...

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Caution: Keep Away from Open Flame-


I was browsing my bookshelves yesterday and came upon "We Talk, You Listen", by Lakota Indian activist Vine Deloria, Jr. He died in 2005, and his most famous book was "Custer Died for Your Sins". "We Talk, You Listen" was published back in 1970, and although Deloria himself later took on a few wacky views, such as a belief in an Indian version of Creationism, he also very often had a knack for hitting the nail on the head.

In the Foreword he relates-

"Every now and then I am impressed with the thinking of the non-Indian. I was in Cleveland last year and got to talking with a non-Indian about American history. He said that he was really sorry about what had happened to Indians, but that there was good reason for it. The continent had to be developed and he felt that Indians had stood in the way and thus had to be removed. ‘After all,’ he remarked, ‘what did you do with the land when you had it?’ I didn’t understand him until later when I discovered that the Cuyahoga River running through Cleveland is inflammable. So many combustible pollutants are dumped into the river that the inhabitants have to take special precautions during the summer to avoid accidentally setting it on fire. After reviewing the argument of my non-Indian friend I decided that he was probably correct. Whites had made better use of the land. How many Indians could have thought of creating an inflammable river?"

23 comments:

Phoebe Fay said...

See, white folks are ingenious!

Stupid and destructive, but ingenious!

Malach the Merciless said...

He was just excited about "firewater"

Colonel Colonel said...

Phoebe: Just like George Bush!

Malach: I'm going to tell Amanda you said that.

Sara Sue said...

I was talking to some young guys at work the other day and one of them mentioned that he'd never walked in the woods. I was dumb struck! I asked him why and he said, "Because there aren't any." :::THUD:::

jgodsey said...

thanks for mentioning it.
I missed reading this one.

firewater hee hee hee

Buzzardbilly said...

I'm just still marveling that someone from Cleveland was proud of the whites' use of land. Must've never been out of Cleveland, huh?

FOUR DINNERS said...

firewater? That's what it tastes like when I eat my chicken vindaloo...oh...soz...wrong Indians

Colonel Colonel said...

Sara: Yeah, they've been hard to find ever since Ronald Reagan revealed that trees are the leading cause of pollution.

Gods: My God, there's something you haven't read?

BB: Maybe they were originally from Pittsburgh.

Dinners: Yes, wrong Indians, but for playing you win a kilo of 5-star Curry!

sirdar said...

Ah....perspective eh? What a concept. I've never been to Cleavland, but I do remember a song that says Cleavland Rocks. One day there might be one called Cleavland Burns.

Colonel Colonel said...

Sirdar: The Decider says- when we have perspective, the terrorists win!

Beach Bum said...

You know I have to admit I find the logic spoken by the Anglo from Cleveland actually a relief. Given that all the good old boys and those of the conservative persuasion here in the south voice similar such statements its nice to know idiots infect the entire country.

TED VELVET said...

I think big chief wahoo might have had an issue with Mr. Deloria

AngryMan said...

If only we had finished his people off when we had the chance!!!

Mike said...

I have a friend from Ireland who constantly berates me about how "we" treated the Indians in this country. I love reminding her that most of the wholesale slaughter happened on the east coast and was brought about by Europeans when they first landed on this continent.

She doesn't like it when I remind her of that.

There's nothing wrong with having a river of fire running through your city. It saves on electric bills at night because you don't need to turn on your lights. Some people just can't handle progress.

pissed off patricia said...

Yep, if it's available, we can fu*k it up and we always have.

moooooog35 said...

I believe that the title, "We Talk, You Listen" was part of my wife's wedding vows.

..actually...I think it's part of every woman's wedding vows.

Hence, the "we."

I should read this book. I suck at listening.

Preposterous Ponderings said...

Behind every white man is a white woman telling him what to do.

Colonel Colonel said...

Beach Bum: I guess we're all idiots together.

TV: I thought he turned out to be Italian.

Angryman: Well, it's too late now- they have all the casinos.

Mike: Flammable rivers are also great because the fish get roasted as you reel them in.

PoP: Consistency is a beautiful thing.

Mooog: What?

Colonel Colonel said...

PrePo: What?

FOUR DINNERS said...

....with onion bahjee? I love onion bahjee (and keema naan of course)

Hungry Mother said...

Since I hate the midwest, I often use that burnable river example in my ranting.

Cissy Strutt said...

Of the horses, his is the higher
Who condemns another's River of Fire.

Colonel Colonel said...

Dinners: Of course!

HungryMo: I'm jealous. I want a burnable river!

Cissy: We're so judgemental.