Pinochet's Mistake: Taking Tea With Thatcher 

Pinochet's Mistake: Taking Tea With Thatcher 

Pinochet's Mistake: Taking Tea With Thatcher 

Recent posts from our readers forum.
Dec. 14 2000 12:00 AM

Pinochet's Mistake: Taking Tea With Thatcher 

Subject: Chagnon: Not Guilty Again
Re:
"Culturebox: Is Anthropology Evil?"
From:
Raymond Hames, Professor of Anthropology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Date:
Sun Dec 10 2000 1:03 p.m. PT

Advertisement

Judith Shulevitz, in a piece generally condemnatory of Patrick Tierney's book Darkness in El Dorado, says Chagnon learned Yanomamö names by staging a form of competitive retaliation. In fact it is quite clear from the primary sources that Chagnon attempted to avoid insulting informants through naming deceased kin. Sometimes he failed. But the Yanomamö understand these mistakes and are forgiving if they believe that there was no attempt to insult or harm.

As for using the lure of Western trade goods to facilitate the collection of information, Chagnon, as well as myself and all others who have done ethnographic research, must plead guilty. In social science research here and abroad we call this an informant or subject fee. An informant's time, effort, and knowledge are valuable and they expect to be compensated. I doubt whether Tierney collected any systematic information without the reciprocation of trade goods.

[Find an unedited version of this post here; Culturebox replies to this letter here.]

Subject: Something Funny About Feminism

Re:
"The Book Club: Dear Sisters"

From:
Amy Bloom

Date:
Mon Dec 4 2000 12:58 p.m. PT

Advertisement

Joseph Britt writes in the Fray that "most ardent feminists … are grim, dim, thoroughly intolerant, utterly predictable and generally unpleasant people."

I haven't known very many in-the-trenches civil rights activists, or revolutionary Catholic priests or lobbyists for ending the cycle of welfare-and-foster-care who were blessed with a sense of humor, a gift for joy and an easygoing attitude toward the ups-and-downs of social change. I will say that the ones who do have these qualities can melt hearts and change minds far more effectively than anyone else, but they are rare characters. Why should these feminists be any different?

[Find this post here.]

Subject: Slow Poison for Conservatives

Re:
"The Breakfast Table: Can Conservatives Be Bobos?"

From:
Conrad Goehausen

Date:
Mon Dec 4 2000 11:02 AM

Advertisement

Bobos are those who have embraced the world of relative values, and those who react to them are those who cling to fundamental values. And that is a warfare of values that has not yet even surfaced fully, because the social conservatives are still in bed with their enemy, the free-market economic conservatives. And Tom Frank is right to think that someday soon they will wake up and smell the Starbucks, and realize that the people they have been in bed with are slowly poisoning them. When that day comes, say in about 20-30 years, we will probably have another massive cultural clash as in the '60s.

[Find this post—and follow a terrific thread—here.]

Subject: Why Ex-Dictators Should Lie Low

Re:
"Foreigners: The Real Shame of Pinochet"

From:
Dilan Esper

Date:
Mon Dec 4 2000 7:59 p.m. PT

It is worth noting that Gen. Pinochet was not simply living out his life peacefully somewhere and not bothering anyone. He demanded respectability—he traveled as a member of the jet set, took tea with Baroness Thatcher in England, and continued to pull the strings behind right-wing parties and the military in Chile. He felt the constant need to be around VIPs in international circles. He wanted to avail himself of the best medical care in Europe rather than taking his chances with the Chilean health-care system that he helped create. Britain put a stop to that once and for all, for Pinochet and for others in the future.

Advertisement

[Find this post here.]

Fray Notes: If you somehow haven't quite heard enough about the election, then the week's key post is Dave's "10 reasons why Canadians should pick the winner" here. Also recommended: a fascinating analysis on Fray postings over the past month here—nice job, Arkie, very perceptive. We particularly liked the bit about "the upper-middle class origins of the majority of us on the Fray."

We have received a complaint: "Why, oh why, would you single out one of the silliest posts in the Pearl Harbor "History Lesson" string for implied praise?" So, which one did J.T. LaSaine Jr mean? Click here, scroll down, and guess.

Fray poster of the week: (Fray poster of the month) has to be Paul Decker, who not only faced down Chatterbox last week, and regularly puts us right on legal matters, but also posts on politics generally, and now sports.

Advertisement

Elsewhere, unrelieved joy came from the A Hard Day's Night Fray; Press Box and its Fray gave us the chance to use a Rude Word, and the posters on the NASCAR article very much wanted to use rude words about Seth Stevenson.

And finally, here are the Fray editor's favorite lines of the week:

Stuffed olives will have to be checked …

Careful, you know how it is. They're not you.

The topic was online shopping services, in case you didn't guess.