18 October 2004
Tomahawk chops, grilled
Harvey White Woman, an executor of the estate of Crazy Horse, wrote a letter to the operators of the club asking that the name be changed:
I want the young people of my tribe to remember him as a strong leader and warrior and not some nightclub in Paris.
Alfred Red Cloud, another Oglala Sioux, delivered the letter to a club manager. He had his own concerns:
As I went into the place, the way it is set up, it exposes women. Women are sacred to us, they are the keepers of our generations to come.
It is unlikely, I think, that the operators of the Crazy Horse will be able to claim convincingly that the club's name had nothing whatever to do with the revered chief: founder Alain Bernardin had a keen interest in the American West in general and the cowboy saloon in particular. On the other hand, should a lawsuit be filed so far, no litigation has been announced I rather think it will be difficult for the tribe to prove damages; apart from this story, the entirety of what most people on this side of the Atlantic know about the Crazy Horse Saloon is that in the 1965 film What's New, Pussycat? Woody Allen plays a shlub who has gotten a job there. "I help the girls dress and undress," he says to friend Peter O'Toole. "Twenty francs a week."
"Not much," O'Toole says, and Allen shrugs: "It's all I can afford."
(Via Tongue Tied.)