James and Ernie

So Neil and I were channel surfing. We decided to get cable television service when we moved a month or so ago as we had been without any television since the rest of the world went digital back in June of '09. We had the service long enough to catch General Conference and to realize that we were quickly bogging down our children's minds with stupidity. Quite honestly, they do just fine on their own in that regard, they do not need outside help. So less than a month after subscribing, we cancelled our cable service. However, we had purchased a new television which has digital television capacity, meaning we can get the HD channels in the upper stratosphere of television offerings. Seriously, PBS is channel 103.5 and RTV is 7.2. We get the standard network channels, a couple of movie channels (ION and TBS), a smattering of shopping networks, and a few way, way off broadway cable access channels (MCTV and Pentagon). Needless to say, we have odd pickings particularly in the later hours of night.

So a couple of days ago, unable to get to sleep and taking advantage of all the kids being in bed (not ours for once), we started flipping channels. (Yeah, I know, a married couple should take better advantage of this situation.) The networks were primarily the Late Night Shows with yada yada yada hosting. We came across one of these cable access programs which was featuring a stand-up comic routine of James and Ernie. The filming was horrible. The camera swayed and changed directions quickly enough to cause viewers to experience vertigo. But, like most car wreck scenes, we couldn't turn away.

Most people have probably never heard of James and Ernie. Neil describes them as the Native American Blue Collar Comedians. I appreciate good comedy and, having grown up attending schools which were split rather evenly between hispanics and Native Americans, I appreciate these cultures. (See my post about the Gourd Dancers). I had never considered combining the two, but Neil and I were in stitches. Our sides were hurting from laughing and giggling at the absurdity of the truths being sketched by these artists. Reminiscing about the Rez Dogs, the combination of alcohol and AC/DC, and the horrid haircuts provided courtesy of boarding schools, the act nailed the reality of growing up as a Native American during the 80s. Their message underscores the importance and freedom of living a drug-free, alcohol-free life while camouflaged in laugh-out-loud comedy sketches.

I did check out their website (www.jamesandernie.com) to see if they are still touring and they had some things scheduled throughout Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico in October. Hopefully they'll be back on the road and you can possibly catch them live. If not, stay tuned to your local cable access channels for the possibility of enjoying this act.


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