Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Postcards "speak with forked tongue"

On the reverse side of this postcard, the descriptive text reads as follows..."Typical Oklahoma Indians"
The thought that someone, somewhere, at some time may have received this postcard from a friend and said to his wife, "Hey Hon, lookit these here Oklahoma Injuns just standing around waiting to get their picture taken," makes me cringe.

But I suppose the postcard industry makes it's profits by speaking in cultural stereotypes and shorthand. Go to Germany, you'll find postcards of frauleins in tightly tied bodices standing next to ledershosen shod men. Alaskan postcards probably display Nonookian families huddled in front of their domed ice homes, and grassed skirted "hula" girls and guys are the stuff of Hawaiian postcard dreams.

It also reminds me of a story my cousin, Booby (real name Winston, don't really know where the nickname Booby came from) tells of the grand times he spent in Paris, France studying at some culinary institute in the late '70's.

Seems he was at an upscale eatery, chatting up some local femmes, when the topic of his nationality and homeland came up. After stating he was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.A., he drew stares and comments from the surrounding crowd - many of whom were inquiring how he liked wearing "real clothes" and sleeping in "houses made of brick and cement."

To this day I still crack up at the memory of him describing how he played up the "island boy" role with the Frenchie's and the disbelief in their ignorant, albeit romanticized, impressions of Hawaii in the 1970's.

Then there's this one...

Begging the question, if you went up to a Native American today and said, "How," just how fast would you have to run to avoid getting your much deserved butt kicking?


OkieCardinal said...

I saw a very funny t-shirt at the OK. State Fair a few months back. The middle of the shirt had authentic photos of Geronimo, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse.

Above the photos was "Homeland Security."

Beneath the photos read "Fighting terrorism since 1492."

OKDad said...

Hah, I saw that one as well and had a good chuckle.

Course, had I some Native blood in me, I may have felt a bit more ambivalent about the humor.