Mar 13, 2017

Ceci n'est pas Andy Warhol

True story: when I was a kid I once got yelled at by Andy Warhol who thought I was surreptitiously taking his photo. He was really furious and his friends (one of whom I’m pretty sure was Basquiat) had to calm him down. The thing is, I really wasn’t taking his picture! I didn’t even know who he was. I only figured out it was Warhol when I late...

Dec 26, 2016

Nazi Cosplay

So this happened: An international incident was caused when students at Kuang Fu High School, a private high school in Hsinchu, Taiwan, dressed up as Nazis as part of celebrations to commemorate the school’s anniversary. The principle has already apologized and announced that he will be stepping down early (he was already scheduled to depart ...

Sep 27, 2016

Politics as a Vocation

Who would Weber vote for in this election? Here’s a hint: As far as political… activities are concerned… Western experience has pre­sented two fundamental types of protagonist. On the one hand, there are individuals for whom those actives constitute an aspect of broader social position, generally a privileged one. Typically, such individuals...

Jul 12, 2016

Getting from Pudong to Hongqiao

So let’s say you bought the cheapest plane ticket you could get, even though it involved a five hour layover in Shanghai, but it was only when you were heading out to the airport that you noticed the layover also involved switching airports in Shanghai! Fear not, this post is intended to help you make your connecting flight. When it happened to ...

Jun 13, 2016

Explaining Israel to Taiwanese

Last week the American Anthropology Association (AAA) announced the results of a historic vote over a resolution advocating the academic boycott of Israeli institutions. With 51% of the membership voting, the resolution failed by just 39 votes: 2,423-2,384, essentially a tie. Having written a fair amount advocating the boycott for Savage Minds (...

Sep 23, 2015

Wawa No Cidal

Some preliminary thoughts on having just seen 太陽的孩子 Wawa No Cidal. First of all, this is an emotionally charged film that shows some of the real issues facing indigenous peoples in Taiwan without reducing them to stereotypes. It also deserves credit for making extensive use of the Amis language. For all these reasons everyone should watch...

Aug 12, 2015

Embassy to Rome

In 155 BCE Rome fined Athens 500 talents for the sacking of Oropus. This was a huge amount for Athens to pay, so they sent the leading philosophers of the Stoic (Diogenes), Academic (Carneades, representing what is also known as the Skeptic school), and Peripatetic (Critolaus) schools to Rome to negotiate the fine. (The Epicureans were notorious...