Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Japan’s biggest pop star isn’t even a real person—she’s a hologram.

Ok, I know that there are deep sociological implications - not to mention psychological, philosophical, and anthropological - and, no doubt, many fascinating arguments to be made. But can I not make any of those, momentarily forget that I’m an anthropologist, be a bit juvenile just say:

Japan is weird.

Monday, August 29, 2011


Qongqothwane is a traditional Xhosa song, harnessed as a political tool of resistance by Miriam Makeba. The colonial name for the piece, “The Click Song,” demeaned the Xhosa language by portraying it as a series of incomprehensible sounds. In this performance Makeba patiently introduces Xhosa as an intelligible human language, reclaiming her heritage and spinning the colonizer’s rhetoric, revealing the trappings of power to be one of willful ignorance.