Thursday, January 9, 2014

Simon Ortiz and Buffy Sainte-Marie Explain It All For You

Speaking at ASU Heard Museum October, 2013


  1. Thank you for posting that, Ché. Buffy... She is still as powerful a voice as ever, I see. And sure looks and sounds as wonderful. I find it hard to remain as optimistic and dogged as she is. How does she do it? Decades ago, I lived with her first record, which I cherished. But sadly lost it in the break-up, when it left the LP pile with its owner. It was a hard one to find for years. Now, of course, there it is on iTunes! Not quite the same, but the music is the music. The words are her words.

  2. Simon tends to ramble on, bless his heart, but Buffy can tear up a room with her positive message which is her constant theme. A lot of people aren't so thrilled with it, partly because they know how privileged she's been (which she fully acknowledges.) The thing is, she's faced a lot of shit, too, some of it, like pedophilia, she mentions in this talk.

    She was adopted out of the tribe and raised by Anglos and so never was socialized as an Indian when she was a child though I guess they never tried to deny her ethnic and social heritage, either.

    Her recording and performance career was essentially destroyed by presidential directive by LBJ and RMN. But she went on. By then, she knew what was really important and what she needed to do, and so she did.

    We've met her only once, but have a pretty good collection of her records from back in the day. (I think we still have them! The LPs are somewhat scattered these days...) I remember listening to them all the time in the '60's; "Universal Soldier" was something like an anthem of the Anti-War Movement, though it's about way more than that. Today, she's very forceful, determined, and yet serene as all heck. She looks great, of course, and hasn't let her advanced age turn her into an "elder" in the traditional sense, though she has a blond kept-boy in Hawaii. Says he looks after the goats. Heh.

    I think a lot of her recent music -- which apparently she self-produces and performs in her home studio -- is darned good, too. Very different than her older stuff, much more "Indian", but even more direct and powerful.

    She's great fun to be around, too.

  3. Gotta say this video contained some special moments: 22:50 - 25:16: bad leaders who were serial killers and psychopaths in European culture did a whole lot of damage all right, so it's NOT about "the Whites" versus the Dark Races at all. Buffy Sainte-Marie got that right.

    And 45:09 to 45:48 - Buffy doesn't name names but she's talking about the Jewish International Banking system cartel here, and she's saying we don't have to follow their (bad) lead at all. And, again, she's right.

    And 47:14 to 50:42 - Buffy Sainte-Marie recites "Keshagesh," a song as good as "Universal Soldier" if not better. Moves me to tears knowing how well she knows what's tearing the U.S., Canada, Europe and the Middle East apart: "greedy guts." And for the third time, you know, she's right.