History of English Literature-Mar.27 The Dead Dog Cafe

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28 Mar 2012
March 27
The Dead Dog Café
Thomas King:
- Born in Sacramento, California. Living in Canada.
o Cherokee and Greek heritage his identity: Cherokee? Canadian? American?
o National identity as a dynamic, ever-changing aspect of self, contextualized
by situational circumstances.
The Dead Dog Café
- How does the scene introduce the themes of the show?
o Jasper asks for music grant gets radio show: satirical content on the
ineptitude of the government relations and cross-purposes.
- What kinds of perspectives are at work here?
o The Dead Dog Cafe radio hour lasts fifteen minutes.
Unequal allocation of time parallels the demarcation of Native lands
through the reserve system
Questioning whether or not radio waves fall under resource and land
Indians Anonymous
- Social Commentary:
o Indigenous background as a vice, failing; indigenous culture as inferior.
The scene ironically implies that indigenous identities are chosen and
should not be chosen,
whiteness as a ‘solution’ to indigenous identity
o Role of Humor: highly political humour.
Highlights the absurdity,
Recognition of racial hierarchicalization as a real problem
Tension reliever
Talking about serious issues of racism and racial stereotypes through
humor as a way of dealing with it subtly, more comfortably, more
“Humour acts to structure social understandings of the wider
world” – Nick Holm
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