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Tom Coburn is a Big Fat Jerk


Home of the Barking Moonbat


Saturday, November 19, 2005

Vine Deloria

When I heard that Vine Deloria had passed, I felt not only sadness but a deeply physical sense that his death is yet another bellwether of the end. Oh sure, there are all those people in their academic shrouds who insist that there are so, so many others to carry on and that there's life, the Indian People are Survivors and They Will Survive. But there aren't and they won't.

This is the sad truth of Indian Country. It is something I came to terms with years ago --- all the chest thumping in the world cannot and will not erase hundreds of years of oppression and devastation.

It's probably not a coincidence that the day after Deloria's death, I sat with several Indian women listening to their tales of meth use and child abuse and molestation and prison and commitment to psychiatric hospitals. I looked into their black eyes and wondered if they would ever come to see that the circumstances of their lives signal that the process of colonization is nearly complete --- and that, without a miracle, the only possible outcome of this process is the complete destruction and assimilation of all Indian peoples. It's an intentional outcome neatly foreseen over 200 years ago. It mirrors the fragmentation and chaos of Africa, and is no different, except that Indians have been spatially and intellectually confined to small areas of land, which means the larger society can deny the reality and mythologize them for their own convenience. Not a one really wants to know.

I remember when I was still all hope and determination about it all --- I remember a young girl in a community I was working with who had clear signs of fetal alcohol syndrome, as did her mother. And I remember how furiously I denied this to myself, just as I denied the significance when I was told about the 15 year old pregnant at the same time as her mother and by the same man. Just as I denied the significance of being jumped by a men in the community I worked in --- and all of his sisters didn't bat an eye when they saw because this is just the way it is.

On the outside, everyone talks about the honor and the traditions and the deep faith and the courage of the Indian peoples, their spiritual fortitude, their complex and subtle beliefs, their connection to Mother Earth. But these people don't see the elders living back in the woods in delapidated trailer homes with rotting floors and peeling roofs, forced to cohabit with drugged children and grandchildren because there is no one else to care for them. They don't hear the stories of 75 year olds freezing to death in winter because they fell when they went out at 3 a.m. to get more wood for the stove. They don't see the seven year olds living on Snickers and wandering around without shoes because their father is who knows where and their mother is drugged up. They don't sit in line at the grocery behind Indian families and see carts full of exactly the foods which will kill them with deadly precision.

They know nothing of the corruption and ineptitude of tribal governments which are nothing more than the final hammers, instruments of the United States government which will insure that, in 50 years time, there will be no more Indians --- there will only be people pretending to be Indians and perpetuating the mythologies.

Vine was such a bright spot. I remember sitting in archaeology and physical anthropology courses, watching smoke spitting out of the ears of my professors and fellow students. He really pissed them off. They couldn't see the contradictions and gaps in their philosophies, yet accused accused and accused again Vine of their very own sins. The more they hated him, the more I loved him.

I remember sitting in an office with a Native professor as she told me about something she was writing with Vine --- how the spread of Judeo-Christian traditions intentionally created the false divisions between space and time, and how the medicine men go to that place to do their work.

I remember the sheer intellectual excitement of his work, the sense of recognition when I first read him so many years ago.

And there is no one to replace him.

And I wish that I could see a sign for him. Bob Thomas' son wrote of his father's passing, describing driving his body frm Oklahoma to Arizona and how in the last hours of their journey, the clan animals could be seen running alongside their car to take his father home. I sat once at a stomp dance and heard someone next to me mention that the ground's chief had been in the hospital. I remember looking up and seeing him dancing around the fire and thinking to myself what a tough guy he was and how much he must love his stomp grounds to be there so soon after his deadly illness. It was only two days later I was told he had died in the hospital about the time I saw him.

This is the reality of the Indian people. This is what the Westerners must kill.

And now Vine has been enfolded by it. I hope that his journey has been a good one.

Monday, November 14, 2005

I think I've just entered the not drunk, but tipsy phase of my life

Tonight, after returning from a community organization meeting (where I announced that I spent yesterday half drunk), I made myself a lovely salad of mixed greens and beets --- always with the beets --- doused with some Braggs Liquid Aminos, a healthy sprinkle of Braggs Seasoning and some homemade blue cheese dressing. I then pulled the chicken from the stock and set into a separate bowl for nibbling.

Then I poured a nice big glass of Zinfandel (Toad Hollow) and sat down to eat.

With healthy slugs of wine between bites.

And when I was finished, I found myself thinking that when I die, I will really miss wine.

I never before realized just how much I like wine. I've hardly drunken any since I moved out here, for fear of being labelled that odd woman who runs around half drunk planting odd plants. But that was all tossed into the air yesterday when sme guy who lives down the road recognized my car at the liquor store in town (and it's an amazing little liquor store, too --- great, great wine selection and they ordered me a mess of primitivo wine --- A Mano, which I'm very interesting in trying) ran into the store while i was there on some bogus excuse, then followed me home and tore off fast as lightning to tell everyone I'm a drinkin' woman.

So much for that cleancut reputation I've got going. Well, except that they all think I'm a pothead. But who the hell cares? Now they're sure I'm drunk all the time. And so I am.

It's easier to do chores when you're a bit drunk

I discovered this simple fact today, after stopping on my way home after work and purchasing a nice bottle of wine. Of course, when I got here, I had to sample it, just to make sure. So I poured a fair sized shot into a drinking glass decorated with bumble bees.

Then, just to really make sure, I had another fair sized glass with lunch: a buffalo burger (sans bun) and some beets.

I think I have never had such an enjoyable time doing chores.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Tulsa school system is disguising the number of assaults on teachers

Ar least according to KTUL, a local television station.

It doesn't surprise me at all. I'm quite sure, however, that the Republican extremists who've taken over the city are blaming it on "those" people. You know --- the ones who lack lily white skin, perfect good ole boy diction and requisite local pedigree (<--- read: healthy bank account or descent from the local "good" families). The Mexicans and Blacks, in other words.

And while it is true that the number of Hispanics in the city has skyrocketed in recent years and gangs have become a very real problem, I've had enough runins with the products of these schools to know ethnicity has nothing to do with it. With the exception of one, every student I have had serious problems with has been white. And more than a few have come from so-called "prominent" families.

The moneybags in Tulsa, the local leaders, will not acknowledge that the real problem is the culture these kids are coming from. For one, most of the schools in Tulsa really suck. They suck because the powers that be pay lip service to the importance of education, but are really more concerned with funding the high school football teams. Teachers are paid an unbelievably bad wage. And there is little incentive for students to read or work math problems or wonder about Orion.

Instead, the people who've taken over Tulsa shove religion down everyone's throat, believing that their punitive God is adequate to the task of child rearin'.

I'm sorry, but their punitive God exists only in their fantasies, only in their dreams of being the superior breed. These local leaders and their minions deserve their punitive God because they are, at heart, sociopaths. They share among their ranks those who shove under the rug that they're descendants of the men who burned Greenwood, who lynched unknown numbers of their fellow Black citizens, who decimated America's Black Wall Street. They share in the brotherhood of those who sit in the local fine dinin' establishments whispering about "the Jews" and worse.

You can't rell me it doesn't happen because I've heard them. I've sat with them listening to their whispers about "the Jews". I've even had them brand me a Jew.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, they're counting their money and slipping drinks --- or crank --- on the side or pretending their children aren't huffing. They threaten the teachers who catch their children plagiarizing and cheating.

And then they blame the teachers, who they expect to clean up their messes.

Is it any wonder that their children are out of control?