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Monthly Archives: May 2010

WHEN YOU’RE STRANGE documentary aired last night on PBS American Masters.   I liked it half and half.  Mostly what I liked about it: was the archival footage shot of the Doors from television sources, other filmmakers’ documentaries and Morrison’s film called The Highway. Certain parts of “When You’re Strange” documentary were skimmed over, too generalized such as his death.  I will have to agree with Randy Lewis, an LA Times reviewer. Generally he said, the audience did not find out who Jim Morrison really was about as a person.

For me a lot of the archival footage was unseen footage, which I liked.  I have not viewed every single documentary about the Doors due to the costs to purchase.  I have checked out mostly all the dvds related to James Morrison and the Doors from the local libraries. I read a majority of the books and dvd book voice overs created about them.  At sixteen in the Spring of 1967 I was struck by the Door’s music when I first heard them. I knew a a white female student at Cortez High who recommended I hear them so I went to buy Light My Fire album, their first album.  She was right on.  Morrison and the Doors’ songs reminded me about dreams and San Francisco.  I wore the album’s grooves out.  One of my dreams was to live in San Francisco, Ca., which eventually happened in 71-74 and then twelve years later in the Fall 1979, I entered UCLA graduate film school in Los Angeles, the same department and alma mater of Morrison and Manzarek  who graduated from UCLA.  Only in the last three years have I become infatuated again with the Doors music and their lives: how did they become musicians and singers. How did it happen in LA? What was LA like then? Actually in the last seven years I read many biographical and auto biographical books about the sixties and early seventies rock and roll groups. Few books are available about women rock and rollers or singers/songwriters.  Thus far, Janis Ian’s auto biography is the only autobiography about a female singer/songwriter I really liked. She wrote “Society’s Child” song.

Why I like the Doors?  I identified with Morrison and the rest of the Doors.  Points for the Doors, that the Doors did not release any cds I seriously disliked. I observe and compare the music of the sixties and early seventies with today’s music. The sixties and early 70’s broke ground about topics to present in songs such as sex, anti-war, people of color issues, women and other social messages. Also, I was apart of the young people who were apart of the counter culture as it was called.  The interests of the counter culture included naturally rock and roll, blues, rhythm and blues, soul and country music. I liked everything that happened: women’s movement, people of colors’ movements such as Native American, Afro-American, Asian, Mexican called Chicano, Puerto Rican and gay movements all exploded at once.  There were college strikes like at San Francisco State and Columbia University in New York.  The Native Americans at UCLA protested to establish a Native American studies at UCLA as well as other colleges which followed the same path. This is why today’s U.S. universities have an American Indian Studies Program.  American soldiers became draft dodgers of the Vietnam War and fled to Canada. A lot lived at Long Beach on Vancouver Island.  The first Earth Day was created in 1970.  Many events happened. When I attended Cortez High, I did not fit in with any crowd of women or men. I knew a blonde girl, “Blondie” looking like, Kathy was her name, who liked the same style commonality of rock and roll music. The counter culture of teenagers at Cortez High was small.  Also, I was a very introverted person compared to now. Since I did not belong to anything or group in high school, I knew where I fit, with the counter culture.  Definitely something was in the air. Could feel it, see it and smell the resistance.  As an artist and still photographer I was apart of it at that time until today. I continue to take still photographs. Now I am a Dine’ filmmaker. The Doors represented a time in my life: about who I was, what I did and how I felt about things. Their music shaped me as a person. I really never deviated from it either.  I became older but wiser.

However, an aspect about James Morrison which differed a lot from myself is that he did not care to be politically aware about many events and corruptions which happened in the world at the time, where as I choose to be aware of events, which affects my Indigenous peoples, women, the environment and other topics. If he understood what went on such as with the Native Americans, other peoples’ of color and why it happened, maybe he might have been expressive about it.  Some points of conflict like the Vietnam war, he expressed dissatisfaction and wrote an anti-war song called the Unknown Soldier. Therefore, he expressed some resistance, but for the most part he was not in total resistance in that way. Maybe he was.  It was the way the books described him.  J. Morrison like John Lennon was observed by Mr. Jay Edgar Hoover and the F.B.I., Cointelpro, but I doubt he knew it. Maybe he knew it?

