21 December 2007
as the elections draw closer, we encourage you to check out http://www.richardsonforpresident.com/ to read about someone who KNOWS and has the SUPPORT of many Native folks ... okay, so he doesn't have the support of part-time super-"indian" chuck "washo" norris, but gov. huckabee can have all 10 votes from them fictional texas cherokee rez-idents ... btw, a close relative of this brady bravin' editor was eating in the same restaurant as "washo" the other day in addison (dallas area), where chuck resides ... some folks get all the luck ...
22 November 2007
21 November 2007
replying last friday to a brady_braves_bureau email, the senior sports editor wrote, "Thank you for writing. I can't tell you how bad I feel about this [headline]. I will say to you what I have been saying to everyone who has written to us about this. In hindsight, it was a poor choice of words, and I apologize for that. We absolutely should have been more sensitive. I appreciate your feedback."
and we appreciate this sincere apology. we are glad to say that we won't be placing the st. paul pioneer press sports folks into the bureau of brady braves "hall of shame." besides, the hall is so crowded already with the chief wahoos, wannabe yahoos, billy jacks, and those texas-rangerin', infomercialin', mike huckabee endorsin' chuck "chuckabee" norrises.
16 November 2007
14 November 2007
but folks like those at the St. Paul Pioneer Press aren't helping much with their tuesday, november 13, headline about peterson's injury: "The Vikings must now fight the battle of... Wounded Knee." as observed by professor eric buffalohead, the headline is used for "a story on Adrian Peterson's injured knee. Why on earth does it reference Wounded Knee? What does a football injury have to do with the 1890 massacre of over 300 Lakota men, women, children and elders by US Soldiers in 7th cavelry? This headline only appears in the print version, not online. Spread the word to let the Pioneer Press know they should be apologizing for such poor taste in choice of a headline."
or how about this blogger titling his post as "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: Is the NFL Any Good Any More?" referencing dee brown's novel yet still "playing" with serious words in order to make a reference to a football player's injury? man, these folks look to be trying out for the bureau of brady braves' hall of shame ...
05 November 2007
22 October 2007
09 October 2007
01 October 2007
be well, friends,
bureau of brady braves
27 July 2007
23 July 2007
"some teachers suck, no teachers sucks even more."
"i'm waiting for my last day in school, the children in africa still for their first one."
20 July 2007
12 July 2007
the other two are off a back road in brown county. the sign with the older "indian" welcomes ya to "camp palawopec." another sign (not pictured) a few miles earlier depicts a younger "indian," suggesting that you may age by the time you get to the camp but that everyone can be a "kid at heart" when they join in redface revelry? the pic on the right is a "tipi" out on camp palawopec's lawn. i hear this lone "tipi" will star in the upcoming disney flick Last of the Tipis.
turns out this camp palawopec has a website, which includes this pic of one its campers in "warpaint" doing a bad grizzly imitation. just $495 for a week at the camp. more payin' for playin', eh?
btw, no chuck norris spottings in indiana. where ya at, walker?
06 July 2007
02 July 2007
01 July 2007
"This here's the Reverend Tim Cottonmouth. Speakin' to ya from the national I Wannabe a Cherokee network in Tulsa, Oklahoma. ...
Ifn your having a little tribal uncertainty, ifn the drum is telling ya the Apache, the Choctaw, the Osage is not fer you, ifn ya say Iroquois and the white man thinks you're from the Middle East, then come on down to the Cherokee Meeting House.
Ifn y'all had bad credit, a turn a bad luck, think to yourselves, Indian brothers and sisters, maybe y'all need a new identity. An' ya can have it right here, no questions asked an'no references needed. Y'all had grandmommas, ain't no more needed than that. ...
Send us your money now, Indian brothers and sisters. ... Don't be left out of the new Cherokee Nation.
