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I forgot to sleep last night and now it hardly seems worth going to bed. I have to get the place cleaned up anyway, since J & C are coming tomorrow night. I've been feeling kinda gloomy since I read mayna's post about reservations. The starkest, saddest memorial I have ever stood over was at Wounded Knee. You can drive across South Dakota in a day if you want. I90 run east-west along the southern third of the state. There's a Wounded Knee museum in Wall but we wanted to see the site so we dipped south of the interstate, where the geography is practically the same but the architecture--and pavement--takes a turn for the wretched. The massacre site is lonely, dingy, a minimally-maintained gravesite. I have no compunction about tromping through cemeteries as a rule, but I definitely felt like an intruder here. I don't think I have any ancestors who were in the US before the 20th century; the dismay and remorse I feel is national, not personal. I guess since Columbus Day was last week I already had a good base layer of guilt to work with. But yeah, feeling kinda down.

Victoria doesn't read LJ so she's just fine. She's manic, to be honest, very excited about the visit from her siblings, her birthday, the party... and she got presents in the mail from my mom. Wrapped presents. She can't stop poking at them. She has also made a series of lists of gift ideas that I can pass along to people should they ask me what she wants. I think she's working on volume III.

Today's title reminded me of a classmate who asked disgustedly what the hell those Boy Scout normal forms were that the instructor kept going on about.

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
shadowcaptain
Oct. 22nd, 2008 02:32 pm (UTC)
they don't really get any lonelier.

interestingly enough, paula montrie has spent a goodly proportion of a number of summers now at pine ridge as a part of some educational program.

i was drawn there because of incident at oglala and, (cringes), thunderheart, screenings of which grew out of discussions about the lakota sioux after a native american novel was taught as part of the writing curriculum at tulsa.

the hollywood treatment of the memorial is to make your head spin, once you see what it's really like. the dramatic conclusion to a number of shamanic dream sequences in thunderheart finds val kilmer walking up to the stone memorial (with no chain-link fence in the way) and pushing back the brush that had grown up around it, to discover the word "thunderheart" among the names of the buried. well and good, except it's a meticulously well-kept memorial with no brush to speak of, the word "thunderheart" doesn't appear anywhere on the memorial (i checked), and walking up to it and crouching down in front of it would mean stepping on the actual burial site. and there's a scene at the end of the film featuring graham greene on a motorcycle that's way, way too close to the memorial, right up against the headstones.

then again, i've no idea what the place looked like in 1991, and since they had to create a fake stone monument for the crucial "aieeee! my ancestor's name is on the headstone of the battle i've been dreaming about! i've been reincarnated!" scene, they might just as easily have created a whole fake memorial on some completely different hillside somewhere.
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