Separation Anxiety

We don’t have cable or a converter box, so since 2009, the only television I have watched has been via the Internet, or while visiting someone’s house. Digger’s premiered already. This show was sponsored by National Geographic, but excavated on land owned by the state of Montana for which the show’s producers did not have a permit. The Billing’s Gazette posted an article yesterday.

My friend had the following to say:

Consider calling the Powell County Attorney, Lewis K. Smith (406) 846-9790), and encourage him to do the right thing and prosecute cultural resource violations to the fullest extent of the law. Remember, “Diggers” got multiple warnings (remember all those petitions we signed?). The SHPO is on record as indicating no permit application was received, and they flagrantly committed the act on national TV. I wonder if the Dept. of Corrections considered the enormity of the potential class-action lawsuit that develops when prisoners’ identities are released.
Lastly, call the BLM PR rep Mark Jacobson (406-233-2831) and ask him to make sure his PR releases take a much stronger tone than his quoted remarks in the Billings Gazette.

I recommended also writing an editorial to the Billing’s Gazette.

Am I capable of doing any of these things? Sure. Absolutely.

Will I do any of these things? Yeah, not so much. Right now I can’t really tell if it’s because I am so pissed off, or if it’s just because in my heart or hearts, I don’t really care. Archaeology can go the way of shopping malls I guess. It no longer works in this world. It’s really sad, and we may lose untold amounts of fascinating information about humanity’s past, but guess what? There’s only a handful of people in the grand scheme of things that give a crap. Unlike the GMO salmon, I don’t feel like it’s a crime against humanity, a crime against nature, and a crime against all creation if archaeology disappears. To make phone calls or write letters feels like how I feel like when I look for work (the unending task of the last 9 years). Frankly, I am tired of it. I feel like I am being terrorized. I feel like I have to beg for dignity and sovereignty, for justice and respect. I should not have to beg for justification of my life path, yet it is something I feel that I am forced constantly to do.

Then there is my African-American friend who got pulled over in Phoenix because he was black and my Jewish friend in Milwaukee who got pulled over leaving Sabbath services Saturday because she looked like she was latina. Liz and Taylor are left with a $2,000 utility bill because Amanda left them high and dry by not paying one penny for utilities while she lived there. Liz is lucky if she brings in more than $25K for a family of 5, and Taylor is not bringing in enough to make any difference. How about the young guy that was chased down and shot in Florida? It’s all fucking bullshit. No, I am too mad to be rational, and when almost everyone I know is on the verge of being malnourished, evicted, and unjustly thrown in prison do I really care if people are treasure hunting arch sites? I mean seriously?

Yeah, blessed Ostara. Welcome to Armageddon 2.0.

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4 Comments

  1. michael said,

    March 20, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    Yes, sometimes it does look and feel like Armageddon. I think all of it is tied together. People digging up artifacts takes more of our cultures and histories away. Doing so with the permission of the People is colonialism The state not prosecuting is colonialism. Harassing people based on their skin coloring is racism and colonialism. Stealing land to mine coal and oil to worse climate change is colonialism People going hungry when there is plenty of food is colonialism. The list goes ever onwards. I hold a vision for a sane, peaceful future. Still, sometimes the Trail of Tears seems to last forever. So much for Post Colonialism.

    • nadeanna said,

      March 20, 2012 at 11:45 AM

      Michael, I think you meant _without_ the permission of the people. Although the site illegally dug in Montana was a historic site, that hardly makes it “better.” Even if I am supposedly a professional archaeologist, it would really be nice to get permission from the people, whoever has lived in a place the longest, or whoever is considered the custodian of the materials, even if they might not be the direct descendants of the people who produced that particular archaeological record. Sometimes the people don’t want their past dug up because it is just not important to contributing to their already established world view. Scientists and white people and whoever need to understand and respect that. It doesn’t mean I would stop trying to educate people on the value of archaeology, but sometimes the applicability beyond asking questions and satisfying curiosity, understanding the total history and energy of a specific geographic space is a stretch to make. I think there are lessons to be learned about climate change and demographic stress, even about nutrition and avoiding the manifestation of diabetes, but is that enough to justify what some people can perceive as colonial terrorism? I’m so irritated today. I’m trying to take deep breaths and let so much of it go. I wonder if life was always like this. I wonder how my grandparents and their ancestors coped. I just don’t really think my parents had to endure this kind of hardship at my age. Everything was under control and secure for them (or so it appeared).

  2. March 25, 2012 at 5:19 AM

    My parents (I’m in my 60’s) endured quite a lot of hardship. While they did not talk about it, we think they had to deal with a lot of racism. They quietly went about their business, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible, and teaching us kids to be aware of the suffering of others. I inherited both their compassion and their rage, as well as the struggle to find something approaching balance between them.

    So few people have any idea what Native people face here and around the world. One of my students is working on genocide. She is a wonderful person and deeply cares about the world. Yet, the ongoing genocide against Native people everywhere is largely invisible to her. Maybe that is because the killing of indigenous people is seldom called “genocide.”

    The rage comes up when I encounter acts of colonialism and genocide – which these days is pretty much daily. Given our interconnected world, I want to help, and often that means simply being present to the experiences of others. I try to keep in mind that the best revenge is a happy, beautiful life. Sometimes that is difficult.

  3. March 25, 2012 at 5:24 AM

    P.S. I think life is becoming more difficult for more and more people. If we cannot come together and find some common ground as human beings, the darkness will surely grow.


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