• Category Archives Humor
  • La Crueldad del Hombre

    Is art ethnographic? Art and visual representation cut across the disciplines but is especially suited for sociological and anthropological inquiry. Art tells us a story about our practices and beliefs and we find ourselves in what we and others create. It also reflects us back to ourselves, sometimes we like it but if it’s really good, we feel it and in that brief, aesthetic moment in time we change.

    I saw this video by Steve Cutts yesterday, shared by a friend on facebook the day after the mid-term elections in the U.S. (a whole other area of ethnographic inquiry, yes?). I’m one of those cynical types who suggests that we are culturally going to hell in a hand-basket, a society that truly won’t do a thing about its impact until real crisis hits (running out of food, oil, etc…no need to bore you with what you probably already know). But until that day, all we social scientists (the Debbie Downers of the academic set) can do is warn the others and hope that art like this video opens eyes, even if it’s only a single pair.

    “Man” by Steve Cutts


  • Indigenous Peoples Organization Files Court Brief to Halt Graduate Fieldwork

    California (APP) April 1, 2007 – A cultural conundrum is playing out in the 9th circuit that is sure to be heard before the Supreme Court by Fall. A coalition of organizations aimed at protecting the rights of indigenous people’s has filed a motion to halt all forms of graduate student field work throughout the world. “Frankly, we’re just tired of it.” stated Jason Natuktu, an Inuit Elder of Afognak, Alaska. “Look, haven’t these people heard of the internet? Just go look it up already.” His son, Atol agreed, “How many inept questions do we really have to answer over and over again?” He continued “Yes, we were oppressed, no we don’t envy people living in Florida, yes we really eat blubber. Really, this is the best and brightest?”

    The brief states that graduate students subject participants to “ceaseless mental duress, and disruption of local life with little or no regard to those being tortured.” Quaticatl Xertaysl of the Yanomami tribe of Brazil vigorously agreed. “You know they call us ‘The Fierce People’ and I was checking out Wikipedia the other day and do you know what someone wrote about us? He called us ‘a bunch of bloodthirsty maniacs.’ Hey, someone says that about you and you’d be pretty pissed-off too.” In addition to the repetitive questions they have been subjected to over the years, he also takes issue with the lack of appropriate co-authorship later. “Look, we understand these kids have to do this to satisfy a bunch of grumpy old SOBs that believe you can’t be an anthropologist unless you’ve experienced nine months of dysentery.” Said Quaticatl, “but ya know, we have access to Amazon and eBay here too. They sell a book on the topic, and in return give us a pig. Who needs this goddamn pig crapping in front of my door all day? We want points, plain and simple.”

    The 9th circuit is expected to hand down a decision later in the month.