Here at the Around the Web corner office in 1 Savage Minds Plaza we’re constantly striving to improve our blogging. We’re not afraid to try cutting edge formatting techniques like underlining and bulleted points. And hey! If anyone wants to give us some feedback on how to make this column a little better, don’t be shy and speak your mind.
FEMINIST HULK SMASH TWITTER: Out of teh suck that is the internet emerge precious gems like High Expectations Asian Father and Shit My Dad Says. But whither the radical politics? Pick up this twitter feed where the Incredible Hulk smashes patriarchy in all capital letters.
Have a cow, man: This is an interesting post from the Open Anthropology Collective about ritualized animal sacrifice at the World Cup in South Africa and the state of ritual theory in anthropology. Contrary to many of the comments on this post I find Van Gennep and Turner’s theories to be quite elastic in analyzing culture, expression, and performance. Have others abandoned these theories in like fashion? Or do they still hold appeal for you as they do for me?
Islam and “the West,” again: Here are a collection of links concerning France’s proposed burqa ban and related confrontations between state and ideology.
- Reuters places the proposed burqa ban in the context of French colonialism of Algeria and Morocco
- An editorial in Slate proclaims, “Like the Taliban and the Saudi government, France is selfishly using women as silent chess pawns in the greater game of cultural domination and control.”
- Anthropologist Gabriele Marranci suggests, “We have to read the ban through ‘values’ and ‘morals’ seen as part of a ‘civilizing’ ideology. Europe, with the end of communism and an increased social political identity crisis, seems to increasingly employ defensive epistemological paradoxes to affirm a patronizing ‘moral’ superiority over its own Muslim minorities.”
- The Washington Post reports that in Aceh, a more conservative autonomous region of Indonesia, there will be a ban on women wearing pants and tight fitting-clothes.
- A senior at Pomona College flying out of Philly was detained and handcuffed by the TSA then questioned by the FBI, for carrying Arabic flash cards in his pockets. So start putting your terrorist language materials in your checked luggage!
Violence in Jamaica: More than seventy people have died in recent clashes between Jamaican government forces and armed factions aligned with Christopher Coke, a neighborhood political boss and drug kingpin. Complicating matters for Prime Minister Bruce Golding is the close patron-client relationship between the government and “garrison” communities where such kingpins run votes for the government in exchange for free reign in their neighborhood. Oh, and he had to publicly apologize for hiring lobbyists to fight Coke’s extradition to the U.S. on drug trafficking charges.
- Anthropologist Huon Wardle has some insightful commentary on the conflict and the comments section of the post have many useful links to online coverage of the issues.
Kids these days: As professors we often slip into critique of our students’ behavior – texting in class, citing Wikipedia in essays, drinking “energy drinks,” wearing mini-skirts with Uggs – by way of a liberal dose of mythologizing our own undergraduate experience. My own self-told narrative of college places all my attention on two things: anthropology and intoxication. And so I tut and smile politely when I see kids out on a Friday night, knowing that they could never hold a candle to the shenanigans of my heyday.
- Yet, I never poured vodka in my eye. Not once. Did I quit too soon?
Love and theft: I am both sympathetic to and frustrated by this post from Ethnography.com about the obscurity of anthropology relative to other disciplines. I don’t think the culture-concept was ever anthropology’s to claim as exclusive property. I also get the sense that anthropology has worked hard on marginalizing itself in the academy and that this contributes strongly to the poor marketability of our graduates relative to other disciplines.
- On the theft of culture from anthropology
- In other disciplinary news the AAA has announced that it will protest SB1070 by not holding conferences in the state of Arizona until the law is repealed or struck down.
Facebook is finite and other notes from the future: I only recently became aware of the fact that Facebook limits the number of friends a user can have when I noticed one of my friends was friends with the prominent American Indian poet Joy Harjo. Intrigued I clicked on her name to see what info she had public and there was the message, “PLEASE NOTE: At FB friend capacity. Join fan club.”
- NYT on the 5,000 friend limit
Also check out this picture I snapped out front of my neighborhood 7-11. Yoville, Farmville, and Mafia Wars Slurpees! I still haven’t decided if these games are the new Pet Rock, or if Facebook will become to online communication what Amazon is to online retail.
- The Republican party’s hilarious new website where anyone and everyone can post policy ideas for the GOP to consider. As a good friend of mine observed, “Apparently Republicans are unaware that the internet is populated overwhelmingly by people who are morons, trolls, or (usually) both.” Also Boehner has five times as many Facebook friends as Pelosi, ZOMG!!1!
- Not to be outdone Senator Ben Nelson (D-NB) admitted during a recent interview, when questioned about a possible bill capping ATM fees, that he has never used an ATM. Although, to his credit, he said, “I know about the holograms.” I had to laugh listening to the pundits on the Diane Rehm Show parse this one: Talking Head #1: “He doesn’t know how to use an ATM? How does he pay for lunch?” Talking Head #2: “That’s what lobbyists are for.”
- Our cyborg melding of nature and technology now means that computer viruses can spread to people! On a related note, is anyone else bothered that the average age of the Senate is currently 63, making it the oldest Senate in history?
Seen something around the web that you’d like to share with the Savage Minds community? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.