Don’t ask me how I got here on this reservation. I already know. Do you know how you got where you are? Do you know how to get out?
We know gangsters, Indians, hustlers and all media antiheroes become simultaneously maligned and heroic in American media. American villainy sells.
Pseudo-history becomes New American history whether we like it or not. The story of Columbus and his celebration is only one example. Somewhere hidden in the middle of American pseudo-historical myth is the truth about our collective “tribal” struggles and our hard lives.
How we “make it” in a displaced place becomes the epic tale of man against society. An “us against them” scenario rivaling David against the Philistine Giant. We use what we’re taught just like David to overcome ridicule from his “enemy”. Tribe To Tribe: Thats how we get all get down.
From Sweet Willie Sweetback to The Godfather. From Superfly to Scarface, we cheer for tribal selves. The underdog mythology and how we get over becomes our own new history. Don’t ask me how I got here on this reservation. I already know. Do you know how you got where you are? Do you know how to get out?
Knowing the difference between self-actualization and surrender is the difference between success and survival, art and artifice, respect and pity.
Remember, “A man who doesn’t spend time with his family, can never be a man.” In this simple statement, tribal code is re-written for a new generation. The Godfather was about the demise of an American Dream while holding onto tribal codes. It’s this struggle that makes us all human, vulnerable and strong at the same time.
Originally appeared at Apaches and Angels