Saturday, March 13, 2010

Alligators and Indians

In Miami, we were given this advertisement for a tour to the Everglades. In case the photo comes out blurry, here is what it says:
Take an Airboat Ride across the River of Grass and see all the Nature, Wildlife, Animals, Alligators, Exotic Birds and The Native Indians.

Besides the annoying capitalizations, the list of things to see is very shocking. Animals, alligators, birds, and Indians? Are the people who worte this for real? If this is supposed to be some kind of a joke, it definitely isn't funny.

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Marina Demchuck said...

It the interesting advertisment, maybe done with the tongue in the cheek, who knows.

After reading this now I begin try an construct such an advertisment to temp visitors to Ukraine...."Touch down at Borsipol, no passport? no Visa? no problem, just bring your Dollars" "Take a crazy taxi ride to the you'll NEVER forget to the 'luxurious' Hotel, no reservation? no problem, just bring your Dollars" And so on.

Marina Demchuck - Rivne [Rovno] Ukraine.

Anonymous said...

This is good course material. You can introduce your students to travel writing, and how the West imagine Indigenous people.

If you love to have this picture!


Greenconsciousness said...

No, it is real as in the Midwest, tourism is part of commerce on the NA reservations and the buses take the people there. Part of the tour. (I know that is a fragment - I like fragments)

The NA in WI have a really good (not cheesy) time for the people who go -- lots of education - how to make canoes from bark and their history -- and all the animals on their lands are part of the tour and considered their brothers and sisters worthy of respect as they support the people and are part of their old faith.

Why do the capitals offend you? I just did the same on my Spring Equinox post title. I like it. Or is it some sacred writing Rule which I have again offended?

Clarissa said...

It's not the tourism I object to. It's listing the indigenous people after birds and alligators, as if they weren't human beings.

How would you feel about an ad saying, "Come see cows, pigs, and women"?

The overabundance of unjustified capitalizations simply makes the text hard to read.

Greenconsciousness said...

Not fair Clarissa -- it would be cows, pigs, and farmers. I have seen it all the time out here in farm country for dairy days and it does not bother me. For women, it would be what -- maybe a music festival where they would say come enjoy the music, art, animals and women. I wonder how the NA feel about the ad? Not that their opinion is determinative as oppressed people generally tend to be unable to object to what has become "just the way it is" in their lives until those who have it better offer alternatives. I am an animal person who yes does see animal and human life as equally important so I may not have the same sensitivities as those who see animals as commodities.

Greenconsciousness said...

Too bad you did not take the tour. Then we would know how the NA were treated on the tour because I admit it could be bad. See if they made any money from the tourists and how their culture was presented and who they are, what tribe and their history - how the women are treated. Interesting. I would not be as thrilled as you are that Miami is now Cuba and you have to speak Spanish when there. This sort of immigrant flooding is done to affect voting results in the US and always means backward steps from women's equality. It is why workers and women have not made more gains since WWII. Florida is one of the worst states for unions, women and children as child abuse and DV are institutionalized. The legal system is similarly unsympathetic to consumer rights and insurance victims.

Clarissa said...

I am an immigrant, and I don't think I have brought a lot of backwardness to this country. :-) Especially in nterms of my politics and my support for women's rights.

Most of the religious right freaks do not have foreign last names. Bush, Cheney, and Dobson seem as Anglo-Saxon as you can get.

Greenconsciousness said...

I know you are an immigrant and that is the difficulty. Because so many immigrants are an asset. But nevertheless the influx of conservative Cuban patriarchal culture has affected my rights as a woman in the US and I know that the flooding encourage by US law is political in nature. The Mexicans are used to bust unions and drive down citizen wages. The Cubans are used to reinforce the republican GOB club politics in Florida. This has to stop and will be stopped as people have had enough of corporations stepping on the rights of US workers by outsourcing our jobs and culture.

Greenconsciousness said...

BTW, right wing Bush through Condi Rice did more for the women of Afghanistan than Clinton and BO who destroyed all the women's development programs in the State Dept that Rice had implemented. The regional women's centers, the media projects, legal training, economic development, all gone. Now we get speeches on how committed Clinton is to women's rights but no programs. This is the Paris Hilton philosophy of tell them what they want to hear and do what you want behind their backs. Everyone is happy.

Clarissa said...

I might be mistaken but I heard many times that the Hispanic population votes overwhelmingly Democratic. Isn't that true?

