We are all North Koreans now
~Living in a war torn land without a safety net culture.
“A very great vision is needed and the man who has it must follow it as the eagle seeks the deepest blue of the sky. I was hostile to the white man… we preferred hunting to a life of idleness on the reservations. At times we did not get enough to eat and we were not allowed to hunt. All we wanted was peace and to be left alone. Soldiers came and destroyed our villages. Then Long Hair (Custer) came… They say we massacred him, but he would have done the same to us. Our first impulse was to escape but we were so hemmed in we had to fight.
Crazy Horse / Tashunkewitko, Oglala
As may be evident from my recent sparsity of posting I am in a struggle with transition.
The better part of me wishes to leave criticism (except self criticism) behind. Carrying the weight of the world, whether it be a proclivity toward obesity or nukes, perhaps is not really mine. Perhaps there is nothing I can do about “it”. Perhaps my rantings and my proddings and even my “soft touch” pleadings will not a better world make.
The same applies to my other “favorite”, really least favorite topics. Guns and weaponry and the over-population that makes necessary an endless quest for living space (Lebensraum) are themes that occupy (and probably have always occupied) the national and native consciousness too much, or at least my postings too much. There, am I getting better?
But, as I said, it is a struggle in transition. The west and westward ho and western experience is about fleeing places that became overpopulated with the inevitable consequence of too much government and too many laws and a falling away of freedom, dignity and the practice of real human values of all kinds.
Therefore, it may be natural and right and even “right-headed” for me to spend more of my time revisting, reposting, and reviewing my own past in these regards. I began a month or two ago tracing the specific names on my father’s side that fled an over-populated Europe grown accustomed to a certain tyranny and oppression, inimical to the diversity of experience of the Great Spirit’s wish for all people to have a better life.
On my mother’s side (the Backlunds linked above), the issues were much the same. The family left Sweden due to religious repression, over-population, the resulting decline in opportunity that always results from too little land and too much wealth concentrated in the hands of too few. It all, and always, gets back to LAND and the ability of the land to support the lives and aspirations of the people.
Make no mistake. The “land”, “the lands” the “free land” of all of North America (as we now know it) was stolen. The Indian Country lands that Rutherford B. Hayes professed to tender to the (too) gullible Swede that was my great grand-father was in truth without legal title despite the fancy documents that attested to what in reality was a lie.
The Sunday paper in Albuquerque always brings us the news a bit late. This Sunday (today) the news was about the truth regarding North Korea. It was not the “whole truth”, but focused on half the truth, the truth about the U.S. nuclear intimidation of North Korea and the North Korean people. The article is here.
The other half of the truth, not mentioned in the AP article, is about the endless and sadistic carpet bombing of everything that was in North Korea during the Korean War. The cities were bombed with napalm with the inevitable firestorms, the dams were bombed to flood the farms and to destroy all food, the roads and railroads were bombed to reduce all commerce to a trickle. The entire nation was systematically flooded and turned to fire with a per capita loss of life greater than any other war of the 20th century.
Astonishingly, the land survived and a portion of the population in, or on, it. Three generations of leaders since then have led the country in a policy to preserve the land. The lesson of the 1950’s Korean War was that anything greater than what it takes for survival can be taken away by an enemy. Too much food, too comfortable a shelter, the material things in life are all excess that might weaken the resolve to retain and protect and preserve “the land”, the land of the morning calm, a human and extra-human experience worth more than any worldly comfort or possession.
My relatives, my ancestors in America experienced such conditions. While the native people were going hungry on the reservations “my people” were going hungry on the land that was stolen; reduced to eating rabbit trapped by snares, prairie chickens and a corn meal / molasses mixture better fed to farm animals than humans. There was no decent shelter. The family of four lived in a hand-dug cave, added to with wet prairie sod without any real timbers for support. Communication, what little there was with the outside world, was by human messenger which meant friends talking face to face with friends who were not living much better.
Much has been written and rumored about the heroic, romantic life of the early settlers life on the prairie. Such fables are what are often used to make young men (and women too) fight in wars and kill and die. Many of the aviators and navigators on the B-29’s constantly criss-crossing Korea (Korea-Korea) to reduce the population to shear survival were undoubtedly descendants of Kansas settlers who had experienced the same.
The question I often ask is this. I have many postcards from the “old country” of Sweden that show the homes and palaces of the rich, the well built buildings of the government, a once Imperial ruler and conqueror of nations; the birthplace of scientific geniuses such as Nobel, who made munitions making a science. The question is, “why would a person who had lived in a world that looked like this:
willingly move to a lifestyle like this:
?” It is a question.
So, hey America, it HAS happened before. The best of us, the rest of us, maybe even the most of us somewhere in our genetic past was willing to give up on “civilization” to reinvent the land, the wheel, the circle of life as we know it. My ancestors did. In all likely hood yours did too. The only question that I have, is are we willing to do the same thing too. Maybe the North Koreans and original native Americans are (or were) really right. Or is there a compromise in sight?
2013.03.10 – 21:33.