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ethnicity
  • 312260.1054

    "It's been said she knocked him dead" Bessie's only filmed musical number. The speakeasy come to life as a blues-jazz fantasy-nightmare.

  • 312251.0912

  • 312241.0948

    The killer link: http://neuroanthropology.net/2010/08/31/the-new-linguistic-relativism-guy-deutscher-in-the-nytimes/

    The west wants its data dressed up, ironed out, reduced to simplistic and fantastically other worlds where impossibilities are illustrated in snappy, easy-to-read aphorisms, second generation Oliver Sacks seeking out yonder kindles. In Sunday's NY Times pop-psych article called "Does your language shape how you think?" Guy Deutscher tries to convince the audience through blind leads as loaded as "SINCE THERE IS NO EVIDENCE that any language forbids its speakers to think anything" that language is as unrestricted as a fish that can swim every drop of the ocean. He offers innovative thinker Benjamin Lee Whorf as a sacrifice, then singles out an aboriginal language that obsessively locates directions (their cardinal-ness, whether they ever operate effectively, is clearly up for debate, since its effectiveness is illustrated merely by a mythistory only verifiable through its repetition). Deutscher's article is so positivist about language, we can be sure he's simplifying into incredulity. While he offers up Whorf for beheading, he neglects Sapir, Casirrer, Boas and many other descendants of lingual studies who explore and comprehend the evolutionary aspects of individual languages, who would have a field day with Deutscher's lazy claims. The article and its messy appropriations re-ignores vast data that contours and counters his bizarre 19th century approach. Languages clearly don't forbid thoughts, but they control measurements and values (gender is simply one of MANY layers of identity); the abilities of nouns to code themselves, travel, transform, become verbs (or vice versa) is at the core of how the brain really operates and clearly, we have many value systems in play across the spectrum of language (even the definition of language is not what we began with in 1900), and the war of domination among humans is as about language as it is about race, gender, class, border. More proof news can neither examine the past nor the present until it examines how it constructs its world while it falsely perceives it is reconstructing.

    Above, the 4-H pledge

  • 312236.0908

    Martin Bernal's aggressive and provocative Black Athena posits Egypt as co-founder if not indirect initiator of Ancient Greece, calling into question accepted notions of Northern origins. His three volume book and the rebuttals (a short one is linked below) show confusion in deciphering the oral transition between cultures. Does the west prove origins by projecting skin colors back through time?

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Athena

    http://www.worldagesarchive.com/Reference_Links/Muller.html?story_id=12758

  • 312226.1731

  • 312206.0813

    Frontspiece, Scaffold-house, Cradle

  • 312201.1127

    "I think sable is a great Texas coat. I can see this with jeans, I can see this with an evening gown." - Nieman Marcus Fur Salesman

     

    WISEMAN LOOKS AT AFFLUENT TEXANS

    CAMBRIDGE, Mass. ''The Store,'' Frederick Wiseman's film portrait of the Neiman-Marcus department store in Dallas, will be shown on WNET/Channel 13 on Wednesday evening at 9. The two-hour study is the award-winning film maker's 16th movie and his first documentary in more than three years. From 1967 (''Titicut Follies'') through 1980 (''Model''), Mr. Wiseman had produced a new film each year, and his work received such critical acclaim that a Wiseman documentary heralded the beginning of each new Public Broadcasting Service season for more than a decade.

    His latest work, according to the 53- year-old film maker, is the continuation of what he perceives as a 25- to 30-year-long overview of American life. For Mr. Wiseman, the making of ''The Store'' represented a financial struggle that he has not had to face since his earliest ventures. It is a lament that is not unfamiliar to independent film makers, even those with credentials as formidable as Mr. Wiseman's.

    ''The Store,'' his first documentary filmed in color, continues in the cinema verite tradition, a genre in which Mr. Wiseman is an acknowledged master. Though ''The Store'' stands as a single entity, Mr. Wiseman believes that it fits perfectly into his ''institutional series,'' a collective look at those places which, he says, are both common experiences in people's lives and are vital for the functioning of society.

    According to the film maker, the idea of taking a close look at Neiman- Marcus was an outgrowth of his last documentary, ''Model.'' That documentary focused on the creation of advertising for consumer products; ''The Store'' takes that a step further and looks at the actual selling of those products. Mr. Wiseman says he chose Neiman-Marcus because in many people's minds it represents the store, the most famous emporium in the country and perhaps the world.

    ''If you are going to have theories about American society, you've got to look at all aspects of it,'' he said during a recent interview in his Cambridge studio. ''You've got to look at how the images are created that affect people's lives and the choices of consumer goods they buy.''

