Katie Go Now!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Well, it's happened again.

I can't get more than a few pages into readings for Theory before the weight of... life... just gets to me. The past 2 lectures add up to about 10 pages of notes and a very cramped writing hand, but I have a great grasp of capitalist ideology. And I hate it.

Check out part of this article on Indian assimilation in the 1800s:

"get the Indian out of the blanket and into trousers,--and trousers with a pocket in them, and
with a pocket that aches to be filled with dollars!" (from an 1896 legislation)

It goes on to contextualize this:

"Realist reform aimed, first, to grant Indians certain kinds of property rights, but also, second, to make them aware of the property that they did not have."

What the hell?! Our government worked to plant seeds of SELFISHNESS in these peoples minds so that they would become part of an American system. They previously had NO CONCEPT of personal property, and giving them one was apparently of the utmost importance. I hope that makes you feel as sick as it does me.

Look at that last quote again: "to make them aware of the property that they did not have." The worst part of that is that simple advertisements do this TO YOU every day. You may be perfectly fine with what you have, and really not wanting for anything until a clever commercial comes on, and suddenly your positive self-image is shattered and you need to update it.

I can hardly get dressed in the morning without running through these concepts of materialistic identity construction. When I say that I hate money, it's not just because I'm a codependent college student. That abhorrence has a lot to do with what I'm trying to say here.

Long story short... don't drink Coca Cola.


(quotes taken from Elliot's article "Ethnography, Reform, and the Problem of the Real: James Mooney's Ghost-Dance Religion" 1998)

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Summary of Globalization in 20 Seconds (or, 3 TAs With Umbrellas)

I have often claimed that my exceptionally awesome major consumes my life. It's always good to know I'm not the only one, that the other "TA rockstars" are... well... complete geeks. On this stormy day, we were armed with umbrellas and a perfect example:

Danielle: Your umbrella's totally colonizing mine!

Me: Baaaah! Usurping of natural resources!

Danielle: nooooooo! Reduced nutritional value!

Evan: Not a market economy!

Me: We're imposing our value system now!

Evan: Context collapse! Collapse the context!

Me: Anthropology joke! Anthropology joke!


Danielle: I wish we could have recorded that whole thing just now.

Evan: Mm, yes, for increased self-awareness via the language of video.

Basically, we love what we do, apply it to everything, make ridiculous connections where there might not really be any, and actually enjoy the prospect of a long study session for Prins' Theory class. Tonight will be the above conversation, x 7 hours, + pizza.

Prins has a crazy analogy about his theory class being like an aboriginal walk-about through the dark and treacherous Valley of the Moon. Tonight, we'll probably be trudging through it in rain boots. Here's hoping we can still find our way on Tuesday...

Don't you want to be an anthropologist now? :P


Friday, September 18, 2009

My own '90s party.

It may not be the most obvious thing about me, but yes: I did grow up on a corn farm in Indiana.

Well, it depends on what time frame you consider "growing up". And it wasn't our corn farm. But we're from here, and it's funny to see what things have changed in this town since we left in '96.

My cousins were smaller (so was their house). I got in town last night and tossed my stuff in Tony's room/Greg's place. Stacey offered to take me to McDonald's, so we hopped in her car and launched into a fiercely hilarious debate about how my 3-sibling boy band was better than hers... and finally agreed that we'd both pay money to actually see that dance battle. Wait... Stacey drives?!

Our church was smaller. It was a sanctuary and a few classrooms where I had preschool with Mrs. Verostko, and the youth group met in a trailer out back. I came up to the church with my aunt after lunch. She works in the new office next to the new foyer, which looks like a trendy coffee shop with high tables and wi-fi. Off to the side, there's the new youth room which looks like a trendy coffee shop with high tables and wi-fi... and an artsy wall rack full of old Jesus-pop CDs to be ripped. Oh, hey Delirious?. They sell books now too, so I probably won't get very far through the Wadi Rum today before Kelly comes here after school. Kelly... high school?!

And I'll never get tired of being updated about who works here at the church now, and being able to reply, "Yeah, that's my aunt/cousin/otherwise distant family." On top of that, I did get to catch up with Mrs. Verostko just now. She still teaches in those same classrooms.

Even though I see everyone here less than most of my acquaintances, there's never any awkwardness. It's the deepest level of comfort and familiarity. The trees are all bigger too, and I probably won't actually get to climb any while I'm here, but they're the same trees. All of this subtle growth and change happens constantly, but everything's still so familiar. It's nice.

So you guys can Hammer it up at that dance party all weekend if you want to... but this is where I experienced the '90s in all its Nickelodeon glory. Can't touch that.

I just had a thought that I could probably go catch up with my cousin Kyle this afternoon.

He lives in the house out back.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Never Thought my Heart Could Stretch Atlantic-Ocean-Wide

Depressing, right? PostSecret can be like that. It's not that you or I really care that this group of strangers didn't stay in touch after what looks like a memorable camping trip. It's that when you or I look at this picture with its caption, we probably see a different group, one with familiar faces, and know that



This may seem redundant; most of my "deep thought" posts are about loving people and missing people and really appreciating people and being fascinated by people. That is the bulk of what I think about that compels me to write anything.

I'm watching Planet Earth: Mountains on DiscoveryHD, and (as usual) it gives me "itchy feet": makes me want to really SEE these places. But the places don't come without the people. They shouldn't. Any place I go (and eventually leave) I pick up a true heart friend. Seriously,




They latch onto my heart like a snowball of amazing people, except they're never all in the same place at one time. It can be cause for great discontentment, but also for really exciting and fulfilling phone calls.

So when "Unknown Number" blinked at me on Thursday afternoon, I figured it was Rachel. I'd called her a few minutes before. In fact, when I answered, the person on the other end said, "Katie, it's Rachael!"...except it was in an English accent. Different girl, different place, but it was the same heart-ache happiness of hearing a long-missed voice.

And I love that. It doesn't suck.

The people who are really meant to stick around



And that's always surprising and completely beyond expectations.