Cherokee. We mean Indian."*
*source: Cherokee novelist Betty L. Bell's Faces in the Mooon, pages 57-58
or as a real Cherokee friend has reported to the BBB, beware of a woman on the powwow trail who claims to be Cherokee and pronounces Tahlequah, the home of the Cherokee Nation, as Tuh-lee-kwuh! wonder if she also drinks Cherikee Red? (yes, a real sugar-filled drink owned by a subsidiary of Dr. P/7-Up)
as the BBB, in academic settings with ethnic fraudin' professors, has sang it before (along with a martin guitar) in the key of D:
all the world's a cherokee / at least that's how it seems to me / people talkin' loud in the academy / when they don't even know a real cherokee
28 June 2007
21 June 2007
here at the bureau (a free site, incidentally, for all the brady bravers out there, unlike supposed "new age native healing" sites where you, too, can find the inner-"indian" for just $99), we don't want to disrespect those who are trying to find their way in this world. but some folks are profiting from other people who, as Barnett has been told by "a couple of different medicine people," are "filling a void.'' cultural appropriation time and again for hundreds of years here, and it continues time and again. (NBC's Today Show, as the bbb has mentioned before, helps to promote it.) many people are seriously hurting, are in need of healing, and others are cashing in on that.
here at the bureau, we'd add that in many settings, the phrase paying "indians" has interelated ambiguities: 1) paying as a verb, as in non-natives forking over money to "indians," which in quotes here, means those pseudo-"indians" who base their work on non-indigenes' understandings of indigenous approaches. 2) paying as an adjective, as in the new pseudo-"indians" becoming "indians" through payment. continuing today's language lesson, bobby "little bear who loses his way" brady will now demonstrate it in a sentence: the paying "indians" are paying "indians" for playing indian to become paying "indian" players. thanks, bobby.
but pseudo-ers/pretenders don't need to pay to play. in the next bbb post, we'll share with you what to do. stay tuned ...
15 June 2007
meanwhile, the bbb still expects to return with posts next week, quicker'n you can say carol-marsha-jan-cindy-mike-peter-bobby-greg-alice-sam-tiger-cousin oliver-and chief eagle cloud. (a special smoke signal shout-out to angie, brady bravin' fan! this list-a-familiar names is dedicated to you.)
08 June 2007
and where can you, like the bbb did this week, catch Lucy in redface? on a local Christian channel. no, not surprising. for the bbb, a local Christian channel supplies viewers with occasional "indian" players in the forms of Little House on the Prairie, The Andy Griffith Show, and The Beverly Hillbillies (i.e. "wholesome" family programming for ... you know ...) Ever thought about what constitutes family programming on Christian channels? ever thought who's included and who's excluded, exploited, and exoticized in their comedic programming?
earlier today, on superstation wgn, aired an episode of the sitcom home improvement. looked like an early episode, maybe season 1, in which the youngest son and his cub scout friends want to play "indian" like some other cub scouts they know did: by constructing a tipi and eating "beef jerky made from real meat," as the youngest son said. i had heard recently from a Ho-Chunk friend about home improvement and "indian" play. i'm guessing she was referring to this episode.
yesterday, on everybody loves raymond, a guest character (who's better known for portraying uncle leo on seinfeld) teased frank, ray's dad. there was talk of the macho, tough-talking frank petting a pet bunny that ray and his brother had when they were little. and the guest character said that he and frank's other friends were going on and on about it. while motioning like he was banging drums, frank's friend said, "it's like tom-toms. [chanting] 'Frank pet a-bunny, Frank pet a-bunny.'" a strange bit within the realm of "indian" play? [note: the bbb is not known for watching a lot of tv, especially since not much good is on tv. all three of the above references, for example, were caught while flipping channels during a time (5:00-6:00 pm) that the bbb's 10-month-old daughter was not chewing on the remote.]
elsewhere in playing "indian" this week, a "California man won $3.2 million on penny slot machines at the casino owned by the Pauma Band of Mission Indians." okay, not exactly playing "indian," but still worth noting it's the biggest prize ever in penny slots in California.
the bbb emailed martha stewart's tv people about the "katonah" trademark but no response. not surprised.
recently-retired "chief illiniwek" (formerly of the university of illinois) is currently accepting offers for summer gigs. so, for your next lone-ranger-and-tonto-themed birthday party, atlanta braves' tomahawk chop soiree, or intimate new age gathering, consider hiring "chief illiniwek" for your entertainment. call 1-900-ANTI-N-D-N, ask for the "Retired Racism" department, and tell 'em the BBB sent ya. first 50 callers receive a free foam tomahawk.
to read about three real indigenous folks (all Navajos) not playing "indian," but instead receiving doctorates in engineering in spring 2007 from the university of arizona, check out this article at indiancountry.com. congrats to all three and to all other indigenous graduates! the bbb wishes you well. may you use the education to benefit your peoples, your nations, yourselves.
