Socect’s Weblog

Unsettled Thoughts/Works in Progress

Persistently Non-Political

A friend from the United States emailed yesterday and asked, among other things, if I had any thoughts on introducing for classroom teaching issues related to the current elections over on that side of the world. She is teaching an intro to anthropology course (as I am) and as she put it, wants the students to engage in discussion of these things, but to introduce it in a non-partisan way. I don’t think I have much advice for her, but at least it is a way to introduce this blog entry…

I woke up this morning again to more US election nonsense on the BBC. Last week it was the nonsense about unwed teenage pregnancy (yes, that should be nobody’s business – except as Bill O’Reily legitimately points out, if the public is expected to pay for it (for the source of this see link to ‘gross hypocrisy’ below) and/or, as I would point out, insofar as it should be “exhibit A”” that “abstinence only sex education” espoused as policy for all American children DOES NOT WORK… furthermore, the issue in this regard is NOT so much pregnancy and abortion as it is the public health issue of sexually transmitted diseases, in particular HIV/AIDS… but I digress). This week the important issue is nonsense about porcine cosmetics and the deep sexism espoused by America’s number one uppity Negro. Given that these are the issues, it is a good thing that this campaign is not about issues.

I think my friend who lives on the left-hand coast of the United States has the same dilemma I have (her in the classroom; I with this blog). We both have this elections on our mind because it is daily fare in the media of our lives. I’ve been incredibly fortunate, in my own estimation, to have lived the majority of my adult life outside of America, and thus largely immune to the gross hypocrisy and unending nonsense of American politics. But every four years, like a plague of locusts, America’s silly season becomes difficult to avoid.

It is obvious from the posts in this blog that things going on in America’s election cycle are a point of reference for things I think about. But following one of the bright lights of social commentary here in Singapore, I want to assure and assert that this is and will remain a persistently non-political blog. To anyone reading what I have posted to date, it should not be too difficult to figure out where my general political sympathies lie in the American scheme of things. But I really want this blog to be about matters more related to teaching and research; and really do not want this to become a space for political rants.

That said, I certainly think that current affairs are an important subject matter to draw on in teaching about culture and society. How one does this, without being sucked into deeply divisive partisanship, I’m not so sure.

Hmmm… that all is just the tiniest fraction of thoughts gnawing at my mind this morning. But, I’m going to leave it at that for this post.


September 11, 2008 - Posted by | Random Walks |

1 Comment »

  1. Hey, time for a new post! Update. Update.

    Comment by Pamthropologist | October 10, 2008 | Reply

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