July 07, 2008

Spurlock's 30 days in a hogan

Network series '30 Days' focuses on Navajo culture:  Show to air Tuesday nightSpurlock, a filmmaker best known for the award-winning movie "Super Size Me," is the producer of the FX Network television show, "30 Days." During Season 3, which wraps up Tuesday, he worked in a coal mine and lived on an American Indian reservation.

The reservation was of the Navajo Nation, and the experience will be broadcast Tuesday evening on FX as the season ends.

Spurlock lived for 30 days in a hogan on a ranch in Tohatchi. He was without running water or electricity, and the only job he could find was at a tire shop, where he made $25 a day.

"It's like America's dirty little secret. There's a lot of things people don't know about, and the reservation is like a Third World country," he said in a telephone interview with The Daily Times.
Some of his experiences: Spurlock's journey into Navajo land began in Gallup, where he was told to purchase the biggest sheep he could find and give it to the family. What he did not know was that he would have to assist in butchering the animal after arriving at the Dennison home.

He also did not expect to be awakened each morning at 5 a.m. for a jog across the desert as he and Karl attempted to race the rising sun. Spurlock said that is one tradition he took away from this experience that he continues practicing.

"I don't beat the sun, but I'm pretty close," he said. During his morning runs, he thinks about his intentions for the day. "It really frees you up to focus. It's a great way to start the day."

Spurlock also came away from the Dine with a deep focus on the spiritual. He participated in a Coyote Ceremony, spending hours in a sweat lodge and faced some difficult memories from his past that he was able to let go of through the cleansing.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Native Documentaries and News.


writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
That episode was watched by writerfella and fortunately, it was shown twice in a row. When Morgan Spurlock left after his 30 days among Navajo people and he inexplicably found himself weeping, writerfella found himself also weeping, but explicably. What the episode revealed through Spurlock is that EuroMan is unattached to and incommunicado with and aloof of, his own origins. Thus, he finds himself envious of other humans who have attachment to and communication from and connection with their origins. EuroMan is lost and thus that is why he has spread himself worldwide and has wreaked his influence and control worldwide. Envy assuredly can become hate.
Spurlock is fortunate in that he learns from his experiences and takes some of what he has learned with him when he leaves. But even he knows that he is returning to a legion of the lost. Still, maybe he will have learned enough in time that he will want to go back...
All Best
Russ Bates

Anonymous said...

Isnt this ironic.

Spurlock, a white guy who lived with ndns for 30 days is now being critiqued by a white guy pretending to be ndn for 30 days.

haha. nice.

Rob said...

If you're referring to me, I haven't criticized Spurlock and I'm not pretending to be anything. Everyone knows I'm a WASP.