It's easy to blame the immigrants for your problems. It has been done so many times. It is much more difficult to realize, however, that without immigrants any country by denfinition would be more backwards and conservative. The US even more so than other countries.

Greenconsciousness said...

Do you think it is in the interest of US citizens to have this immigrant flooding doubling and tripling our population every five years? Or is it in your interest as opposed to my interests? Citizens especially the working class have a right to defend ourself, our culture and our jobs. You can say we blame the immigrants but it is not blame; it is identification. Immigrants, especially illegals and those who come with work visas are a tool of the corporate interests that are destroying us. But this is my last word on the subject because I like you and do not want to hurt you. We have different economic interests which will never be reconciled. I do want you to know that the other half of my position is for the US to uphold its belief in freedom and human rights by working with people in their own countries using foreign aid programs to improve their life instead of bringing everyone here to degrade our own for the sake of profits.

Greenconsciousness said...

The Hispanic population through the service unions took the last election away from Clinton and gave it to BO.

Clarissa said...

You have to agree that unless you yourself are 100% Native American, your dislike of immigrants is a tad hypocritical. :-) Who isn't an immigrant in this country?

I feel that you are using the easy way out blaming the immigrants for advancing corporate interests. The CEOs of huge corporations are not Hispanic, are they? It's easier to blame other than to take a close look at yourselves.

Don't be afraid to offend me with this discussion, though. My grad school begged me to come to the US to study with them and fought with other Ivy League schools to have me. My current employer is willing to jump through hoops to have mke here. Thousands of Americans are interested to read what I say on this blog. :-) So I feel very wanted here. :-)

You people would kind of be lost without me. :-) (Joke.)

Clarissa said...

Obama is till a Democrat, so my argument stands.

I'm not Hispanic and I opposed Clinton because of her hypocrisy.

Greenconsciousness said...

Take a close look at our selves? How is the working class to blame for what has happened to our jobs and culture? Immigrants are the tools the elites use to degrade us and immigrants are happy to be so used. They use guilt to silence us, call us racist for defending our rights. Tell us we are imagining and blaming. But we don't buy it anymore. We marched in Selma and suffered in the civil rights movement you were never a part of anywhere. We do not have to defend against charges of racism. We understand that we will fight or die. You should ask why you are so necessary to your bosses who are part of the US elites? I think an honest answer makes my point. Clinton IS a hypocrite and BO is a bigger, better one.

Greenconsciousness said...

And all Hispanics are not alike. The Cubans vote republican and anti-choice.

Greenconsciousness said...

I want you here too though. And some others. I am not talking about individuals or even the current population. But this unsustainable growth has got to stop.

Clarissa said...

"How is the working class to blame for what has happened to our jobs and culture? "

-Your own bosses took them away from you. When the jobs are outsourced to India and Mexico, whose fault is that? Who voted for the politicians that make outsourcing the jobs overseas? Isn't it the white majority?

"But we don't buy it anymore. We marched in Selma and suffered in the civil rights movement you were never a part of anywhere."

-It's kind of not my fault that my Civil rights were gained for me by my great-grandparents. Americans can't blame me for lagging behind so much. :-)

"You should ask why you are so necessary to your bosses who are part of the US elites? "

-Because my knowledge is vast and my analytical powers are fantastic, of course. Do you have any other versions? :-)

"I want you here too though. And some others. I am not talking about individuals or even the current population. "

-I have no doubt that you like me. :-)

"But this unsustainable growth has got to stop."

-There is no unsustainable growth in the US. I travelled across the country a lot and it's very empty. It could have a lot more productive people inhabiting these empty and unproductive stretches of land. The way it is now, I need a car, of all the stupid things, to go buy food. How insane is that??

Greenconsciousness said...

This is what I mean about different cultures. I do not want my country to become like yours.

"Without enough wilderness America will change. Democracy, with its myriad personalities and increasing sophistication, must be fibred and vitalized by regular contact with outdoor growths – animals, trees, sun warmth and free skies – or it will dwindle and pale."

–Walt Whitman

Clarissa said...

In what concerns women's rights, you can only wish and hope your country reaches the heights achieved by mine, my friend. :-). With all due respect, I'm guessing your mother, grandmother and greatgrandmother were housewives. Mine were highly educated, powerful professional women. This is something that gives me as a women a huge advantage over American women, who rarely even dare to speak in class, let alone contradict their male classmates and teachers.

