Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Rambling about the Troubles on Vancouver Ireland

I haven't really rambled on here in awhile, so much so that I've been thinking I need to do some more rambling. Expect no thoroughly coherent or comprehensive thoughts - that's not what the Mundane Adventures are about.

300 came out on DVD at the end of July. Can you believe I waited almost 2 weeks before I bought my copy?!? (Food before entertainment). Again, some of my favourite quotes:

Leonidas: "In the end, a Spartan's true strength is the warrior next to him. So give respect and honour to him and it will be returned to you."

Leonidas: "First, you fight with your head..." (Queen) Gorgo"...then you fight with your heart."

Leonidas: "Before you speak Persian, know that everyone in Sparta, even a King's messenger is held accountable for the words of his voice."

Gorgo: "...Because only Spartan women give birth to real men."

And of course I've adapted one of my favourite scenes as follows:

You bring the headdresses and heads of conquered chiefs to my village.
You insult my Hakuum.
You threaten my people with citizenship and economic development.
Oh, I've chosen my words carefully Mr. Treaty Commissioner.
Perhaps you should have done the same.

This is blasphemy! This is madness!

Madness...This is Ahousaht!!!

Of course in real life, things seem more complicated. Our communities continue to exist in poverty and our chiefs sign protocol agreements with fish farm companies, and others sign Final Agreements (note: that they do not actually meet the international standard of a "treaty").

The world is indeed grey. ):I

Speaking of grey, I've recently finished re-reading Fools Crow by James Welch. This time I read it with a group of friends, a radical book club, if ever there was one, and I've truly appreciated the perspective of my good friend, Chiinuuks. I'm ashamed to say, I did not notice the perpetuation of stereotypes of indigenous women during my first read, last winter. It sure reads different this time. While I don't believe the old days to be some sort of utopia, it seems as though Welch writes the Pikuni women through a truly colonial filter. I believe that it still offers a contribution to an understanding of non-hierarchical organizing (especially in warrior societies), and the daunting challenge of preserving an indigenous way of life in the face of overwhelming settler encroachment, Welch's writing deserves criticism for his poor rendering of women and male/female relations.

Speaking of indigenous male/female relations...I am not beyond humility myself, however someone recently accused me of perpetuating male dominance by "choosing where and when I step back and create space." For the record, I have never stated that I have "created" space for indigenous women. I have talked of "vacating" space*. And further, I do not believe that I have chosen the time and place, other than as a response to strong women who have stepped forward. Their courageous actions and words have set the agenda, not mine. I've been unable to engage in this discussion directly, so I say my peace (piece?) here. [*Note: I have talked of "creating political space" but that was in reference to overall indigenous/settler relations, not indigenous gender relations.]

Only 2 and a half weeks until school! I can't wait. I know, I'm a nerd. I wear both straps on my backpack.

Off to the gym, I go. Only 14 months till next year's bathing suit season.

From the western shores of occupied Vancouver Ireland