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RE: [SACC-L] Re: Stein, Rowe, and Betty White.

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  • Deborah Shepherd
    Lloyd and everyone, I ve been following these emails with some trepidation and more amusement. I haven t watched the episode (yet) mainly because I know my
    Message 1 of 9 , Sep 29, 2010
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      Lloyd and everyone,

      I've been following these emails with some trepidation and more amusement. I haven't watched the episode (yet) mainly because I know my tolerance level for most sit-coms is low (and yet I consider watching them occasionally a necessary part of keepting tabs with current culture; it's a dilemma). But Lloyd, I love your description of the Cornell Wilde movie. It is a reminder to us that public opinion was not actually better informed in the past. Possibly matters were even worse then since far fewer people could even claim, "I once took an anthro class in college." We can only hope.

      Deborah

      ________________________________________
      From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Lloyd Miller [lloyd.miller@...]
      Sent: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 12:13 AM
      To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [SACC-L] Re: Stein, Rowe, and Betty White.

      Thanks, Phil. I watched it.

      Its quality makes the various crime dramas I watch seem like Shakespearean drama by comparison. Actually, I thought that the Betty White character was the least stereotypy and for brief moments seemed to attempt a serious portrayal. But as for anthropology's image, whatever it might or might not be, I don't think it was hurt. Our public image has always included the slightly off-key professor who revels in sharing exotica in the classroom; what Bonnie Lloyd called "shocky" in her SACC Notes article, "The Anthropologist as Missionary..." I do agree, though, that the blowgun shtick is a keeper.

      However, the other student characters, plot and script were beyond satire, beyond slapstick, even beyond soap opera. To even call it all silliness would be an understatement. It even seemed to me that Chevy Chase felt embarrassed to be in the skit, but I guess a gig is a gig.

      Just an aside: My first Hollywood portrayal of an anthropologist was a black & white film starring Cornell Wilde in the 1940s. He played a wild-eyed, apparently delusional anthropologist studying a tribal religion deep in a jungle somewhere. The dark-skinned tribesmen with loin cloths and bones through their noses drank mysterious potions, played drums and chanted a lot. His beautiful daughter and her handsome fiancé come to rescue him from the crazy savages, but he refuses to leave. The volcano erupts, the anthropologist perishes in molten lava and the daughter and her beau narrowly escape.

      I think many films like this have appeared since, and even the Indiana Jones features contain some of these elements, though they do it much better.

      Lloyd




      On Sep 28, 2010, at 3:26 PM, Philip Stein wrote:

      > Go to www.nbc.com. You can see the entire program, without commertials, which is a blessing in an election season. The program is called Community. The episode is "Anthropology 101."
      >
      > --- On Tue, 9/28/10, Lloyd Miller <lloyd.miller@...> wrote:
      >
      > From: Lloyd Miller <lloyd.miller@...>
      > Subject: Re: [SACC-L] Re: Stein, Rowe, and Betty White.
      > To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
      > Date: Tuesday, September 28, 2010, 1:17 PM
      >
      > Okay, y'all have stirred my curiosity, but I'm still at the starting gate. What's the name of this program with Betty White as an anthropologist? Is it Saturday Night Live? How do I access it?
      > Lloyd
      >
      > On Sep 28, 2010, at 8:53 AM, Andrew Petto wrote:
      >
      > > In a sense, it is like the other shows on TV --- medical, legal,
      > > law-enforcement, and so on. It is of interest (IMHO) because of what it
      > > says about how the popular culture perceives and responds to these
      > > professions (and the people in them).
      > >
      > > It is certainly not because they are all great entertainment or high art!
      > >
      > > Anj
      > >
      > > On 28-Sep-10 08:47, Lynch, Brian M wrote:
      > > >
      > > > I've been reading these comments on the Betty White episode of
      > > > Community, with only half attention. I am not generally interested in
      > > > the show as I found the whole idea of it to reinforce all the stigma and
      > > > stereotype that our students have to deal with in reality. It doesn't
      > > > surprise me that it does the same for anthropologists.
      > > >
      > > > Brian
      > > >
      > > > From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
      > > > [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>] On
      > > > Behalf
      > > > Of dianne.chidester@... <mailto:dianne.chidester%40gvltec.edu>
      > > > Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 7:44 AM
      > > > To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com <mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
      > > > Subject: FW: [SACC-L] Re: Stein, Rowe, and Betty White.
      > > >
      > > > I sent this yesterday, but I don't think it got through.
      > > >
      > > > I remember the same discussions with the movie, "Krippendorf's Tribe".
      > > > I used that movie for an anthro club meeting and it really helped
      > > > generate some fantastic discussions. Of course, all of this brings up
      > > > the topic of how much control does any group have over how they are
      > > > presented? I know that I see myself as teaching anthropology in an
      > > > informative as well as entertaining way. Some of my students agree.
      > > > However, some of them would like to use a blowgun on me!
      > > >
      > > > Also, I've also thought that it may not be that anthros spend so much
      > > > time with others that makes us "different" but it might be that on some
      > > > level we feel we don't "fit" in our own culture and therefore explore
      > > > others. Kind of like the old "psychologists go into psychology to find
      > > > out why they're crazy."
      > > >
      > > > Ducking under the desk once again-
      > > >
      > > > Dianne
      > > >
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      > >
      > > --
      > >
      > > -----------------------------
      > > Andrew J Petto, PhD
      > > Senior Lecturer
      > > Department of Biological Sciences
      > > University of Wisconsin -- Milwaukee
      > > PO Box 413
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