The Crying Native American

Happy First Anniversary!

White Men don’t care about the Earth.

It was one year ago, when I first started this blog. After doing the 50th article, I realize that it’s almost July so I had to do a really special article. Over the years I was always told about an old PSA made back when pollution was finally being noticed as a big problem to our country. I never actually seen this PSA until most recently, yet I have seen so many parodies of it over the years. It was parodied in MST3K, The Critic, Simpsons, and even most notably Waynes World 2. But how could someone my age, be able to see it when it was made before our time. I clearly never seen it on TV or any remakes for that matter. Thanks to Youtube, I finally understood what those who were born before 1970 were talking about. Let’s discuss about a more older PSA that some of you might know about or have heard about.

Hey we have a law against that!

Aw man those were a good pair of moccasins.

The PSA opens up to a scene featuring a Native American rowing his canoe through the flowing river. The scenery of the forest seems nice to look at, only to see that there was trash in the river. The native kept rowing till he finds himself in a city. Where he sees pollution as far as the eye can see, smog, trash, oil spills, and just a filthy place to live in(least to the native’s perspective). He docks his boat and sadly observes the damage Caucasians have cause ever since Amerigo Vespucci first discovered the North American continent(Keep in mind Columbus only discovered the Caribbean, why teachers claim he discovered America is beyond me). We all of a sudden hear a narrator speak out the following “Some people have a deep arriving respect for the natural beauty that was once this country”. The native approaches to the side of a freeway and gazes at the passing cars that may or may not notice him. But it’s not everyday you see a native on the side of an urban freeway. But it didn’t matter to the native, he finds the white men to be barbarians to turn a once beautiful land into an un-livable hell. We then see a driver throw a bag of trash out of his window which landed right on the native’s feet. Something that could have been disposed of properly, but the driver obviously didn’t care for nature and believed nature wouldn’t help him out in return. The narrator then says “And some people don’t” after the trash landed on the native’s feet. The native grew remorse that he was ignored as if he was invisible to the drivers. He then looks straight at the camera and gives out a tear showing us, that he doesn’t like how the country of the USA is heading towards. The Narrator then concludes with the words “People start pollution, people can stop it”.

That’s too complicated for people from the 70s.

We then see the image of a brochure that says 71 things you can do to stop pollution. With the Narrator telling you to write to the following address below. 71 ways to prevent pollution? That sounds like a real challenge there. Let me try to write out my 71 ways to prevent pollution, only cause I feel like it.(You don’t have to read the list below if you don’t want to).

