Thursday, February 04, 2010

In the Spirit

Though I view Obama as a monster like all his ilk I just have to mention something. When I was taking a class on North American Indians years ago I kept coming across accounts of Native Americans who were gifted speakers and whites even some anthropologists always seemed to be amazed by this. And you have to wonder why people should be amazed; I mean Native Americans are human beings so why shouldn’t they produce gifted speakers? The racism here is subtle but there none-the-less. I have a similar reaction to people who carry on about Obama’s speeches. Why shouldn’t a black man be a gifted speaker? Not that I agree with those who see him as a great orator, he’s okay I guess though it strikes me as fairly mediocre. It’s almost like “Look, wow, that black man can tie his shoes, isn’t that amazing? Why they’re almost human!”

Many Native Americans were horrified by what they considered to be the barbaric behavior of the first white “settlers” most especially the white man practice of beating their children. But then Native Americans had a whole different world view, indeed a different reality than that of the invading whites. For example their concept of time was completely different. The idea of meeting someone at a pre-arranged specific time would be a completely foreign concept. The idea of owning the land and land owners was also completely foreign to Native American thinking. Some tribes had no leaders and people existed in a state of equality; men, women, and children. All were equal. There were war-like nomadic tribes and there were peaceful agrarian tribes. The pre-Columbian Native Americans illustrate some of the many possibilities for the way societies can be structured. And you look at us; we seem to be stuck in a rut. A government that has become an outdated rolling pile of junk running on one or two cylinders and two gas tanks away from the junk yard but we can’t imagine any other way of life. That’s pretty pathetic – the universe summed up as democrat or republican. Perhaps, just maybe, there might be something better? Something different? No?

For the Native American the world was imbued with spirits that might take the form of an animal among other things. Western man fills his world with cheap commercials where actors are paid to tell you lies. It cannot be denied that the monetary system that rules our lives have made whores out of all of us in a way that Native Americans never were. I don’t write this to idolize the Native Americans; after all, they’re just human beings. My point is that there are more possibilities than those that our culture forces upon us. The assumption has always been that the west is superior to those it has conquered and over-run and that superiority has always been based on the idea that our technology and science has made us the rightful rulers of the world. The evidence however is against us. One has to only look at the body strewn path soaked in human blood which invariably leads right back to our doorstep.


At February 05, 2010 3:32 PM, Blogger Ethan said...

The general culture common to the Algonquin people (the Indian culture I'm most familiar with) is a great counter-example when people trot out the "human nature" argument for why people are always going to be shitty to each other. Like you say, no idolization, these are just human beings we're talking about, and yet look at the society they were able to make for themselves.

At February 05, 2010 3:56 PM, Blogger rob payne said...

I think that is so true what you said about human nature. People assume that what their culture considers to be “normal” is true for all peoples which of course isn’t true at all.


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