KE SAKIHITIN AWASIS
I get the feeling Buffy Sainte-Marie has “reservations”, even though her lyric goes
Like some reservation
Your purification’s begun
The pioneers who opened-up the West were long-haired like their San Francisco descendants in ’67. The world was looser then (both worlds) and the history of Red Indian Scouts, Mountain Men, intermarriage and the happy trails is legendary.
There was a Cree and a Sioux and a Navajo an Arapaho and a Hopi hiyo
We were stranded, snowbound, eh-ho I don't know
Sleeping on the floor like the best of friends
Living on tea and odds and ends ah
Were we lucky? Well it all depends
There was Cordell and me and Norman Brown sittin around away from town
And me I'm listening — Hey hey Big Mountain guys
Buffy may have been reading Journey here, Messner-Loeb’s Mountain Man comic, very historical on suchlike as nicknames for Indian Scouts (Calico Jack), trading posts and red-white sensitivities.
I’m no expert, but since the Indian wars probably two things have happened in the West. One was the establishment of Reservations; the other was Theo Roosevelt’s establishment of National Parks. If we’re talking rebellion in the West both of these have got to be opened up, at least partially.
Cowboys and Indians may be known as opposites, but in so many ways their needs are alike. Their cultures are peripatetic; they’re basically wanderings souls, rounding up herds, chasing buffalo, so they need wide open spaces and the meta-imagery that provides. Meta-imagery is not just some nice view for the shutter-clickers (or just clickers) because that divorces it from real life. Real life is hard, sweaty, dirty, gritty and also has an inner life of its own. Introspection, unconscious imagery, dreams, desires.
The two things that go together – see CH6 etc -are introspection and a real hard style of living. Whatever the federal state can do it can’t do that. National parks are very pretty, but they’re not an interior life.
There are two possible futures. One is facts and figures of global urban elites that replace the interior life that feeds off dreamlike images. The other is a literate rural rebellion that retakes the meta-imagery of the old West.
By “literate” I really mean not completely illiterate like the modern urban elites! Guys that know their rodeos and their bare-back riding. No rebellion can take place overnight, but there should be a recognition that cowboys and Indians have symbiotic cultures. If Indians need herds of bison, cowboys need the wide open plains with the same meta-imagery of mountains and forests. These provide a mythos and supply an interior life that feeds off dreamlike images.
A meta-culture is not human-centric or even completely real. There is a sense of unreality, a dream life. I’ve already gone over some of this in “Americana” (CH 8). The Washington elite have no conception of this and Trump is even worse because he’s egotistical. He is into the reality of the dollar; his dollar and your dollar, not the reality of Americana. Because the reality of America is also a dream.
You start with a dream because if the future is really bad you switch to your past. Your past then becomes the future. It’s been done before; it’s called revivalism, Renaissance. It was done in San Francisco when bands started to search out the roots of folk, blues and the pioneering type. One of my favourite ones, Quicksilver Messenger Service, have a stylishness that really comes across on stage; even their studio albums are rough-and-ready (apart from the first maybe). Style can be brutal because it has no time for niceties of production. It is what it is (“I yam what I yam”, Popeye).
WHO DO YOU LOVE PART 2
So, if there are two alternate futures – see CH6 etc – one has the brutality of style. It has no time for the niceties of facts and figures which replace the interior life, the world of dreams. The politicians are welcome to their facts and figures but, if they cannot appreciate the interior life of dreams and unconscious imagery, they have to be shunted aside. They don’t own the land because the land is not just a reality (real estate); it’s also the unreality of unconscious imagery or meta-imagery that affects the inner life.
A politician’s ego can’t be allowed to get in the way of an ideal; a machine can’t write good poetry. If this sounds brutal that’s because it is; the metaphorical six-shooter has to be drawn; no weasel words; the land has to be retaken.
Technically that might be illegal, but constitutionally it’s not (ask a lawyer). So, the only question is how and by what route and using what methods and I can only give some general guidleines based on this one website.
Quicksilver Messenger Service sleeve notes, 1969. David Freiberg is the “missing link” between this band and Jefferson Starship, and matches the description. He is thought to be a 50,000 year old relic of the Hyborian Age (see CH 9 when posted)
It’s an idealistic venture, as in days of yore, not a violent one. The past was violent, true, but then so is the present! Violence is to be actively avoided is the best way to put it, in the general spirit of the pioneer trails.
The land is your land; it belongs to no one, so there is a type of community spirit (like the chorus in Idomeneo, or in Aeschylus’s The Suppliants). The relationship between the individual and the community has always been a bit of a drag in America; Theo Roosevelt’s anti-trust laws against oil and railroad men are a case in point (1910s).
This return to community spirit is a theme of some comics, like Chaykin’s American Flagg! People often say these comics and this idealism are violent, and the only thing you can really say is you can’t trample on the human spirit. There is a darkness there, so deal with it. I’m not writing a political manifesto here; this is a stylish retaking of the land from urban political elites. The politicians are welcome to hang around, but the land being retaken is not their land, it’s a land of the mind. It’s not entirely real, it’s a dream. If their idea of land is real estate that’s fine, so they can go elsewhere. It’s that simple; those that cannot live the dream must go elsewhere – Washington DC, Florida, wherever.
The West is for those with a dream, ready for a time when introspection and the visible world go together (again), when there is a connection between style and the eco-culture, the meta-culture. Those that can dream obviously include the Indians for obvious reasons. As or the ins-and-outs of how to reconcile the two cultures, the exact facts in the matter can be established but, more to the point, complementary cultures are something of style and something of content (CH 8 – quote from Harlan Ellison). There is an inner, introspective content, unconscious imagery. Pure style is going to reflect this content, so the societies are going to have similarities. This is the rootsy, folksy, pioneering spirit.
There is a way of thinking to all of this. Style and content exist outside rational thought because they are not completely rational. They consist of urges, desires. Meta-imagery and ecosystems are part of this less-than-rational world. Those who want to be run by an AI in Silicon Valley they’re welcome to it but, again, they have to go elsewhere. This land is not their land, it’s the land of those for whom the meta-imagery fits an inner, subconscious urge, desire, dream.
The dream is not entirely real, so there is no way to reconcile those two worlds. With the Indian it’s easy. The metaphorical six-shooter and the metaphorical tomahawk have to be drawn, or thrown.. Those who don’t like it don’t see the dream, but that’s their problem.
The dream is a way of connecting outer content to inner content in a stylish way. Facts and figures, real estate and the dollar; all worthy things.. for politicians and businessmen. They are a class of society and that’s all they are. On that level I can’t really say more except maybe watch a good cowboy film. I personally dig Conagher (1991) with Sam Elliot and Katherine Ross. A humble cowhand, a poetic widow, a rustic cabin, fiddle-playing in the gloaming.. a certain breed of communal living folk, relatively introspective, non egoistic, laconic and somewhat melancholic. Filmed in a National Park with natural light by Villalobos, a director of Hispanic origin, a nice melange of cultures in the style of Barquero, Spaghetti Westerns, The High Chaparral.
TAGS CH 9
The Big Pretence, Wonder Woman’s lasso of truth, Apple’s Cupertino mothership blows up, light-hearted big-hearted musicals, prairie gold-dust