With each new documentary like “When You’re Strange” documentary about Jim Morrison’s life and The Doors’ lives, I receive a take on it and learn more about the Doors.


Happy Mother’s Day!

Yesterday I shot these pictures at an artificial lake built in the middle of Surrey. Sometimes like yesterday I will view a blue heron, a bird common to this area. Blue heron bird is huge and a good looking bird. Every time I see it, it seems to be looking for fish to eat.

The earth is our mother.

Creator made our mother

so we’ve got to treat her right,

our mother.

My own mother lives South of here.

I wish I could visit my parents

but I can’t right  now.

Someday to visit, I hope.

But I have to visit because it’s

been a long, long time

since I’ve viewed, heard and smelled my home.

It’s a lot different than here in everything.

Oh, I wish I could visit my  home.

Just thought about mothers and what a mother represents. I have several homes. Not only one.

Marvin Gaye wrote a song or maybe another songwriter with him, wrote Mercy, Mercy Mercy which is about the environment.  It’s such a strong song and one of my favorites.  The song made me wonder, what state of mind was he or what state of mind were the songwriters when they wrote the song.   I’d have to check on it about the songwriter or songwriters.  Either way, the songwriter or the songwriters and I view the world  very similar in vision: how I feel about people, unemployment, the world and the environment.  The song makes me sad because what the song says is true. I knew Marvin Gaye wasn’t a perfect human being, but who is perfect anyhow? Not anyone; yet the media lets on that there are perfect people out there.  Lots of people do not think that this kind of soul, rhythm and blues jazz music can present strong messages about the world, but it has.  What’s Goin On album proves it. Luv this album.

Walk in Beauty. Need to clarify my point-of-view about the Immigration Law Bill 1070 in Arizona. I grew up in Arizona and lived there until I was 22 years old. I notice the mainstream news focuses upon the fact that people are of Hispanic heritage. Yes, it is a large part of the issue. However, the mainstream media misses the point totally again. Another part of the issue of Bill 1070 which is just as important is that the Bill 1070 affects people of color, anyone who looks or acts suspicious to the police. Indigenous people are included. These people will be questioned about their identity, which will be a mistaken

identity.  Perpetuate the stereotypes.  For example, some Indigenous people from Arizona who have dark skin like me or other Indigenous peoples—of course, some Indigenous peoples have a mixture of Spanish within their culture like the Yaqui, may possibly be mistaken for not being citizens of the US, when in fact they are. Also, to insinuate that a person with brown skin is a not citizen of the US when in fact, Indigenous people already have lived here long before the European colonists arrived is wrong.  It’s like saying for example in Vancouver BC, that any woman who walks in the wrong neighborhood of town is a prostitute right off,  which is what the mainstream public assumes or stereotypes about Indigenous women in Vancouver BC because the mainstream public is racist towards Indigenous women and peoples in Canada, which is a scene in The Graffiti video drama.  During WWII the Japanese were collected and put in camps because US and Canada thought the Japanese who were citizens of US were enemies and “dangerous.”  What about Nazism and the Jewish people, Nazis prejudice towards Jewish people? Those prejudices were wrong, too.  Did we learn from it?  Apparently not.  US and Canada hardly ever learns anything from their histories and lessons in the way they treat the people, Indigenous peoples of world and the environment of the land: the birds, animals, insects and all the living things.  Fascist.  I back up Noam Chomsky and what he expressed in a speech at the University of Wisconsin in April that the US will experience fascism. This is the beginning of it or it is here.  Only way to be positive is: pray to Creator that people see/admit their mistakes, help people who have physical and mental issues to overcome, help people out with physical disasters that have happened in the world.  

How is Indigenous taught in elementary and high schools?  Do parents teach their children that various types of people exist.  Do not assume about people  Better to ask if someone is Indigenous than to speak in Espanol and think that she/he with dark skin is Spanish?  Come on! Document incidents with a video camera or audio equipment to obtain evidence in case a person is stopped.  To help each other. Pray for the world to be balanced as the Dine’ expresses in to  “Walk in Beauty.”