November 27th, 2008

society-insane

I was going to post this in reply.. but it started getting detailed..

I hate Thanksgiving. I should be asleep, I've been up since 6 am, but I'm not, and I have a lot of cooking to do. I also have a lot to be thankful for and a wonderful family. So that's not the issue.. the problem is, I'm Athabaskan. If you ask, it's what I'll answer every time, even though I'm half Caucasian too, because in my experience, it's like milk. If you add a 1/4 cup of coffee to a cup of milk, people will call it coffee, not milk, even though it's mostly milk. And if half coffee, it's absolutely coffee, au lait maybe, but still coffee and not milk. Well.. I'll never be "milk", so I'll embrace the side that considers one of them despite being half something else instead of trying to belong to the side that won't claim me.
And I know a lot of people will disagree with me about that, but I'm going to be stubborn on this issue. My experience I said, as a half Athabaskan woman growing up in this town, with the local assumptions about Native American women.
So Thanksgiving is hard for me, even past missing my mom and grandma.
I'm dealing with Thanksgiving guilt. I don't want to celebrate, and want to do the Day of Mourning thing instead, but the whole turkey dinner thing is really ingrained in me too. So.. I cook a turkey, we all talk about what we are thankful for, and I make it really clear that I'm cooking the turkey as a gift for my family, who I am thankful for, but that I personally don't support Thanksgiving. Which is a mixed message at best, and absolute hypocrisy at worst. And as the matriarch of my family, I feel trapped by the traditions of my family, but also obligated by my blood. I'm tired of this guilt I feel every year on Thanksgiving, I'm tired of having to feel like I'm obligated to thank my friends for being my friends, and being thankful for my health, because I am thankful every day, and I don't need a day in particular to say I'm grateful. I'm angry about it to some extent too. Because if I say anything, people try to put it in perspective for me, and there is no perspective that can possibly make it okay while March Point oil refinery and other refineries are so close to that little bit of land we've managed to hold onto after all the realignments of borders of treaty granted lands.When as recently as 5 years there was a serial killer in Alaska targeting Native Women, and they were all seen as individual murders because of the "risky lifestyle" the women lived. Like somehow, by going out and drinking, they were just asking for trouble and brutal death. It took social pressure to really get the police to look seriously into what was happening, then when they did,they caught someone who was eventually convicted of one of the murders on circumstantial evidence. I'm not sure even today if they actually caught the right guy. It's NOT 350 years ago, it's not ancient history, and so many people have tried to capture in words experiences. But you can't really capture the nuances that easily. Just the big things, the things you can point to and say clearly "This is a problem." It doesn't cover the every day knowledge that if you're a Native man accused of raping a Caucasian female, you'll probably serve jail time, if you're a Native woman, accusing a white man, you'd better have bruises to show, or you probably won't get a conviction.
Or put this into perspective, right to vote, you know who got it LAST? Yep. The people who were here first. Women, except NA women had the right in 1920. Native Americans didn't get full citizenship until 1925.
I'm tired of being told that I'm blowing it out of proportion, and treated like I'm being just being flaky or overly sensitive.
Yes. I'm grateful for my friends, for my health, and always for my family. But I really think next year we are just going to set an arbitrary day for a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, and spend Thanksgiving in quiet consideration or discussion.
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Stolen Sharpie

If you don't know what zines are, they are wonderful micropublished magazines. Usually they are printed on copier type machines like at Kinkos, and sold or traded, they cover as many different things as blogs do. You have crafty type zines, and recipe zines, band zines, and even zines about zines.

If you do know what zines are, you probably know that the best book out there on how to make a zine is Stolen Sharpie Revolution. I looked it up out of curiosity on Amazon, and currently copies are going for 29.94. See, it's out of print, and because of well.. a whole lot of things, it hasn't been reprinted yet. Which is a shame for anyone who's interested in starting a zine. I'm really glad I have a copy myself. No, you can't have mine. Not even for 30.00.

Alex Wrekk is taking donations to help pay for printing Stolen Sharpie Revolution 2. If you have a few dollars, I think it's worthwhile. It's a really great resource for aspiring zine writers.
I love her Brainscan zine too. Her issue on her divorce was fantastic for me, and helped me to realize I wasn't nearly as horrible as my ex-husband says I am, and to recognize some of the really unhealthy things in our marriage that made it so unworkable. She also writes honestly and well about IUDs in another issue, and that's worth it for anyone considering birth control. Her coffee is the only medium roast coffee I *like*, and she also sells custom buttons if you need those made up.
But mostly, I'd just like to see Stolen Sharpie Revolution in print again, it's something I recommend to people regularly. And no. You still can't have my copy.
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