    To this end, ''The Store'' focuses on the institution, which to many, symbolizes Texas prosperity. During the four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas last year, Mr. Wiseman's unobtrustive camera zeroed in on virtually every aspect of life within the renowned department store. Among the collage of images: a society matron who spends several days each week in Neiman-Marcus' luxurious dressing rooms trying on various ensembles with the aid of two saleswomen; in the fur salon, a customer wearing a full-length sable coat ponders the purchase of another but only if she can get the same inner lining in the new one; a member of the sales force telephones a customer for whom she is handling the Christmas shopping and reports: ''I don't have the reindeer. But surprise - I do have the angel''; an exercise teacher greets a group of saleswomen and leads them in smile exercises; the expected and countless staff meetings with various executives and staff members, addressing marketing strategies, security, sales techniques and staff morale.

    Ironically, this view of the nation's moneyed society was plagued in its creation by financial woes. Though P.B.S. is presenting ''The Store'' and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's program fund did provide 40 percent of the film's cost, Mr. Wiseman's relationship with public television is anything but amicable. Indeed, the film maker says he wouldn't be working at all if it weren't for an MacArthur Prize fellowship, an award of $50,000 per year for five years for being what the MacArthur Foundation calls ''a genius.''

    The MacArthur award arrived in 1982 ''at a really critical moment,'' as Mr. Wiseman put it, when his second five-year contract with WNET/ Channel 13 had run out and the financially strapped station could not renew the agreement. Having finished work on his first theatrical film, ''Seraphita's Diary'' (which was privately funded), Mr. Wiseman was anxious to begin work on ''The Store.'' His proposal to the C.P.B.'s program-fund panel was rejected. The panel, he recalled, wanted to know why he had chosen Neiman- Marcus rather than Macy's or Gimbels as his subject.

    The MacArthur money was enough to allow Mr. Wiseman to begin work on ''The Store'' last fall, but he was forced to pledge his collection of films as collateral for a loan to complete the $235,000 documentary. After he was done filming, he did receive $90,000 of C.P.B. funding, although it came, he pointed out, at the prompting of the program-funds director, who overrode the panel and ''decided to take a chance.''

    Mr. Wiseman, whose work has been honored with any number of prestigious awards, is angry at what he feels is an undeserved struggle to fund his latest venture. He calls the public-television system a ''bloated and engorged bureaucracy'' in which an independent film maker simply ''doesn't fit.''

    Yet, despite his frustration with public television, Mr. Wiseman is pleased with ''The Store.'' He believes that this film, like his others, has cross references to all his work. In ''The Store,'' he pointed out, the viewer can see the doctors, lawyers and judges who run the institutions in his other films and learn how they spend their money.

    When queried as to why, indeed, did he choose Neiman-Marcus over such stores as Sears or Macy's, Mr. Wiseman responded that while those places are equally valid subjects, they don't reflect what he was looking for at Neiman-Marcus. ''I don't believe in a kind of populist film making in the sense that one has to always take subjects that reflect the broadest stream in society,'' he said.

    Nevertheless, such films as ''Titicut Follies,'' ''Law and Order,'' ''Hospital'' and ''Juvenile Court'' earned Mr. Wiseman the reputation as an incisive social commentator. The starkly revealing portraits of these institutions, the people who populate them and the people who run them were more than disquieting. In some cases, such as ''Primate,'' ''Juvenile Court'' and ''Titicut Follies,'' they provoked anger and threats of legal action from the subjects (to this day, a Massachusetts court order is required for a screening of ''Titicut Follies'').

    With ''Model'' and now ''The Store,'' the film maker appears to have moved away from the kind of institutions that inspired his earlier work. He bristles, however, at the suggestion that he has mellowed and is no longer willing to take on the tough ones.

    ''My blunt reply to that,'' said Mr. Wiseman, ''is that anybody who feels that way doesn't know what I'm doing.'' He added just as emphatically that he has never been a muckracker and is not interested in exposes. He believes that both ''Model'' and ''The Store'' are just as, if not more, revealing about our society as ''Titicut Follies'' and ''Law and Order.''

    ''There's a certain group of both documentary film makers and documentary film critics who feel that you have to make movies about poor people,'' he said. ''That's the subject. That's social criticism. My feeling is that anything you think is a decent subject for a movie, if you make it right, is a possible movie. There's more to the society than poor people, and there's obviously a relationship between poor people and rich people.''