Maybe you need to learn something about other cultures to see just how much you - in your profoundly patriarchal, religiously fanatical society - can learn from us. No offense, eh? :-)

Greenconsciousness said...

good grief you know nothing about the working class in this country do you? All our mothers worked. My mother was one of the first in the military and when the war was offer worked in a factory and then as a real estate sales woman although she had to quit high school to put her brothers through school. All her sisters worked often in bakeries and factories where all my nieces work except for the one who has her own cleaning business. I actually find you very offensive. Stick to your class and kind who have always oppressed mine. Try to turn this country into a densely packed, unsustainable, overpopulated, desert of cement populated by those who feel superior to the people they walk over - kill everything green and beautiful. I won't be back.

Clarissa said...

Let's not get overdramatic about this discussion, OK? I'm not getting angry so neither should you.

Having a mother who works at a factory is not the same as having a great-grandmother who is the CEO of that factory and the great-grandmother who is the corporate lawyer for that factory (that's my family heritage.) I'm not going to feel sorry or apologetic for those great women because they never took anything away from you, seeing as they lived on a different continent. We have never walked over you, once again because we lived on a different continent. I have never oppressed you or you people because I was born in the Soviet Union.

You were brought up in the ideological tradition that tells you that you are the best and the most advanced. I know that it's painful to realize that many people all over the world feel sorry for you and your culture because you are SO behind us in many respects. The reality is that we all have things to learn from each other. For you, it's a big achievement to have a niece who has a cleaning business. It is a great thing. However, for women from other cultures this is something that would be too little even 4 generations ago.

Pride for your country is a good thing but only when it is accompanied by humility. In many respects, the US is a very retrograde, backwards country. Keep that in mind, my firned, and be grateful that educated, sophisticated people like me deign to come over to teach you people how to want more than a sad hamburger and a pathetic factory job. Be thankful that we are kind enough to come to the US to teach you many important things, like how to enjoy life, how to have fun, how to think, how to be an original thinker, how to be a real scholar, and what it actually means to respect yourself as a woman and as a human being.

Look at the last names of all the bestselling and most important philosophers in the world today and if you see an American name among them, do let me know. I don't think you'll find one, though. The sad thing is that, as Jose Enrique Rodo said 110 years ago (I bet you have no idea who that is because ... well, you ARE American), all that the US people are good for is accumulating stuff. You still need us (Europeans, Hispanics, Indians, etc.) to tell you how to enjoy it and waht to do with it.

Greenconsciousness said...

I told you about my parents and family. No, we weren't the CEOs of large companies. I am an attorney and my uncle was a NASA rocket scientist. My cousin is not only an attorney but also a forensic pathologist. Before I became an attorney,I was a feminist organizer and changed the world for women. For instance we desexigrated the want ads and changed employment law for women. I started the second battered women's shelter in the USA in 1974. After that I led an anti rape movement that changed many things for victims. That is the USA. Sorry for the drama. I really cannot keep up this conversation. Open your eyes. You never even saw the women in your own country who are not of your class; you don't know us here. But you do have an excellent mind and I believe if you start to try to understand you could. Start with those silent girls in your classes.

Clarissa said...

I'm sorry, greenconsciousness, but my blog crashed tonight and some posts disappeared. I'm very upset and don't feel like arguing right now.

Feel free to dislike immigrants and believe that other cultures are all backwards and have nothing good to offer.

I sincerely wish you all the best.

Greenconsciousness said...

You know "dislike" is not the root of my opposition, nor do I think all other cultures are devoid of anything of value. But they are mostly too reverent of class and males who have the narcissism to believe that their work is universal when it is only male. In Russia it is practically an oligarchy.

But you Clarissa are in a way facing some things and your very bright mind is having a reaction. I had one too.

It is hard to be honest about the things which are most important to us. There are consequences. But you and I have done our best and can be proud of that. In the end, only love is real. You belong to the sisterhood. I want you to see all our stories accurately including the women bought and sold in your own country. A wealthy family does not mean the majority of women are liberated. When Russian women were admitted to the professions they were called liberated but the wages in those professions plummeted. You know rape and DV are not addressed in any meaningful way for the women who are not wealthy enough to buy justice. When women try to organize they are told they are already liberated. Some day, gather all the stats which are lies but a start, and see if they match your experience.

