Native American, First Nations, Indigenous and Rez kids) were doing Talk Show tv appearances with the Big Dogs; Good Morning America, Jimmy Fallon (can't stand that Jay Leno clone). The young actors having fun and it is great to see. There is this one young female actor, and she is "real savage" just like my niece. The show hits all the Indian buttons: Bad medicine will come back on you, Being a Warrior, the Indian who can beat up lots of people, the owl, the car, the rugged girls, old man driving on road with lawn tractor and all sorts of little references to Indian thinking. I really enjoyed the Dallas Goldtooth scene with him saying "Fuck, I really hated that guy," about George Custer, notorious racist 7th Calvary Colonel, who was martyred at the Battle of Big Horn by the Indians.

Hey! I know it's nothing much but it's about lots of stuff. It's the walk of life. So take a step and tell someone "hey don't do that" or just walk on by, either way it's all good. 


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 ...