PERHAPS I SHOULD HAVE BEEN MORE SURPRISED when sometime at the beginning of 2020 in my fridge appeared a container of Land O’ Lakes butter “spread” with the Native American lady (named Mia) missing from the logo. Aside from the detail that this MIA (missing in action) maneuver came unexpectedly and without explanation, I had already done a painting in March of 2018 in which Mia is MIA (see below). So the question is: is my painting an act of prophecy or reality manifestation (or both)? Another angle: did I intuit the image from the future, or did my creating it from within myself make it happen outside and beyond myself, later? Did some designers of the Land O Lakes company come across my painting on my website, and decide it was a good idea to copy what I had done (as I had done by copying their logo? Is this karma?)? Is this synchronicity? Or was this simply a logical move to make in 2020: to remove the Native American woman from the logo land on which she was, against her will, (mis)placed once upon at a time–during a time when women were not allowed to vote? Is history being written, un-written, or re-written? Does reality create art, or does art create reality?
As fate would have it, I have “proof” (of purchase?) of the logo permutations (which began occurring after I created the plausibly prophetic (recognized ex post facto) painting), as I have kept several containers as part of my collection of Matrix art-i-facts. In many grocery stores across the nation, you can no longer buy any Mia-themed butter, these expired containers now existing as relic artifacts from a swiftly bygone era. The first logo, (from which I based my painting on), expired on 6-14-2017 and features classical Mia in her entirety holding a box of the same butter (an example of image recursion). A year later (sometime after I did the painting in March), I found Mia moved up in the frame for a close up, this logo expiring on 9-2-2018. The expiration date of the third container is 7-20-2020–which, as of writing, has not come to pass yet (although the butter spread has already passed away). Now in 2020, as it is in my painting from 2018, Mia herself has been phased out completely. What we are left with is simply that giant red “O”.
Although I recall the total disappearance of Mia appearing sometime as early as February this year, the hype around it didn’t start to go viral until April, as can be noted by the many articles weaving through the web published at this time (minnesotareformer, smithsonianmag, washingtonpost, indiancountrytoday, nytimes). As it must be in this very diverse world, there are mixed feelings and conflicting opinions regarding this packaging alteration. Aside from the synchronicity of having done that painting years in advance (a literally advance-front work of art), this recent historical pivoting is of personal interest to me as I have Native American ancestry–an ancestry which, according to varying statics, compromises somewhere between 1.6% and 2% of the U.S. population, around 5 million people, and is the second smallest minority group. It is my belief and understanding that anyone living with this ancestry bears the incarnational burden of inter-generational trauma (aka transgenerational trauma). Although the articles I’ve read mentioned the history of the creation of the logo and also issues of stereotyping, objectifying, and cultural appropriation, none of them mentioned this elephant in the room: that indigenous peoples, prior to colonization, did not eat or manufacture butter. Q: What does butter have to do with Native American women? A: Nothing whatsoever. The creation of Mia was an episode of idealistic cultural appropriation in a capitalistic and colonized new world for the purpose of creating a fantastical image-product. Another elephant: Starting in 1830–only 54 years after the creation of the United States (today, that was 244 years ago), around 100,000 people from several Native American tribes in the Southeastern USA were removed from their original homelands and forced to traverse the trail of tears–tears which did not pool to create an idyllic Land of Lakes. The individuals that survived this forced relocation (a death march or genocide) were placed in the farming territory of the Midwest. It is estimated that around 15,000 perished along this march-on-foot, which for some was over 2000 miles long. Mia’s placement on a “farmer-owned” container of butter is, even if unconsciously so, an advertisement of the history of the misplacement of Native Americans in the formation of the United States. In 2020, removing Mia from the foreign land of “farmer-owned” packaging is perhaps an example of what goes around comes around (and the circle is complete). In my hand-painted version of this, Mia left behind on the ground her patriotic red-white-and blue feathers. Removing her visage (which was like a mirage anyway) is simply returning things back to their zero point of origin.
As for how this overlaps with what else is happening in 2020: I can’t help but point out, like a finger pointing at the moon, that the “O” is a corona. I can’t wrap my head around what kind of coincidental container this is, if it holds any butter at all. If only we could ask Mia, whose head used to be in that halo. But alas: she seems to have socially distanced herself out of the frame just in time to escape the lock-and-shutdown. Realistically speaking, calling the distance “social” is blatantly incorrect–and purposefully so as the use of this phrase is a manipulative tool for social conditioning–as the “distancing” is actually physical. However, this is still not benign, as physical separation contributes its own repercussions psychologically and energetically via the human energy field. The Wikipedia article for the term narrates that one of the earliest testaments of social/physical distancing occurred in the Old Testament, referring to lepers being isolated. Why is it that most things in this current world can be warped back around in no time to this book? It’s worth adding that Jesus in the New Testament did not socially distance himself from lepers.
Is the act of Mia being MIA now coincidentally representative of the alleged “new norm” that we are being forced to pledge to–a “norm” which (was created by WHO, exactly?) for a “new world“. Is seeing really believing, or is seeing believing? Either way, this crowning virus remains invisible while being in effect. Are certain contemporary global mandatory measures really for the good of the people and planet–like how the mandatory removal of Natives (against their will) from their native land was originally made up to be for some social-political-economic betterment (butterment?) (while resulting in the deaths of thousands of people)? Is “survival” in these “unprecedented” times of a “global crises” (I cry wolf) really all about avoiding death? Because–to state the obvious–we’re all gonna die. *Gasp* this must really be the end. Within this theme of the inevitable, it seems to me that many (false) prophets (namely government officials, mainstream healthcare advocates and popular news media) of the crowning crisis are pandering power and simultaneously insecurity to convince everyone–globally–to conform to a certain narrative worldview-experience (totalitarianism in the making?). To see or not to see (monkey see no…evil?): this article, this article, this article, this video, this video, offer some butter for thought.