Saturday, February 25, 2006

"Stupid F#$%ing White Man"

I'm not sure if it is the best line in the movie, but it certainly is funny, at least to my Indigenous and not-so-easily-offended non-Indigenous friends. The movie I am referring to is Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man, not to be mistaken for Dead Man Walking which was also released in 1995 with Sean Penn. I dig this film. I did not see it for the first time until last summer when I finally bought the dvd. I have seen it in its entirity and in parts several times since. I have noticed, however that some people find it odd, slow and boring. I guess it is not for everyone, or perhaps it depends on your mood. I appreciate the subtle humour, in particular the portrayed differences in worldviews and understandings of the two protragonists, William Blake and Nobody (Xebeche). It's cool also to see some Makah relatives in there at the end.

Here is some of the dialogue that made me laugh:

(William Blake and Nobody are riding their horses in the forest)

William Blake: Nobody, um, shouldn't you be with your own tribe or something?

Nobody: My blood is mixed. My mother "Ungumpay Pacane"(sp?) My father is "Absoluca" (sp?) This mixture was not respected. As a small boy I was often left to myself. So I spent many months stalking the elk people to prove I would soon become a good hunter. One day finally, my elk relatives took pity on me and a young elk gave his life to me. With only my knife, I took his life. As I was preparing to cut the meat, whitemen came upon me. They were English soldiers. I cut one with my knife but they hit me on the head with a rifle. All went black. My spirit seemed to leave me. I was then taken east, in a cage. I was taken to Toronto, then Philadelphia, and then to New York. And each time I arrived in another city, somehow the whiteman had moved all their people there ahead of me. Each new city contained the same white people as the last. And I could not understand how a whole city of people could be moved so quickly.

If you have seen it and love it or hate, let me know what you think. Leave a comment.

"It is not power that corrupts but fear"

- Aung San Suu Kyi

Monday, February 20, 2006

how much do you cost?

After several hours of listening to First Nations representatives and Provincial Government representatives parry and joust over resource management issues a colleague asked me, "When are we going to stop being so nice?"

I replied, "When they stop paying us." :I

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

a day of romance

I have not asked anyone to be my Valentine. No one has asked me. I have no Valentine. I am Valentine-free. No one loves me. :I Haha, sorry, I just wanted to say that. On a day when my mind and heart are not muddled by the virtual-insanity that is love - I am free to talk about another kind of romance. First, I love the quote above, by Che about revolutionaries being romantic and not at all pragmatic. I am also reminded of the advice of a well-known Nuu-chah-nulth politician a few years ago. "Don't be a romantic" he urged. "Our communities cannot afford romantics."

While I had a healthy respect for his intelligence, I could not disagree more with his politics or advice. I think the money-minded pragmatists have had their share at the helm of our wayward communities. I think that precisely what we do need are romantics, visionaries, and leaders of honour and integrity that will inspire the people. Our people are starving right now. They are materially poor, many are culturally poor, socially destitute, spiritually lost and most of all they lack hope. The so-called BC treaty process does not inspire. Specific Claims do not inspire. Interim measures do not inspire. Consultation and Accomodation does not inspire. Being Canadian does not inspire.

I say we are due for a renaissance of romance and dreams and hope. Isn't it ironic that even in a society so entrenched in practical, consumerist, materialist, individualist values honours, or at least acknowledges those it has martyred - those dreamers and romantics that chose to fight the status quo and work toward the building of brighter future, and future of indpendence and freedom. I for one, have chosen my lot. A thousand times yes, I am a romantic.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Hope Springs Eternal

Here is a picture of my neph (whom you might remember from such posts as, "Fight the Power" and "Power to the (lil) Peeps") and my father, Wickaninnish. I have a tremendous amount of love and respect for both of them. My nephew is a beautiful combination of my sister, her sensitivity and love for life and my brother-in-law with his calm, caring nature and warrior spirit. My father is one of a few true believers of his generation. There are more and more of us of the younger generation who still work and fight for what it is to be truly Quu-as, but he is a rarity is seems. I thank Naas for everyday that I have my father who teaches me what he knows of the old ways so that we may breathe life into our Indigenous values, principles and ways of life again.

A bit of mushy entry I know but I have been very active and pensive lately and I am thinking a great deal of how and when and why we must continue to fight, to protect, to respect and hold up all that is sacred and right and true about our Indigenous ways. Our days are here and now. Act now brothers and sisters. I am with you till the end.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

bad beats

I have not played poker that long - perhaps over 5 months I have played 10 times (winning 4 times), but this past Thursday I suffered my worst beats thus far. Ok, so I'm at my cousin's place, sippin' juice, eatin' some potato chips getting ready to give my best poker :I and take him, his woman (Chequita) and Buster for their $25 buy-ins. We're playing Texas Hold'em and the first hand is dealt.

I try not to grin as I peak at my pocket ACES (spades and clubs). I ante conservatively hoping to draw em all in. The Flop is layed out and I think there were two more spades...looking promising for a flush as well. I bet a little higher, then the Turn, another spade. That's it, I'm going all in! I think I can't lose, seeing as I have the high spade right? Well Moyses Alou there calls my all-in, so I think he must have the queen or king of spades and is betting that I don't have the ace. Well my anticipation of whiping out my cousin on the first hand is dashed when the River turns out to be a jack of spades and he has, according to him, his first straight flush ever! Trumps my ace-high flush, and in one hand I'm gone.

You think I would have learned my lesson. I'm a pretty bright guy. You would think I could take a cue from the poker gods.

I buy back in at $10. The next hand is pretty uneventful and I fold. The 3rd hand (yep, only third hand of the night) I have two pair, and it's looking pretty good as Buster and Moy folded, so it's just Chequita and I. I go all in, anxious to get back into contention. and she calls. :I She also has two pair, only higher than mine. 3 hands, $35 down. I'm almost in shock and so I don't react as negatively (even in good humour) as you might expect. 3 hands and all of 10 minutes perhaps. So I offer to deal for the next half hour or so, just so I can feel I am getting SOMETHING for my $35 contribution.

Well at least tonight I can have the goal of lasting more than 10 minutes. I have learned what happens when I win twice in a row. Reckless W no more.