I assume you will after your graduate work return to that pinacle of civilization and eqality, mother Russia. Maybe you will do a few studies yourself. How much domestic violence - did you report - what happened - why didn't you report -- raped? what age - what happened -- similarly as to women politicians -- what did you accomplish - or were you a helper to others -- to the female judges -- well there are many questions. How was it for you at work - From your studies you may find the courage to do a documentary on Russian women where they, rather than the state or the party, talk about the reality of their lives.

If you ever need inspiration -- call on me and I will tell you the questions that expose the big lie of liberation achieved. I have done that and been there. I also wish you well on your journey. We do not have to agree - being honest is more important -- most important.

Clarissa said...

I have never in my life lived in Russia. I only visited a couple of times for a few days each. You see where your dislike of other cultures leads you. Your comments end up being misplaced and misinformed. "Mother Russia" has nothing whatsoever to do with me.

Maybe you should look for a website that discusses Russian women and their issues, if you are so interested. I have to confess that my knowledge of their issues is very limited.

Clarissa said...

I wonder why it's so hard for ssome people to accept that other cultures have important achievements. It must be a huge inferiority complex.

Greenconsciousness said...

"because I was born in the Soviet Union."

So it was one of the colonies or whatever they called them? Whatever. If it was Uzbekistan or the surrounding there is a great book by Elinor Burkett "So many enemies, so little time...

Greenconsciousness said...

and if it was one of the "stans" those women don't even pretend to be liberated so I thought you were referring to the so called liberation of Russian women.

Clarissa said...

I'm from Ukraine. The history of women there is radically different from that of the history of women in Russia, for the obvious reasons. And also, radically different from the history of women in the US. Why this simple historic reality bothers you so much, is beyond my comprehension.

V said...

Clarissa, the history may be different, but it is hard to believe the situation was radically different in different European parts of the SU. Female CEOs were still an exception rather than rule...

That said, I'd like to take issue with Greenconsciousness' understanding of "rights". I mean, as in "the working class have a right to defend ourself, our culture and our jobs". (Is that sentence grammatically correct, by the way?) Where exactly in the Constitution is it written that one has the birthright for a job for which there are more qualified candidates? I understand the interests of the American workers, but they are just that - interests, not rights. And they cannot really be protected no matter what the elites do.
Suppose you close the work visa pathway for foreign scientists and engineers. Then they will invent their inventions and make their discoveries somewhere else. US is not the only technologically advanced country. The jobs will be created somewhere else. And the US will have to buy the stuff based on those inventions... The last time I checked, the US were already deeply in debt, and the trade balance was negative.
So, how exactly stopping this kind of immigration will help US workers in the long run?

Of course, there is one "proven" way to protect jobs. You close your borders not only to foreign people, but also to foreign goods and services which may be competitive. You seem to have fairly good knowledge of Soviet realities (at least you know about various xyz-stans :) )... So you know what I am hinting at. :) And you know about the average standards of living in the SU, and about what happened to that glorious superpower. :) :)

The bottom line is: you do not really have a choice to have your living standards preserved, or to have the US living standards to be higher than in most countries forever. The only choice you have is via what mechanism your living standards will be eroded.

You are complaining about evil elites creating those immigration-related problems. Then go confront the elites directly. Confront them about their bonuses and benefits. It is very easy to confront the immigrants. One can claim one is "protecting the American way of life". Confronting the elites, on the other hand, may get you into all kinds of trouble. You may be called socialist, not patriotic enough or not American enough... :) :)

Greenconsciousness said...

Haven't you noticed us confronting the elites? That is especially difficult now that global interests own the media as well as the politicians, some unions and most of the non-profits started by activists in the 70s and 80s. We are not confronting immigrants - we are confronting politicians about immigrant flooding. If immigration is not the issue why does the system fund immigrant political organizations through the use of state workforce development - with tax money. Immigration is the tool they use to drive down wages, eliminate benefits, bust unions and gain votes from the easily manipulated and politically inexperienced. We want to take away the tool.

It is not for the middle class who profit from immigrant flooding to tell the working class what the right issue or tactic is for their struggle. Our economic issues are conflicting. True, the right to self defense is not in the constitution, nevertheless it is our right.

I have not noticed all the benefits derived from those foreign scientists. Mostly they are IT people for Windows and their ilk. I do know Saddam Hussein's biological and chemical warfare scientists studied in the US. Now, non english speakers are the majority of construction, nanny, landscape, meat packing, hotel, restaurant and landscaping employees. I don't think the benefits are worth the mass destruction of the working class.

