Geronimo!


I  must admit I don’t think about him so much, despite my father’s interest in Native American art.  I do admit I came across this looking for tacky Native American tourist tat.

When I was a youngster back in the late 60’s and early 70’s, we had a toy called Show and Tell:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Show%27N_Tell

Yep, the height of technology back in the day.  A slide show with a record with narration, maybe a story to tell.  You kids with your YouTube and all…this was our YouTube.  Only we didn’t get to make it, and it was pretty shitty, with that little speaker and all.

Anyway, we had one about General Custer, and it painted the Battle of Little Big Horn with the whiteys as the victims.  My Dad swore up and down, despite being racist in many ways, he related to the Indians (as they have been known in those days, and most Indians I know still use the handle) more than what a shit Custer was.

He told me more about Geronimo, but I don’t remember much of what came from his lips, and I think I have more exposure to information now than he ever did, plus I got to learn how to do research properly.

This has nothing to do with the  shit I am about to share with you.  It has everything to do with how Indians/Native Americans have been portrayed in white culture:

It’s a game, it’s a movie poster (I think) that made him look like a salivating foaming Hellion, which was totally accepted then.  I know I would have figured that out eventually, despite my father’s interest, despite how the propaganda was being spun even that long ago.  I found some interesting stuff about Geronimo, which BTW, not even his real name!

Begin quote:

Geronimo, whose name became the war cry of World War II American paratroopers, was born Goyahkla, “The One Who Yawns,” to the Bedonkohe people, a branch of the Eastern Chiricahua Apache from present day Arizona and New Mexico. Both his name and legendary war tactics were formed in skirmishes with Mexican troops, who in 1850 killed Geronimo’s mother, wife, and children when he was approximately 25 years of age. The Mexican soldiers that encountered his wrath were heard to appeal to St. Jerome, and thus the moniker of “Geronimo’ was born.

Though he did possess admirable “American” traits — such as leadership, perseverance, and independence — those qualities were most fiercely displayed in opposition to U.S. troops. He surrendered for good on September 4, 1886, after a series of capitulations, betrayals by the U.S., and subsequent escapes. Between 1898 and his death, Geronimo participated in numerous expositions and fairs, including an appearance in President Theodore Roosevelt’s inaugural parade. Many of the popular cultural objects in the exhibit date back to the early part of the 20th century.

I got the information here:

http://www.fenimoreartmuseum.org/

Why Am I Putting This Here?

I don’t only want to have funny shit like People of Walmart, (although I would like their notoriety) I found this is a good forum to talk about things that matter to me, like how we treat each other, and  how far we have come in some instances, and how little progress has been made – those 3-D stare-at-me posters that were prevalent in the 90’s?

To the 20 somethings these kind of images tend to be shocking, especially on a child’s toy.  I should take the ultimate step and show images of Golly-Wogs (really offensive) and at one time this was ‘cute’ and the attitude was. “What’s so bad about these?”.

It’s still going on.  I can’t believe that people still exist like this, and take the trouble to make something like this:

Words+Images+Symbols.

I don’t mean to get political here, because I just started this site in good fun, but it is about Art, (depictions people create) and in my digging, I have found so many visuals that were created solely to elicit a response.  If you want equal time, and some GWB pics, if they are Art-Worthy, I will post them.  The only one I can think of is the monkey faces, and it’s silly and stupid, just as stupid and silly as the one above, but the difference is Someone went to a bit of trouble to do this.

I am so tired of this, and wish people would have listened to Dennis Kucinich.

I will get back to the ugly art, promise.

And I hope you get the really broad stroke about imagery and thought.  And get digging, and think for yourself.

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One response to “Geronimo!

  1. Thank you for restoring my faith in the inherent intellegence and goodness of the few Americans who I will still call brothers and sisters.

    Don’t give up.

    If you don’t, I won’t.

    Your fellow traveler,
    Megan

    P.S. You might like to read some Emma Goldman one of these days, if you haven’t already. Now THAT was a real American.

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