31 May 2007
And I suppose the Hornell Brewing Company had “honor” in mind when it slapped the revered name Crazy Horse on malt liquor bottles in 1992. (Crazy Horse, says David Wilkins (Lumbee) in American Indian Politics (2001), “is remembered as a staunch Sioux nationalist who remained committed to his people throughout his short life. He never signed a treaty with the federal government, and he opposed the use of alcohol by his people” (229)). I suppose Liz Claiborne, fashion guru, also had “honor” in mind when her clothing company threaded Crazy Horse (and Cherokee) on tags. Although one of Stewart’s lawyers said that his client’s use of the name “will not stop Katonah residents - or anyone else - from using the name Katonah exactly as they always have," what will happen? Likely, Katonah becomes synonymous with Martha Stewart products (much to Stewart’s delight, the BBB imagines), not with Lenape People, not with descendants of Katonah, not with respect for Indigenous Peoples, not with honor for Katonah, New York, residents. To Ms. Stewart and Ms. Stewart followers: One’s intentions do not always match the effects.
As said before in “Indian” mascot debates and other contested arenas, it is difficult to honor those who are not honored, including Autumn Scott (Ramapough Lenape), the New Jersey State Commission on Indian Affairs co-chair. “We trust,” Scott explains, “that Martha Stewart intended no malice in seeking to have her corporation trademark the name of one of our great ancestral leaders, but for her to say she is doing so to honor him and our tribe is absurd, especially when it is being done solely for profit.” Although Stewart is talking of honoring the town, a place of refuge for her, the town is named after the Lenape (Delaware) leader. Stewart, then, would do well to address certain Native People’s warranted concerns. So far, she has greeted them with silence.
Stewart may not talk, but we Brady Braves can. Thoughts of righteous anger can be sent to email@example.com (address available at www.marthastewart.com, more specifically this page) A customer service number available at www.marthastewartstore.com is 1-800-357-7060.
26 May 2007
no discussion of cultural appropriation/theft followed. no discussion of non-native personal gain via native practices. note: not saying that all non-native new agers (and king of the hill's new age-indian john redcorn) are just seeking profits. but some folks (non-native and native) are playing "indian" for ill-gotten gain and profit. so, for the today show at least to mention/acknowledge (though it didn't even come close) that cultural appropriation has been going on (and going native) for hundreds of years on these lands at the expense of many indigenous peoples would be a good step. see bluecorn comics, shari huhndorf's going native and carter meyer and dianne royer's selling the indian: commercializing & appropriating american indian cultures.
meanwhile, on the may 26, 2007, edition of abc's good morning america, one of the obvious headlines was rosie's early exit from abc's the view. gma addressed many of the major rosie controversies, including her shouting match with co-host elizabeth, her calling out kelly ripa for a homosexist remark, and her battles with trump. but no mention of her racist "ching-chong" bit. it's little surprise here at the bbb that it didn't make gma's "list" of rosie-on-the-view moments. perhaps not surprising either to those who called out rosie, including poet beau sia's "open letter" video on youtube, after her ching-chonging yellowvoice/yellowface, a cousin of redface.
21 May 2007
19 May 2007
A side storyline in “Michael’s Tribe” involves Michael’s teenage daughter Claire and her plan to sneak out of the house with Tony, one of her friends. Learning of the plan from his son Junior, Michael asks, “How?” To which Junior replies, “Are you asking me a question or are you speaking ‘Indian’?” After Junior explains how Claire’s friend will arrive at midnight and use a ladder to climb up to Claire’s room, Michael turns to storytelling to recruit the Indian Princesses to help him catch Claire and her friend.
