Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Readings: Inspired by Brando

Somebody posted a clip of the last few minutes (beginning around minute 24) of this interview with Marlon Brando on the Dick Cavett Show on Facebook, in response to the ongoing anti-pipeline-on-Indian-land protests currently taking place in the Dakotas.

In the part of the interview posted, Brando states that his interest in the Indians and their plight began with reading a book titled Indians of the Americas. I thought it would be fun to have a look at that book and went to the Ohio University catalog to see if we have it here.

The title is generic enough that I was afraid it wouldn't be possible to identify the book not knowing the name of the author, which Brando didn't mention. But a careful search of not only O.U.'s catalog, but the OhioLink catalog, which covers the colleges and universities in the whole state, convinced me that it has to be the book by that title, written by John Collier and published by Norton in 1947.

We have it, so I've borrowed it. I'll read at least some of it and pretend that I'm Marlon Brando.

I'm sure that I saw this segment with Brando on the Cavett show when it aired live. If you're of the right age, probably you did too. It was a different time.

UPDATE:  I have just finished reading the first five pages of this book's opening chapter, and I am rocked. The man's writing style is not good; but his mindset is epic--and prophetic. This book was published in 1947--the year I was born--and Collier was already writing about the exact fears and dangers of global annihilation that those of us who are awake to them are trying to cope with today. Collier believed that the indigenous peoples of the Americas possessed that which mankind needs if it is to survive. 

As we watch the gathering of the tribes in N. Dakota in their attempt to block the pipeline that would desecrate their sacred grounds and threaten to destroy their physical environment, Collier's vision is shown to be accurate and prophetic. I am excited to get deeper into this reading.


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