April 25, 2009

Surveyors = evildoers

Another note on the justified killings at Richland Creek:

As you may recall, I occasionally mention Karl May's books starring Old Shatterhand, the Aryan cowboy superman, and his faithful Apache companion Winnetou. They're relevant here because Old Shatterhand is a surveyor like those at Richland Creek. For all I know, Richland Creek could've been the inspiration for May's characters and stories.

A Karl May fanatic argued that the books are pro-Indian because Old Shatterhand helps and protects his Indian friends. First of all, that's not quite true. What he actually does is protect a few good Indians against a lot of bad Indians and white men. These white men are the usual desperadoes seen in Western literature--people willing to cheat, steal, or kill to make a quick buck. They are not "innocent" colonizers like the surveyors at Richland Creek.

More to the point, Old Shatterhand is a fundamental part of the American colonialist system. His job is basically to help the white man dispossess the Indians by surveying their land. Who cares if he saves a few Indians while he's paving the way for progress?

The books are anti-Indian, not pro-Indian, because they presume that the white man's Manifest Destiny is real and good. That "primitive" Indians are fated to fade away as the tides of civilization wash over them. Yes, Old Shatterhand helps individual Indians, but that's irrelevant because the books' theme or message is anti-Indian.

Below:  The heroic Old Shatterhand stands by as wild Indians attack brave soldiers.

1 comment:

surveyor adelaide said...

What you have written, i am also heard same history. Old Shatterhand is really good man who really help for good Indian people against bad Indian or white people. What you said that it is anti Indian book, i don't know but i think this is true. Thanks