MICHAEL. Many, many moons ago, there was Princess Claire-awatha. She was the daughter of the greatest chief ever. One day a brave from another village came to steal away Princess Claire-awatha and this made the chief very, very angry.
RACHEL. Wait a minute. Claire-awatha? Is this just a thinly veiled reference to your actual life?
Michael tells the Princesses of Claire’s plan and asks them to help make sure Claire stays “here in the village” (i.e., at home). Next, the Princesses prepare for what Bald Eagle labels as “war” while dancing senselessly and chanting “hi-ya uh-ya-ha hi-ya uh-ya-ha” with their chief. Chief Bald Eagle also leads the Princesses in a rendition of “the sacred song of our Indian People.” In unison, they sing “three little, two little, one little Indian” from the well-known Septimus Winner nineteenth-century minstrel song (and later nursery rhyme) “Ten Little Indians.” “Indian” players in My Wife and Kids unabashedly sing a tune about the counting of “Indian” deaths. As Kanatiyosh (Onondaga/Mohawk) states, “Asking children to sing ‘Ten Little Indians’ is pure racism. The song is an Indian annihilation song that the Pioneers sang to their children to sooth [sic] their fears. If you remember the song, they count up and then they count backwards until there is only one Indian boy left.”
The time arrives, Bald Eagle tells his warriors, “to prepare our faces for war with paint.” The girls, who now wear a headband with a single feather, shout in excitement as they line up to physicalize redface. Donning a red, white, and blue headdress, Michael tells them, “Step forward, close your eyes, and look to the moon” before he slaps their faces with a paintbrush. Next, he teaches them the war dance and soon begins to do the robot dance. When one of the Princesses recognizes the familiar dance, Bald Eagle declares, “Oh, you are wise. That’s because we must be brave like robots.” Not surprisingly in this episode of dehumanization, “Indians” are objectified into robots as everyone performs the robot dance.
Having prepared for war, the Chief and his Princesses attack. When Tony arrives to the house, he begins to climb a ladder to Claire’s upstairs room. The Princesses hide in the bushes and, upon Bald Eagle’s command, hit the young man with toy arrows. Bald Eagle instructs them to take Tony away. Viewers then see Claire’s friend tied to a chair in the living room while the Princesses yell and run circles around him. Rachel, the supposedly educated one, asks Bald Eagle, “Do we get to set him on fire now?” She sounds well-versed in Hollywood footage that depicts “Indians” dancing around captive White men who are tied to wooden stakes. In The Flintstones “Droop-Along Flintstone” (1961), for example, White characters Fred and Barney are tied to stakes by “Indians.” Whereas their wives Wilma and Betty rescue them, Bald Eagle in My Wife and Kids declares, “We should let [Tony] go back to his village so that he may tell others what happens when they try to mess with our women.”
To recognize and applaud his efforts for the Indian Princesses gathering, Kady says, “Daddy, I had a good time tonight. You’re the best chief ever.” In a self-aggrandizement of confirming his ability to be a pseudo-“Indian,” Bald Eagle replies, “You got that right.” If the use of “best” can mean the best in playing “Indian” in one of the most anti-Indigenous, disrespectful, and misinforming American sitcom episodes in television history, then Kady may be onto something.
17 May 2007
MICHAEL. Silence! Maiden no tell Chief how to act, what to do.
Jay’s threat of withholding sexual relations leads to Michael expressing his desire to “bang drum slowly,” an obvious reference to sexual intercourse. Michael’s comparison between a Native drum and his wife’s backside is one of the most vulgar jokes in “Indian” play throughout the history of redface in Amerian sitcoms. It represents a large shift in what has become acceptable to say in sitcoms. Unfortunately, to use a revered Native object like the drum for a sitcom’s sexual metaphors and innuendos is reflective of contemporary sitcom material.
Michael’s main resistance to seeing the game is a White, red-headed “Indian” Princess named Rachel. Known to Michael as “Little Pain-in-Butt,” Rachel repeatedly has reservations about Michael and his un-educational tactics.
