Katie Go Now!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Well, it's happened again.

I can't get more than a few pages into readings for Theory before the weight of... life... just gets to me. The past 2 lectures add up to about 10 pages of notes and a very cramped writing hand, but I have a great grasp of capitalist ideology. And I hate it.

Check out part of this article on Indian assimilation in the 1800s:

"get the Indian out of the blanket and into trousers,--and trousers with a pocket in them, and
with a pocket that aches to be filled with dollars!" (from an 1896 legislation)

It goes on to contextualize this:

"Realist reform aimed, first, to grant Indians certain kinds of property rights, but also, second, to make them aware of the property that they did not have."

What the hell?! Our government worked to plant seeds of SELFISHNESS in these peoples minds so that they would become part of an American system. They previously had NO CONCEPT of personal property, and giving them one was apparently of the utmost importance. I hope that makes you feel as sick as it does me.

Look at that last quote again: "to make them aware of the property that they did not have." The worst part of that is that simple advertisements do this TO YOU every day. You may be perfectly fine with what you have, and really not wanting for anything until a clever commercial comes on, and suddenly your positive self-image is shattered and you need to update it.

I can hardly get dressed in the morning without running through these concepts of materialistic identity construction. When I say that I hate money, it's not just because I'm a codependent college student. That abhorrence has a lot to do with what I'm trying to say here.

Long story short... don't drink Coca Cola.


(quotes taken from Elliot's article "Ethnography, Reform, and the Problem of the Real: James Mooney's Ghost-Dance Religion" 1998)


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