Thursday, August 25, 2005

Vacation Coming Soon

We're loading Ben into an airplane for his first flight, up to Baltimore. Then we'll take a short drive to Queenstown, MD to visit the other in-laws. Yes, I have in-laws there, too. Divorce gives the benefit of two sets. We'll spend some time on their boat on Chesapeake Bay, where I'm hoping we'll go to St. Michael's, a picturesque community with some great Revolutionary War history. Might visit Baltimore Harbor, Annapolis, or any number of locations dating back to the birth of the U.S. (and before).

Then it's off to Ocean View, DE, where we'll visit more family and Bethany Beach. Ben's never been to the beach, and I've never been to the east coast. I have visions of the sun setting over the ocean as Ben goes nuts in the biggest sandbox he's ever seen. Of course, that's followed by visions of photos of same. We'll see, and maybe my faithful readers will, too (who that is, I have no idea).

(Major change of mood and subject)

While I always get a good feeling visiting the area where Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the national anthem, I also think of the relocation and near genocide of the natives of the land. It's an atrocity for which we cannot possibly give worthy restitution. So, we just kind of put it out of our minds and go on with life, most of us seeing them only when we buy souvenirs or play the slots. I often wonder what it would be like to live in a place like Minneapolis, where Sioux work alongside those whose ancestors displaced their own. I'm reminded of the song "Darkness," by Rage Against the Machine. I don't by any means agree with everything they say in their songs, but this one seems to be right on. The first several lines go:

Causing innocent blood to flow
Entire culture lost in the overthrow
They came to see, take whatever they please
Then all they gave back was death and disease

People were left with no choice but to decide
To conform to a system responsible for genocide.

This blog is written by one of the palest, most freckle-speckled men you'll ever see, with blue eyes and a trace amount of Cherokee blood. If I can get bothered by the thought of this, then just think how those directly affected must feel.


Jim said...


if you haven't read it, Blood of the Land is a fascinating although somewhat depressing (as it would have to be!) account of the systematic genocide of native americans.

Have a nice vacation! But ... er ... you might be more likely to see a sunrise on the east coast than a sunset! ;-)

Godschild said...

Great blog...keep rambling, it's good for the soul. That's why I started..oh, and keep adding stuff about being a Dad...that's the best stuff! :)

Mark said...

Thanks for the suggestion, jim! I'll have to read that. And godschild, I'll take what you said to heart. They say "write what you know." Well, fatherhood is pretty much all I know for certain right now... and husbandhood, of course. Or is that husbandry? No, that's not right. Phooey.

Jim said...

Crap! Did I say Blood of the Land???

I meant Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee, by Dee Brown. Blood's OK ... but it's been years since I read it. "Blood .." is mostly about the FBI's persecution of Leonard Peltier and the American Indian Movement. I know it got me whipped up when I was in college, but I'd have to read it again to see whether its "conspiracy theories" still sound plausible to my more discerning mind! ;-)

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mark said...

My dad always had a hardcover of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee on his phone table, but I never picked it up. I'll have to read it. It's interesting that you mentioned the Peltier case. I saw a special about that in Native American Cultures (or some such course name) in college, and got interested. Oddly enough, a few months later at a family function in Solgohachia, Arkansas, there was a "Free Leonard Peltier" booth. I still do not have a solid opinion on that case, because it appears that he might have gone a little overboard, but then so did the FBI.