Are you hungry yet? Photo: Thomas Hawk
Opinion

Tiffany Midge: I shall joke as long as the grass grows and the rivers flow





Have you shared a fry bread meme on social media? Worn an Fighting Terrorism Since 1492 t-shirt in real life? Don't worry, it's all part of a master plan by Tiffany Midge, a citizen of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, to bring down everything that Indian Country stands for:
Is the Native literary and art community a hive mind? A collective comparable to The Borg? Is resistance futile? Like any collective, do we have to come to a unified consensus by a committee of our peers? While we most certainly agree on most things—such as the Washington Reds***s are unquestionably racist—there are also many issues in terms of representation that we don’t all agree on. Is that okay? Will some of us have our CDIB cards revoked? Will we be ostracized or banished for our dissent? Are we disappointing our ancestors, or bringing shame to our future descendants?

If you happened to agree with the recent op-ed Quality and Control: How Native Artists Have Failed to Criticize Each Other—that is if you happened to agree that Native criticism of Native art is important and will only make for better, more substantive works, then congratulations! You support critical thinking and the open exchange of dialog. Welcome to the marketplace of ideas!

However, if you’re not on the same page, and as a productive Native artist, feel personally slighted or even attacked, welcome to the club. As a contributing columnist for Indian country, a writer of satire, and an author of some of those listicles which Mailhot felt a pressing urgency to denounce—listicles and memes which apparently will cause the utter ruination of Native identity, and wipe out all life as we know it—I pledge and testify myself as one hundred percent implicated. Guilty as charged.

Read More on the Story:
Tiffany Midge: As a Native Artist: I Will Joke No More About Frybread Forever (Indian Country Media Network 6/23)

Related Stories:
Terese Mailhot: Another look at the state of criticism of Native 'art' (June 13, 2017)
Terese Mailhot: I cringe at what passes as Native 'art' these days (June 9, 2017)