    1. convince Car companies to switch from natural gasoline powered cars to vegetable oil powered cars (Imagine, no more paying high prices!).
    2. All those who are umployed can help clean up the trash by the side of the freeway(better than sitting around till you get a visit from the sheriff’s eviction order)
    3. Plant new trees to replaced the ones that were chopped down(simple enough).
    4. Try to make solar panels more affordable.
    5. Always cut the plastic can holders to tiny pieces(so that way animals won’t get trap in them or make Mr. Burns create a fish slurry company with them).
    6. Recycle(You read my Recycle Rex article so you should already know how important that is).
    7. Use energy-efficient light bulbs.
    8. Use public transportation.
    9. Bicycles don’t require gas so use them.
    10. If not then Golf Carts will do cause they are electric.
    11. Have one family own no more than one car.(If that creates a problem then ignore this suggestion)
    12. Turn lights off when you aren’t using them.
    13. Don’t pour anything harmful into drains leading to the ocean.
    14. Use trash cans to dispose of trash(the anonymous bystanders in that PSA should consider this one).
    15. Wrap your gum in a wrapper or paper instead of sticking it under a seat or table.
    16. Reuse paper that hardly has anything written specially for note taking.
    17. Use both sides of a paper.
    18. Use natural fertilizer and pesticides that has no effect on the water leading to the storm drains.
    19. Oil is reusable, consider not disposing of your can of oil today.
    20. Use plastic bottle water, you save money on your water bill if you drink other sources of water.
    21. Use reusable grocery bags for shopping.
    22. To prevent less use of gas combine all of your errands in one trip.
    23. Keep your car tires properly inflated.
    24. Don’t over fill your pump and make sure it’s at least half full.
    25. Get your car some service if it’s muffler is exhausting too much smoke.
    26. Support the smog check program.
    27. Shopping online can be nessacray for certain items you want.
    28. Walking is an activity done since the dawn of time, try doing it today.
    29. Add extra insulation to your home.
    30. Use an EPA approved fireplace or a wood burning stove.
    31. Use fluorescent lighting where possible
    32. Dry your clothes on a clothesline
    33. Insulate your water heater
    34. Install low flow shower heads
    35. Use a microwave to heat small meals
    36. Instead of a cheap portable air conditioner, use a fan
    37. Use a thermostat that will automatically turn off your heater or air conditioner when you do not need them.
    38. On days that there is unhealthy air, do not use your fireplace or wood stove
    39. Drive less, especially on days that have unhealthy air quality.
    40. Avoid using a leaf blower and any other kinds of equipment that blows a lot of dust around. Try a broom or a rake instead.
    41. Avoid vigorous activity on days that have unhealthy air as it will control the volume and depth of your breathing during these conditions
    42. Drive slowly on unpaved roads to reduce road dust
    43. Carpool if you have someone aboard for the ride. If not use a dummy to fool the cops, unless they have thermal goggles to find those who try that for a stunt.
    44. Turn off your computer when not using it.
    45. Create a rain garden.
    46. Save money on natural garden supplies.
    47. Think before buying something.
    48. Shop at stores that offer products in “loose” form and bring your own durable containers to the store for filling (e.g., flour, tea, coffee, pasta, beans, spices, nuts, etc.).
    49. Borrow books from the library rather than buying them, if a library doesn’t exist in you town then borrow them from a friend or relative.
    50. Reduce unwanted mail, take your name off mailing list for items you no longer read.
    51. Carry your own mug to the coffee shop and ask the employee to make your drink in it.
    52. Use durable products rather than disposable (e.g., refillable pens, lighters, & razors).
    53. Buy products in a bulk, this saves you money and reduces packaging/unit.
    54. Watch Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth.
    55. Watch the documentary titled Fuel.
    56. Convince your congressmen to pass a bill to outlaw proposals for more Wal-Marts in this country.
    57. Convince the country of China to do something about their smog problem.
    58. Avoid burning trash.
    59. Use plants that don’t need fertilizer or pesticides.
    60. Install an artificial lawn, if the state you live in allows it that is.
    61. If noise is considered pollution then keep your stereo down, especially those of you who like to have it loud enough to increase the risk of being deaf.
    62. Collect rain water by using a barrel or something that’ll easily collect whatever rain has fallen from the sky.
    63. Water your garden early in the morning, avoid overflowing.
    64. Work with neighbors to organize a neighborhood cleanup day.
    65. Reuse old lumber.
    66. Seek business opportunities with environmentally sound companies.
    67. Find a way to advertise the awareness of pollution to those who turn a deaf ear upon.
    68. Use durable silverware and plates while at work.
    69. Make sure your appliances are energy efficient.
    70. Look at how Oregon was the first state to be active in preventing pollution, and try to learn how to be like those who live there.
    71. And finally, if you don’t feel comfortable buying actual books, buy the Kindle.

Ha! I did it! I beaten the challenge the PSA showed on a brochure that might not exist anymore. I had to look up some of these advice online, cause no average person could think of 71 ways on how to prevent pollution. Specially when it’s a question asked 40 years ago, back when hardly anyone gave a damn about the environment. Course within the years there has been improvements on what fuel we use for public transportation and recycling centers increased greatly since then. So it’s not as bad as it was back then, but we’re far from living on a planet that is entirely pollution free. Unless it be like in Star Trek where by the 23rd Century, the entire Earth is free from pollution thanks to the use of technology that doesn’t create waste on land, sea, or air.

“Wilbur!” “I’m Iron Eyes Cody!”

That includes the animals.

Let’s talk about the backside to this PSA. If you don’t know, the native American in this commercial wasn’t an actual native American. He was in fact an Italian American actor named Cody Iron Eyes. Real name Espera Oscar DeCorti, born on April, 03, 1907 passed away back in January 04, 1999. He altered his name to a shorter one which is simply “Cody”, he first began to appear in films as early as 1917 as a Native American dancer in a film titled “The Squaw Man”, he was so obsessed with the culture of Native American tribes, that he began to claim that he is a full-blooded Native American. Besides acting he participated in Native American communities in which he was honored for helping out various Native groups. Back in 1996, a New Orleans Newspaper company dig up Cody’s background and discovered he was not a a full fledge Native american and made a news article that sheds some light on his actual heritage being Italian and not Native American. Cody however decline the claim to be true, and declares he is not an imposter. Cody never came out and admitted that he was faking his own ethnic background as he passed away and was interred at the Hollywood Forever Cemetary. Over the years the public got wind of the actual fact that Cody was an Italian and has no Indian blood within him. It even clearly states in his background records which clearly spell it out in black and white that he was a white man. The last movie he ever starred in was an Ernest Worrell movie “Ernest Goes to Camp”. And today Cody Iron Eyes is now a subject of study thanks to his involvement in films and this PSA.

Even the Simpsons don’t respect the enviroment.

Other than Cody, the narrator of the PSA was William Conrad. Who you might know best as the Rocky & Bullwinkle narrator or Lord Denethor from the animated Return of the King. The PSA itself was sponsored by the Keep America Beautiful, a non-profit organization founded in 1953. It spawn a hand full of sequels over the years. Including one in which Cody is seen riding a horse in South Coast Pontinac Garden, CA where we hear the narrator tell us how community services have clean up the park to its original state, but it keeps getting dump with more litter which caused Cody to shed another tear upon seeing more trash in the wilderness. Another one features Cody walking on a beach with the announcer telling us how over the passed 3 years various major cities are cleaner with the following: San Diego 29%, Werton WV 44%, Indianpolis 81% cleaner, & Atlanta 42% cleaner. The PSA concludes with Cody and his horse standing on top of a junk pile that is supposed to take place in one of the cities that aren’t any cleaner which again causes Cody to weep at the sight of it. And we then see a brochure and a tagline to encourage other cities to clean up like the four other cities mentioned in the PSA. I find it ironic that Indianapolis was cleaner than the other three cities listed. Not saying it’s cause it has the name Indian in it, but I just find it to be too coincidental for it to be 81% cleaner. The final PSA aired back in 1998, and it’s much different than it’s predeccors. All does is shows some pedestrians waiting for the bus at a bus stop, and when it arrives they all abandon their trash without spending some time in going to the waste bin. As the bus departs, the bus stand looks like it was in a ghost town. Specially when the poster at the bus stop was non other than Cody himself. Not in person but as an illustration as if he already past away and his soul is tormented that Caucasians still litter the country. It rather haunting and but I think that was the purpose of it, cause Cody either retired from acting or was unavailable to be in the PSA. Which ever the case it be, it was an appropriate end to Cody.

“Do you speak Indian?” “No, but I was born in Indianapolis.”

I will haunt you in your sleep.

Do what the Indian says.

Wow, I’ve written a lot for this PSA. So I’m going to give out my comment and closure for this article. It was a well thought out PSA, the actor maybe stubborn for not admitting that he’s faking his ancestry, but he did do well in portraying a Native American. The only down side is that littering is no different than it was 40 years ago. I’ve visited a couple major cities previously, and it’s really trashy including the good parts of town. Sadly there will always be litter cause there will always be people who don’t care about the planet they live in. Including those who don’t watch those movies that have environmental messages. So if you’re interested in watching the PSAs, check them out below. Otherwise for next week will be an article on a commercial with Andy Griffith. An all American actor who recently departed from Earth.

His book.

The last resting place of Iron Eyes Cody.

Be sure to not litter his star.



Posted on July 11, 2012, in Advertise of the Week and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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