Bomb: The Tragic Last Stand of the Skyhorse Clan


mesa_body

A brilliant piece that Brando wrote about "presumed identities."  Here's the Bomb tagline and a few selects. Thanks Brando, for the dedication ...

Brando Skyhorse peels away layers of presumed identities and discusses recent books about Native Americans.

… If art, if literature, is a form of love—it is—the exclusion of subjects is the equivalent of banning mixed-race couples. Creative separatism is defended like this: so-and-so doesn’t have the experience to write about the subject. But artists often reach beyond their own lives; part of the drive to be an artist is to understand outside oneself. That non-Western stories are so xenophobic is more a mechanism of our marketplace than our artists. “Coming home” is the advertising platform. You join culture, you buy this, you will be happier. The “I” story, the story of personal want, ambition, desire, is the story of capitalization itself: the capitalization of identity. The question of high market (literature) or low market (Hollywood, genre, etc) is merely one of degree; the assimilation in a low-market context results in winning the Gold, or the Academy Award, or whatever, while the assimilation in a high-market context is one complicated by misgivings (which, however profound, don’t offset the “rightness” of assimilating). ...

… Western arts, Western artists, Western appreciators of art, function as a first wave of assault. Very much like a missionary movement—which is entirely well-intentioned but subversive of the occupied culture—the arts wash over a culture, drenching a people with the cult of “I.” On an international stage, the arts are unaware, or perhaps insensible is the right word, to their goal, the first economic goal–to strip the culture of anything of value, to replace all worth, including personal worth, with a need for Western goods, ideas and affirmation. Western arts place individual identity under continuous assault. The message: success/failure is a process of self-discovery, of true identity. Of course, this “true identity” is ersatz, furnished externally through cultural transactions, through the stuff—CDs, jeans, books, movies—that you buy. …


Read the rest …

http://bombsite.com/issues/1000/articles/7012