Frontline Reporting: Water Is Life,Oceti Camp,North Dakota

Oceti Sakowin Camp.jpgFrontline reporting, video and stills images with content available. Contact: Dave Banks dave@davebanksmedia.com/818.399.3670

Water Protectors and volunteers gather at the top of a hill to find cellular service – two bars are outstanding and let me add that uploading images and videos is exasperating. 

FYI: The proper name for the people commonly known as the Sioux is Oceti Sakowin, (Och-et-eeshak-oh-win) meaning Seven Council Fires.
The original Sioux tribe was made up of Seven Council Fires. Each of these Council Fires was made up of individual bands, based on kinship, dialect and geographic proximity.
Sharing a common fire is one thing that has always united the Sioux people. Keeping of the peta waken (sacred fire) was an important activity. On marches, coals from the previous council fire were carefully preserved and used to rekindle the council fire at the new campsite.
The Seven Council Fires are:
Mdewakanton – Dwellers by the Sacred Lake
Wahpekute – Shooters Among the Leaves
Sisitonwan/Sisseton – People of the Marsh
Wahpetonwan – Dwellers Among the Leaves
Ihanktown/Lower Yanktonai – People of the End
Ihanktowana/Upper Yanktoni – People of the Little End
Tetonwan – People on the Plains

Life in the City of Angels: Biding Time with Colors

green

Green is the color of prosperity and abundance, of finance and material wealth. It relates to the business world, to real estate and property. Prosperity gives a feeling of safety to green.

Waiting for a new lease on life, Bob sits in the late afternoon light to stay warm. Taking a break from reality, Bob looks for geometric colors with complex designs in flowers, and the shades of grays from long shadows that lean on the buildings around him. Bob then begins to count the color of shoes of passing pedestrians. So far the color brown is leading the pack with a pair of Nike neon yellow shoes coming in last.

Life in the City of Angels: Satanas Winds, You Old Devil You

satanas-winds-7

When heaven and purgatory collide over the Great Basin of California and Nevada, the upper atmospheric pressure is so great that cold air begins to sink violently downslope compressing with the warm air. The temperature rises, the relative humidity drops and birth is given to the Satanas winds. As Satanas exhales across the barren land an invisible assault of unpredictable chaos ensues.

Now unleashed beneath a sun splash sky the searing dry winds descent upon the Southland. It is the “Season of Suicide’ as the onrush is channeled through the passes and canyons that surround the City of Angels. Descending pass the sage, red willows and prickly pear the veiled breath of the devil sears the stems, exposed roots and unfolding blooms. Parched ravines become arteries of frenetic winds fraught with sweltering heat and are escorted with manic depression and bizarre behavior to the lost souls below. The mind-altering impact on some unwitting citizens can be explained away with the alibi, “the devil made me do it”.

The winds create turbulence manifesting vertical wind shear, which litters the sky with plastic grocery bags, splintered Styrofoam and showering pieces of debris. The decibels intensifies, mixing the wailing of the protagonist with the sounds of dismembered trees and wind gust that sound as if vast swarms of locust have arrived. A spark spawns Dante’s purgatory in paradise; sirens resonate across the Southland as the atmosphere is flushed with crimson and ash. The vast canvas of the Southland is painted with a dry brush of heat, valley fever and paranoia as the Satanas takes to the red carpet in the city of Angels.

  • The hot easterly wind is properly and historically called: SANTANA, not Santa Ana! Sailors have a phrase, “Beware the devil wind Santana.” Refer to two years before The Mast, published in 1840, by Richard Henry Dana Jr. The original spelling of the of name of the winds is unclear, not to mention the origin. Although the winds have been commonly called Santa Ana Winds or Santa Anas, many argue that the original name is Santana Winds or Santanas. Both versions of the name have been used. The name Santana Winds is said to be traced to Spanish California when the winds were called Devil Winds due to their heat.The origin of Santa Ana Winds with an Associated Press correspondent stationed in Santa Ana who mistakenly began using Santa Ana Winds instead of Santana Winds in a 1901 dispatch.

