Wednesday, May 30, 2007
1) When I was young and playing if it came time to play Cowboys and Indians, I was always an Indian. It didn't change when I grew up.
2) I was a terrible reader in school. Grade school I had to go to "remedial reading room". Slow. Trouble with comprehension. Dyslexia. Didn't matter, I clutched and carried Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee as long as it took to finish it. This book set me on a quest to understand why we ever started farming in the first place. My boyfriend,Stagg, also was really affected and loved this book in high school.
3) I've always wondered why there wasn't a movie made of this book. Finally HBO, executive produced by Dick Wolf (creator of Law and Order) made a fine version.
4) The book was on Best Seller Lists for over a year and has stayed in print since it's original publishing.
5) I didn't know anything about the author, male female? I had assumed that Dee Brown was a Native American, but no. Brown was an agriculture librarian for the University of Illinois.
6) Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee is considered a revisionist western which sprang up in popular culture in the 1960's: often defined by stronger portrayals of women, sympathetic to Natives and Mexicans, and critical of the government. Since the 1960's we are familiar with the genre through the movie Unforgiven, the novel Blood Merdian, and the tv program Deadwood.
7) The New York Times did not like the movie version Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee, they thought it was too "movie-of-the-week. But I loved it. I found the battle enactments excellent and a great use of CG. The acting was incredible and there is one scene where calvary calls Sitting Bull on the spiritual reputation for peace among Native Americans. Very risky and very powerful.
8) My suspicion of totalitarian agriculture grew out of my passion for the book Bury My Heart At Wound Knee...through it I knew there other ways to make a living. Other ways to get food. The Worst Mistake In The History Of The Human Race.
9) A continuing exploration of the loss we have experienced by trying to kill off pre-agricultural economies like Hunter-Gatherers is found in the stunning The Other Side of Eden: Hunters, Farmers and The Shaping of the World.
10)from the publisher: Hugh Brody first encountered hunting peoples when he lived among the Inuit of the High Arctic, who instructed him not only how to speak but how to do and be Inuk-titut, "in the manner of an Inuk." Since then he has spent nearly three decades studying, learning from, crusading for, and thinking about hunter-gatherers, who survive at the margins of the vast, fertile lands occupied by farming peoples and their descendants, now the great majority of the world's population.
In material terms, the hunters have been all but vanquished, yet in this profound and passionate book, Brody utterly dispels the notion that theirs is a lesser way of life. Drawing on his experiences among indigenous peoples as well as on the work of linguists, historians, and fellow anthropologists, he reveals the systems of thought, belief, and practice that distinguish the hunters from the farmers. Whereas the farmers are doomed to the geographical and spiritual restlessness embodied in the story of Genesis, Brody argues, the hunters' deep attachment to the place and ways of their ancestors stems from an enviable sense, distinctively expressed in thought, language, and behavior, that they are part of a web of relationships in the natural and spiritual worlds. Brody's aim, however, is not to elevate one mode of being over another; rather, it is to suggest that we might move beyond the familiar dichotomies and become more fully human.
11) The extremely HOT Adam Beach in BMHAWK...who starts a starring role in Law and Order: SVU next fall.
12) Sitting Bull. WORD. Although the new government forced Natives to change their names to European/Christian sounds, to stop speaking their own language or change their religion...the most pressing goal for the government was to alter the way Native Americans and Canadians made their living. The major difference between cultures is NOT skin color or religion...it is how they make their living, either by farming or hunting. That difference defines all the other actions of our minds and lifestyles. Farming is about controlling. The reason the New Economy"(European farmers) wanted to exterminate the buffalo was because that was the food source for hunters. Getting rid of the buffalo economy made room for the farm economy. There is a scene where a government agent is pressuring and harassing Sitting Bull to plant crops. The government agent wants Sitting Bull to plant corn. Sitting Bull says, "Grasshoppers eat corn, let them plant it."
13) It takes a half gallon of oil to grow a bushel of corn. The petroleum oil is used in manufacturing the chemical fertilizers popular with industrial agriculture. Why not eat something grown organically?
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