Tohono O'odham With LoveMove over, Dannielynn; Anna Nicole's Native son is alive and well on the Tohono O'odham reservation, and he may be the rightful heir to the tabloid temptress' millionsLittle Marshall Soto is glued to the TV this Friday morning in his dad's modest home just outside of Sells, Arizona, capital of the Native American Tohono O'odham Nation. He's not watching cartoons or Sesame Street or some new kids' show on Nickelodeon. Instead, he's focused on the image of a white hearse approaching a Baptist church in the Bahamas.
He looks up wide-eyed to his father, Johnny Soto, seated on a couch behind him. "Je'e?" the boy asks plaintively in his native tongue. Je'e means "Mother" in O'odham.
How did Smith and Soto get involved?Johnny Soto's a tall, ruggedly handsome man in his mid-thirties, with copper skin and jet-black hair, and the way he tells it, in his slow, laconic manner of speaking, it was Anna Nicole Smith who seduced him, not the other way around.
"She'd never slept with anyone who wasn't white before," explains Soto. "That's what she told me. She had what we call 'scarlet fever' [when an Anglo falls for a Native American man or woman]. When an Indian man goes for a white woman, it's called 'eating at the white man's trough.'"
And what kind of a mother was she?Since E! was to begin filming in late 2001 or early 2002, Smith had no time to be a mother. She granted Soto custody of the boy, with Smith agreeing to deposit $10,000 a month in Soto's Wells Fargo account for care and upkeep of the child. Soto returned to Phoenix, quit his job at Sanctuary, and began devoting himself full-time to raising the infant. Smith promised that they would one day marry and live as a family, and Soto has numerous hand-written notes and letters from Smith stating those intentions.
One reads, "Oh, my brave Injun-man, how I long to be with you and feel your red manhood. Look after my little paapoosie [sic], and soon I'll be your squaw again. I love you, kemosabe, Anna."
Comment: I'm not sure if this story is true or not. If it isn't, it's an excellent piece of fiction in an otherwise serious alternative weekly.
Writerfella here --
Omigod! Who wrote this mess?
Charles Tatum of the Phoenix New Times.
Indianz.com says its a joke.
The New Times does a lot of great journalism and has won a lot of serious reporting awards. However, they also have a history of faking a lot of people out with spoofs that people take seriously.
Tho it is a few weeks before 4/1, the Anna Nicole Smith circus was obviously just tooooooo ripe to wait.
(If I get a moment later, I will try to provide links to their previous outrageous spoofs.)
Here's their most recent spoof. A fun read, also.
It's a lot of work for a spoof that isn't particularly funny. But the same could be said of the "extreme cuisine" piece.
Anyway, it says something interesting about Natives and pop culture even if it isn't true.
Here's one of their defenses of their last spoof, which also links to some of their other "classics".
As I've explained to many friends in the past: yes, they do lose readers when they do these. People don't like to be fooled. I don't like to be fooled. (Previous articles have fooled me to varying degrees - this one only took a couple of minutes to see thru.)
So people are reluctant to invest any time in reading the serious news articles in the following weeks, lest they be fooled again. I, too, have sworn off The New Times after these articles. However, I have quickly come to realize that their REAL articles still fill a journalistic hole in Arizona news coverage.
The lesson for all of us is that to be informed consumers of information, you have to maintain a healthy level of skepticism.
Rob: I agree that it wasn't particularly funny. And, I'll bet you that the readers' letters they publish next week will focus on the stereotyping of Native Americans (diabetes, drinking Lysol, etc, etc). Their defenses will be that it was trying to skewer stereotypes while piercing the buffoonish media/pop culture balloon surrounding the Anna story.
Writerfella here --
The same now can be said for Wikipedia, which all too often is tossed around in this blogsite like it was a Guttenberg Bible. More like Steve Guttenberg, if ya ask writerfella, as it now is known that more than one of the Wiki article writers have faked their reputed credentials. As though credence was a prerequisite for most things on the web in the first place...
I thought this piece might be a spoof only because the tabloids have covered every aspect of Smith's life. I found it hard to believe that a Native angle has gone undiscovered for so long.
I usually use Wikipedia only to confirm basic facts, not to justify controversial claims. Of course, any website can be suspect, which is why I often give several sources for my positions.
Writerfella here --
It is not the number of sources that can be questioned, but rather the CHOICE of those sources that comes into question. Given that proviso, then, anyone who quotes this particular website also must ask about CHOICE...
You question my choice of citations, while I question your complete lack of citations. Readers can judge for themselves who does a better job of supporting his arguments.
I was just paid to participate in a symposium with the leading advocates of Native Americans in comics. It's likely I'll be paid again to appear at another such symposium. In other words, my work is getting more and more exposure and people are increasingly citing it. That's not going to change because I occasionally cite Wikipedia, a generally reliable source, in the comments section of my blog.
When someone pays you to comment on Native comics and stereotypes instead of me, then you can bemoan my use of Wikipedia as the start of my downfall. Until that happens, I wouldn't worry about it.
Writerfella here --
Yeah, well, most people may have the courage of their convictions, but writerfella alone has the courage of his acquittals...
In the middle of writing my thesis when I stumbled upon this little diddy... I am laughing so hard I am still crying, and I almost inhaled my soda! Darn you for posting this! Seriously, this touches upon a dangerous stereotype (despite it being a hoax), and perpetuates the Dime Store Novel ideology... Now to call my plastic surgeon.. Your site is superb!
Re "Your site is superb": Thanks! Tell all your friends and link to this site whenever possible. ;-)
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