Happy Thanksgiving

Much to be thankful for. My health, my family, my friends, my work, and my mind. Once you’ve lost it, it’s amazing to come back to it and find it still working. Very thankful for the growth of this past year and all the support I’ve gotten. And my beautiful niece and nephews. I am also thankful for my wandering obsessive spirit. Those obsessions have led me down some very fruitful entertaining paths. From Dean Stockwell to Supernatural to you-know-who.

I am also thankful for images like the following.

Thanskgiving wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without
1. blatant cultural appropriation and
2. Elvis (because who is more American than Elvis?)

Beautiful. Ridiculous. Sublime.

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And if there are those out there who don’t think Elvis is a good actor, it’s okay, you just don’t know any better. Take a Time Out and watch Live a Little, Love a Little (I wrote about that one here.) Or, hell, for Thanksgiving, watch Flaming Star. “‘That woman’?? Don’t she got a name like white people?” So good.

Happy Thanksgiving to all you ‘Mericans out there.

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6 Responses to Happy Thanksgiving

  1. Sylvia says:

    I am also thankful for your “wandering obsessive spirit” – it’s such a pleasure to read your blog.

  2. Kelly says:

    As a long time reader of your blog, I’m thankful for your words and your mind as well!

    As a Native American woman from a reservation community, it is hard to see the image of Elvis you posted. Yes, it’s blatant cultural appropriation and it is painful. The war bonnet regalia is sacred to many peoples. This type of imagery, so common among celebrities over the years, is damaging because it promotes stereotypes about Native American people and co-opts our traditional material culture for entertainment. I am a teacher and often talk with my students about how this type of thing is often misconstrued as honoring, while in fact it contributes to the generational trauma that many Native people experience today.

    As a longtime fan I know you to be a truth-teller and an ally for many peoples, so I feel comfortable sharing this perspective with you. Thank you for your brilliant blog.

    • sheila says:

      Kelly – thank you so much for your comment. I appreciate it. I am sorry these images are hurtful and I totally get why they are. I make an exception for Elvis (I can’t help it) but I understand why this is part of a larger conversation about co-opting symbols of other cultures – especially cultures which have been so violated against – and your students are lucky to have you! I hope they “get it”. I grew up in a town where there was (and still is) a tribe of Native Americans (the Narragansett Indian tribe), and groups of them would come to our school and talk to us about this very thing, and teach us about their history. It was invaluable for us as kids.

      Thanks again for your perspective – it is always welcome!

  3. Kate F. says:

    Sheila – I’m very thankful for you, your brilliance, your writing and your ability to get to the heart of things. I don’t FB or tweet and I read just a few blogs – mostly professional – but yours is a gift I treasure. Thank you!

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