04 September 2010


GERONIMO. On this day in 1886, the Chiricahua Apache warrior Geronimo (Goyahkla in his native language) surrendered at Skeleton Creek in southern Arizona, effectively bringing to a close the Indian wars of the West. Geronimo was never defeated in battle, and successfully evaded capture by thousands of US Army soldiers under various commanders. He was persuaded to surrender by Lt. Charles B. Gatewood (who spoke the Apache language and was sympathetic to Apache history and culture) after years of pursuit had worn his band of followers down to fewer than twenty warriors.

Geronimo suffered terrible loss during his life. His first wife and family were murdered by Mexican troopers in 1858, creating his lifelong hatred for Mexicans. He subsequently remarried and had more children. The invasion of Apache territory by American miners, settlers and soldiers was met with stiff resistence by Geronimo and other Apache leaders. Assisted by spiritual abilities and sterling courage, Geronimo inspired his people with many daring raids and escapes, waged against both Mexican and American armies.

Tragically, Geronimo, along with many Chiricahua people, were sent into exile at a prison in Florida. He died in 1909, forever deprived of seeing his beloved Southwest desert again. The movie Geronimo: An American Legend depicts his life during the few years before his surrender. While the film necessarily compacts or alters particular events or characters for the sake of the narrative, it remains true to the essential spirit of the times, showing with vivid detail what life was like in the Sonoran Desert in the late 1800s. Note -- click on the image below to enlarge. Geronimo stands at the far right.

JAN BREWER. Talk about polar opposites. Brewer is governor of present-day Arizona, the woman who signed into law Arizona's infamous and racist immigration law. A Tucson friend sent me the link to this video, shower her opening remarks prior to a debate among candidates for the office of governor -- the election will take place in November. In the words of my friend, "This is our governor's opening statement in the debate last night -- did she evr look stupid -- and the idiot will get votes (certainly not mine) and may win ... the debate was a joke. Green party guy looked like he smoked a joint before coming on. Litertarian, articulate, but some real scary ideas. [Democrat] Terry Goddard had a difficult time making his points as Brewer just butted in whenever she wanted and said that what he was saying was not true. The whole debate made me think that we are in deep, deep doo-doo."

I have to agree, Brewer on camera comes across as a simpleton, trying to cover her confusion with nervous laughter. She is a cookie cutter Sarah Palin, older but no wiser. I cannot fathom how supposedly intelligent citizens can take people like Brewer, Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh seriously. But then, we are the nation that voted for eight years of George W. Bush. Pretty damned embarrassing.
Note -- gubernatorial debates rarely arouse comment among the national press, but this debate caught the attention of the NYTimes' astute Gail Collins. Please see her reactions here.

No comments:

Post a Comment