But it is deeper. Advancements in women's rights are eroded by each immigrant wave. The population growth is unsustainable except for people who don't mind that every space for other species is invaded by humans and even the air and water is crowded with human debris and machines. Dirty water, dirty air, densely packed populations -- good for the profiteers -- bad for the quality of life for those who cannot buy relief.

Mexico and Haiti, both examples unrestrained population growth, are countries where humans have become commodities for the rich because of overpopulation among other factors. Although many factors contribute once the population tips, the people can no longer determine their own destiny without outside intervention. First they force unrestrained breeding and we then they sell your babies to those who can afford them. No. It is time to say no. A long time has been spent educating the US masses and now they are awake and angry. They are confronting the elites. It is difficult to assess at this point if that anger can be organized into effective action. But things are cooking. I think the immigrant nation will either meet the working class in compromise or in opposition and that will determine the outcome.

Clarissa said...

Greenconsciousness: your fear of third-world people who constantly reproduce is nothing new. It was created by certain (conservative) political forces for ideological purposes. Eduardo Galeano discusses this phenomenon in the first chapter of "Open Veins of Latin America." I highly recommend you read it. It will allow you to see who and why manipulated you into believing these things.

Anothe4r good author is Slavoy Zizek. His recent book "First as tragedy, then as farce" discusses how the ruling economic classes foster hatred between different groups of working people to prevent us from blaming them, the economic elites for our impoverishment. While you are sitting there hating immigrants (and I'm sitting here hating blue-collar Evangelicals) bankers and CEOs are robbing all of us blind. And we just keep playing their games.

After I read Zizek's book, I decided to atop playing this game. I hope you will too.

Clarissa said...

"Clarissa, the history may be different, but it is hard to believe the situation was radically different in different European parts of the SU. Female CEOs were still an exception rather than rule..."

-It is radically different. In the sense that being the first woman in your family to have a life in the public sphere as opposed to being of the 4th generation to do so.

Greenconsciousness said...


Do you think you make points by degrading the intelligence of your opponents? You have for the last several posts told me I am some poor, deluded, ignorant dupe of the bosses. You assure me the boys on the left have something to teach me about the nature of my reality. Please. I actually LOL when I read your last post. How old are you? Pretty young I think and still accepting what the boy stars say is truth over what is in front of you. Have you ever organized an campaign for institutional change? My experience and observations are not going to change by some leftist guy telling me my experience is a delusion, no matter how persuasively he writes. I am a feminist organizer since 1972. I have actually made change. I am an Eco-feminist. I know the population stats. I can do the math. I have seen the charts of how many airplanes are in the sky and heard the industry complain about birds. You. on the other hand, sound like the forced breeders. Your position is that there are unlimited resources, no problem, just keep growing until you weigh 400 pounds and can't move because all that empty space would be more productive if humans filled every inch stacked on top of one another. We will grow food in chemical factories and produce animals the way agri business does now. Yeah, what a great world your politics will produce. Your world view does not reach beyond your own interests into a sustainable environment for everyone. It only will produce habitability for those with enough money to hoard resources. That is the way it is now in those great cultures you say I have much to teach me.

The left and the right have been telling me I do not understand reality ever since women asked for equal rights. I rejected male versions of our reality in 1972.

This is the last time I will make a point you ignore and mis-characterize to the point of the ridiculous in serious discussion. I do not hate, dislike or fear immigrants. That is like saying I am a man hater. Do you honestly think that is a serious argument? That statement is just ignorant and foolishly underestimates your opponent. It may win points when BO is talking to his corporate fundraisers and you are talking to those who agree with you but it is just comfort food for the mind.

The masses do not organize by just marching and yelling at the bosses. Social change organizing seeks to eliminate the means (the mechanism) by which the elites oppress and exploit. Campaigns start by taking away what the bosses have that allows them to ignore our demands. The beast is trapped before it is killed. Regulation and enforcement are the tools we use.

You should read Saul Alinsky.

Greenconsciousness said...

Also, organized religion IS the enemy. Don't hate the individuals but DO work to limit the power of organized religion in the secular state. How? Their tax exempt status. Oh Yeah.

Clarissa said...

Finally we agree on something. :-) I agree with every word you say on organized religion.

Of course, I know Saul Alinsky. And actually, Zizek, the philosopher whose work I recommended to you, respects him and quotes him a lot.

Greenconsciousness said...

Thank the Universe - we agree and can finally leave this painful topic. I still admire your mind. Respect you. Peace.