Author Topic: Frequently Asked Questions (and Creative Answers)  (Read 32813 times)

Offline educatedindian

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Frequently Asked Questions (and Creative Answers)
« on: July 17, 2005, 07:43:26 am »
By creative I mean answers that will knock people off their high horse, their too-serious Im-so-spirchul pose.

Talking about this with Dionysus of AGIM (activist group in Germany) last night. They get requests for Indin spirchul guidance all the time, and have a stock answer that they just dont deal with spirituality, didnt even want to confront the issue until recnetly because many of their subscribers probably go to sweatlodge sellers and other like types. So he asked me for a set of answers to FAQs they get, and it would have a lot more impact coming from NDNs than from them.

I told him that debating these issues often legitimizes the goofy beliefs, makes the believer think they are worthy of serious consideration. Usually quick kinda humorous answers deflate Nuage followers better than a long serious (even if true, factual, and even extremely well written) answer.

My own example I used in every speech in Europe:

Sorry if any of you think you were an Indian in a past life. You have us confused with the OTHER Indians, the ones from India, Hindus.
(Laughs from crowd, Nuage followers look at floor and wish they could melt into it.)

So let´s hear your best answers to FAQs, and let people here get in touch with their inner wiseass. This will be in the book, and anyone contributing will get credit just like with the dictionary.

Offline 180IQ

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Re: Frequently Asked Questions (and Creative Answe
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2005, 02:04:14 pm »
I don't really like this one but it was the first thing that came to mind:

Q: But if it feels so good, how can it be wrong?

A: Remember what Susan Atkins told the grand jury about how it felt to stab Sharon Tate?

Offline debbieredbear

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Re: Frequently Asked Questions (and Creative Answe
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2005, 06:12:00 pm »
This was from a non-Indian friend of mine. A guy at work told him jois great great grandmother was a Cherokee Princess. Don saud "Really? YOU TOO?? My great great grandfather was a Cherokee Princess TOO!!" Then he walked away.;)

Offline woodowl

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Re: Frequently Asked Questions (and Creative Answe
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2005, 07:06:13 pm »
This one won Annika's "pewter viking" award for the best response to "I think I must have been an Indian in a past life." :

"Wow, you must have really been a bad one, to have to come back like this."

Offline educatedindian

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Re: Frequently Asked Questions (and Creative Answe
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2005, 10:20:54 pm »
A couple more I used speaking in Europe:

#1
Nuager: But I can be an Indian if I want. You can be anything if you really want it bad enough.

Me: Nope, sorry. I may want to be married to Jennifer Lopez REALLY BADLY but it just aint gonna happen, trust me!

#2
Nuager: But I as a German should be able to use the sweatlodge. I went to another German who'd been trained by an American. I've had 14 sweatlodges.

Me: So how's your Lakota? Because unless he did the ceremony in a Native language, you didnt go to a real sweatlodge. You just sweated your behind off.

#3 To an actual question
German Kid: Do they have children in your tribe?
Me: Yes. I used to be a child myself. I wasnt born this big. That woulda hurt my mom a lot!

#4 Also to actual question
German kid: So are there places we can go to watch Indians who are dressed like real Indians?
Me: You're watching an Indian whose dressed like a real Indian right now.

Offline educatedindian

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Re: Frequently Asked Questions (and Creative Answe
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2005, 01:22:45 pm »
I suppose what's missing from this FAQs is simply a list of the questions themselves.

1. Can I become an Indian?

2. Why not? I think I'm Indian at heart.

3.  What's wrong with mixing traditions?

4. But it feels right for me!

5. How can this not be true? Everyone has their own truth!

6. OK, maybe that's true for those other frauds, but not for my great leader.

What are the other standard questions they always come up with?

Offline Barnaby_McEwan

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Re: Frequently Asked Questions (and Creative Answe
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2005, 02:18:16 pm »
'But there Indians who want to share!' (Note novel use of 'share' to mean monetary transaction).

Sure, but sharing is a two-way thing. The Pine Ridge Department of Public Works will be along to pick up your second car later this week. It will be sold at auction to raise money for home insulation for senior citizens: those whose homes are not reparable will drop by to 'share' your second home with you this winter.

'Indians who don't like what we do are racists!'

I've not yet heard of gangs of corrupt tribal cops travelling to yuppie suburbs at night in order to beat up suburban newagers. When Indian racists start carving giant, threatening petroglyphs into the lawns and golf courses of your yuppie suburb in the dead of night, then you might have something to worry about.

Offline Mo

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Re: Frequently Asked Questions (and Creative Answe
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2005, 02:44:29 pm »
How about the old...I have an indian spirit guide. I asked one such new ager why they think their "spirit guide" was ndn if they spoke english? I was met with several irate people who then went on with things like..

"well I don't turn away any spirits that come. I just welcome them. Who are you to tell me what spirits come to me?"

It quickly degenerated into a rant that went something like this...

"No one has the market cornered on suffering! I'm sure some of your ancestors killed white people too. The problem with ndns is too many people think they are something special..especially the ndns."

