Mrs. Lebec and I began watching “Yellow Stone” last night on Xfinity, on occasion we will choose a series to begin watching after a recommendation from someone. This is a bit different however, we are inspired by a Tee Shirt with the word “Yellowstone” on it. Mrs. Lebec wears it quite often nearly always gathering comments pertaining to the series which we had never watched. Last night we began.
We failed to engage the “closed captions”, with me being nearly totally deaf it became a bit of a challenge but I can usually feel my way past the dialog often inventing my own version of the program. As I was watching in silence I realized this series is about the clash of cultures. On one side is a wealthy Montana Rancher, the other are Native Americans living on a Reservation.
It’s no surprise I would recognize the cultural clash as the mainstay, isn’t it a common theme in books, movies and humanities historic past? The theme stirs my normally restless curiosity to begin watching it from a different angle than Mrs. Lebec for instance. Commonly during Television series even though they are on demand commercials are played at intervals, I wonder also how many of us really watch them.
One aired several times in the 1 hour segment that was about a series soon to be aired on Xfinity dealing with an extremely violent theme. It displayed wholesale murder, kidnapping and other horrific crimes. It was also themed on a conflict of culture. This one however is not Native Americans but is located in an inner city in a Black section. Every scene shown was violence being perpetrated by an all Black Cast.
A scene in Yellowstone is of a dispute over livestock that turns violent when a young Native American murders the son of the wealthy Rancher. In turn another son of the Rancher shoots the Native American, killing him I sensed it was accepted widely as “just due”. Meanwhile in the commercial previews the People continue to violently abuse one another.
A quarter mile South on the levee is another clash of cultures consisting of entirely white people, it’s not nearly as violent however it is real life. In the movies it’s shown not in the way anything happens in real life, but they can be compared to one another. This is about People living in an illegal campground void of water, sewer and electricity. The entire area is strewn with trash along with burned vehicles, structures and old boats with every sort of shelter on wheels imaginable. This group of people are not homeless as they have been paying rent of which the Owners were illegally accepting. The occupants are on one side and the community on the other, as in the other two instances the opposition causes hard comments and attitudes on both sides.
Mine is not to interpret the mentality behind it or to chose sides (as far as I’m concerned) but instead to look/see listen and attempt to make sense of it. The example down the Levee is real life but the theme is much the same as the movies, with both sides having little to no respect for the others position. I’m looking on the surface as I am in no way qualified to delve very deeply in the causes instead I choose to question why?
The young Native is the person firing the first shot killing the Ranchers son, in turn he is killed by a Rancher. I question why wasn’t it written the other way around with the Rancher firing the first shot killing the young Indian followed by the Natives brother shooting the Rancher? I wonder if there would be a feeling of “just due”?
Likewise concerning the inner city battle of two violent Black groups, what would it be to depict the theme as violent but working towards a non-violent end? The sides are every bit divided as if the two sides were of mixed backgrounds.
Much is the same with the conflict of cultures occurring now on our Island, indeed on the slough that passes by my house. Fires have been set, boats set adrift in the middle of the night and many fights among the residents. It is being watched intently by all of the community with the words “it figures”, being uttered at each new infraction as defined by us.
Assumptions are thrown about liberally with what is the “cause” some pointing to each Government representing both sides with all sides claiming they are being treated unfairly.
Unfairness is out of the debate the question should be why do we denigrate one side of a conflict failing to realize many times that all of these people are just that People. Humans are a heartless bunch when the water is boiled out and the salt is gathered on the bottom of the pan. We have a bizarre need to place everyone and thing we come in contact with in a category, in the case of humans we place labels on the divisions. That along with inventing names for the “other” group demonizes and subjects them to dehumanization making it easier for them to be thought of as “less than”. From the perspective of each side, indeed each person their side is “right”.
I’ll end it here as I have no answers or anything but observations along with questions, however I will sum it up with the words from a song.
“No bodies right when everybody’s wrong.”
Stephen Stills wrote “For what it’s worth”.
Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance