8.0: A few lists

7/27/09

I mentioned, previously, that my family is shamelessly corny. As such, my family has a tendency to sing along together, in the car, to Journey, Billy Ocean and Chicago’s “You’re the Inspiration” (and of course, Michael Jackson. R.I.P.).

As a product of a corny family, one cannot necessarily blame me for gravitating toward a few weird songs myself. One such song is “My Favorite Things,” from “Swiss Family Robinson” or “Sound of Music” (or “Mary Poppins” or one of those horrible old movies with a bunch of nice white folks dancing off-beat and never being racist, power-hungry or sleeping in the same bed with each other).

Assuming that these dancing, non-racist white folks also purchase fireworks from my family’s fireworks stand, these would be my kind of white people, no doubt. Maybe that’s why I like the song?

In any event, the song, “My Favorite Things,” is essentially a list of some of the writer’s favorite things. Makes sense. And since I’ve been watching an obscene amount of bad movies the past few days in a hotel room where the bed does not vibrate, I’m somewhat bored. Therefore, in observance of my love of singing and dancing white people (Disney movies: white peoples’ pow-wows?) and movies, I have created a couple of lists of my own favorite things, along with a brief explanation of why they are my favorites.

Favorite Skin movie
• “Dance Me Outside
• “Don’t Touch The White Woman
• “On Deadly Ground” (truly incredible scene – “what is that, halibut?”)
• “Windwalker”

“Dance Me Outside” is the blueprint. Its depiction of certain Skin quirks is absolutely freaking hilarious. Amazingly, it was written by a white dude – so it begs the questions – While we Skins talk about the media’s erroneous depiction of Skins, how is it that the guy who got it the most right is a napikwon? Do Skins have just as screwed up an image of Skins as white folks do?

“Don’t Touch the White Woman” was also hilarious. The name alone is enough to crack me up. That’s a joke for a lot of Skin men – “Don’t touch the white woman? AYYYYEEEE! Yeah, right!”

Finally, “On Deadly Ground” is a deep and touching political story with Steven Seagal avenging political rights for Skins with his sissy punches – you know the way he slaps. What better way to address historical injustices other than with some ponytailed kung fu?

Bonus Quote: Forrest Taft, “On Deadly Ground,” “What does it take to change the essence of a man?”
The million dollar question, Forrest. The million dollar question, indeed. Watch the clip – you’ll see.

Coolest white people
The Fonz
• Marlon Brando
• Steven Seagal

The Fonz. Nuff said. Who else can water ski with a leather coat on?

Marlon Brando – God rest his handsome soul – loved Skins. He put his chiseled jaw on the line for Skins, and as a result even got arrested pursuing Northwest Skins’ fishing rights. They call the place where he got arrested in Washington “Brando’s Landing.” That plot of land is nearly as attractive as he is.

As for Steven Seagal, just refer above, to the “On Deadly Ground” discussion. It’s fair to say that I would probably take Steven Seagal in a UFC Cage Fight against Satan. Or God. Whoever is meaner (but probably not the Fonz, admittedly). Let’s put it like this – after killing an untold amount of anonymous Jamaican henchmen in “Marked for Death” Nigel Powers-style, Seagal kicked Screwface 197 times, chopped him with a sword and shoved his green eyeballs into his brain. Then he snapped Screwface’s spine over his knee and threw him down an elevator shaft.

Yeah, Seagal.

Best movie hair
• Sho Nuff/Julius Carry (R.I.P.)
• Steven Seagal
• Billy Wirth in “War Party

“Am I the meanest?” Sho Nuff! “Am I the prettiest?” Sho Nuff! “Am I the baddest mofo low down around this town?”

Sho nuff. “The Last Dragon” contained so many memorable features – the glow, Eddie Arcadian’s water-aquarium-monster-thingie, the little Asian kid that faked like he knew kung-fu. But Sho Nuff made the movie worth seeing – his hilarious locks an inspiration/source of comfort for any Skin kid who happened to have been made fun of for his bushy, long locks all throughout school, to the point of tears. Many times. I’m not saying any names. …

As for Steven Seagal, what more can a man say about him that hasn’t already been said by Steven Seagal? His hair is legendary, as are his slapping kung-fu moves. His ASAP (Atrociously Small Anglo Ponytail) would go much better with Birkenstocks and singing “Lesbian Seagull” than fighting bad guys (unless that bad guy was global warming). But c’mon – this is Seagal. Seagal in Birkenstocks? The painted-on hairpiece/rug that he’s recently taken to wearing just adds to the overall sleazy coolness of the extorted kung fu king.

Finally, “War Party” was filmed in my hometown, so I’d probably get in trouble if I didn’t mention it. A dubious source of pride, to be sure. Still, my Auntie Wanda was an extra in the movie – therefore there was at least one good thing about this seagull dropping of a movie. In fact, if they wanted to film some real conflict and emotion on the Blackfeet rez, they should have filmed some of our family arguments! Would’ve been 20 times better. And real Blackfeet men are almost assuredly better looking than Billy Wirth. And I’m not biased.

Any bad movies on your mind? Any additions to these lists? Heck, any lists of your own? What do you put on the tube when you want to be taken away to fantasy land? Obviously you Skins have a different idea on some of these lists. I’m curious about your input – you may even turn me on to a new movie or two. Talk to me.

What do you Skins think?

Gyasi Ross is a member of the Blackfeet Nation and his family also comes from the Suquamish Tribe. He is a lawyer, a warrior, a teacher, an entrepreneur and an author. He is co-founder of Native Speaks LLC, a progressive company owned by young Native professionals which provides consultation and instruction for professionals and companies, as well as young adults. Gyasi is currently booking dates for his presentation, “The Best: An Indian Theory of Existence.” E-mail him at gyasi.ross@gmail.com.

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