Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Another book on the want list

Johannes Jelgerhuis (1770–1836)
Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
It has been six months since I filed the application for the replacement of a missing document that is holding up most of my pensions and senior's benefits and that is the estimated waiting time that is posted on the government website. I started the whole process fifteen months ago. Needless to say, I am seeing the interiors of restaurants and bookshops far less than what I am used to. My book want list prices must add up to about a thousand dollars by now. At least I'm eating healthier.

Today, J. Laurence Hare, Excavating Nations: Archaeology, Museums and the German-Danish Borderlands. goes on my list. For some people, archaeology is a public relations tool for nationalist propaganda and is not conducted, as it should be, "to exercise the mind and to delight the senses". Perhaps the real purpose of nationalistic archaeology is to dull the mind and deaden the senses. I think that what we are seeing is the last dying gasps of a long-established archaeological subservience to political ideology. Anthropologists today think more in the terms of very personalized cultural frameworks than marching to national anthems. Like a plant that will suddenly go to seed or fruit when its survival is threatened, the end of an idea is always marked by a very active period before its demise.

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