Reading in the French newspapers, "Crazy Horse Descendants ask Paris strip club to stop using name" by Carson Walker seemed like a surrealism dream: Salvador Dali might have approved.
Visualize the metro train station is empty underground and music is coming from a stolen boombox somewhere in the distance. "Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away..." is being echoed by a scratchy sounding violin, through the cold white tiled walls with moving metro trains without passengers. The metro trains are dimly lit. Empty McDonald's Coke cups are scattered on the ground because the trash lids are welded shut for fear of bomb threats. A timeless feeling, but there is time and space.
And look! Crazy Horse is riding through the metro on a brilliant brown and white spotted horse. I know it's him. I can't see his face, but I feel his mythical presence riding up the steel escalator.
In this day and age of political correctness I waited for the "when" the voice of dissent would cross the big pond from America or Indian Country and Native Peoples would want -- No, request via letter, then soon follow with a demand for Crazy Horse Paris to change their name. Waiting 50 years to ask this request seems long overdue.
The language of the original Lakota might have been used in a formal letter to the Crazy Horse Paris strip club. I don't know. Was Crazy Horse referred to as, "Ta-Shunka-Witco?" Meaning, the Strange One or Crazy Horse (Holy, Mystical or Inspired Horse?). And what of his other names, Curly or Light-Haired Boy? It has been a Native American tradition to speak in our Native tongue first, then English or French or Spanish. Then whose name in what language will the arguing be for?
It is true Native Peoples are given names they have earned and these are proud names indeed to carry through life. In death it is a time to allow these names and spirits to rest. Carrying on their legacy is honorable, but having them ride through the Paris metro and fight for trival battles is not bringing honor to a great name in any language.
Crazy Horse Paris has changed with the times. The battle being fought over this name may trivialize the battle moreso. Keeping a great memory alive of a man who wanted what was best for his people is where the war should be.
This hero took another man's wife and got nicked-shot for it in the face. The taking of another's man's wife was a cool thing to do in those days. Today, a man might still get shot for doing the same thing. Then look at all the abused women and teenaged pregnancies of young Native American women living in this century! These are images that come to mind when descendants of Crazy Horse have a letter delivered across the big pond to a Paris strip club!? If they are not they will be.
Yes, the woman is sacred as the bearer of the letter said. In art the woman is also sacred. Now, one could argue CH Paris via the late Bernardin and his descendents is not high art. It seems there are greater issues to fight for among the descendents of a man who has transcended many generations. And will continue to do so. Crazy Horse's image has survived many Hollywood bad movies.
And one ongoing bad sculpture in the sacred Black Hills. I wonder if CH would have approved of this?
Also related see: Crazy Horse Paris (www.lecrazyhorseparis.com)
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