Joey "Deez" Blog "This Pipeline Is No Peace Pipe"

September 19, 2016

Today's blog comes from one of my dad's mentors, Dan Sanders:


This week’s trivia question (and if you get this one you are damn good) is, What person, born on the Piapot Plains Cree First Nation Reserve in the Qu'Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan, Canada, has been a performing artist for decades and recorded a song about Wounded Knee?


I sat down to write this blog and froze solid. I want to write happy and I can’t. There is too much draining my brain of happy, and the one thing keeping me awake at night right now is the struggle of the Standing Rock Sioux against the pipeline in North Dakota. I use Sioux here because they were the first ones engaged in this action, which many other tribes have joined, and most people today prefer to be called by their tribal ancestry. Imagine if someone came to your neighborhood, took your land, and made false promises. Then, many years later, they started building a dangerous oil pipeline near what land they had left you, and while digging the pipeline to fuel the pockets of the rich, they destroyed the ancient burial grounds of your ancestors and created the very real possibility of poisoning your drinking water.


During the Labor Day weekend, following what had been Saturday’s brutal attack on peaceful protesters by private security mercenaries and vicious guard dogs acting on behalf of Dakota Access Pipeline interests, it was discovered that the company responsible for construction deliberately targeted documented sacred and culturally significant areas for demolition. Crews likely chose the holiday weekend in order to avoid a court injunction.


I have a Hoodie that reads “I was not born in America; America was born on my land.” I’ve always known about my mother’s Cherokee ancestry but only recently found out that my dad was also one-third Cherokee. This makes me a bit more than half Native American and proud of it.


The Labor Day incident brought to mind a similar one. In late February 1973, the town of Wounded Knee was seized peacefully by followers of the American Indian Movement (AIM), and about a month later I was there. The control of the town lasted for 71 days. I want to go to North Dakota now, but for many reasons I can’t. There is, however, a website where you can help out either by purchasing art or if you’re an artist, by donating a piece of your work for auction with proceeds going to support this struggle. Here is the link.


Have you ever felt so overwhelmed that you wished you could shoot some kind of numbing agent directly into your brain? Some do it with alcohol, some do it with drugs, and some escape reality with TV and games. It seems easy enough to forget the real world is going to hell in a hand cart while watching Designated Survivor, a new TV show that I gather is all about the world being blown to kingdom come except for one man (and already I wonder why a man, not a woman, or at least one of each). If your drug is a game, you might prefer the new Star Trek Ascendancy or Pokémon GO, where you can travel between the real world and the virtual world of Pokémon. I was driving out of my town this morning, and coming right down the middle of my quiet road was a person, head bent into their palms and three or four fingers moving rapidly across some small keyboard, walking directly toward me, totally oblivious that 3,000 pounds of car was moving (thankfully slowly) at them. I stopped and waited quietly, wondering how long it would take them, thinking soon they would look up and move out of the way. About 50 feet from my front bumper, they realized that their Pokémon was about to be flattened and moved, almost reluctantly, without really looking up. How wonderful it would be if we could solve all the issues plaguing our small planet with just a slight step to the side. The drugging and numbing of humans seems to be running according to plan.


I imagine somewhere in the bowels of the earth there are men and maybe even a few women rubbing their evil hands together and snorting their cold breaths in glee as they watch their plans unfold to turn us all intoStepford Wives-type people. In this underground kingdom, there are no countries, no religions, no differing politics or opinions, and they have a common goal: rule the world and make money. They realize in order to rule the world they must all get along with each other and make all the surface dwellers giggly happy and content in their own little make-believe worlds. They must be doing happy dances on their cloven feet because their plan is working.


In the podcast, there are more thoughts on this, some music news and history, and the answer to that trivia question. I hope you’ll join me on the shores of Rambling Harbor.