Sunday, June 30, 2019

A PODCAST THAT THROWS A GRENADE

Because my eyes are so over-used and sore, I've begun to explore podcasts,  One of the first I listened to was really a wowser.  Linked here:  http://www.wtfpod.com/podcast/episode-1028-eve-ensler?utm_campaign=coschedule&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=bioneers  It's about a book called "The Apology" written by Eve Ensler, the author of the "Vagina Monologues," which I didn't know until the program talked about it.  The title was shocking once, but now we name genitalia as though we were a bunch of urologists.  I've never seen or read the actual play, just heard the chatter.



The apology in question is what Eve wants from her father because from the age of 5 he raped her.  When she was old enough to object and resist, he began to beat her.  A competent and prosperous "suit," he is dead and never did apologize, so she has to pretend to be him to see if that can reveal him. She discovers what many of us have been working to understand: what have we been doing as a culture to create so many men with this violent obsession or delusion or whatever it is.  It was not just a romantic perversion, because it included life-threatening violence.  This is not "Lolita."  

I want to say two things right at the beginning.  One is that I know boys get caught in this vortex as well and women can put on this "suit" and act out the same evil domination. The other thing is that so far as I know or anyone I know can tell me, I was never abused in this way.  In my family the perversion has been one of diversion, pretending that raw sex could be feathered and danced into something acceptable because it is romantic.

This conversation in the podcast was still undigested when on Twitter I was confronted with a link to the vid about Trump's evil that has been hinted at for a long time but never really seen, a suppression that I was predisposed to look behind -- frankly.  I watched it.  It was predictable, stupid, and felonious -- not a depiction of the acts (there were repeats) but an account by the girl who was supplied to Trump and others by the convicted Harvey Weinstein.  She was barely pubescent (13) and Trump said she reminded him of his daughter, who was the same age at the time.  Now that same daughter is chaperoning her father where the world leaders can easily see for themselves that he's quite mad.  In the end he may escape making any apologies by pleading insanity.

The value of "The Apology" is that Eve and Mark Maron, her interviewer/ understander, give a clear -- if impassioned -- dissection about how such a man is made.  It's the seed of empire, the notion that a young man who shows promise can be made into the heir of kings, bombarding him with demands and privileges that send him into a narcissistic whirl, keeping him from ever seeing other people outside his own needs.  These boys-to-men become the center of acolytes who reinforce their pretensions in the hierarchy of Empire, spending their lives as intercessory dictators, the buffers between conquered countries and the king or emperor himself, passing the flattery and wealth upwards in order to protect themselves and their families.  Never understanding that these governed people are human.

When something does break through his narcissistic impulse, he is likely to make the tenderness that would normally become nurturing and protective, into a deadly determination to make that child part of himself by literally and emotionally entering the child, dominating him or her, and -- if there is defiance or an attempt to escape -- punish and punish and punish.  The child is deformed, limited, seeking lifelong for something unnameable, maybe in the form of a sexual partner.  An imitation of Empire.

It's not unique, not even occasional.  A high percentage of men in the empire-derived culture have done it to whomever was vulnerable, both physically and emotionally.  In the ordinary population, estimates of the number of affected children run to maybe 30%, with higher percentages where drunkenness is accepted.  My guess is that among senators the percentage is much higher and that it leaves them open to blackmail and hatred.  What else accounts for the moral paralysis? This applies to educated, privileged persons as well as those only scraping by.  I've heard these personal secrets from both economic categories.  Seriously.  Quietly drawing me aside to tell me. I never know how to react.

There are some people, especially the young and those who came of age in the Sixties and Seventies, who went against this Procrustean forcing, meant to create powerful males up against situations of great risk and cruelty, because the parents thought the achievement, whether sports, corporations, politics or best-selling novels, was the goal. Sons who failed to achieve were often thrown out and disowned.  Some found real vocations that had nothing to do with empires, that allowed connection with others.  Some died along the way or found an alternative context, like the gay community or artist's colonies.  They are common in ministry, where results vary.  

Ensler struggled her way out of a bad start partly through therapy and theatre, which gave her a bold and appealing voice.  But she has grown most by converting her own hurt into generosity and help for others, specifically women who are victims of violence.  Sex is just a subset of the entrapment and suffering of women.  This book, "The Apology", is an effort to understand how men get enmeshed in the syndrome of trying to make women carry their cold-hearted projections and punishments.  She works globally in many of the places where ideology supports the displacement of greed and power hunger onto the vulnerable.

