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FW: [ANTHRO-L] giggle

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  • Popplestone, Ann
    [respectfully snipped] ... So.... How many anthropologists does it take to screw in a light bulb? Please, your comments. I have no witty kind of sense of
    Message 1 of 1 , May 6, 2004
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      [respectfully snipped]

      ---- This is end-of-semester Saturnalia, and all bad jokes are accepted.
      So....




      How many anthropologists does it take to screw in a light bulb?
      Please, your comments. I have no witty kind of sense of humor, and only
      the obvious occurs to me:

      One to advise about the opening ritual of screwing in lightbulbs so as
      not to offend the natives;
      one to survey the natives about various terms in the language that apply
      to lightbulbs;
      one to collect stories about legendary failures to screw in the
      lightbulb;
      one to chart how the hooks of global economy have been sinking deeper
      and and deeper into the tribe as it gives up traditional oil lamps, must
      buy foreign-made lightbulbs and enter the cash economy, which will begin
      to alter power relationships;
      one to decide whether the lightbulb in question is really a lightbulb
      and how the lightbulb is more of an indexical symbol for socialization
      through
      corporate labor;
      one to disagree with the latter in that the screwing in custom has
      pragmatic value in providing light so that the village dance can
      continue far into
      the night to provide time necessary for the various observations and
      machinations concerning mate selection;
      one to claim that the current ritual of the lightbulb was charted in the
      myths of the "first people" among whom the trickster-spirit Finnlumar
      arose
      to discover a lightbulb in a tabooed niche of the underworld and who
      brought it forth to the First People and cried out, "Hey, I could use
      some help
      with this!"
      one to to say, "But you must also include the fact that each screwing
      anthropologist in the end will produce a self-reflexive ethnography,
      never
      mind the natives";
      one to question whether there is any screwing-in at all but rather a
      screwing out, and how such perceptions of reality undercut anything we
      can
      say about screwing, lightbulbs, screwing lightbulbs (plunk-zap-yow!), or
      anthropologists;
      one to observe the actual screwing in of the lightbulb, describe its
      phases, and get home to publish something tangible to the public whose
      taxes
      are supporting the project;
      one to write up the custom in a popular style so that anthropologists
      can also be excoriated (along with Sagan and Gould) for writing
      accessibly
      for the great unwashed layperson public.
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