Savage Minds Around the Web

HTS, a Hostile Work Environment: You can say that again. Maximillian Fortes linked to this article in the comments of the last post, but it bares repeating. Fortes posts an article by John Stanton reporting on the death threats made against former senior HTS member Marilyn Dudley-Flores and the larger campaign by her male former colleagues to discredit and discourage Dudley-Flores and other women from working with Human Terrain. Fortes is also keeping a shame list of self-proclaimed ‘independent’ military blogs who are not reporting on this story.

What Women (almost certainly do not) Want: Sociological Images and The Consumerist posted a promotional video for a video game store, where the narrator, a fictional female anthropologist, explores the dark recesses of the gaming populations to find that segment of the species that eludes most gamers: woman. Hmm…the contrast between the bombastic English talk of the anthropologist character versus the American folksy talk of the salesman and customer is also curious.

A Picture Is Worth a Handful of Words: Thanks to the Ideophone for posting a link to the AAA photo contest winners and finalists (posted on Flicker). I was going to come up with a joke about the ethnographic stereotypes many of these photos elicit, but seeing as I don’t have time, I reserve the right to do so in a later post. (Or better yet, someone else can make a joke and leave it in the comments. Maybe a Savage Minds caption contest?)

The Ritual of Empty Talk: contributor Anne Applebaum reflects on Hillary Clinton’s trip to China and the futility of the Human Rights talk, writing the following:

Although I sympathize with these critics (of Clinton’s silence with the Chinese delegates), I find I increasingly don’t care what Clinton says about human rights to China’s leaders. Neither should they. She’s right: These exchanges have become ritualized. I also don’t care what she says about human rights to the leaders of Iran, Zimbabwe, or North Korea if those words will have no meaning in practice, anyway. Grandiloquent human rights speeches that amount to nothing have been a hallmark of U.S. foreign policy since at least 1956, when we didn’t come to the aid of a Hungarian rebellion we helped incite. Fifty years of broken promises are quite enough, and if we’re abandoning that habit now, good riddance.

Picturing American Casualties: Jim Johnson at (Notes on) Politics, Theory, and Photography comments on the Obama administration’s (sort of) reversal of the Bush Administration’s ban on photographing the caskets of American soldiers killed in combat.

International Reputation Slumming:
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7 thoughts on “Savage Minds Around the Web

  1. What Women (almost certainly do not) Want:
    This isn’t a promo video, it’s a internal training video. And, how is specifically marketing to a potentially large new customer base wrong? The actors are a bit cheese, but given the employees this video trains, I don’t see a problem.

  2. RE talk about human rights: While appreciating the frustration of talking and talking to no apparent effect, we might also remember that silence can be taken as complicity, if not endorsement. We might also rethink the magical attitude that expects words to have an immediate effect. It may take years before the drip, drip, drip of the water wears away the stone; but is that a reason to turn off the faucet.

  3. Yeah, those photos are all about exotica. (Except the archaeology ones.) I submitted three photos to the contest that were pictures of beautiful urban scenes in Cairo. Neon lights and people moving around on the street at night. But they looked very mundane, like they could have been taken in any Western city. None were selected as finalists. It would really be interesting to see what photos did NOT get selected for this contest and pool them together: what photos don’t look “ethnographic” enough to AN?

  4. I was actually quite surprised that my Kããã picture was selected over another submission of mine which I thought told a better story (even though it lacked the looks of the first).

    The ‘exotica’ argument doesn’t really seem to hold for the semifinalists though.

  5. L.L. Wynn, I included links in my original comment but these are automatically stripped here apparently. My name should now link to a page with my submissions.

  6. Your Kããã picture is wonderful, extremely striking. All of your photos are great, but it seems that the preference of the judges was for faces (based on the winning photos) and your Kããã picture has a great face. I’m surprised that “Bad Death” didn’t make it to the finals. The emotion you can see in the faces is gripping.

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