All through this conversation, there are sirens in the background. Not intentional  -- just urban living where we hear cops and ambulances all day and night, cleaning up consequences of damaging convictions that formed a thousand years ago, becoming more intense after the industrial revolution pulled people into cities and the mafia became an alternative form of government that makes democracy problematic.

The Ensler/Maron podcast is still on the air.  The podcast does not mention Trump -- that's my jump.  The vid about Trump is probably gone by now or will be disappearing back into the jungle soon.  But maybe not.  Maybe it will horrify enough people to begin the impeachment.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

MAPS AT LAST


I can't tell you how satisfying it is to read this story!  Several teachers on the Blackfeet rez over the years have tried to stir up interest and skills in videography, or even just writing, but with limited success.  Maybe several things had just not reached critical mass yet: simplicity of equipment, an audience, sophistication among the kids because of the Internet, political push.  Maybe a truly gifted and dedicated teacher, Amy Andreas, or visiting teacher Tahji Kjelland.   Whatever, it's just great!

This is the movie to watch.  About ten minutes long.

This is reprinted in part from the Glacier Reporter:

Students from MAPS Media Institute won three High School Student Production Awards from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Northwest Chapter with “Browning Rising Voices” and “Art for Survival” tied in the Short Form Non-Fiction category and “Aisitsimsta/Imagination” taking top honors for Short Form Fiction. The awards were presented during the Northwest Regional Emmy® Awards Gala held June 8 at the Fremont Studios in Seattle.

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) is a professional service organization dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of television and the promotion of creative leadership for artistic, educational and technical achievements within the television industry. NATAS membership consists of over 15,000 broadcast and media professionals represented in 19 regional chapters across the country.

“Our message was to inspire not only ourselves about thinking about our futures but for other students to never stop dreaming,” said director Mecca Bullchild. “In working with MAPS, I learned about all of the different roles in filmmaking – like director, actor, and scriptwriter. My favorite part was learning about the cameras, because I like photography and realized how important they are to making movies, like having the right angles and lighting.”

“Browning Rising Voices” tells the story of an extraordinary poetry program at Browning High School on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Students write and perform original spoken-word literary pieces. In this mini-documentary, students filmed their writing process and performances, and directed “vignettes” to accompany their poetry. The film artfully demonstrates the strength and importance of their stories. As student Hailie Hendersen wrote for the film, “The Seventh Generation is here, and coming on strong.”

“All of MAPS projects, especially these films awarded by NATAS NW, are a lens into the hearts and minds of the next generation. They have powerful stories to share and MAPS is dedicated to helping Montana’s students build the skills to bring them to life,” said Harff.

For more information, please visit mapsmediainstitute.com or MAPS Media Institute’s YouTube channel to view the award-winning films.  Link above.

“Student work continues to impress the judges and the level of competitiveness significantly increases each year,” said Clare Ann Harff, MAPS executive director. “To have MAPS students win three awards is a tremendous honor and a testament to the next generation of Montana’s filmmakers. MAPS is proud to mentor these dynamic young art- ists and provide the creative opportunities and professional experiences to help bring their stories to life.”

MAPS, a free-of-charge media arts program based out of Hamilton in the Bitterroot Valley, has been serving students in grades 8-12 since 2004. Classes include filmmaking, graphic design, music production, new technologies and social entrepreneurship. In 2017, MAPS was one of the top 12 arts creative youth development programs in the U.S. to be honored with a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award. In recent years, MAPS has broadened its geographical scope to teach in other rural communities across Montana, including Browning, Harlem, Poplar, Helena, East Helena, Ronan and St. Ignatius.

The High School Student Production Award competition received a record number of entries this year from high schools across the chapter’s five-state region of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Washington. Industry professionals judged and critiqued the entries, which showcased a wide range of talent from these future broadcasters and media producers.

Winning students film “Aisitsimsta/Imagination.”  Link below:

If you had opened any of my grade books from the Sixties, the names would be the same.  These youngsters were there in potential, just waiting to be set free.  The Blackfeet culture was oral and stories depended on songs.  Video is the powerful medium for the young people.

