Who Is Still Running the World? An “Anthropologically Unjust” Reality

Jarvis Cocker

The latest installment of Monday Morning Madness, and very appropriate at present. Quite by accident I came across this melodic, lovely composition that struck me as a cross between an anarchist anthem and an anarchist lullaby. The artist behind it is Jarvis Cocker (Wikipedia page, MySpace page). Once more we see the non-academic, independent usage of the notion of “anthropology,” something discussed earlier here, when at one point Cocker refers to the current system of domination as one that is “anthropologically unjust“. It would be great to have the opportunity to gain a clearer sense of what Cocker means when he sings those words. Otherwise I have already come across a few instances to suggest that it might be possible to research and survey a range of “anthropologies” that are neither academic, professional, nor institutional, but independently devised and deployed if not conceived.

HERE'S YOUR CHANGE!While I think this is a beautiful song, I should warn certain listeners that a part of the female anatomy is repeatedly referenced, using what is commonly considered to be a vulgar term. Some might have a different view and suggest to Cocker that, at least, his song is “anatomically incorrect”. (I am reminded of Secher-Nbiw’s complementary observation that “imperialism makes you a dick”. Bring the two principles together and they might produce a hideous monster child with one office in the Pentagon and the other on Wall St.)

Heard from another angle, the central message of this song, repeated as it is, might end up being the perfect post-Obama, anti-triumphalism song. It is one that might further encourage Obama’s most lucid, critical, grass roots supporters on the left to remember that Obama was, at best, a useful focus/vehicle for gaining organizational momentum and experience, and that maybe it is already time to begin pressing forward, whether through him or without him and his Clintonian regurgitations.


Here is the song, enjoy. Thanks Jarvis.

10 thoughts on “Who Is Still Running the World? An “Anthropologically Unjust” Reality

  1. Pamthropologist

    (Lame joke alert). Speaking from a feminist sexism (*blink*) perspective, I think the real problem is that cunts aren’t running the world.

    I, also, don’t understand the naive cynicism the American left is showing for Obama. He ran for President of the United States, that pretty much means he gets to be President of the United States–no more and, hopefully, considerably, less. Pretty simple really. He gets to act as the head of a nation which means he puts the nation’s interests first. He was never going to change the world–its not in the job description.

    My best hope is for a little less international humiliation and no more territorial expansion. But then my standards of nationalistic sentiment are quite low. As is my faith in global transformation.

  2. Maximilian Forte

    Speaking to the first point, I have to wonder why he chose that particular word. My guess is that for many people it has a much more offensive ring to it than “dick” or “prick”, which have become almost innocent. A couple of feminist colleagues once remarked that while they would read a passage in class, from a historical source, that had the work “cock” in it, they would never ever read a quote that contained the word “cunt” in it, because they felt this was way over the top and especially offensive to women.

    I do get your points and I think they are good ones, even if I may be among the naive cynics.

  3. Athena

    Anthropological injustice. What a concept.

    I agree with pam. The problem is that cunts aren’t running the world.

  4. Maximilian Forte

    Jarvis Cocker (interesting surname, while we’re at it), might be disappointed to see his message being read against the grain like this. I was worried people would be too offended by this song…and instead…:-)

    Thanks for visiting.

  5. Paul

    In my particular part of the world the primary meaning of the word ‘cunt’ is ‘bad person’ and is often emphasised with the inclusion of the word ‘fucking’ ie. ‘fucking cunt’. To replace this primary meaning with its secondary meaning (reference to female genitalia) just confuses things for me as both men and women can be cunts, a comparison between George Bush and Hilary Clinton I think clearly makiing my point.

    It is ‘good people’ that we need to be running the world, people who see a difference between ‘globalisation’ and ‘an-globalisation’, men or women, makes no difference to me.

    Good song, thanks for sharing.

  6. Maximilian Forte

    Thanks very much Paul.

    Of course you’re right, and I think people here know that. What happens often in North American public discourse though is that the alarm bells sounded by the secondary meanings sometimes take over, not that I am excusing it. I would prefer that people stuck with the primary meaning you described above.

    Sometimes the interpretations can be childish as well. Al Qaida calling Obama a “house negro” (and not even calling him that directly, but rather through the words of Malcolm X), became a “racial slur”. They were not insulting all African Americans, nor can one call Malcolm X an anti-black racist (!?). But inside simple minds you have: Negro + insult = racial slur.

    Anyway, thanks again for visiting and commenting.

  7. Lesley-Ann Brown

    Interesting article, although I didn’t listen to the song yet. I just wanted to reiterate what Pamthropologist said. People keep on beaming me with naive hope when they say, “Isn’t it great that Obama is President…maybe he can change the world.” To which I just shake my head–he’s the president of the united states folks–do the math!
    And Al Qaida was genius: NO black person ever wants to be called a house negro.

  8. Maximilian Forte

    Thanks Lesley-Ann, your visits as always are much appreciated.

    I was about to say:

    Obama who?

    No really, it seems that all sorts of other developments and eruptions have already sidelined him in my mind, he is barely in view any more, and now I discovered something new: his voice is starting to really bother me, more precisely his manner of speaking. Yes, eight more years of cringing, even if he can pronounce “nuclear” correctly.


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