thumping the tub
Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. (from oed.com). This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant.
Monday, February 27, 2006
CHIEF SEATTLE'S LETTER
"The President in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. But how can you buy or sell the sky? the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?

Every part of the earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, every humming insect. All are holy in the memory and experience of my people.

We know the sap which courses through the trees as we know the blood that courses through our veins. We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters. The bear, the deer, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the dew in the meadow, the body heat of the pony, and man all belong to the same family.

The shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just water, but the blood of our ancestors. If we sell you our land, you must remember that it is sacred. Each glossy reflection in the clear waters of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people. The water's murmur is the voice of my father's father.
The rivers are our brothers. They quench our thirst. They carry our canoes and feed our children. So you must give the rivers the kindness that you would give any brother.
If we sell you our land, remember that the air is precious to us, that the air shares its spirit with all the life that it supports. The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also received his last sigh. The wind also gives our children the spirit of life. So if we sell our land, you must keep it apart and sacred, as a place where man can go to taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow flowers.
Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother? What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth.

This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.
One thing we know: our God is also your God. The earth is precious to him and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator.

Your destiny is a mystery to us. What will happen when the buffalo are all slaughtered? The wild horses tamed? What will happen when the secret corners of the forest are heavy with the scent of many men and the view of the ripe hills is blotted with talking wires? Where will the thicket be? Gone! Where will the eagle be? Gone! And what is to say goodbye to the swift pony and then hunt? The end of living and the beginning of survival.

When the last red man has vanished with this wilderness, and his memory is only the shadow of a cloud moving across the prairie, will these shores and forests still be here? Will there be any of the spirit of my people left?

We love this earth as a newborn loves its mother's heartbeat. So, if we sell you our land, love it as we have loved it. Care for it, as we have cared for it. Hold in your mind the memory of the land as it is when you receive it. Preserve the land for all children, and love it, as God loves us.

As we are part of the land, you too are part of the land. This earth is precious to us. It is also precious to you.
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 3:22 pm  
15 Comments:
  • At 4:31 pm, Blogger a rose is a rose said…

    i do like how you choose to illustrate this

    (oh, and i love your new banner)

     
  • At 4:37 pm, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…

    thanks

    i think the speech is sort of striking in itself but i looked through quite a few gruesome oil spill pictures.

    ugh

     
  • At 5:23 pm, Blogger Youngfox said…

    Great post T-thumper. The speech was a childhood staple actually read to a my public school class by a rare breed of teacher.
    great supporting pics.

    I like your A.E. banner I tried to post mine to Z's forum (as A.E.) but coded it incorrectly.

    forget to look but in addition to your H. Ford post did anybody mention Prescott Bush?

    peace bud!

     
  • At 5:25 pm, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…

    no one mentioned him but i have in a previous post.

    http://imageshack.us should work for loading pics up to mickeys.

     
  • At 5:55 pm, Blogger fatrobot said…

    wise words from a wise man

     
  • At 7:53 pm, Blogger Guerrillas in the Midst said…

    Nice post. There's some question as to the authenticity of this letter/speech, however. One version was definitely written by playwright Ted Perry.

    However, the same is said of Black Elk Speaks. Some claim that Neihardt took liberties in his translation. One anthro prof I had once claimed that this all simply perpetuates the "Noble Savage" myth. But we Noble Savages/Savage Nobles (globally, non-state, tribal folks) have been saying the same thing for a long time. Let's hope we last long enough to keep saying it!

    Here's an alright translation of Calgacus' words, the first recorded Scot (from Tacitus' Agricola):

    "Robbers of the world, having by their universal plunder exhausted the land, they rifle the deep [waters]. If the enemy be rich, they are rapacious; if he be poor, they lust for dominion; neither the east nor the west has been able to satisfy them. Alone among men they covet with equal eagerness poverty and riches. To robbery, slaughter, plunder, they give the lying name of empire; they make a desert and call it peace."

    Sorry for the long comment. It's only cuz we like you.

     
  • At 1:39 am, Blogger Neil Shakespeare said…

    That's about the saddest damn juxtaposition of words and images I've ever seen. The junkpeddlars have won out.

     
  • At 7:09 am, Blogger GraemeAnfinson said…

    Love the banner. Great post. that is what privatizating everything does to the world

     
  • At 10:58 am, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…

    thanks to the guerillas for the excellent comments. (and to 'the gorillaz' for having one or two decent tunes - but thats another story)

    privatising = stealing.

    thats not to say i am going to get into the 'property is theft' thing because certain people WILFULLY misunderstanding/misrepresenting that concept has held progress back for years.

    you can't ever debate these things without someone standing up and saying 'so you don't believe in provate property? so you don't think i should be allowed to have CDs or DVDs?'

    shit like that. it becomes a struggle when you are saying that is not really what you mean by private property. people always seem to think that that is what you mean and it is incredibly frustrating.

     
  • At 1:21 pm, Blogger justin barker said…

    Heartbreaking.

     
  • At 7:54 pm, Blogger Drew said…

    Very true. It's amazing how modern man has done such a wonderful job at f*cking up the earth.

     
  • At 1:19 am, Blogger LindyK said…

    Not that it's anything everyone else hasn't said, but damn that's some strong stuff. It's awful what people do -- to one another, to the environment, to themselves... it's even more awful that they don't seem to learn till it's too late...

     
  • At 2:17 pm, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…

    hi drew and lindy

    yeah, its awful. it needs massive government and massive alterations in the way we live our lives before any of this is going to change.

    as was mentioned above, there are doubts about the authenticity of this piece but whoever wrote was spot on

     
  • At 10:23 am, Blogger enigma4ever said…

    there are not enough tears....

    the great Chief really understood Greed...but he also understood what this Earth is susposed to be about....

    and yes the pictures really add to the speech....

    We have been warned and next summer will be worse...
    the Ancestors are speaking ....

    beautiful haunting post....

     
  • At 2:25 am, Blogger Me against the world said…

    Powerfull illustrations for words that still stand true today!!!

     
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What is Tubthumping and who is doing it?

Name: michael the tubthumper
Home: Glasgow, Scotland
About Me: Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant. 28 years old, I write and research for a couple of websites and also do my own stuff.
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Thumping The Tub Video

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I have made a few short movies. Here are links to free downloads for them all in the order that I made them (as far as I can remember). Please feel free to use, distribute, disagree with, shout at etc etc

  • Praise The Lord and Pass The Ammunition
  • This was a REAL song from World War 2. I was so stunned by it I had to make a movie

  • How Far Is It From Here to Nuremberg
  • This is my attempt at a video for the excellent, if worrying, David Rovics (see links) song

  • What You Like
  • I believe the word for this is "splenetic". Only 20 seconds long.

  • Imperial Measures
  • What is going on in Iraq? Some things you knew, some you didn't. A couple of bits of info are out of date now.

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    some of the blogs I look at
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    The inaugural 'Arse of the month' award goes to our very own Scottish First Minister Jack (Joke) McConnell. He seems to spend a lot of his time sucking up to english politicians and yet it appears they don't even know his name. Follow the link to see..

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    A list of some other Scottish sites and blogs most of which, if not all, are pro-independence. I don't agree with content on all of them obviously. Some are Scots at home, others abroad.

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