Friday, June 28, 2019

IT ALL COMES OUT IN THE WASH

Yesterday I drove to Cut Bank to use the laundromat.  The second person to show up to wash recognized me but I didn't recognize her at first.  She was Brenda Bird, who was Brenda Flamand in the early '70's when she was in my high school English class.  When she married Dale Bird from the "Flats", she was entering a family of world class rodeo champions, bull-riders and later stock suppliers ("Bird's Bulls").  They traveled the continent in both Canada and the US.  She is a dynamic woman who recently retired from teaching, a little early.  

Somehow she knew about the death of Ramona Wellman and I hadn't, though Ramona and her daughter moved mobile homes onto the other side of my block in Valier decades ago.  Debbie was also my student in Browning as were some of her sibs.  The history goes back a long way, with many stories.

After WWII a certain kind of guy came to the rez seeking his fortune.  Wellman, Polk, Davis, two kinds of Johnson, and more.  These were tall, handsome, get'er done guys in the mold of John Wayne, and they were looking for strong tribal women who had land allotments.  Their ranches formed the backbone of the river communities and their wives, who often worked in town to keep the operating money coming in, forming the working core of Browning.  The children of these unions went to college, did well, and stayed on the rez where their fathers became patriarchs until they aged out.  They preceded today's ethic of indigenous preference.  In those days white men ran the town and the BIA.

But there have always been families, sometimes Cree or M├ętis, who were solid, stable, hard-working people with good jobs, the honorable core of what "Indians" are really like.  Like Flammond and Bird.  When Bob Scriver divorced me, I spent the first winter on our little Two Med ranch and in Spring -- going back to teaching but still broke -- I looked around for someplace cheap to rent.  I made a deal with Wellman's to rent the big yellow two-story house in East Glacier where Ramona grew up, then a Wippert.  The deal was that I would spend $75 a month on materials and put in as much labor as I could manage.

The house had fallen on hard times and stood derelict for years.  I scrubbed and scraped and hammered and papered.  It was great therapy.  Sometimes Bob came up and took me to dinner.  Ramona had been his student in the glory days when he taught band.  That big yellow house is derelict again today, but someone ought to do another restoration.  It's solid.

When I was on the Two Med ranch, the road along the river was still gravel and left 89 by Wellman's.  When the Big Flood came in '65, they were in the old schoolhouse which is right by the water, and a man came to warn Ramona with her many kids.  I don't know where her husband was. The water was rising very quickly and the little kids were helpless.  Ramona took one in each hand and the man grabbed others.  One of the children Ramona was towing through neck-deep fast water slid out of her grip but the man caught the child.  They made it up to the raised highway without losing anyone.  She didn't like to talk about it.

Another Ramona story was about the time a criminal had finished his jail term and was roving through the country, taking what he could.  When he showed up at Wellman's, Ramona had been warned by the radio.  She ran a shotgun out the window and sent him on his way.  One didn't argue with her.  I'm sorry she's gone, but she won't be forgotten.

Going back to Brenda Bird, she and I caught up on the fates of those young people in her class.  1972 was the year of the winter that snowed as hard as recent winters, dropping house-tall drifts.  The Warbonnet had just opened. The teachers who lived in East Glacier were trapped at the school, eventually, sleeping on the floors of our classrooms when a motel became too expensive.  The days went on and on until the railroad sent out a huge track-clearing rotary plow.  Snowmobiles had just been invented and a few intrepid souls rode them up to East Glacier where wives were taking care of kids and pets.  The ranchers were desperately feeding their cattle, but they took a big hit.

In the laundromat what hit Brenda hardest was the teacher who had affected her most, Bill Haw.  Coming from Detroit right after the race riots, he was hired to be the high school counselor and brought Third Force Psychology with him.  Previously he'd been a photographer and a rodeo competitor.  Kay was his wife, and Wendy was his daughter, a friend of Brenda's.  Brenda sometimes stayed with the family in East Glacier.  She didn't know that Wendy had died of breast cancer as a young adult.

Bill Haw was one of those charismatic men who could do the impossible, which included running the Blackfeet Free School and Sandwich Shop out of an old commodities warehouse.  He could also be impossible, and his marriage broke up when he fell in love with Lynn, a beautiful primary grade teacher.  Her husband had been rustling cattle now and then, so it was easy to get rid of him by simply turning him in.

Bill and Lynn bought a pet shop in Kalispell which did very well.  Once, after some break-ins, an alarm was installed that called the owner at home if it heard anyone moving around in the store.  At dawn one morning the phone rang and it was the burglar alarm.  Half-awake, Bill was slow to realize he was having a conversation with a parrot that had triggered the call.  There were two more daughters and then the energy and stability ran out.  The brilliance and originality that had been controlled by meds were no longer effective.  His last few years were in a nursing home.


