Friday, March 28, 2008

The Fearful Among Us Off My Head

Sent to Lou Young at CBS-TV in response to "The Fearful Among Us"

Years ago as a PhD candidate in the graduate school of Anthropology at Stony Brook University, which I graduated from also as a BA, after taking a Spanish language course, I had the opportunity to study with professors who had done their fieldwork in Hispanic countries or were from one. In fact the chairman of the department Pedro Carrasco, PhD, an economic anthropologist, I think he had to escape out of Tibet, studying the local markets there, on horseback, in one of the invasions by the Chinese into that region. Incidentally I also studied social anthropology with Rex Jones who studied the Limbu in Nepal and recently alumni of the university had been traveling in Bhutan which just had its first democratic election. Nepal also has decided after years of fighting by "maoists" as reported in the press, to become more a constitutional monarchy, the rulers Hindu and the people more Buddhists and many, the sherpas have linguistic roots in Tibet. Sir Edmund Hillary who just recently passed away, a New Zealander who worked in building schools in Nepal, and tragically lost a daughter to the ice-up of a small plane wing back in the late 1970s, once visited Wood Road School in 1960 or to our third grade class, taught by Miss Loman, and made quite an impression I think on me, just moving out of the "poorest parish" in NYC in the Bronx, St. Rita's, where many recent immigrants seek help in establishing their lives in NYC.

Well I screwed up. I was the only student in the Chairperson's class in economic anthropology and I took an incomplete. The department has gotten more physically oriented, with the medical school there and Richard Leakey, from the world renowned family of paleontologists from East Africa, is a faculty member. Many of the "cultural anthropologists" retired though the social anthropologist who studied in East Timor, David Hicks, PhD of Oxford University, was made a provost of the university. Another of my faculty advisors, originally from Illinois, who works and has written on the prehistory of the state of Zacatecas in Mexico, returned there where his wife is from, whom I worked for selling her crafts and others in the Student Union for awhile. She had a Masters finally on Huichol weaving (also Quichol) once written up in science as part of a special case of vibrant colors and art that was thought to mimic psychedelia.

I thought it odd when they started confiscating everything on air flights one of the first was a Nepalese man who had a number of knives he was going to give as gifts back in Nepal among the circle of dance that courtship there has changed from. The Himalayan woman today is now part of an economy and not as traditionally bound by ritual and belief.

Well what I think is that if say there is an appropriate level of supervision by a community of interested parties, i.e., Hispanic citizens (civilian review board, after all they took the biggest hit in casualties in Vietnam I was reading. All the US helicopters were gone by 1972. The famous news photographer who took the famous girl napalmed whom he saved and never given credit for is in the press again, taking the picture of the manikin and the poor woman who had to take her breast earring out with a pliers in order to fly domestically. (AP Photo/Nick Ut and further on that day in Vietnam from SteveHouse comment #5.1: Whoa, buddy. You should probably calm down.) are in place then maybe it might be good to catch fugitives who may come to the attention of those who at the very least speak the same language. Better than trapped in an oil tank and thinking there's no way out and some act of violence happens to those "innocent" intruders.

George Myers, BA

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