Surfing Life: The Little Prince

Little Prince

“All men have stars, but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems… But all these stars are silent. You-You alone will have stars as no one else has them… In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars will be laughing when you look at the sky at night..You, only you, will have stars that can laugh! And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me… You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure… It will be as if, in place of the stars, I had given you a great number of little bells that knew how to laugh”
― Antoine de Saint-ExupéryThe Little Prince

Life in the City of Angels:Chinwag on Melrose Avenue

Main line Dialogue

“Hey man ! It’s all about infinite reflection isn’t it? We ask for an eternal embrace after our rite of passage, but like string theory it’s always about getting the right vibe. The vibe man, the vibration of energy from someone who believes in the third eye… Jesus! I sound so woo woo or stoned. Which reminds me, back in the day I use to watch wonky Dance Fever on tv while stoned….popping Tootsie Rolls and caramel popcorn, man oh man! Maui Wowie! Good shit back then.
Jesus! Dance Fever man, hosted by that baby face and swarthy Adrian what’s his name of T J Hooker and Captain Kirk. “Where no man has gone before.” Oh yeah, been there in the cerebral abysses man, damn near didn’t come back. Got to go man, have a date at Pink’s Hot Dogs, peace brother.”

Life in the City of Angels: Old Hollywood

Lady in WaitingSitting here in La, La, Land I can see how you would believe that a gluten free diet and drinking green veggie smoothes is the answer to all your worldly woes. It’s a lie sweetheart, what really works in this world is a pack of Marlboro red, a cup of coffee and a buttermilk donut. Listen sunshine, there is no guarantees in life, this is it, this is all you get. Honey, you and I are living in a temporary parking lot between Nativity Lane and Sunset Boulevard.

Life in the City of Angels: Cosmic Rest Stop

Fallen Angel

My Dear Friend,
I have not fallen! The reality is, I’m resting after surfing the upper atmosphere of the jet stream as I watch over you. I lie here among the artifacts of your culture to feel the challenges that you face everyday – I just needed a reminder of what’s it’s like to be you. I know the many stones you carry and see the scars on your soul. But it is extremely plausible that you have created your own world and the illusion that you are a neurotic mess because your mother was a neurotic mess – you think to much and feel to little. I’m afraid you are growing tired of me as all your expectations leads only to disappointments. I can understand that as I lie here in La, La, Land, I can see how you believe that a gluten free diet and drinking green veggie smoothies is the answer. Let me remind you that living in Southern California sunshine is guaranteed to the masses, so live in the light and don’t let your future forget you – I’ll be watching.

Life in the City of Angels: Smoke ’em if You Got ’em

The Last DrawThe Last Draw-2After a day of traveling aimlessly along Sunset Boulevard it was time to take a break. It had been a good day of harvesting cigarette butts. Joe had always felt it was his civic duty to help address this serious environmental problem by picking up this toxic waste. Now was the time to sit and enjoy the fruits of his labor. He watched for awhile the congestion of traffic and remembered the time he too lived that life…. but no more. The last few embers glowed at the end of the cigarette as Joe inhaled, and as the white smoke curled up in a spiral motion, he pressed lightly his shirt pocket to the fragment ends of tobacco to insure a reserve till morning. Taking the last drag the ashes glowed brighter and crackled as air passed through the cigarette and the smoke went deeply into his lungs. He dropped the butt on the concrete and stubbed it out in a rhythmical tapping of his right foot. How wonderful it would have been to have a cup of coffee to accompanied his cigarette break he thought. The sun had set, but he had decided to stay sitting on the bench and watch the world drive by and maybe have another cigarette.

Life in the City of Angels: I Am a Traveler

Traveler

I am a weary and a lonesome traveler
I’ve been a traveling long.

I’ve traveled near and I’ve traveled yonder
I’ve been a traveling long and traveled cold and then
I’ve traveled hungry. Lord, I’ve been a traveling long.

Yes, I’ve traveled with the rich and traveled with the poor
I’ve been a traveling long.

One of these days I’m going to stop all my traveling
Going to keep right on traveling on that road to freedom
Going to keep right on traveling long…

Cue The Camels: Ancient Spores and Kim Kardishian

I slid my right boot then my left boot into the hole leading to the tomb’s tunnel. There was the soft, muffed sound of my pants sliding against the rough stone as my feet fell into the tomb. My knees passed and my thighs followed – which was as far as I got. I was stuck between two worlds. My companions started laughing before cheering me on. “Push! Push, Dave”. There was a scraping noise as my 34 waist and belt buckle tried to shimmy. I’ve been told in the past, during romantic endeavors, that I have ‘a booty like a black man’ – something I’ve always thought of as an attractive asset, but which, in this instance, was a real liability. ‘I think I’m too big, guys,’ I told my audience, ‘I’m wedged in!’ as giggles grew louder and escaped from the darkness of the tomb. I too began to chuckle, which was uncomfortable considering the added pressure of stone against my waist.

When I returned to the States and the Tonight Show, I shared my big ass adventure with one of the comedy writers for the show, Larry Jacobson. We both had a good chuckle when Larry added. “You know Dave, if you were Kim Kardashian you’d still be stuck in that tomb.

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