This part of the story hadn't been known by Brenda and it struck her hard.  But this is what it is to live on a rez where things can go from sublime to terrifying so suddenly that what happened might not be sorted out for years.  All those fine ranchers and their stalwart wives are about gone now and the double-heritage kids are retiring.  Browning is no longer a white business and government town on the terms of the State of Montana, but a "population center" run by the tribe and the BIA, which was ordered decades ago to eliminate itself.  (Ha, ha.)  I'm pleased that I can still be recognized and pleased that Brenda is still pretty and so competent.  We persist.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

MY BLACKFEET, MY LIBRARY

An enrolled friend is about my age and we overlap rez experience somewhat in several parts of their territory, which is surprisingly various unless you're from "outside."  We're both retired, the same generation as Jim Welch and Ivan Doig, neither of which really knew more than the edges of this rez.  Ivan, white, was helping to run sheep near Heart Butte, and Jim grew up a lot of the time at Fort Belknap.  In fact, his high school years were in Minneapolis.  I guess he was a little out of sync with AIM somehow, though that's where the roots were.

My friend, who now lives in Great Falls, was a good scholar and became a lifelong force for education on the Fort Peck rez.  He says his present entry into the Blackfeet world is through his big library of Blackfeet and other books about the indigenous everywhere, but more than through his family's genealogy.  My own entry is through the Bundle Opening world, the ceremonial world, which has motivated much of my thought ever since and took me into theories of the sacred at the most elemental level, most recently inquiry into how the category forms and subsequently guides human lives.

My focus is problematic for a number of reasons.  The tribal writers on Twitter -- at least the ones who haven't blocked me -- often joke about the "sacreet" because the larger culture imposes a kind of magic version on "Indians," part of their "orientalization" into a mythic story.  The US government contributed to this idea by banning all indigenous religions as competitors to Christianity (at least their version, which had a lot to do with a rigid notion of how to live), making them much more attractive to seekers.  The same thing is happening now with Muslims.

Never mind all that -- I come back to it again and again, and simply find more complexity, more ways to inquire, more results.  But each of us, my friend and I, have a kind of doppelganger who is a "presentation" in regard to what we know about this place. We don't seem to be who we are with each other. It is necessary to be careful and a little veiled because there are murders, illicit sex, even    political forces that reach around the world.  If you are interested in this last, take a look at Ron West's work which he describes this way: 

"Penucquem Speaks (ranked five stars by Howard Zinn at amazon) is an autobiographical sketch of my many years life with Indians of the Northern Plains (Blackfeet, primarily.) I recovered the copyright and give it away free these past several years.

Napi Mephisto is a collection of essays stitched together simply intended to get teeth grinding and provoke outrage in those people really stuck in the ethnocentric bias of euro-centric (western) culture

Queer Chicken Dinner is a rip into Kerouac’s ‘On the Road’

Cosmos and Consciousness is a translation of pre-Columbian world view into modern modern western terms (the most difficult to write, by far) 

If one gets into the politics of my work, it’s likely going to provoke either denial (most feedback) or sometimes cognitive dissonance. Less often, there is a real appreciation expressed."

http://ronaldthomaswest.com/   Very timely work and not what outsiders expect in the most remote foothills settlement on the rez.  This strand is woven into both the least Westernized lives and the pervasive violence. West lives in Europe as a refugee, not from HB but other forces.

Last night when I looked briefly at the clips from the "debates", I had the illusion that behind each speaker stood a looming semi-apparent shape with its hands on the shoulders of the candidate, Biden-style.  That is, I was personifying the source communities of the people, the same way I do with the people of the Blackfeet Rez, who are not all Blackfeet by a long shot.  There are no Blacks or Asians, but a lot of Central and South American indigenous people.  Almost everyone is white to some degree, about like Democrats are every "degree" of the party.

Like Democrats, my friend and I share a dilemma but not a genome.  Our puzzle is in our accumulation of known things/ideas, mostly in the shape of books, and the question of where they should go when we exist no more.  Neither of us has a direct descendent, but more than that, the general culture seems so focussed on materialism that unless the collections are provably worth money, where do they go?  Where are the young people who would be interested in taking on which is finally a task, a burden?

Museums and libraries, like political parties and government bodies, have been captured by people who control access and also de-accessioning.  The managers tend to make them conform to whatever sentiments will get them money, which often comes from know-nothings seeking status.  What keeps us two going is sometimes sharing.  "Did you know . . . ?"  The people we know and knew are overlapping but different.  I knew very few white people -- neither did he -- but the tribal people that Bob and I knew were quite a different assortment: school kids, drunks, casual labor, trappers, old timers who had known Bob since he was a little kid, the best friend of Jim Welch's father, also Jim Welch.  There were quite a few medium-quantum people who had become professionals, including doctors and lawyers.  I've named the old people we knew through the Bundle Keeping posts.

My interest in the NA Literary Renaissance writers came after I left.  Bob's dad had known Walter McClintockJames Willard Schultz, too.  We attended his son's burial on Two Med north of the Holy Family Mission.  Charlie Russell dominated Bob's professional life, but these are all whites who "loved" tribal people.

My friend and I are not just aware of the variousness of what most people lump into one big "Other" category, but also have thought and participated in fifty years of change as people struggled to stay the same and yet renew themselves, which is also the problem of political parties.  Half of the Blackfeet enrolment is not on the rez, many moving off during or after WWII, and their children are left with vague impressions.  What obligation do we have to preserve the records and maybe even write more books?


Wednesday, June 26, 2019

DYING IN THE ATTEMPT

We know that people die all the time and often for unjust and desperate reasons, but when we must look at specific people, particularly attached enough to die together, it's close to unbearable.  Someone was prompted to post a reference tweet with the bodies of holocaust victims but the reaction was not about the people.  It was about the propriety of posting the photo.  Some will say the photo of the drowned father and daughter should not have been printed.  Some will act as though the media drowned them in order to take their picture.

Happier times

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/06/26/father-daughter-who-drowned-border-dove-into-river-desperation/?utm_term=.d36075f8d35a

Turning away, not knowing, is a strategy for self-protection but it prevents getting hold of facts, killing the potential for change.  When what is hidden is double -- on the one hand killing people who come for help and offer work energy to a country that needs it, and on the other hand insane leaders.  It's pretty much obvious to most of us that Trump is not just unbalanced but simply nuts.  At first no one expected this, except that as soon as he was elected and we saw him so often on videos, we began to get clues.  I have a wicked feeling that if George Washington were alive today, he'd simply shoot Donald Trump.  If Trump were shot on 5th Avenue and left to lie there, would anyone notice?

Does no one read the news deeply enough past the sports section to notice that some oppressive dictator recently was killed by his bodyguards?  But Trump is an auto-assassin.

The joke has been that the reason Pence is the VP is so we won't be tempted to get rid of Trump -- because Pence will be worse.  Are we about to find out?  This guy who is so gullible and out of it?  It's not that he's a Christian, but that he's so wedged into the dead-end of the dogma, where it overlaps with the Flat Earth Society.  

It's almost a relief that the president is so clearly consumed by hatred and fantasy.  I'm a little curious about the media interviewer and her producers who let him just rant and rave.  I guess they know it will mean a lot of attention.  Maybe they relish watching -- or rather hearing -- someone so thoroughly bonkers.  They couldn't possibly think he was sane, could they?  Are there no crazy drunks in their lives so that they know that only a disturbed person could be so possessed?

The most obvious thing to do is take care of ourselves.  I find myself alarmed, full of terrifying possibilities, back to a time when the world was being consumed by such people.  I'm paralyzed and not out raking up the yard or sorting the laundry.  The daily seems so inappropriate when an old man with so much power clearly needs medical care.  He's not just evil, he's sick.  His brain is not working.  Many have already said that if he were related to them, they would get him to a neurologist as quickly as possible.  His own children are too afraid of losing their money to take care of the source.

Writing this thousand word post is a self-imposed goal.  I think I'll let myself off the hook until things develop a little more.  I started a piece about why there is currently so much interest in fathers and their daughters, almost more plots and testimonies about them than the traditional romances between sort-of equals.  One is supposed to be safe in the arms of one's father, right?  But the Fatherland is never really safe.


SAFE SUICIDE

David Brooks often exasperates me, I think because he is such a mixture of who he used to be with who he is now -- or thinks he is, or tries to be.  This time he made remarks about suicide based on what a woman said to him.  A mother was mourning her teen son's suicide and she recovered her own balance by going to "love" and "community" which are two of Brooks' gold standards to measure value.  That is, the mother said she realized her love for her son persisted beyond his death and was woven into the love in her community.

"The suicide rate in the United States is the highest it’s been since World War II, according to the latest CDC research."  I harp on my age (b. 1939) because WWII is my measure of the world, so no wonder I'm not surprised by fascists and holocausts.  There were many stories about suicide as an honorable choice.  Some were more convincing than others.  But maybe it is related that I've always thought of suicide as a reasonable choice, though I don't talk about it because it makes people think they have an excuse to grab you and force you into being like them.

The main thing about suicide, it seems to me, is to do a good job of it.  This comes partly from being a ward clerk not far from here in a care center.  Two teenaged boys shared a back room that I was discouraged from visiting.  One boy had been in a car accident that didn't quite kill him and the other boy had tried to kill himself but didn't get the angle of the revolver under his chin quite right and only shot his face off.  

During WWII there were no bread wrappers to pull over your head -- only cellophane, which I don't think works.  I suppose there was access to poison or even heroin.  Methods are plot devices on TV.  I've always been of the opinion that if a person were willing to die, it should be of some use to someone.  What to die for?  Make the bastards kill you.  But that's hard to manage.  Still, brave individual soldiers threw themselves on top of grenades to save the rest of the community clustered there.  That's love, right?  You can die for love as well as live for love.

NYTimes is behind a paywall for me, so I didn't read this article -- just the responses.  I gather that Brooks was making a pitch for Artificial Intelligence.  A machine that knows better than humans who is likely to attempt suicide.  But it only knows what the humans put into the algorithm and, as Facebook knows, it doesn't always turn out the way you expect.  Unintended consequences apply to algorithms  and in our searches for certainty and total control, we confuse machines with superior human beings.  It's part of that maniacal worship of cold reason that brought us holocausts.  Many other holocausts than WWII were triggered by other manias, like the deep raging reflexes over turf and status and imaginary gods.  It's been suggested that suicide/murder are two sides of the same coin -- murdering the world by refused to be part of it.  

New Thought is sweeping along quietly everywhere, fueled by new science and new emotional connection, as well as the realization that we really MIGHT murder the world, which will take us with it.  I accept Porges translation of emotion from a kind of plasma invading people into the trajectory of evolution which, given time, can gift us all with enough empathy to give us the love and community we pretend we can survive without.  He is especially interested in the vagus nerve and its enabling of the transition from reptile to mammal which deeply, essentially, depends upon enough attachment emotion at a molecular level to allow a woman's body to hold and nourish a new life, to be an eggshell, instead of just ejecting the foreign DNA, and to stay attached to the born baby for years.

In the course of the attachment, she and the infant make a cat's cradle with the exchange of beams between their eyes, creating the liminal exchange between person and environment that weaves culture.  Sounds fancy.  It's something that mammals can do but reptiles cannot, even the ones who guard a nest and bring food.  (Dinosaurs are not quite reptiles.)

It's hard to understand that some people never become mammals -- they remain reptiles and like Black Holes, all love and community is trapped.  It can't reach out beyond maybe immediate family.  I need to think about reptiles and suicide some more.  Maybe only mammals can kill themselves.  Maybe that's just how essential their love and community are to them.

It's the ability to give L and C, even if you didn't get any in infancy or childhood, that shows it is molecular, interactions within the body as one grows and moves in the world, that can call out that magical ground of being.  Except sometimes it just doesn't.  Still, people who were not well-mothered can have babies and attach to them.

In the Seventies, earnest and willing to mess with people's lives, I sat across a church potluck table from the mother of a teenaged boy who had committed suicide, a college boy full of promise and intelligence but fragile.  The parents couldn't understand it -- I guess they didn't grasp how risky life is for boys -- and they were going to plant a tree in his honor.  Of course, some day that tree would die, but they couldn't think about that.

So what do you say?  I said, "Your boy's life was a symphony and his body was a violin.  The music is still there and always will be."  She was comforted by this.  I was comforted by the feeling that I had helped.

My dentist greeted me a few days ago by asking how I was.  "Nearly overwhelmed, but not quite," I said.  He has four little boys, one recent, two of them twins.  Overwhelming.  But he didn't want any more detail and we got to work on my most hopeless tooth, which will eventually have to be pulled anyway.  He was very kind and careful and so was his helper.  I wouldn't call it love and we are not from the same villages.  But there was awareness of each other that one could call empathy.  I explained that it was almost unbearable to hear the pitiless reptilian news every day.  I think we all felt the same way.


