Wednesday, June 26, 2013

America, Destroyer of Cultures

I was going to write up a post on America being a wonderful gristmill for cultures. That America's brand of materialism + competition can subdue the fiercest of foes (American Indians) and churn out an almost purely experimental creation (the blended black American slave). Africans today call African American culture slave culture for a reason, and it is a purely American product for export. I was going to quote Alexis de Tocqueville. Then I did a Google search, and saw that a guy writing in Pravda beat me to it, and did it far better than I ever could. Please read it.

Let me tell a double anecdote I was going to use with regards to American Indians. Maine is about 97% white, and of the 3% that is not, a healthy chunk of that is American Indian. They keep to themselves, but you may make friends with one and then get access to that world. It's a wonderful warning against socialism and government dependency after being destroyed militarily and culturally. Tribes have their dances and tribes usually have a coming of age ritual or ceremony. Picture a Euro ethnic heritage festival, only more depressing. The acquaintance I had was dancing. She said her tribe only started allowing her to use fancy dance a few years ago as a means to reintroduce dancing to the tribe's children. She was using fancy dance from Western tribes with her tribe's dances, as no one else could do the dances of their tribe. They were almost lost, and what she knew was limited in duration. No oppression. They just stopped practicing and carrying it on. I was a bit shocked. It's dancing that you can do anywhere.

Then we got to the ceremony for young adulthood. It was a gift of something hand made or a tobacco leaf from a youngster to an elder. A couple teens gave gifts, then a fellow came up and dropped what looked like tobacco ripped from cigarettes onto a table for them. Oh the elders were mad. They would not accept the gift. A couple other teens got up and talked to other middle aged Indians. They had had the same idea. A pow-wow was arranged out of sight (really, that wasn't a pun), and the festival kept on trucking. Things wrapped up, and my friend and I drove back to Portland. She explained the elders told the teens they hadn't a clue the meaning of getting a real tobacco leaf, yadda yadda yadda. My friend cried about it. I dropped her off and drove home wondering how a people with such a great history and ethos (noble savage myth) could slide down to shit. I didn't get it then, but Hollywood and my grade school teachers had done wonders brainwashing me.

No comments: