Thursday, June 16, 2011

June - Summer 2011

Wisdom of the Sages

Episode VI

June – Summer 2011

Hello People of the World;

Looks like summer is finally upon us. Actually, I’m guessing at that since I am writing this introduction on May 20, 2011. Now that time has past, wow, what a scorcher! With this expected heat arriving in the month of June, that can only bring, you guessed it: the bitching about the UNEXPECTED heat that June brings! Come on. Get over yourselves.

What is also humorous and makes me better than you is how quick people become wimpy in the summer. It rises in temperature and folk complain like it caught them off-guard and ruined the crops or something. Then, it drops to the mid-60’s and people break out the winter gear! What babies! Really, how can you be surprised by the weather?

Anyways, let’s get started, shall we?

1:[ First item of the month: The Illinois State legislature approved a bill that would put a casino in Chicago and gambling machines in the airports. This is represented as a measure to pay off the huge debt that the state has. But like other measures, will we see the funds get to the right place? I don’t know.

The lottery was a measure and the new parking meters were another. But I overheard a PACE driver remark, “With gas prices so high, and rates going up on electricity, phone bills, bank fees and mortgages, prices on food and basic services going up all over, now the state wants us to gamble away what we got left? That doesn’t make sense.”

2:[ So I went to the store to pick up my usual gallon of Lipton Green Tea with Citrus when I noticed that they are now selling smaller bottles of green tea with “Natural” ingredients. So, does this mean they have been selling green tea with UN-natural ingredients?

Which begs the question: Why not sell the green tea with natural ingredients in the first place?

3:[ Once again I was able to make it out and see a few movies. But it looks like I have been on a lucky streak of late as the last three movies I’ve seen were pretty damned good. CLICK HERE for the quick reviews.

4:[ I have to ask, since when did some guy wearing an earring start being called “Edgy”? Come on, you’re supposed to be a man, not a pirate!

Now, don’t come at me with that “men wearing earrings has been a part of our culture for centuries” nonsense. What I’m asking, since it’s very much an accepted part of our cultures, why is a guy wearing one even considered “edgy”?

5:[ Ah yes, the long overdue and eagerly anticipated return of:

Adventures at the Coffee Shop!

+ “I’m Cherokee!” she announced as I barely had time to sit down. She did not look native but who am I to judge this? Still, Native Americans have had generations of non-Natives appropriating their identities for no other reasons as to gain sympathy or “benefits”. So, it makes one sort of antsy to react. But before I could reply, she adds, “I know, you don’t believe me.” (Which I will suspect will be the new prejudice against Native, that we don't "believe".)

So, fine, maybe you are. Why should I care. I just shook my head and answered “Northern Arapaho” of course, she had never heard of them. Then, as she went to pick up her half-caf, skinny, tofu mocha, (or whatever the hell it was) and later babble loudly with this guy about all the things they are being denied, like boat docking permits, did she say “yeah, we have to get the land back for you. And me too!” No sh*t, she said that. But what could I do. The sensibility of indeterminate Native American identity has become a game of “Damned If You Do, Damned If you Don’t”. Which kind of pisses me off because it shouldn’t be a game to begin with. Anyways, I sipped my coffee and returned to my drawings…

+ Bonnie and I were trying to enjoy our coffee except for the babbling suburban expats in the B&N. Man, they just would not shut up. In these trying economic times, it does not generate empathy in my fellow man when all he can talk about is all the drinking games that go with every single movie ever made and describing them in detail. You have never know hardships of the lower class when you brag about how much you drink or what boating permits are being denied to you…

+ So, I’m sitting in a corner by the door and every so often a customer will stop to stare at me sketching my sketches. I am so tempted to put up a “Do Not Feed the Native Artist” sign on my table…

+ Just overheard someone on the cell talking about someone else behind their back and then has the fucking gall to say, “That’s the thing about me, I’m an honest person.”

6:[ Yay! I finally got the long gestating “Mikey Redshade Saves the World” up and running. I came up with the idea a little over a year ago when I, as a regular reader of “Frazz” saw one of the child characters wearing a bicycling helmet and though he looked like a child being a superhero. So, I took the image, added a cape and made the character a 6-year-old Northern Arapaho transplant to the city. (Sort of his Kryptonian origin.)

As I refined the character, background and such, showing the roughs to a few friends, I lost the helmet idea as well as drew him more in the vein of Peanuts or Clavin and Hobbes. Lately, there have been a rash of other artists coming up with their own versions of a Native kids thinking they’re a superhero. So, I figured I’d put out mine in the only way I knew how. Also, as my Charlotte said, “Sometimes people get the same ideas.”

I cannot wait to read the other versions and know that this could be the first step in a Native kid as superhero renaissance that will be another path to better representations in such a simple media form, the newspaper comic strip. Anyway, I am posting colored strips on my “Redshade Report” weblog for now, hoping that as interest grows, I can move it to its own site.

Take a look and tell me what you think.

7:[ And now Wisdom of the Sages presents:

An Ever-growing List of Things That MUST Stop!

+ The MTV Movie Awards: Why would a Music Channel hand out movie awards?

+ That people who state loudly they are making a stand for others, then add, “I have to do this for me” hypocrisy? That should stop.

+ TV characters calling themselves a “Magnificent Bastard” in their fire up speeches must stop…

+ The History Channel not doing historical programming. That needs to stop…

8:[ One of the sad things in the materialistic, cool, pop-culture portion of my life I will regret never getting into fully, is the Beastie Boys. For all the great albums and accolades that have been heaped upon them since their debut, I never listened to one song fully outside of “Sabotage”, and I only listened to it once mainly because of their clever video.

You can blame “You Gotta Fight For Your Right To Party” for this happening. That insipid teen party anthem just turned me off from the first moment I heard it. It would give mooks reason to act like mooks; like it is some form of personal rights choice but they are really just choosing to be idiots. Add to that that the song was played ad nausea at St. Stephen’s Indian School, because let’s face it, Indian kinds don’t know any better than other kids.

So, because I had a ludicrous image of myself, I never really checked out the Beastie Boys. And because of that, I missed out on “Paul’s Boutique”, “Check Your Head” and “Ill Communication”. But fret not. I am not going to jump on the bandwagon now because that would not make me a true a fan that has stuck with them from the start. But I am just sorry I missed out on years of their music…

9:[ From the “This Just In” Department: I never thought I’d live to see the day, of something I talked about in many a presentation of Native Americans in media: a part-Kickapoo played Superman. Who knew?

10:[ Last Item of the Month: How’s this for tragic irony:

Yesterday I saw a cargo van with the label “Gonzalez’ Fencing”.

That will do it for this month.

I’ve been pretty good at adding new WotS videos. Look for another for Father’s Day. In case you missed any, here’s the YouTube Playlist. Also, I’ve been sitting on U2 tickets for more than a year and hopefully, in next month’s edition, I’ll get to tell you about the U2 360 Tour’s return to Chicago. Also, I will be announcing something new and cool. Something I’ve been keeping to myself, as well as telling a few select people, because I need to get some paperwork out of the way first. But, here’s a hint: Those who can’t do, teach…

Until Next Time, “I try to show the schemers how pathetic their attempts to control everything really are.”

© 2011 Ernest M. Whiteman III

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