Okay, it looks like I’ve got that feeling again. I’m efforting (a new word I made up) to start writing again. I don’t know why I stopped but sometimes my mind decides to venture off and is hard to corral. My impetus was a documentary I DVR’d on HBO entitled “Secrets of the Tribe“. It evolves around, get this, Anthropology and not just Anthropology but vindictive, nasty, back stabbing, sexual abusing, genocidal Anthropology.Â All that in 90 minutes, I know its hard to believe.
A little back story first. Back in the halcyon days of college, circa 1982-3, one of my favorite “elective” courses was an intro to Anthropology…………through FILM! At that time I was an aspiring wanna be film student, but since I didn’t personally know Spielberg or Lucas it made it impossible to get into the film school. Alright, back to the main topic here. It had to be one of the best classes I ever had. Basically, we would watch movies these anthro guys made as they ventured of into the “unknown”. The Yanomami Indian section was a blast, little did I know but because of this I was exposed to one of my favorite people of all time, Napolean Chagnon. Not only did this man piss people off, nothing wrong with that, but he shattered some myths about human evolution. The general consensus that primitive cultures were forced into fighting with each other but he proved that aggression was a natural state of humans, primitive or not. My favorite revelation is when he interviews some the Indians asking what all the warring was about. In a nutshell, they were always fighting about women. If you get a chance to see the documentary I highly recommend it. I also recommend reading his book about his experiences with the Yanomami , Yanomamo: The Fierce People .