Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sherman Alexie

My friend Edward called me up yesterday evening to offer me tickets to hear Sherman Alexie speak. I heard him speak at least once before and really enjoyed it, so I decided to take him up on his offer. Edward, Tony, Carl, and I all went together.

I felt a little strange when I arrived at the Bing Crosby Theater (formerly the Met), and saw the lines of mostly non-Native people waiting for the chance to hear Sherman. It struck me as somewhat ironic that white culture tried so hard to silence Native voices for hundreds of years, and now people pay money to hear an Indian speak. Of course, this fact doesn't escape him either. He made several references to it during the presentation.

Sherman delivers quite a performance, and had us all in hysterics with his hilarious stories. I won't retell any of them here.

I had hoped to get a good picture of Sherman some time after the reading, and I actually had several opportunities, but as I raised my camera to shoot, I remembered a line from the movie Smoke Signals. The character Thomas says, "You know the only thing more pathetic than Indians on TV is Indians watching Indians on TV." And then I thought how pathetic it must seem to have an Indian acting like paparazzi to take pictures of another Indian. Needless to say, I passed up the chance to take a close-up shot. You'll have to settle for this grainy picture taken from the back of the room. :)

Actually, my favorite picture of the day has nothing to do with Sherman. I got this shot of the stage right before the show, and I just liked the lighting and the way everything seemed to blur together softly.

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