We have reality TV, rednecks and shit-kickers, overweight housewives, blue-fin tuna machos, endless drones of these white things with pencil-neck logic declaring war on art, people, freedoms, and self-engagement. That’s what those guys and gals have given us — 18-wheelers delivering our wants, the entire race of men and women trading chemicals for dollars, the belly of the beast rotten from the end-trail out.
You have to read to the very end, and get some of that People’s wisdom, quotations from great tribal elders and others declaring their humanity in the face of hustlers and blanket-seeders, those great powerful cancers that moved through this continent like a hell-storm.
That tornado of dichotomies that is the America of the flagging white race – – burly ladies and skinny-butt dudes all outfitted in thousand-dollar Harley leathers while riding along the great white way toward Sturgis – can waylay even the best of us. Heaving and hoisting, these Baby Boomers throttle their $40,000 hogs while throwing down a few shekels for the wait-staff, the cooks, the dudes and dudettes cleaning up after them . . . or before them . . . pulling shots of espresso and hoppy brew.
The west, as we all have come to know, smells of urban-suburban-exurban sprawl. Smells of road-kill death and murdering history.
The west – the Rockies, Plains, Ship Rock, mesas, canyons, pinion pine, wet inland and blustery Pacific – it’s a place of climate change, rotten second and third home owners, eviscerated humanity.
It’s as if John Deere, Archer Daniels Midland, Budweiser, Weyerhaeuser, Burlington and Tesoro and all the other murdering corporations made the west, and splayed the native history, the reclamation of the other narratives, those people’s history and the voices of the people we get from Galeano:
“The land has an owner? How’s that? How is it to be sold? How is it to be bought? If it does not belong to us, well, what? We are of it. We are its children. So it is always, always. The land is alive. As it nurtures the worms, so it nurtures us. It has bones and blood. It has milk, and gives us suck. It has hair, grass, straw, trees. It knows how to give birth to potatoes. It brings to birth houses. It brings to birth people. It looks after us and we look after it. It drinks chicha, accepts our invitation. We are its children. How is it to be sold? How bought?”
~from Memory of Fire Volume 1: Genesis, by Eduardo Galeano
Eduardo Hughes Galeano is a Uruguayan journalist, writer and novelist. His best known works are Memoria del fuego (Memory of Fire Trilogy, 1986) and Las venas abiertas de América Latina (Open Veins of Latin America, 1971) which have been translated into twenty languages and transcend orthodox genres: combining fiction, journalism, political analysis, and history.
The author himself has proclaimed his obsession as a writer saying, “I’m a writer obsessed with remembering, with remembering the past of America above all and above all that of Latin America, intimate land condemned to amnesia”
He has received the International Human Rights Award by Global Exchange (2006) and the Stig Dagerman Prize (2010).
I was in Kalispell, short honeymoon, and we were just looking for the last white speck of glacier in a magnificent place that once was the sacred and sanctified place of aboriginal tribes . . . civilizations . . . The People . . . Flathead Lake, those aquamarine vats of glacier-fed deposits of melt-off and melt-over thousands of years old and held in harmonious luminosity by the People. More…