The story of the Nacirema

Academic writing rarely has a sense of humour. So it’s all the more amusing when an article is written parodying everyone and it is taken seriously. Behold, an excerpt from the “Body Ritual among the Nacirema“:

The fundamental belief underlying the whole system appears to be that the human body is ugly and that its natural tendency is to debility and disease. Incarcerated in such a body, man’s only hope is to avert these characteristics through the use of ritual and ceremony. Every household has one or more shrines devoted to this purpose. The more powerful individuals in the society have several shrines in their houses and, in fact, the opulence of a house is often referred to in terms of the number of such ritual centers it possesses. Most houses are of wattle and daub construction, but the shrine rooms of the more wealthy are walled with stone. Poorer families imitate the rich by applying pottery plaques to their shrine walls.”

A modern shrine.

If you haven’t clicked already, it’s the story of the 1950’s American. The whole thing is worth a read – it’s not very long and there are some absolute gems about dentists; I wonder how different a current version would be? I imagine there would be sedentary worship of glowing rectangular objects factoring quite prominently!

Anyway, I’m off to try my hand at some fiction writing. It’s a romance story involving neuroscience. My life is strange.

Bonus pic: A random forest path in Ireland!
Categories: Random Links, Thoughts | Tags: , | 3 Comments

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