February 06, 2007

The passing of giants

Two Influential Giants Pass From Scene In Indian CountryIndian Country USA and indigenous people around the world suffered a double blow within the thirteen months between November 13, 2005 and December 12, 2006, with the passings of first Vine Deloria Jr. and then John Mohawk. Each was a rock of advocacy for native peoples as well as a tower of intellect amidst mainstream scholars.

Through their personal action and copious writings, Deloria and Mohawk helped to articulate and advance into the mainstream a worldview that has reinvigorated its heirs while becoming increasingly relevant for all societies.

9 comments:

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
Such men may be missed, indeed, but like paint artists, while they were alive, they as print artists did not receive the accolades from their own people that they are receiving now. Once again, it is that the poet is without honor in his own land.
"Pencil warriors"? And writerfella immediately recognizes faint praise for these men in such a phrase. Quite clearly, the person who coined those words did not see the photo of Vine Deloria at his typewriter...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Rob said...

Some copy editor probably added the "Pencil warriors" subheading. I wouldn't read too much into it.

I think we're all trying to praise Native stars now to inspire and encourage them. Adam Beach, Arigon Star, Robbie Robertson...even you, Russ.

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
BUT -- writerfella mainly is a freelance pen pusher, a wordsmith, a scribe, a scribbler, a scrivenor who labors unseen and mostly unheralded (except by himself) and has come to appreciate such a state in life. Thus it is that writerfella never has had to endure being labeled a 'role model' or a 'celebrity', EXCEPT in his own home town, Anadarko, OK. Here, writerfella is known for working for STAR TREK and the original BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and KOLCHAK: THE NIGHT STALKER, and for winning certain writing awards including an Emmy, and for appearing in seven films, most prominently in PORKY'S 2: THE NEXT DAY. For you see, he has defied that one particular dictum: the poet is without honor in his own land. writerfella's 'fame' mainly is restricted to Southwest Oklahoma among the Kiowa and Comanche and Arapaho and Delaware and Caddo and Wichita and Chiricahua/Warm Springs/Ft. Sill/Oklahoma Apaches. This is his own land, and being recognized and sometimes even lionized here quite is enough.
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Rob said...

I guess the Chickasaw and Kickapoo tribes are too far away to honor you also? ;-)

If you went to a Star Trek or sci-fi convention, as you apparently did, I bet people would honor you.

Maybe you should contact the people at the San Diego Comic-Con. If you worked on Battlestar Galactica and The Night Stalker as well as ST, they might deem you enough of a celebrity. You could have a booth in Autograph Alley and regale fans with tales of Roddenberry, Coon, and Fontana.

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
Believe it or don't, but writerfella is a longtime attendee and sometimes honoree at science fiction and STAR TREK conventions (they are NOT one and the same, for territorial reasons). His first was at PhgLange in Pittsburgh, then NEOCon in New Orleans, OKon in Tulsa, MiniCon in Minneapolis, WesterCon in L.A., FilmCon in San Diego, BosCon in Boston, PonceCon in Miami, and too many others to list. As to whether sci-fi conventions are 'his own land' is somewhat a debateable point.
And even one WorldCon in Brighton, England, where Dorothy Fontana brought Arthur C. Clarke to meet writerfella. "Bates?" Sir Arthur said. "Oh, yes, you're the Red Indian who wrote that oh so good story about Smallpox." writerfella was the object of much good-natured ribbing after that because he simply had nothing more to say...
And supposedly writerfella will be at this July's ComicCon as a guest to help promote the DVD release of THE SECRETS OF ISIS. Ya see, writerfella wrote the pilot and premiere episode of ISIS that was the only one still to bear the hallmarks of the original series concept. We shall see...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
POSTSCRIPTUM: And writerfella just remembered when he helped rescue a floundering Denny O'Neill back in the 1970s. Seems Denny O'Neill was between jobs and marriages and means of finance, and so he popped up in L.A. on Harlan Ellison's doorstoop seeking refuge. Harlan immediately called writerfella to tell of Denny's travails and to ask if writerfella would brief Denny on the ISIS TV series so he would not walk in cold for a writer audition that Harlan had set up at Filmation. Being it was Harlan who asked, okay, sure. And Denny O'Neill came to stay a couple of days at what was then The BatesMotel in West Hollywood and spent the weekend reading the ISIS material and writerfella's stories and consuming much beer and regaling writerfella about what it was like to work at Marvel and DC Comics. And that Monday, Denny went to his appointment with Producer Art Nadel and nailed three stories for the show. Plus, he got a preliminary deal to possibly do an ISIS comic book. Paid very well indeed, Denny came back to the BatesMotel very happy and relieved, and he asked what writerfella wanted for the help. writerfella stepped up close, reached out a hand, looked a nervous Denny in the eyes, and said, "Say, 'Thank you.'" Denny blinked and said, "Thank you." And, laughing his ass off, writerfella stepped back again and said, "There, wasn't that easy?" writerfella got jumped and tickled 'til he yelled 'Uncle!' And the beer flowed...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Rob said...

Okay, you've been to other conventions, but San Diego is the big one. I may be there in July too, so perhaps we can meet.

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
writerfella is counting on it! Just be prepared to meet an old Indian man whose mind is alive and alert to the point that he can finish your sentences for you as you speak. Or even before you say a word. Just know that the beer will flow...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Rob said...

I don't think they serve beer at the Con, but okay.