September 14, 2009

Homer Simpson = Native hero?!

15.0:  Homer Simpson speaks on firewater

By Gyasi Ross[T]he thing that I admire most about Homer, believe it or not, is his beer-drinking ability. That is, Homer can come home, crack a Duff beer, and relax. Take the edge off the day, no big deal. He still loves his family after he drinks his beer, and he still gets up in the morning to do his job at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant.

I always wished that I could do that. Seriously. I just think it’s cool.

The truth is, however, that I never saw “Homerish” drinking as a child. So I never drank even when I wanted to.
And why is the lack of "Homerish" drinking a problem?The problem went something like this: My family tried its best to pretend that alcohol did not exist, but it does exist. Teenagers--Skin or not--are always going to have some curiosity about alcohol, and they should. Yet, because of my family’s judgmental nature toward alcohol--as a family formerly affected by addiction--we wouldn’t allow reasonable questions to be asked about alcohol.

That seems like a recipe for disaster.

I see that problem multiplied by a thousand on “dry rezzes.” Think about it--why should an adult, able to make their own decisions in every other capacity, be told that they cannot purchase a particular product? That seems very protective of adults who are, theoretically, able to protect themselves. Some would argue that it seems insulting, maybe even pointless. For example, resourceful Skins--as evidenced by border towns like Gallup, Whiteclay, and Hardin--are going to find some liquor if they want to find some liquor. But now, with the “dry reservation” structure, those resourceful people are going to drive to get their liquor--more drunks on the road--and possibly acquire a certain fetish with liquor. After all, it seems like taboos with no explanation creates fetish and fascination.

Just like it did with my nieces and nephews and little brother.
Comment:  Here's the response I posted to this article:Homer Simpson is a functional alcoholic. He regularly loses jobs, money, and belongings because of his drinking. He's almost lost his house and his family because of it. He frequently tries to choke Bart to death, so he's an abusive father too.

If your point is that "Skins" need more role models like Homer, I disagree. Homer isn't someone who drinks in moderation. He's a drunk who survives his bouts with alcoholism only because he's a cartoon character.
Is Homer Simpson really the best you can do as a drinking role model? How about any of 100 million Americans who drink in moderation and maintain healthy family and job situations? Throw a dart at random and you'll probably hit someone who fits this profile better than Homer.

For another argument on the best way to handle Native alcoholism, see Whiteclay Protests Are "Wildly Ineffective." For more on the Simpsons, see Indians in The Simpsons.

Below:  Homer Simpson, role model for Native drinkers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I knew the guy(Gyasi Ross) was an idiot to some degree. This was quite the worst piece I have ever read from him by far. I just LOL when he implied Homer as a choice for his role model exemplification. Apparently, the dude hasn't watched enough Simpsons.

Shadow Wolf--