Thursday, January 19, 2006

Darn you, PBS

I meant to get into the new issue of Granta last night but then Michelle told me about a new series on PBS about the French-Indian War. I had to watch that, of course. That's from back when the cool northeastern indians were still running the wilderness. Mohawk, Iroquois. They had some of the most beautiful material culture, but got wiped out early in comparison to the plains indians.

At the risk of being offensive to several first peoples in a single blog entry, here are my favorite indians:

1. Haida
2. Cree
3. Inuit
4. Ojibwe
5. Mohawk

I'll tell ya, here's something weird about this war. It was a war between England and France. Indians fought on both sides. Guess who loses? The indians. How did they do that? They hedged their bets. They were everywhere, but they still lost. Maybe not immediately, but eventually this is true at least. I mean, today, if you look at a globe or something, you'll see an England and you'll see a France, but there is no "Indiana." Well, there is, but it's not the same thing.

What's sad for me is that I can watch a show like this and be in suspense because . . . I don't know how it ends. How ignorant can I be? Of course, I'm sure that England did okay, but they sure get their heads handed to them a lot in the beginning. When I went to bed, things didn't look good for England, that is. I wonder how it all turns out.

The best part of this show is the actor they pick to play Geo. Washington. They play him up as this bumbling idiot, accidentally starting a war between France and England and then miraculously surviving all these indian slaughters without a scratch. The actor plays it all while wearing a constant expression that says "whew! That was close!"

The show resumes next Wednesday.

1 comment:

Tito said...

Oh come on. The Indians can't complain too much - in addition to a state, look at all the sports teams and mascots that got named after them too! Now that's a pretty fair swap for giving up your homeland, I'd say!