RACHEL. This is ridiculous. All we’re doing is waiting on you hand and foot.
Speaking of oversimplification, Rachel generalizes by speaking of a singular, monolithic “culture” from the past. The hundreds of cultures from historical and contemporary times are ignored. “Despite the cultural differences among tribes,” academic and activist Devon Mihesuah (Choctaw) explains, “many non-Indians believe that all Indians are alike” (20).Rachel then explains that Indigenes “were the first to openly accept gay people.” Is she referring to all Indigenous Peoples of all Indigenous nations? What time period does she have in mind? To apply almost any concept or belief as representative of all Native Peoples is, to say the least, a major fallacy. Michael has no understanding either. His response to Rachel’s comment on accepting homosexuality is a made-up reference to “the tale of Little Drop the Tomahawk,” which is an “Indian”-specific version of jokes about men dropping bars of soap in locker room showers.
11 May 2007
at the Campus Alliance de La Raza site is the following: "My name is Brian Brady and I am the president of Phi Sigma Pi National Co-Ed Honor Fraternity. I, as president, and we as the Executive Committee are deeply concerned and offended by the actions of a number of our organization's members and non-members [at the University of Delaware] ... Such conduct ... is unacceptable, immature, and hurtful to others." (the rest of the letter can be read at the aforementioned site.)
in line with our e-research center's name, we at the bbb are asking, "who is brian brady? a distant cousin to greg, peter, and bobby? a nephew of mike brady? a brady family member still waiting to receive his indian name in the grand canyon?" sounds like brian brady is against brownface. cool. but what about redface? due to the sitcom family history, the surname "brady" is ever suspect at the bbb, ya know? ;)
08 May 2007
after your visit here, the bbb encourages you to check out www.voicingindigeneity.blogspot.com for good podcastin' times from good podcastin' folks ...
brady bravin' the blogosphere,
29 April 2007
above, that's Rain Dancer, Spear, and Indian Smurfette. in case you didn't know, the smurfs in europe are trying to make a comeback with the Blue Imps Smurf Collection. in 2005, new versions of "classic" smurfs, like papa and smurfette, were released. in 2006, halloween smurf figurines. and now in 2007, joining the company of "classics" and dracula smurf, werewolf smurf, and other costumed smurfs is ... a Native American series of 8 smurfs?
not surprised. the company is in wales, UK. the figurines are made in germany. and for those familiar with playing "indian," you know it's an international thing. don't have real Indigenous Peoples in your country? then the (il)logical step is to make some, right? then you, too, can join in redface revelry. and be sure, as the smurfs do, to construct "indians" from the past, from former imagined times, in misinformed ways that have been going on for hundreds of years ... if you'd like to let 'em know what you think, the company's email is firstname.lastname@example.org. for now, we at the bbb place the new "indian" smurfs in the Brady Brave Hall of Shame. congrats to peace pipe smurf (below) and the others ...
24 April 2007
long time no redface. the bbb has been behind in brady bravin' the blogosphere. looks to be that way until around mid-may.
for now, the bbb applauds Louise Erdrich (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa) for declining an honorary degree from the University of North Dakota due to the school's continuing use of the "Fighting Sioux" mascot name. Ms. Erdrich is a good example of one who is not playing "indian" here. for a Native person to accept the degree from a school with such a nickname would be playing "indian" by approving and conforming to the expectations
of what Robert Berkhofer has called the White man's "Indian." a big brady brave bravo [not to be confused with greg "johnny bravo" brady] to Ms. Erdrich.
"FIGHTING SIOUX," "INDIAN" PLAYER
12 April 2007
Set in 1773, the year of the Tea Party and three years before the official founding of the United States of America, the dream depicts the non-Native cast engaging in talk of revolting against England’s high taxes on imported tea and of forming their own country. That same year, a group of American colonists in Boston dressed as Mohawk “Indians” to disguise themselves while throwing English tea overboard. Like the real colonists in Boston, the characters’ plan is to dress as “Indians” and dump the latest shipment of English tea into the Boston Harbor. In the next scene, several characters are seated on Liberty Park’s lawn and constructing their “Indian” headdresses. “During our raid on the tea ship,” one character explains, “these Indian headdresses will disguise us so the British won’t know who we are.”
05 April 2007
He fell in love with an Indian maiden over in the antique store
Kaw-liga [A], just stood there and never let it [A7] show
So she could never answer "YES" or [Dm] "NO"
He always wore his Sunday feathers and held a tomahawk
The maiden wore her beads and braids and hoped someday he'd talk
KAW-LIGA – [A] too stubborn to ever show a sign
Because his heart was made of knotty pine.
CHORUS [D] Poor ol' KAW-LIGA, he never got a kiss
[G] Poor ol' KAW-LIGA, he don't know what he missed
[D] Is it any wonder that his face is [A7] red
KAW-LIGA, that poor ol' wooden [D] head
i’m considering poetics in musical expression and politics in social constructions of race. namely, i situate this discussion near the poetics in Native Americana and the politics of playing “Indian.” Native Americana is an Indigenized lyrical-musical hybrid of Americana/roots/alternative folk music. and I’m thinking of the politics of playing “Indian” in American culture as it appears in sports mascots, television, and movies. my purpose is to shed some light on how tribal poetics and tribal politics are intertwined, how, more specifically, Indigenous songwriting and Indigenous scholarship inform each other in this interweaving. for many indigenous peoples, politics and poetics already intersect. they’re already related, all part of a larger circle. You might say that indigenous peoples are not only the original inhabitants of this land but also the original interdisciplinarians on this land, contrary to the one-dimensional stereotypes we may see elsewhere.
for Arigon Starr, a Kickapoo musician, songwriter and playwright, she connects the process of playing “Indian,” of enacting redface, with the absence of respectful Indigenous representations in tv and film. in fictional tv and cinema, to play “Indian” is a process in which non-Native characters appropriate and/or fabricate Indigenous identities and perform on-camera as “Indians.” As Arigon Starr says [chords added],
They write songs and they make movies / About Indians long ago
like Arigon Starr, Litefoot, turns to televisual redface and tries to make sense of television’s colonial discourse, asking, what’s it gonna take for respect?
can you speak to me about what the world screams to me
and Litefoot goes on to talk about being invited to perform at a hip hop concert in NY in 2003 w/busta rhymes and other predominantly African American hip hop artists. But as litefoot explains and as cristina veran reported in "rap, rage, REDvolution," he was not too welcomed.
Show time and its chaos the coliseum's sold out
in closing, please remember that just because it’s play, don’t make it okay.
01 April 2007
* a report from a recent conference presentation by the bbb on redface in american culture
* the establishment of the Brady Brave Hall of Redface Fame
until then, be brady. be brave. be ... a brady brave.
28 March 2007
Any resemblance between Alice and Gen. Custer?
In The Brady Bunch episode “The Slumber Caper” (1970), Marcia, the oldest daughter, prepares to have a slumber party. The Brady family of Mike and Carol and their children Greg, Marcia, Peter, Jan, Bobby, and Cindy and housekeeper Alice does not try to reenact the June 1876 Battle of Little Big Horn in Montana, in which Custer and his men of the Seventh U. S. Cavalry were killed by an alliance of indigenous nations. Rather, they make explicit references to Custer and “Indians” and metaphorically reenact the battle in their home.
Marcia’s parents plan to go out for the evening and leave Alice in charge of the “fort,” as Mr. Brady says, if she is willing. “Oh, I don’t mind holding down the fort,” Alice replies. “Just bear in mind those were the last words of General Custer.” Sensing that trouble will occur in a houseful of children, Alice aligns herself with the defeated General Custer and the Cavalry. To play Custer encourages her to be strong and courageous yet aware that defeat and destruction may be imminent. Mr. Brady recognizes Alice’s new pseudo-identity and prepares to jokingly “tell General Custer to take her boots and saber out of mothballs.” Alice reassures him that she can oversee the slumber party: “Remember, you have left the cavalry in charge.” Alice’s self-alignment with Custer implies that she, a White female, associates herself with a White male. Rather than applying the WWFD ("What Would Fonzie Do?") strategy by making parallel references to Crazy Horse, who fought the Seventh Cavalry, Alice relies on standard rhetoric from White heroes who “protected” American homelands from “Indian” attacks. For the scriptwriters of “The Slumber Caper” to associate Alice with Custer may sound like innocent fun; but to speak of Custer, one must include “Indians.”
