April 26, 2007

Sylvester Stallone in tan make-up

"Please Do Not Touch the Indians"

By Arigon StarrThey put a white guy in tan make-up
They put a black wig on his head
It's no wonder we ain't on tee-vee
They all think we're dead

They write songs and they make movies
About Indians long ago
All those pictures never look like
Indian folks I know

CHORUS
Please do not (please do not)
Touch the Indians
It's my world
My only home
Please do not (please do not)
Touch the Indians
Way ya hey ya
Way ya hey yo

Old time westerns show warriors
As fools and as a liars
Cartoon Indians dancing around
A captive set on fire

A producer takes a call
From a studio on the phone
They want him to make "Geronimo"
With Sylvester Stallone

CHORUS

A so-called expert gave Hollywood
Knowledge that was a gem
"The best way to learn their history
Is to tell it all to them."

Don't expect to do much learnin'
From movies or Tee-Vee
They'll put Tipis in Seattle
Or Buffaloes in Chinle

CHORUS

10 comments:

russell said...

Writerfeklla here --
Wow! Great song, and thanks for the MP3. Only, when has Sylvester Stallone ever potrayed a Native American? There were suggestions in FIRST BLOOD but they were not developed. Think how that would sound:
MEDICINE MAN: SlyFox, you're a bum!
SLYFOX: I ain't no bum.
MEDICINE MAN: You're a bum!
SLYFOX: I ain't no bum.
See, it doesn't work!
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Rob said...

http://www.english.upenn.edu/~despey/vietnam.htm

One of the crudest and best-known images of the betrayed veteran is Sylvester Stallone's Rambo. He is a symbolic half-breed who becomes a scourge of his own society. Rambo's strong association with American Indians has been noted:

. . . Rambo is described as half-German and half-American Indian. . . The Indianness of costume signifiers--long hair, bare chest, headband, and necklace/pendant--ironically reverses the appropriation of Native American iconography by the sixties counterculture. . . [and] permits Rambo to symbolically evoke the Indian as the romanticized victim of past government deceitfulness.

russell said...

Writerfella here --
Oh, writerfella sees, someone somewhere decided that the Rambo character ostensibly was a half-breed and so they made attributions to the character that are not contained within the mythos of the films. By Carl, if he wasn't an Indian, we'll make him one! And then we'll flog the movie and the character for all we're worth! And if anyone disagrees, we can accuse them of being a part of the problem! Now, let's see, how can we go about making DIE HARD's John McClane into an Indian, or UNDER SIEGE's Casey Ryback into an Indian, or Chuck Norris' LONE WOLF MCQUADE into an Indian, or THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES into an Indian! Then, watch the dust we'll be able to raise!
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Rob said...

I believe Rambo came from a novel originally. That may be the source of his alleged Indianness.

russell said...

Writerfella here --
Gotcha this time, sir! Have been in touch with David Morrell, author of the original novel of FIRST BLOOD. And he says unequivocally that John Rambo WAS NOT NATIVE AMERICAN OR EVEN OF NATIVE AMERICAN DESCENT!! This will be emphasized and even made a part of the plot summary of the new film, JOHN RAMBO, which is filming at this very moment! What was that again that writerfella said about people who ASSume?
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Rob said...

Whatever you said, it's irrelevant in this case. When I wrote that the novel "may be the source," I meant the words "may be." The novel may have been the source or it may not have been. Now we apparently know.

Whether the Indianness is in the movie or in someone's imagination is a different story. Unless Morrell produced and directed Rambo, he probably didn't have much say in its content. The people who did produce and direct it could've added whatever Indian elements they wanted.

When the producer and director tell you they didn't add such elements, be sure to let us know. Until then, the issue remains undecided.

russell said...

Writerfella here --
As you have said elsewhere, Rob, without direct knowledge whether or not there ever was any Native content sheerly would be speculation and thus irrelevant.
Certainly it also must be irrelevant, therefore, that David Morrell was one of writerfella's American Lit teachers at the Univ/Iowa in 1974, and that Prof. Morrell once asked in curiosity if writerfella had been to Viet Nam (writerfella hadn't), then to be told that the Prof. had published a 'coming home' Viet Nam vet novel, FIRST BLOOD, in 1972, and so it is that writerfella has an autographed copy of the novel. Later, while writerfella was at the Univ/Miami, he saw the film FIRST BLOOD and thus knew first-hand that it followed the novel's narrative almost to the page.
However, the screenplay credit does read Michael Kozoll, William Sackheim, and Sylvester Stallone, with 'Based on the Novel by David Morrell' the original credit.
However again, that the original writer did not perform the screenplay in no way implies that the other three writers made the title character into a Native or part-Native. Without direct knowledge, it sheerly would be speculation and thus irrelevant.
Now, who was it said that? Hmmm...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Laura said...

Ummm...I know I'm a bit late to all this, but I just cannot sit back and ignore the ignorance of some of these writers.

To clarify (and I can't believe I even have to post proof, seeing as you're all sitting around talking about Rambo like you're experts), in Rambo: First Blood Part II they state quite clearly that Rambo is part Native American, part German. And I quote, "That's quite a combination."

What the original author intended is irrelevant, and considering Morrell wrote a novelization of the second Rambo movie, maybe that's where to look for Morrell's take on this whole thing.

Either way, the filmic Rambo - never to be confused with the novel-based Rambo (why would we conflate these characters?) is Native American/German.

Now go and watch the movies.

Anonymous said...

is this guy an idiot? sly stone is sicilian, he already got dark skin... fake hair? what a stunod

Rob said...

No one's talking about Sylvester Stallone's ethnicity, Anonymous. We're talking about Rambo's ethnicity.

Thanks for the citation, Laura. Looks like I was right and Russell Bates was wrong...as usual.

P.S. When you wrote, "You're all sitting around talking about Rambo like you're experts, you presumably didn't mean me. I started by quoting a source and ended by saying "the issue remains undecided." That's the opposite of declaring myself an expert.