Saturday, December 8


A Note on Noah Sealth (Chief Seattle), with some Irrelevant Yakov Smirnov References

No doubt you've seen those shirts, beloved of the granola-happy, with some sort of environmentalist slogan along the lines of "The earth does not belong to us, we belong to the earth" (compare: "In Soviet Russia, party finds you")* ascribed to Chief Seattle. This is, as everyone knows, total hogwash, as the speech quoted was written down years after it was given; not only that, but the day it was given, it only made it into English after two layers of translators, and most modern versions of the speech are based on a squishy rewrite destined for a movie that was to be produced, by, of all things, the media wing of the Southern Baptist Convention.

What you don't know is that Seattle was, in fact, a baptized Catholic who received the name of Noah on his conversion. Whether or not it stuck is an open question, but at the very least the flowery references to his tribal gods in the purported speech need to be taken with a grain of salt. Who knew?

*What a country!

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