In The Brady Bunch, the “Indians” are marginalized and compared to children in the process. Because the Brady boys eagerly plan to sabotage the party, they are positioned in the episode as the “Indians" but playing “Indian” on a metaphorical level. Reminiscent of nineteenth-century White American mindsets that feared “Indian” attacks at any given moment, Brady Bunch writers equate three boys and their juvenile behavior with “Indians” who fought for their homelands and survival. The girls camp in sleeping bags in the living room, which could serve as a symbolic locale of a central area of the Little Big Horn battlefield. When the girls listen to a ghost story in their camp, Bobby howls like a wolf from the kitchen, suggestive of an “Indian” hiding before an attack. Later, a lit-up toy skull in the refrigerator frightens Alice. Then she and the girls see a fake spider in a sleeping bag. Possibly associating the multiple “Indian” tribes at Little Big Horn with the three antics by the three Brady boys, Alice remarks in cliché fashion, “It looks like there’s more than one tribe on the warpath.”
The boys’ sabotage concludes once the girls start itching profusely because of the itching powder that the boys planted in the sleeping bags. Upon Alice’s command, the young ladies sprint upstairs, hence fleeing the battlefield, to wash it off. While Custer was in charge of the Seventh Cavalry, Alice extends her duties to oversee not only the girls (read: innocent White female Americans) but also the boys (read: wild “Indians”). As Custer and the cavalry rolled into one, Alice is to protect the girls from the boys’ savage attacks. But she, like Custer at Little Big Horn, fails.
In the epilogue on the following day, Mr. Brady notices another prank. Alice hands a box of cookies to Mr. Brady, who finds a fake spider inside, perhaps the same one from the sleeping bag. “The party’s over,” Alice comments, “but the melody lingers on.” Similarly, the Battle of Little Big Horn ended long ago, but its impact surfaces today. As evident in rerun versions of “The Slumber Caper,” Custer’s (and hence, America’s) defeat by Indigenes in June 1876 linger on in American imaginations.
22 March 2007
16 March 2007
some critics say that the Skywalk (which 120 people can simultaneously be on at the rather "steep" (yes, poor pun intended) price of $25 each) is unnatural and is desecrating the Earth. the underlying message? that building the Skywalk onto the Earth does not fit with non-Native interpretations of "Indian." so many non-Native peoples (and Natives who internalize non-Native ideas/imaginings of "indianness") have difficulty in not equating all Indigenous Peoples with having oneness with nature, with Mother Earth.
why is it that many non-native writers cannot see native peoples as non-static beings? why can some people not see "indians" in economic ventures, in business, in doing what they can to benefit their elders, their young, their people? in line with the work of the bbb, some might ask, "are the Hualapai playing 'indian,' more specifically, playing a form of the white man's "indian"? in his opinion piece, writer john weeks would have you believe so, that yes, they're playing. yet who is john weeks or any non-Hualapai peoples (which would be everyone in the world except for the around 1,400 enrolled citizens) to say that the Hualapai should not do this? i haven't walked a mile in their moccasins (or shoes for non-moccasiners).
neither has the brady bunch. in the first 3 episodes of season 3 in 1971, including "grand canyon or bust," the brady family (soon-to-be brady braves) ventured to the grand canyon to learn, as patriarch mr. brady said, about the Havasupai, Hopi, Hualapai, and Navajo. Peter, the middle son, asks the origins of “such strange names.” it sounds like many critics have peter's "strange" mentality as they find the Skywalk to be strangely at odds with how they view what "indians" should (and should not) do to maintain an image of playing their version of a white man's "indian."
