News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to

Thursday, July 9, 2009

O, say can you seethe

Greenpeace seems to have taken a page out of Adrian Louis' Pine Ridge novel Skins or the movie made from it starring Eric Schweig and Graham Greene. The novel ends with its protagonist, Rudy Yellow Lodge, a Pine Ridge police officer, dumping a bucket of red paint down the forehead of George Washington's face at Mt. Rushmore. The movie version changes the paint trickle from the forehead to Washington's eye. Rudy commits the act in memory of his brother, Mogie, a Viet Nam veteran entrapped by the experiences of Pine Ridge, Viet Nam, and alcoholism. Among the patriotic ironies the red paint marks is that the father of our country was a slaveholder.

Greenpeace also chose Mt. Rushmore to make a statement to President Obama. Many progressives who elected him to change the regressive policies of exploitation, oppression, and destruction are getting impatient with his deference to neo-con obstruction and intransigence. Greenpeace used Mt. Rushmore to give him a nudge to get moving on environmental issues. However, unlike Rudy's lone venture with a bucket of paint, Greenpeace put together an elaborate plan for unfurling a 65 by 35 foot banner to dangle for an hour next to the face of Abraham Lincoln.

As the Christian Science Monitor put it, " What’d they get out of it? A dozen arrests. But also massive media exposure for one of their top issues: global warming (they’re against it)."

And they tweaked the knots that seem to be permanently sewn into the regressive skivvies It moved those perennial defacers of the blogosphere Sibby the Simple and South Dakota Wart Collage to trot out their favorite cliches about anti-Americanism and put their stained knots on display. And Greenpeace is supposed to be against pollution.

From the standpoint of blitzing all the forms of media and getting attention, a media expert quoted by the Monitor said:

"in terms of communicating a message effectively, he’d give it a “nine out of ten.” But the jury is still out he says on whether the overall strategy will work. That’s because Greenpeace broke the law and if any damage to Mt. Rushmore was done, it could be a big negative for the organization."

Unfurling a banner is a lot less destructive than a bucket of paint would be, but the fact is that Mt. Rushmore is the supreme site for launching messages. I don't condone doing plastic alterations on the Rushmore visages, but I can't but admire Greenpeace's strategy.

Ir was followed this morning by AIDS activists shutting down the Capitol Rotunda and getting arrested to protest what they regard as Obama going back on another promise.

We appear to be entering a new age of civil disobedience. It is so many notches above the retard choir's chants about Obama being like Hitler. Some intellectual redemption is a afoot.

To paraphrase Dorothy Parker, I'd rather flunk my Wasserman Test than read or hear some of that tertiary-stage trash from the regressives.

I look forward to the next message to Obama by people with some wit and grit.


PP said...

huh huh huh huh....

You changed my website name to South Dakota Wart Collage.

huh huh huh huh....

The wit and wry sense of humor for the author in changing the name is just breathtaking.

It would be like me changing the name of Northern Valley Beacon to Northern Valley BACON!

No wonder you were placed in charge of molding the minds of youth. If only I could aspire to such a high quality of social commentary.

South Dakota Wart Collage. HA!

huh huh huh huh....

David Newquist said...

Some readers have remarked on PP's response to my post on his own blog. I underscore the fact that I said I admired the strategy of Greenpeace, and I quoted some other sources as to why this publicity was successful. As usual, PP depends upon representations that are either grossly stupid or dishonest to make his points. And as his comment here shows, he simply is not up to understanding or making intelligible contributions that rise above those playground attacks and taunts.

His representation of my posting above is called subreption. It is the a violation in writing that is worse that plagiarism. Professor Ward Churchill at the U. of Colorado got fired for such misrepresentations and fabrications of source material. All we can do in the case of PP is keep pointing out that he is neither morally or intellectually competent.

PP said...

Or it's a representation of your own words in the context they were meant.

Douglas said...

Of course, Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin in her rattling like an empty wagon mode was "outraged" or painted the Greenpeace action as "outrageous".

Would have been nice if she could generate such outrage against Bush war in Iraq when some of us were pleading with the SD delegations.

Would also be nice if she actually considered some serious alternatives to outrageous medical ripoffs, energy ripoffs, bank credit charge ripoffs, etc.

But the truly sad thing is that such as Herseth-Sandlin actually is, she is still likely head and shoulders above alternative GOP options for congress.

The US Park Service might think about the idea of putting up a "first amendment wall" someplace in the area of Mt. Rushmore for expressions of opinion which might get press coverage without being completely "outrageous".

I suspect more than a few South Dakotans were mildly amused at the banner.

And, it was a temporary effect nothing like the permanent defacement to Rushmore which would result if the face of demented Ronald Reagan were chiseled onto the mountain.

It seems there is not only a lot of situational ethics, but also situational outrage among conservatives and blue dogs.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this great history article
thanks for sharing

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