Regarding Mr. Columbus

The Other St. Christopher: Regarding Columbus This one is for Dino of Bezuksewas and for Umayya of Palestine, and all who await The Return. Columbus; Columbine; Cuba; Palestine, Israel, Libya … it all fits together now. “There are only 90,000 people out there. (in the Marshall Islands, that the US military “needed” for nuclear bomb […]

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The Apotheosis of St. Christopher of Libya

“Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends,” the president said, quoting scripture. … “Because of these patriots, and because of you, this country that we love will always shine as a light onto the world.” In an effort not to seethe further at the absurdity […]

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Great Ceasar, Cease!

Tacitus describes how the Romanised Britons embraced the new urban centres: “They spoke of such novelties as ‘civilisation’, when this was really only a feature of their slavery”  (Agricola, 21) The built-in camera of my computer scanning me in its Iris Recognition Software (IRS) winks recognition at me on-screen allowing me to access my computer as […]

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A Tear for Africa: Humanitarian Abduction and Reduction

Helpless, pleading, wanting, needing, small, weak, staring at you, black–this is the anti-bogeyman invented by Western humanitarianism, what passes as morality in the ideology of empire (yet again). Past the time of a London Missionary Society, we now have the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), the moral dogma of a white, western elite that projects its […]

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Vending Distorted Afghanistan Through Patriotic ‘Anthropology’

First published in Critique of Anthropology, 2011, 31(3) 256–270 Review Essay: Thomas Barfield, Afghanistan: A Cultural and Political History. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010, xi + 389 pp. ISBN 978-0-691-14568-6. $29.95 (hbk) The destabilization and military occupation of Afghanistan by the United States over the past three decades has triggered the hasty production of […]

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Peace Corps and Afghanistan

The information and discussion about the activities of and the accumulation of various forms of capital by some Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs)—all in South America—is interesting (Anthropology News, December 2011, March 2012). President John Kennedy adapted the blast “ask not what this country can do for you, ask what you can do for this country” […]

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Libya: What Revolution? Whose Revolution?

If David Cameron had been known for modeling his speeches on old Monty Python films, then he might be praised for his witty and clever genius in devising such a politically and morally fraudulent speech such as the one above. He opens with gushing sentiment about a “new beginning for Libya,” hailing freedom from violence even as his jets pound Libyan targets. As always before, the British love to set an example on how politics are to be done, and it was usually with a good whipping followed by tutorials on how to best mimic the master, with powdered wigs, robes, and a broken sense of self….

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Libya and the Passive Repeaters: Deploying Depleted Information Warheads

A video that in many ways corresponds with what I argued in “America’s Iranian Twitter Revolution,” the video below in part shows how the use of social media to make falsified versions of Libyan reality can go viral–radioactive–producing an intellectually toxic swarm of passive repeaters. Critical questions are like static, they interrupt the clarity of the message: dictator vs. revolutionaries, support the people, implement a no-fly zone right now. But this is so patronizing, it denies “agency”–just like the agency of the consumer who must decide and then boldly act on which colour iPod™ to buy. Have a look at The Guardian’s “Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media: Military’s ‘sock puppet’ software creates fake online identities to spread pro-American propaganda.”…Also check “‘Post-Qaddafi Libya’: on the Globalist Road,” “Who are the Libyan Freedom Fighters and Their Patrons?” “US-trained [and U.S.-based] economist, Libyan rebels’ new finance minister,” and “New Libyan rebel leader spent much of past 20 years in suburban Virginia.”….

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Empire and the Liberation of Veiled Women: Lutz & Collins

In “The Color of Sex: Postwar Photographic Histories of Race and Gender,” by Catherine A. Lutz and Jane L. Collins (reprinted in The Anthropology of Media: A Reader, 2002, pps. 92-116), we encounter this very illuminating passage dealing with the figure of the veiled, non-Western woman, photographed by National Geographic, placing the apparent obsession with […]

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