Monday, December 12, 2011


If you have been reading my blog for awhile or know me at all you know that I tend to find Anthropology in everything. Also if you know me even a little bit you know that I love movies. So it would make sense that I would find Anthropology in movies. One of my favorite movies and example of Anthropology in movies is Idiocracy.
Idiocracy is a movie that was released in 2006 in select theaters and didn't get much buzz about it. In fact I bet hardly any of you have heard of it. It was written and directed by Mike Judge, the creator of Beavis and Butthead and King of the Hill. So right off the bat you're probably thinking it's some crude movie with bathroom jokes and objectifying woman. Well yes that is true on the surface but beneath it there is so much more.
It stars Luke Wilson as a Joe, literally an average Joe, who volunteers to participate in a military experiment that involves a hibernation process. Joe and a former prostitute go into hibernation but then the military forgets about them. They wake up 500 years into the future to find a world where everything has become insanely dumbed down. In this strange future Joe and the prostitute Rita have become the smartest people in the future and because of this draw major attention to themselves.
The movie continues with them getting arrested at one point, meeting a bunch of people along the way (and learning just how stupid America has become) all in search of trying to find a machine to take them back to their time. Now I won't ruin the movie for you because I want you to go out and see it but I do want to at least highlight some of the Anthropological topics in it.
First we have the concept that America is getting stupider and stupider. At the beginning of the movie the narrator starts talking about how the "dumb" people in society are procreating more and thus raising their children to be just as dumb and creating this huge chain and population growth. There is something to this logic I think to a certain degree.
The movie also addresses advertisement and the media and just how influential they become. In the movie everything is sponsored by something and people seem to do nothing but sit in front of the TV watching mindless shows about people getting injured. It goes into the concept of circular thinking and why people believe everything they hear. All in all it shows what path we may be on if we don't stop with the laziness.
This movie has a great theme behind it and the concept it phenomenal. Like I said it is a Mike Judge production so it does have its crude moment but if you don't mind that the core of the movie is great. If you want to learn more about it visit the IMDB page:

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Devolution of the Holidays

Yeah, yeah I know I haven't blogged in awhile but things have been super crazy lately! Work has been insane, the museum is getting ready to display a new exhibit and I'm in the process of moving into a new apartment. So yeah when it comes to having free time there isn't much to be had. When there is some to be had though I tend to want to veg out in front of the TV or go to the gym. Anyways that's not the topic of this blog post.

I'm sitting here at my boyfriend's as he's sick in bed and it's given me the free time to actually think and to write this blog post. See I started thinking about the Holidays. First off I was thinking how I haven't gotten any presents for hardly anyone yet and how much that is stressing me out. Then I started to think of how things were when I was little versus now.

When I was younger I remember having this amazing Thanksgiving dinner sitting around the table with family as we talked about how thankful we were for everything. Now it has devolved to us sitting around watching football and eating the meal before rushing off to all the other places that we will be going to. And this isn't just my family. There are a good majority of families who do this as well.

Then there is the issue of the stores. It used to be that hardly any stores were open on this day and now more and more are opened for at least a little bit. This then causes many of the employees there to have to work when they would be with their families instead. This year the big thing was the stores being closed during the day on Thanksgiving but then opening up at Midnight for the Black Friday sales. This then meant that people were rushing around from their family events to get there early (cause for Black Friday of course there was major set up involved) so that they could work insane hours to satisfy the consumers.

Christmas and the other Holidays have become the same way. Many of the big stores are open on or around Christmas. True they get their employees who don't celebrate the particular holiday at the time to work, but still people who do celebrate end up working as well. I remember on Christmas the only thing that was open was a small Deli near my house that was run by a Jewish family. I remember going there to get sandwiches (and my parents alcohol to take to the different parties we were going to) and that was the only place open around for miles.

Also what goes along with that is this constant need to keep pushing the holiday sales longer and longer. We saw it with Black Friday and the stores opening up earlier than usual but even before that we saw tons of Christmas decorations in the stores. Some stores started selling Christmas items right after Halloween. (and I won't even get started to how they seem to only cater to the Christmas season, that is a whole other issue in itself).

Then there's the decorating for Christmas itself. I remember my mom putting on our Bing Crosby Christmas album as we decorated with tinsel and small figurines around the house. We used to drive around looking for the perfect Christmas tree to fit in our house (my dad and brother always wanted the huge ones). Now we're lucky if we put a couple decorations up and we now have a fake tree. And once again this isn't just my family that does this.

What it boils down to is the big corporations wanting to capitalize on the Holidays and then Americans have circum to it. Also it seems that this devolution is a lot on the fault of the laziness of Americans. We want everything to be easy and convenient. Well sometimes they just can't be like that. I hope when I have a family that I never circum to "what is the easiest" solution when it comes to the Holidays or perhaps things in general.