Tuesday, May 19, 2009
The Old Cantina || Founded 800 A.D.
In the last few days I went to Tuscany. there we met a so-called famous Alchemist who gave us a feast and later we drank an alchemical extraction in alcohol of pure gold, as a shared meditation. This was quite interesting as a meditation. The so-called famous alchemist was more or less an empty bag of mostly water. A man apparently incapable of listening to anyone, interested in nothing but the sound of his own voice. I found him shallow and false in every respect. He seems to be one of those people, so numerous on this earth, who really knows not much but is good at the BS behavior. He is very famous in Italy but his name is hardly worth mentioning. It was quite tedious listening to his diatribe about how great he is. He offered our small group the magical gold extract in plastic cups. I alone refused. I told him I do not believe the truth can be served in a plastic cup. He got up and found me a wine glass, and so I alone had the magic drink in glass. He seemed to have no idea at all about how to present such an opportunity. The dozen or so other people present were all doctors, potential clients of his famous extracts- So I learned it was not so much a ceremony (which is what i thought it was) as a sales pitch for his products. Sometimes even fools do something good by accident, in the same way that a broken clock is right twice each day for a moment. I was not surprised at this broken attempt at pretending to the sacred. It is something i have seen more often than I can count.
The real fruit of the journey was that we stayed in a charming historic old hotel for several days in Tuscany. Tuscany is a magical place. The food and wine are legendary and deservedly so. On the last day of our trip we went driving into the high mountains around Tuscany. These mountains have the famous white marble and we saw magnificent white marble mountains, the very place where Micaelangelo gathered his stones for his masterpieces of sculpture.
In one small village we stopped at an interesting old cantina. A place where you come in and sit down and they serve you little bites of the local food in fruit, cheese, meat and vegetables. It was quite a magical place. We ended up meeting Andrea Mulano, the owner. He tells us the cantina has been in the same building, serving this food and wine since the year 800. He is the man in the photo above. Next to him is his sister, Cinzia. Their family has operated this cantina, this house of wine and food for 1,200 years. Think of that! This big man was everything the famous alchemist will never be. His blessing was worth more than all the gold we consumed in the plastic house of plastic knowledge of the famous wise man. His sister was charming. Together, in this small cantina in a tiny village in the mountains they offer the true sacred magic of Tuscany, of the ages, of the true divine spirit of great humanity. What a contrast. Andrea has some good English. He says he picked it up some years ago when he visited Napa Valley. I was very impressed and touched by his kind and loving spirit-
Sometimes when you look for what is wisdom, and what is a treasure, you find it in the most unlikely and humble place....and almost never in the golden tower where everyone says it is. I enjoyed drinking the gold, even though I had to endure three hours of bullshit from the stuffed shirt wise man. I will treasure forever my two hours drinking wine, eating the treasures of Tuscany, drinking the wine and talking to Andrea Mulano and his sister Cinzia.
We are thinking to move away from Pantelleria and feel Tuscany would be the perfect new home for our sacred work. It was a rewarding trip.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
The American Experience || We Shall Remain
PBS Series, airing in five parts. Check your local listings.
With enormous fanfare, abundant grants and the absolute hype of the white-controlled media, a nasty series of propaganda fantasies about American Indians has been rolled out onto our televisons to praise, awards and accolades of the “true” story of the American Indian. This highly speculative, and largely manufatured fairytale is presented as if it is truth. Though few to no real facts are available on these subjects, the series unfolds from the beginning, middle and end as if everyone knows what really happned, even though it is cerain they did not.
They tell no stories of the medicine society people, of the keepers of the sacred, of the Kiva or the Sacred Pipe. Once again they go to the well of sensationalism and perpetuate the lies of criminals like Rusell Means and sensational killers like Geronimo. While pretending to tell some sort of true story about the American Indian, they draw up the same old chiches, sterotypes and pointless bullshit which the white media has been spewing for 400 years. Nothing has changed. It has just become more slick, better produced and presented in such a way that a reasonable person who knows almost nothing about the American Indian will accept as “true”.
One would like to say kind things about such a lavish and well-connected effort to tell some sort of story about the American Indian. The list of sponsors, grants, consultants and donors is truly impressive. There is even a dual cast of actual American Indian people. On one hand there are the actors who act out for us the narrative. On the other hand there are present descendants and relatives of the American Indians being talked about adding their scripted comment. There are scripts, producers, wardrobe and many “reenactments”. It all has a lot of polish and is a highly professional presentation. The scripting, however, is the problem. There is a lot of conjecture and guessing (and imposition) of historical events posing as facts. People who are not very well versed or knowledgeable in tribal history and information will think what is being said represents truth. There are no disclaimers that it is all speculation. This absence of clarification is a serious shortcoming.
Given the credentials and resources of the production professionals, one can wonder why the focus Is so narrow. The rich diversity of tribal lives and history is ignored entirely. Whole geographic regions of long tribal histories are just not mentioned.
Tribal people and communities continue to drown in a deep ocean of really bad information. This series does nothing to help this problem…in fact it only compounds it. Many of the segment directors and crew are American Indians, which gives the errors and weaknesses of this series a decidely odd flavor.
There are to many unidentified white people commenting as “experts” who clearly have no demonstrable way to illustrate how they know what they claim to know or any history to allow the viewer to understand who they are or how they arrived at their speculative points of view.
The good that can be here is thereby eclipsed by the omissions and errors of presentation. The very act of scripting reenactments of largely undocumented events and histories is itself highly questionable.
Is this yet another ongoing example of how shallow, contrived and unable to muster a clear view of reality which seems to be an epidemic in the mainstream media? Yes, it is.
When historians must manufacture and act out a narrow view like this, something is lost. Perhaps what is lost is the truth. All this scratching around the bleeding earth to tell some sort of American Indian story is covering up the real story, the story the world continues to wait to hear and see.
Given the noble historical context of “preserving” the history of heroic leaders like Tecumse, one can only imagine why at the end they felt it relevant in that context to focus on the lies and criminality of the so-called Wounded Knee incident? What about the struggle of the Navajo against the uranium industry or the long and noble history of the Hopi? Two million American Indians and over 600 tribes wait for the real story. This is not it.
This is worthwhile viewing and recommended. Just be forewarned that this is yet another variation of revisionist and highly selective, manipulated, speculative history. It is great to see the Wampanouag get their due credit for the salvation of the Pilgrims. It is great to see innovative and brilliant leaders like Tecumse receive historical recognition.
America, and the world, has yet to take any honest steps towards truly seeing the American Indian history that rests half-buried in the shadows of the truth. For what it does accomlish one can be appreciative. For what is missing, we tribal people continue to wait. As we have for 500 years.
My rating for this series. 3 out of 10. Best regards.
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