Domrzalski (Dom-zal-ski) is one of the funniest and most entertaining
columnists and authors writing today. He rants against stupidity, hypocrisy,
mediocrity and conformity with a flair, blue-collar bluntness and hilarity
that no one can match. And his targets, whether theyre corrupted
bureaucrats, blowhard, talentless newspaper editors, or dim-witted
celebrities hate him because he makes them look like the losers they really
Chicago native has been a newspaper reporter and columnist for 23 years. His
new comic novel, I
Got Stinky Feet, is an insanely funny attack on everything
that is phony, pretentious and politically correct in America.
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As kids, a group of us wanted to be Indians. To us, the Indian way of life
was sacred. When the school bell rang we would race home, change into play
clothes and charge to a field next to the railroad tracks where we would
spend hours huddled in a tepee of sticks, cardboard and rags, studying every
aspect of Indian life.
One day, our studies complete, we set out to walk the path of this culture.
The first person we tried to practice our Indian sensibilities on was a kid
from down the block. To our dismay, he had no appreciation of Indian
heritage. He ran away screaming when we said we were going to slit open his
belly, nail his intestines to a tree and make him walk around in a circle until
his insides were all unraveled.
Another kid was just as culturally closed-minded. He fled when we tried to
impale him on a sharp stake and cut out his heart and eat it.
The mother of a classmate called the cops on us after we told her we would
take her prisoner, strip her naked, stake her to the ground, cut off her ears
and eyelids, shred her feet with knives and pelt her with hot coals.
I mention this blissful period of my childhood in order to bring perspective
to the Don Juan de Oņate statue controversy.
This state's Hispanic community is celebrating 400 years of Spanish
civilization. They want to erect a statue of Oņate in Albuquerque. Oņate
colonized this area and is considered by many to be a hero.
But Oņate was a piggish killer. He warred against the Acoma Indians in 1599.
To this sick Spaniard, killing Indians wasn't enough. He had the right foot
chopped off of 24 Acoma men and sent other Acomas off to slavery.
In an act of protest against the celebration of Spanish colonization,
somebody recently sawed off the right foot of an Oņate statue in northern New
Mexico. Acomas are now protesting the commissioning of an Oņate statue for
Albuquerque. They're arguing that Oņate was a killing, torturing fiend who
oppressed Indians and whose history should not be celebrated.
They're right. But Oņate didn't do anything worse than what Indians had been
doing to themselves--killing and torturing each other, making slaves out of
rivals, having their way with women and eating their opponents' hearts.
If you want to learn about brutality, read the history of American Indians.
When they weren't making up corny stories about how life began and drawing
bad pictures on rocks, many Indians were warring against themselves. Indians
killed one another other over hunting grounds and territory to a degree that
makes our sneering, turf-crazed gangbangers look like Nobel Peace Prize
But Indians haven't had a lock on brutality. The Romans used to have great
fun lining their roads with crucified slaves. The British stomped on Scots
and anyone else who resisted their oppression and demanded freedom. Serbians
have had a nasty habit recently of raping 8-year-old girls in front of their
parents. Take your eyes off the Armenians and the Turks for just a few
minutes and they'll slaughter each other by the thousands. Moslem
fundamentalists are gunning down children in Algeria in the name of religion.
The French, before they became adept at surrendering, tried to conquer other
That's why I'm glad that someone sawed off Oņate's foot and brought attention
to this issue of culture that we are obsessed with. Because when we invoke
culture we should be honest about it.
There isn't a culture that can claim purity in treating other humans with
respect. Hundreds of millions of people have been murdered in the name of
race, culture, religion and spices.
For years some of this city's Hispanics have sniffled about how oppressed
they have been. Yet they have failed to mention the foot-chopping Oņate and
the frying pan-clad, gold and land stealing conquistadors. Indians would now
have us believe that their ancestors were all folk song singing earth muffins
rather than members of primitive, brutal societies.
So the next time we want to elevate our culture to mass sainthood or
complain about how brutal the other guys have been, let's think. Because all
of our cultures have a history of human butchery.
Copyright 2003 Dennis Domrzalski All Rights Reserved