Camilla Cracchiolo (
Fri, 27 May 1994 17:49:45 GMT

Patrick H. Adkins ( wrote:

: MS:> There is a very recent book in which the
: author debunks almost every ethnographic report of cannibalism.
: Unfortunately, the name escapes me. anyone?

: I don't remember it either, but I saw him interviewed on a Learning Channel
: TV show. He seemed determined to deny that cannibalism every existed anywhere,
: because cannibalism could too easily be used as an excuse to condemn other
: cultures. (In other words, PC.)

I didn't see the show in question, so perhaps someone who did could
jump in and correct me if I'm wrong. But from what I've heard of this
person's work, he's not saying it's wrong because Europeans use it
to condemn other cultures. He's saying the reports are wrong because
the people the anthros are studying (in other words, third world types)
are using it to condemn other cultures. You know: "we would *never*
practice cannibalism! That would be (take your pick: 'taboo', 'against
the wishes of the gods', 'uncivilized'.) But those folks over there,
who we don't like and with whom we have been at war for generations,
and who killed my uncle, *those* nasty beasts practice it. Everyone
says so, so it must be true!'

I don't have much respect for the term PC, since it seems to be shortcut
used when people don't want to seriously examine issues. But I utterly
fail to see how it even applies in this case, since I would think
the so-called "PC" approach would say it was wrong to imply that
people from another culture ever lie or believe something about
another culture just cause they don't like 'em.


Camilla Cracchiolo, RN Los Angeles, CA

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