But I'm not sure they saw the news the night a man set himself on fire as a suicidal protest.  People tried not to know about it, the same as they warn people not to look at the photos of drowned toddlers trying to get to a safe place.  The news of suffering children in cages.  We really are close to overwhelmed.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

"OUT THERE" TABLE OF CONTENTS

I lied. I DID self-publish books dedicated to the SmashStreet boys, but my defense is that they never sold.  If a book is only "printed", is it really sold?  "Out There" is mostly Westerns.  "Willow Sticks" is  Blackfeet stories.  These are five years old.  None are about reality.

OUT THERE
Short stories by Mary Scriver

For Tim and the boys: I embrace them all.
Copyright 2014

Table of Contents

TRADITIONAL
The Sheriff and the Cat (True story) French-Milled Soap
Sheila Moira May O’Hara
Duchess of the Boarding House 

The Railroad Watch
Cup Ranch

RED FLANNEL HOUSECOAT STORIES
The Acting Coach
Threesome
The Man Who Preferred Stallions


A VIRTUAL TOWN: McKinley, MT
Aunt Tildy
What the Dumpground Lady Knows


BOYS
But Could He Play Vivaldi?
My Little Man
The Joy Boy
The Hall Boy
Three Grannies and Three boys


CAVALRY
Raw Fear
Vignettes for Veteran’s Day
Fan Fiction for Anthony Chisholm


PRAIRIE SCI-FI
Dark Swan

BIBLICAL REWRITES
An Old Story

DAY BY DAY

Drove to the dentist in Shelby yesterday.  Sweet clover is blooming in the borrow pits along the road.  Going, there was a road kill badger at the side of the road on I-15.  It's a sign.  (Badger Tipi)  Coming back there was a deer with a fawn. Mother was dignified and walking slowly.  Baby was dancing all around and flaunting his white flag tail.

Grass in yard is shoulder high.  Hail debris needs bagging. Haven't checked the new plumbing.  $800 to replace kitchen sink drain pipe.

Haunted by the children in concentration camps.  

"Honk", the kitten with respiratory distress, wants to sit on my bosom for a while but she's almost a cat (7/8 ) -- too big.  

Might not post more.  

Two story anthologies published at Lulu.com.  Many about Blackfeet.  "Guide to the Blackfeet Reservation" also on Amazon.  US side only.  (My passport expired.)  It's a very big complex ecotone.  Every village is different and not all population systems are villages -- some are not even "Indian."

Monday, June 24, 2019

MY TWEETS FROM TODAY


  1. Indigenous plains people were too elusive to control until the idea of eliminating all the buffalo, their source of supply. So who are Trump's buffalo? I don't believe they attend rallies where they are given red hats.
  2. Trump says his rule is "if they hit you, hit them back twice as hard." Good idea. We'll think about how to do it. To you.
  3.  7 hours ago
    A final death will be that of the Republican party, which has become an enclave of blackmail-able old men who are thriving under Trump, who is not even a Republican. History will laugh at these tin men.
  4. It's not as though the way these camps are run is surprising. Private for-profit jails have been doing it for decades. The traumas imposed on refugee children are what created the adults we are punishing. We are making desperation.
  5.  8 hours ago
    So many attacked and demeaned people -- who don't tell -- doesn't mean there's something wrong with the people but that there's something wrong with the system. Why haven't we thought about it?
  6. If a president is exempt from standard law because he is so special, why is there not a special punishment for him? I don't mean political impeachment. I mean criminal consequences. To keep it orderly so a mob won't tear him apart.
  7.  8 hours ago
    If the story about dumped bodies from US refugee camps is proven true, then shouldn't we suspect that the people hired to run these camps have criminal minds if not criminal records?
  8.  8 hours ago
    How do you suppose so many pop-up concentration camps were able to find, vet, and organize guards so quickly? Were they likely to be filtered for bad histories? Do we even check backgrounds of top government secretaries?
  9.  8 hours ago
  10. News of bodies of three small children and a woman appearing to have been dumped to cover up their deaths in our "concentration camps" is horrifying enough. The truth is that keeping people crammed together with no sleep, bad food, no hygiene, no help, is inviting epidemic. If you think that it's someone else's problem, you'd better realize that serious diseases won't be contained by barbed wire. If measles can sweep through communities who are prosperous, think about unattended unknown infections.