Thursday, July 29, 2004

Occhi di Ferro DeCorti

"People start pollution; people can stop it."

Remember the "Crying Indian" public service announcement in the early 70s? A part of the Keep America Beautiful campaign, it had a huge impact on the public's imagination. Some of us became involved in the ecological movement, others just made sure not to litter anymore. I always choked up when that little tear rolled down the American Indian's eye. Wasn't it enough that we stole his land? Did we have to insult him further by tossing trash at his feet? Curse you Columbus, for jump-starting the despoliation of his Native America! Then again, bless you Columbus, for making a show business career possible for the "crying Indian... "

"... Iron Eyes Cody, an actor who throughout his life claimed to be of Cherokee/Cree extraction. Yet his asserted ancestry was just as artificial as the tear that rolled down his cheek in that television spot -- the tear was glycerine, and the 'Indian' a second-generation Italian-American." --
For years I thought I understood Indian sign language. It turns out the Chief was talking with hands Italian-style!

Read the truth about my paisano here.

View the original 1971 'Crying Indian' spot here. [Quicktime required]

[Line art from]

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