Would Lewis & Clark Prefer the 5-Spot's Black-Bean Burgers to Genocide and Slavery?


Would Lewis & Clark Prefer the 5-Spot's Black-Bean Burgers to Genocide and Slavery?

  • Would Lewis & Clark Prefer the 5-Spot's Black-Bean Burgers to Genocide and Slavery?

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    Lewis and Clark set out to find the Woolly Mammoth, but discover something very different.

    The Dinner: A black-bean burger at the 5 Spot Café in Queen Anne, washed down by a big glass of OJ. (1502 Queen Anne Ave. N.)

    The Movie: Lewis and Clark: Great Journey West (plus a trip through the butterfly house) at the Pacific Science Center, 200 Second Ave. N.

    The Screenplate: Like telling Rottweilers not to pay attention to that flying disk over there, Lewis and Clark: Great Journey West is just asking for older moviegoers to be sabotaged with what is being pussy-footed around.

    Really, I enjoyed the documentary as it serenaded the beauty of the American landscape. There were breathtaking moments. A helicopter video takes viewers over rivers and plains (how did they find such undisturbed stretches of land today?), and one of the most spectacular is a shot of the looming Rockies--which really freak out Lewis and Clark.

    The movie is short (45 minutes) and mostly popular among middle-school teachers who drag all their little pupils along. So things are left out. And it is these bits of information that find a damp nesting ground in the fertile, but perhaps neurotic, mind and quickly began to grow, crowding out images of running buffalo and mountain ranges.

    Narrator Jeff Bridges says of the Native American peoples and their run-ins with the white men, "Their lives will never be the same." But what the movie seems to be saying is "For right now, let's just look at this incredible journey itself. Don't think about the virtual genocide of these native people as a result."

    Lewis' slave York and Sacajawea, according to the movie, were the first black man and woman to be counted in a vote--a vote about where to sleep. The movie whispers: "Don't think about the fact that neither most likely had much of a say in going on the trip in the first place. Or that after the perilous journey it took 10 years before Lewis let York go a free man. Or that it would be 200 years before women's suffrage went nationwide. Don't go there, it's not part of this movie."

    So much for the hard questions. Here's an easy one for you: Would two men manly enough to cross early America, battling the elements, running from bears, and seeking out the unknown native people, eat black-bean burgers at 5 Spot on Queen Anne Hill?

    Hell yes, they would.

    Those men were fucking hungry! They went days and weeks without food. During one particularly foodless excerpt of the movie, Jeff Bridges said the travelers survived by eating candle wax. That is not even food. I bet they dreamed about black-bean burger patties, and tempeh (had they known of it) and tofu. The protein would have given them strength to get back on the rapids, which they conquered in canoes.

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