Tag Archives: American West

Ted’s Montana Grill wants to rewild the American west with BISON not buffalo. Bison would be Lakota for ERASURE.

TATONKA is the Lakota word for Buffalo, or Bison as the white man calls the buffalo now. The difference would seem to be academic, maybe more to the zoologist than the historian. So what’s the big deal? Apparently the buffalo of the American West is not related to the Cape Buffalo of Africa, nor the Buffalo of the water, so it’s not a buffalo, it’s a bison. Okay. The whale shark is not a whale but we don’t call it a bison. Considering the plethora of creeks, hills, lodges and gals named Buffalo, you wonder what’s so damned correct about calling them bison. I’ll tell you. ERASURE. Apparently if Buffalo Bill had known those vast herds were BISON, darling herbivor of today’s most favorable carbon hoofprint status, Bill wouldn’t have carpet-gunned them in record numbers. What he killed into near-extinction were buffalo, of the hides, robes, dances, ceremonies, grasses, and rifles.

Buffalo Bill Lives at Fort Cody Nebraska

fort-cody-trading-postFT CODY, NEBRASKA- On I-80 as you pass North Platte, sits the Fort Cody Trading Post, home of the Free Buffalo Bill Museum Emporium. What had been the Ogallala, Neb, Sioux Trading Post, moved in 1969 to follow the travelers rerouted from Hwy-30 to the new interstate, and changed its focus from the Native American to the Ugly American.

Buffalo Bill Cody earned his moniker by eradicating America’s buffalo herds. Over a million buffalo were killed each year during the 1870s. According to the museum, Mr. Cody labored to feed a sudden East Coast appetite for buffalo tongue, and a fad for buffalo fur coats. The display confessed: “Unfortunately the buffalo carcasses were left to rot on the plains.”

History books had been less forthcoming. They record that Cody was hired by the railroad builders to supply food for their workforce. He and his team were contracted to supply twelve buffalo a day. Does that come a little shy of a million? Accounts also wink at the risk Cody ran of coming against unfriendly Indians while engaged in the task.

When BB Cody wasn’t scouting for the railroad and the US cavalry, he was touring the world to exhibit the red skinned savage. Fort Cody featured a miniature 20,000 piece, hand-carved, animated model of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.

On an opposite wall, among a fantastic collection of western guns, clothing and cowboy gear, was an undated tintype depicting Bill posing with fellow scouts, cradling his favorite rifle which he called “Lucretia Borgia.”

In recent years, government documents have revealed a different story. It turns out the white men leading the charge westward were frustrated that the Plains Indians had what looked like an unlimited food supply. The buffalo kept them clothed and fed, and the nomadic tribes followed the herds like their own moveable orchards. One of the strategies to force the Native Americans from their land was to eliminate their source of food, and basically their livelihood.

Most Americans have been kept oblivious to this version of history. Should we doubt that most of the participants were keenly aware of the strategy, if perhaps indifferent to the fate of the red savage? Does it matter?

Under the pretext of building a security wall in Palestine, Israel is separating the Palestinians from their olive orchards, often by uprooting the orchards outright. American troops in Iraq have destroyed date palm orchards using the excuse of having to clear the populated areas of cover for insurgents. In Vietnam, defoliants were used to despoil large areas, rendering them incapable of yielding food. Troops also poisoned wells. It’s called the scorched earth policy, and by the way, it’s a war crime.

If Americans don’t come to terms with the crimes we committed here, or are committing elsewhere, how can we expect our soldiers to find cause to refuse the orders next time? The public’s consent is always being manipulated by having to hold a certain regard for the soldiers. Out of respect for the memory of its veterans, in current events, to “support the troops.” After a point, we have to lay the blame with both commanders and perpetrators. Vietnam was genocide. Iraq is genocide. Those over there are doing it.

fort-cody

Is it Rodeo time again? Damn…

Seems like only last year that somebody angrily was denouncing the contention that putting a pull-up cinch around the testicles of a bull in order to make him fight the rider more aggressively somehow causes PAIN to the animal.

Ummm… yeah.

And the presumably young lady who was so angry about our reporting of it, stating that somehow she knows for certain that a large mammal could not possibly be in pain, even though the bulls seem to be put into a killing rage by the practice, you know, having his ballocks squeezed.

I guess a bull told her that, calmly and assuredly, “Why no, little lady, doesn’t hurt us at all. We just naturally attack humans and try our level best to stomp their brains out.”

Before any of you yay-hoo goat-ropers start thinking that I’m some kind of Yankee elitist, allow me to point something out. You have shit for brains.

I hear so often (because I grew up in Texas, spent 40 damn years there, also Kansas, New Mexico and Here) that Rodeo is a reflection of ranch-hand work.

Must be reflected in one of those Fun-House mirrors at the associated carnivals, I guess.

My grandpa, his brother and their brother-in-law, Tom Blaylock, did trick riding for rodeos from time to time. One of their legendary accomplishments was when somebody who was very intoxicated challenged them to ride their horses on the Ferris Wheel. They were also very intoxicated and accepted said challenge. Fortunately their horses were smart enough not to get drunk. They also didn’t panic when they got on the ferris wheel.

That’s a Good Thing. Elseways I would have lost my grandpa and two uncles in the same incident long before I was born.

Uncle Tom grew up to become foreman at the Rolling Hills Ranch in Keene, Texas. Ok, in the middle of a trapezoid between Athens, Cleburne, Fort Worth and Keene. Had a Star Route address when they switched over from RFD. He died in 2002. In the summer of ’69 I was on the ranch, 8 years old, Woodstock was goin’ on but you wouldn’t have known it if you were just a kid on a ranch in Johnson County Texas. At the time I had never seen a man with long hair, Bearded men would have shocked livin’ hell out of me.

So I have plenty of first-hand experience with the Bucolic Lifestyle, plenty of truly rednecked close relatives, most of whom had plenty of experience with both Rodeo Cowboying and the Real Job. The two paths split and get further apart, one really really Far Away From Real Ranch Work issue is that of actually attempting to Ride Cattle.

A really important giveaway on that fact is that cattle in general and Bulls in particular just don’t have a docile attitude about people jumping on their backs. Especially if they have a Nutsack Cinch applying pressure to their testicles.

Now, here’s a challenge to all you wannabee cowboys out there… why not, when you’re on that bulls back, do it without the assurance that the clowns and other members of The Show aren’t going to try their level best to save your stupid ass once the inevitable happens and the bull throws you off, then turns around and tries to kill you.

Then, while you’ve got three-quarters of a ton of hate and mean and ugly dancing on your ribcage, maybe the last thing that goes through your pointy little head (besides a hoof) will be “You dumbass, whoever told you that Cattle were meant for ridin’?”

While we’re on the subject of gross and stupid habits, y’all can quit dippin’ snuff too.

Dudes, you project an image of ignorance on all Texans when you do stupid shit like that. Knock it the Hell off.

Animal cruelty at the rodeo

Cruelty
I just learned how they make horses and bulls jump up and down at the rodeo. I must admit I wondered why it was that the animals suddenly leaped about madly (bronc’d) after they got out of the gate and not before, and why did they stop once the rider was thrown?

It turns out there’s a strap that the other cowboys cinch around the animal’s testicles. They yank it tight as they open the gate. Then, once the rider is thrown, attendants chase the animal and release the cinch.

This is why animal rights groups protest the rodeo. Oh they may protest the general mistreatment of the animals, and the risk of injury to which the animals are routinely and senselessly subjected, but that strap around the reproductive organs cinches it.