Of course I failed to see how any of that had to do with the original statement but it didn't seem to bother them. The racism just came pouring forth.

OK so what do any of you say when confronted with the often stated "indian spirit guide"?

Offline Barnaby_McEwan

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Re: Frequently Asked Questions (and Creative Answe
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2005, 03:24:15 pm »
There's a minor English neo-pagan author calling herself [edit: name removed] who reckons she has an Indian spirit guide. She got around the cheesy-stereotype problem by deciding that she can't be deluding herself because [breathy spirchul voice] she's just, like, an incredibly grounded and real person, you know?[/breathy spirchul voice]

I don't think it's possible to argue rationally with someone who needs to believe like that. Sometimes, like you found, it's entertaining to wind 'em up and watch 'em self-destruct.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 12:00:00 am by Barnaby_McEwan »

Offline educatedindian

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Re: Frequently Asked Questions (and Creative Answe
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2005, 07:59:28 pm »
I got the same types of people in Europe insisting they never turned away spirits. Usually I put on my best concerned face:

"Gosh, do you also tell your kids to always trust strangers? Do you tell em, 'Go with that nice man in the trenchcoat with prison tattoos!'"
-said like I'm talking down to a child.

The crowd generally started snickering and the questioner's face fell. That's when you really want to pour it on, since subtlety is often lost on some of the ones who've been misled or are lost in their own little world:

"Do you also eat any mushroom you find in the woods? You do know some of them are poisonous, d-o-n-t y-o-u? Some spirits are dangerous. Some spirits LIE and HARM people and take JOY in tricking others. The only place where you should always trust spirits is...FANTASYLAND!"

Mo, I also think the same answer works for both the Indian spirit guide and I-was-Indian-in-a-past-life:

Find out the tribe (Its always a famous tribe like Lakota, Comanche, etc, never one of the California or northwest coast tribes.)

Then say "Congratulations on speaking Lakota fluently! Let's hear you tell all about what your guide said/what your past life was like, in Lakota, no dictionary, no going to actual Lakotas to get a translation! Now!"

And for the racist ranters, usually theyre beyond hope. The main thing I would do is try to embarass them in front of the crowd so as to turn others away from their ideas. Something like:

"So do you tell Jews to just get over the Holocaust? Do you go to Harlem and lecture Blacks on 'The problem with you Blacks is...?'"

Usually plugging in another ethnic group so people can see just how racist/condescending/hostile the speaker is works pretty well.

And then again, you can try simple sarcasm. "Thank you for having the unquestionable solutions to fix all our problems oh Wise One. That is mighty white of you, oh Great White Father."

Offline vikinglady

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Re: Frequently Asked Questions (and Creative Answe
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2005, 04:41:12 pm »
Al - you came up with a great one when I interviewed you for the film, remember? (After which it was extremely hard to keep a straight face and carry on with the interview....)

Please rephrase it if you wish, I can´t remember exactly what you said. (But it is all on tape, folks!!)

For the dress-upers:

"I´ve always dreamed I was an Indian!"
"I used to dream I was Robin Hood as a kid, you don´t see me walking around in green tights, do you?"

:)  :)

Offline TimberlineWarrior

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Re: Frequently Asked Questions (and Creative Answe
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2005, 11:24:21 pm »
OK so what do any of you say when confronted with the often stated "indian spirit guide"?

My comment is usually along the line of "What is it with dead ndn's that they have to come back bacome a spirit guide? It seems the more important they are the more they have to come back. Darn if I'd ever want to be a chief! I want peace when I'm gone".
They usually can't answer, well sensibly anyway, even if they try the sniggers of the audience drown they out.
A Cherokee friend who helps at exhibitions etc often gets people come up and say How! Her answer is "One scalp at a time" My answer to the same comment is usually "So you speak Lakota" That usually goes over their heads and leaves them baffled.

^..^

Offline vikinglady

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Re: Frequently Asked Questions (and Creative Answe
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2005, 09:08:54 am »
I met a lady with an Ndn spirit guide who had told her she had to help his tribe. So she has donated freely to our foundation.  Now *that* is something that makes at least some kind of sense to me - wouldn´t an Ndn spirit guide be more concerned about his people than giving a non-Native guy personal fullfilment ?

So maybe that could be another approach to the never-ending comment about Ndn spirit guides?
:)



Offline educatedindian

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Re: Frequently Asked Questions (and Creative Answe
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2005, 02:04:27 am »
Mo, Woodowl, and Timberline Warrior, I need to know your actual names to give you writing credit for contributing to the FAQs. If you prefer not to say them online you can send me an IM here through the board or email me at educated_indio@yahoo.com

Offline piya

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Re: Frequently Asked Questions (and Creative Answe
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2005, 03:31:53 pm »
Talking with some people today, they started getting on about "signs" we see from nature. It was heavy rain outside the window, so I was asked what I could see in that?.

Simple Answer, " I am gonna get soaked walking home "

From the inquisitive," it has no spiritual meaning, and your a red indian "
Answer, " Yeh, I just answered, I am gonna get pissed on and pissed off "

Piya
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