Anthropology is a Joke

SONY DSCSometimes I just think about being at a beer garden, sun shining, with my friends across from me. Then I stop… And for a moment I think of nothing. Then I start thinking about being at a beer garden again, sun shining, with my friends. This thought never bores me.

Bits and pieces of a class sat circle-wise watching each other’s eyes move. They darted off somewhere-another universe, not there (here), and then came back. The ringmaster moved toward the board, yet, still facing the center, he remained fixed; this center of a circle came void (of all, but meaning); where the center is not the center. The idea of Post-Structuralism is one of a critique of the Modern Episteme, fact, but a contradiction of course, also a fact. That was the foundation of the discussion. As one cannot have truth without lies, benign without malign, we could not have a concept (with a subject) without the other. -You know, and such. Scrawled in thin fragile black printed letters on the whiteboard ahead read a word: “POOP”, supposing this is how the day will be, or go, –or is described, we were now all in shit, but that’s not such a bad thing now, is it? Letters so fine a gentle swipe from a feathered wing could erase such a thing. The weather was horrible (then); described so. We moved past that. The tender letters stayed.

When asked why I always smile I only answer with a tacit smile. My plan was working, taking effect; I said, I want each of my teachers to remember my big bright smile during grading time; I’m there every day, smiling. I figure (because I pay for this), that the teacher makes the grade; you have to make them make it the grade you want. That’s college. I have them (my teeth, meinen Zähne), I figure, I might as well use them. Funny, that’s how I got here (at University of Minnesota): My tooth fell out. No joke.

The conversation always begins with a joke of some sort; some clever unimportant banal minutia, and then moves on to more basic, purebred issues not unlike religion or politics, but not, respectively. Maybe the “purest” things or the “whitest” things are not the “greatest” things; the world is dirty, and we live (on) with that (I purposefully used quotes on those specific words, for no reason). Und jetzt alle zusammen! : My lips hurt and I sat (all the smiling), a grey-shit sky hung outside, some snowflakes tore off, a bit of light, and the lingering of cold from those entering late made my peers shiver in their Timberland’s. I laughed at what was said.

Print off your questions and bring them into class on Monday. I love these words, particularly Monday. The email proved straightforward. All of the students had to print off their questions, and bring them into class, whether good or bad they were required at present-now-ish-post-haste. Sitting, watching the latecomers, whites of their eyes darting back and forth, not knowing for certain, just expecting the unexpected—something would happen, this is a certainty. Certainly they thought of it. This circle was becoming thick with thought. Waiting was a necessity. Contemplating, fully aware, attempting to stave off the near future. I sat there, paper and all, in my chair.

Humanitarian work is being away from those you love to save total strangers. I don’t know if I have that make up. I wake up every morning next to my love. I think of those missing theirs. I think of the professor being so far away from his. He starts out jovial, and joking, disparagement, it is endearing, something like, “She doesn’t wash the fucking dishes, or clean the house…” I mean, we know she isn’t even in America. She is in some far off country. Recently, a mother of a son told a government they were wrong and she was arrested. This woman knew a man, he went to her house to protest her arrest, and he was arrested. This all happened at “9pm”. The time is important because just at 7:45pm that same night that same man phoned a colleague. That colleague was our professor’s wife. The government has the phone, the records of the call, and that is the serious nature of humanitarian work. Anyone could see the anxiety caused by such a situation. Also, one can see the worth. I try at empathy, but I am weak. I try my best to relate, but I prefer to hold my love, as oppose to chat on the phone in some distant land momentarily. Now that I know what intelligent, honorable, people do, I can begin to appreciate things more and accept that life has alterations. One can be far-far away and still be very much in love. I send good thoughts all ways in these types of moments.

As I sat I turned red. This blushing thing happens almost always. I just have pink skin, but when I talk my blood rushes to my pale face—and boom, I am a tomato with flapping lips and not much to say, embarrassment. I finish my sentence as fast as possible, looking around for help, I remember what he told me about “white people”, ‘one can always tell when [they] blush.’ I finish and wait, we speak on how unimportant history is, really. The concept goes like this: If I don’t believe in History I don’t believe in Evolution etc. I guess I must not believe in the Future either. Professor says we should probably get in touch with Michael J. Fox to figure out the Future. That is rather a good idea.


About Terry Scott Niebeling

Hello, My name is Terry Scott, a human being with flaws. twitter: @sirterryscott Buy my ebooks:
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