    Although several of Mr. Wiseman's films provoked unfavorable reaction from his subjects, he said he met with no resistance from Neiman-Marcus in doing ''The Store.'' The company's executives set no prior conditions and gave him free run of the entire operation, from staff meetings to dressing rooms.

    According to Mr. Wiseman, Neiman-Marcus officials who have viewed ''The Store'' were pleased with its outcome; however, he said he is unconcerned with how the subject as well as the audience responds to his portrait and rejects the idea that he is too soft on his subject in ''The store.''

    ''I don't think my films particularly confirm or deny - and they're not meant to - any particular social theory and they don't offer solutions,'' he said. ''They're meant as explorations of as many aspects of American life as I can do and have an interest in doing.''

    As with his other work, Mr. Wiseman spent a full month shooting and the better part of the year editing his current film. He did no prior research and tried to avoid any pre-conceived thinking about Neiman-Marcus.

    ''The shooting is the research,'' he explained. ''I discover what I'm trying to say both in shooting and, more specifically, in the process of editing.''

    ''The Store'' is the first documentary that Mr. Wiseman has shot in color. His 1982 commercial venture, ''Seraphita's Diary'' - both a critical and box-office flop - was also done in color. The driving force behind the switch from black and white was a new, ultra high-speed color film that, for the first time, responded technically to the demands of the hand-held, natural-light circumstances under which Mr. Wiseman works. Neiman- Marcus, he felt, was ''like being handed a $20-million set.'' Although tip-lipped about future projects, Mr. Wiseman indicated that he will attempt another theatrical venture despite the negative response to ''Seraphita's Diary.'' He is also determined to continue his documentary work regardless of the financial struggles. About public television, he was outspoken:

    ''I cannot let what I do be determined by the political vagaries of public television,'' he said.

  • 312199.1151

    "The common denominator of much ideology is that it seeks to hide or to justify asymmetrical relationships: relationships in which a fitness gain to ego is achieved at some cost to alter. Asymmetrical (or parasitic) relationships can be maintained through deceit coercion or combination of the two. Deceit is endemic in systems of reciprocity. But systems of reciprocity are vulnerable not only to deceit: they are also open to coercion. To the extent that power imbalances exist in a reciprocal interaction, reciprocity can easily be transformed into coercion.

    Coercion is not a human monopoly, Male animals use force or threats to displace or eliminate competition, to gain access to females in oestrus, to secure submission of subordinates and so on. Some mammals are even capable of forming small coalitions of two or four males in order to obtain a collective dominance over individual rivals. Some animal societies can be said to have rudimentary "ruling classes." Humans do, however, hold pride of place in their ability to use to good effect conscious, collective, organized, premeditated coercion in order to establish, maintain, and perpetuate systems of intraspecific parasitism.'

    'The concept of “race” as used in North America to designate a phenotypically distinct group, was imported into Asia by some scholars who applied it to a situation best described in terms of caste. The Eta or Burakumin of Japan have been described by DeVos and and Wagatsuma as an “invisible” race. Thus the terminological confusion has come full circle. Some phenotypically distinct racial groups have been called “castes” by analogy with the Hindu system. Conversely, some physically indistinguishable caste groups have been called “races” by analogy with North American society.

    Where does this semantic imbroglio lead us? It is useful to have a special analytical term applicable to a wide range of societies to designate that particular combination of class and ethnicity. “Race” will not do for that purpose, since only some of these systems are based on phenotypical distinctions. Furthermore, not all societies that do make phenotypical distinctions have the degree of rigidity and racial endogamy that one associates with caste. Examples of such race-conscious but relative flexible social systems are Brazil, most Caribbean islands, Hawaii and others. “Race” has a utility as an analytical concept to designate phenotypically distinguished groups but not as a synonym for “caste.” “Race” can be a special case of  caste but also a special case of more flexible social orders.'

    The Ethnic Phenomenon Pierre Van Der Berghe 1981 Praeger


    Sambo published in 1899 arrived in a time of unabashed ethnicism (racism) in the west. The term Sambo has many iterations, one stems from ethnicism in the U.S. and extends to misnomers regarding even a restaurant chain that incorporated Bannerman's images while its naming stemmed from the combination of the owners' names' syllable hyphenate Sam-bo. Bannerman's book shown above illustrated English colonial sentiment in India prior to its expulsion.

  • 312191.0802

    "If Mandela is not available, perhaps Morgan Freeman can step in. The Oscar-nominated actor who played in Mandela in “Invictus” will be at the match."   — Wireservices

  • 312185.1505