Monthly Archives: April 2021

RIP Marshall Sahlins (1930 – 2021)

Death of Captain James Cook (1783) by George Carter. This image of the murder of James Cook reproduced here to illustrate the debate Sahlins was involved in. Did the natives consider Cook a god or not? Or was this a hineininterpretiering of Western imagination?

Marshall Sahlins was an American anthropologist.

What currently interests me in anthropology are a) accusations of eurocentrism; b) discussions on the nature of human nature (innate good or bad); and c) sexual anthropology. By sexual anthropology I mean a particular variant of it, which I call anthropologica, namely the prurient interest in sex which masquerades as anthropology.

There is no anthropologica in Sahlins, anthropologica is more the province of the 17th and 18th centuries.

I know not of discussion by Sahlins on the innate goodness or badness of man.

There are accusations of eurocentrism in Sahlins: see the Sahlins–Obeyesekere debate.

Sahlins co-authored the book On Kings (2017) with David Graeber, who died recently and of whom I’ve read the book on debt and the book on bullshit jobs.

David Graeber also wrote a foreword to a later edition of Stone Age Economics (1972).

RIP Gene Youngblood (1942 – 2021)

 Gene Youngblood is an American writer best known for his book Expanded Cinema (1970). The book is a typical product of 1960s counter-cultural utopianism.

Unidentified edition of ‘Expanded Cinema’.

Contrary to the usual 1960s utopianism, Youngblood’s utopianism is not focused on politics but on form.

Central to this book is the predicted advent of a new noosphere. Noosphere is a concept coined by Teilhard de Chardin (along with Vladimir Vernadsky).

RIP Patrick Juvet (1950 – 2021

“I Love America”

Patrick Juvet was a Swiss singer-songwriter who had a string of hit records in France (“Où sont les femmes?”) during the seventies.

He found international success with disco compositions such as “I Love America” (1978) which was his biggest record and was included on the compilation A Night at Studio 54 (1979).

Also in 1979, he wrote the soundtrack to Laura by David Hamilton.

By the early eighties, after the death of disco, his five minutes of fame were over.