for me, i like to hear from folks who know what it's like for the Hualapai, such as Robert Bravo [not greg "johnny bravo" brady], a citizen of the Hualapai Nation. in an interview with Kim Landers of ABC Radio, Bravo spoke on the importance of the Skywalk: "This is going to benefit, you know the Hualapai nation, Hualapai children, and that's the beauty of it. It's going to create jobs for us, it's gong to create the revenue that we need, you know, for schooling, different departments that our tribal government has. So it's definitely exciting." on a less critical level, i also can't help but think of the Skywalk as reminiscent of the carrier that Luke rides in at home on Tatooine early on in the original Star Wars. (and seriously, i thought of that carrier/transportation device before seeing that Skywalk is very similar to Luke's surname: Skywalker). may the force [of brady brave power] be with you.
11 March 2007
1) First, say Brady Brave Blogspot five times as fast as you can. Master this tongue twisting feat so that you will not forget the name of this site.
2) Second, leave a comment/request for the bbb, and you just might receive an honorary “Indian” name, intended to be as frivolous and hokey as any episode of the Brady Bunch.
3) Third, please feel free to share with us any instances of or personal interactions/ confrontations with “redface.” For instance, does your high school or college have an “Indian” mascot? Did you play cowboys and “Indians”? Have you seen non-Natives fiscally profiting from their appropriation of Indigenous ways? Have any good “Cherokee princess” stories? Ever worn Liz Claiborne “Crazy Horse” clothing? Seen any “Indians” on TV lately (including in reruns)?
4) Fourth, feel free to invite other potential Brady Braves. With enough readers, the bbb can be a site for Brady Braves to gather 'round the fire and revel in redface resistance.
10 March 2007
07 March 2007
this blog's name is inspired by the 1971 brady bunch episode "the brady braves", in which the white brady family, including carol and mike and their six children and housekeeper alice, become the first situation comedy, or sitcom, family to be “adopted” into a Native “tribe.”
escaping from their regular suburban America confines, the brady bunch open its third season with a three-episode adventure to the grand canyon. there, they attend an exhibition of supposedly hopi dancers doing what mr. brady says is a “rain dance.” concerned with authentic "indianness," cindy, the youngest brady, asks if they are “real Indians.” later, when she and her brother bobby wander from their campsite and become lost, they encounter young native jimmy pakaya, who eventually serves as their guide back to camp.
“Gee! An Indian boy!” cindy exclaims. he runs; they chase. (a reversal of circling the wagons?) later, cindy is concerned again with ethnic authenticity. “Are you a real Indian?” she asks. the Bradys soon learn that Jimmy has runaway from home because he is “tired of being an Indian.” he wishes to “be an astronaut” instead. how does a profession replace an ethnic identity? (reminds me of vine deloria, jr., saying that many natives are putting their work title before their tribal affiliation. reminds me of jeff corntassel saying, "I am a Tsalagi [oklahoma cherokees' own name for each other] first and a trained political scientist second.") “Jimmy,” mr. brady says in his fatherly manner, “You can be both of those things. You can be proud of your heritage and be what you want to be.” yeah, jimmy ... an astrondian! or better yet, an indonaut!
after mr. brady reunites jimmy with his grandfather chief eagle cloud (portrayed by jay silverheels of tonto fame), the “chief” says to the bradys, “I ask you to journey to our village tonight. In a ceremony, I will ask you to become members of my family and tribe.” He assures them that they will have a “groovy time.” (first "indian" to say "groovy" on primetime tv?) to set the stage, Native flute music plays and a few “Indians” sit in the distance. Chief Eagle Cloud stands and declares, “All these people [the Bradys] sitting around this fire shall belong to my [unnamed] tribe from now until forever.” he then gives “Indian” names to each of them.
Mike: Big Eagle of Large Nest
Carol: Yellow Flower with Many Petals
Greg: Stalking Wolf
Marcia: Willow Dancing in Wind
Peter: Middle Buffalo, then Leaping Lizard (Peter rejects both)
Jan: Dove of the Morning Light
Bobby: Little Bear Who Loses Way
Cindy: Wandering Blossom
Alice: Sq--- in Waiting
and to return to a slightly modified theme song etched into americana consciousness, "that's the way they became the brady [braves]."