I’ve often wondered whether people who live their entire lives in places with really fantastic National-Geographic-esque animals still get excited when they see them. Are elephants still cool if you live in Kenya? And are squirrel monkeys equally entertaining for Amazonians as they are for me, or are they just like, well, squirrels? For their… Continue reading On the Need for a Huaorani A.L.F.
Being an EstadoUnidense* in Latin America should not be easy. Forget Pakistan; there is no region of the world with more legitimate and longstanding grievances against the U.S. than Latin America. Ecuadorians, for example, could complain about the CIA’s supposed role in the death of President Jaime Roldós in 1981, or, more concretely, the enduring… Continue reading The Long, Charming Reach of Racism
Last summer, it was a beard. This summer, it’s Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Almost exactly one year ago, I arrived in Uganda, expecting to see some elephants, learn a bit of Luganda, raft down the Nile, and maybe, in between visits to national parks, do a bit of economic research on agricultural cooperatives. It didn’t… Continue reading Africa Beards, Expat Guilt, and Mac’n’Cheese
Have you heard the news? Uganda is no longer a civilized nation! At least, that’s the take of the Washington Post, which (rightly) denounced a bill in front of Uganda’s parliament that would give a life sentence to “serial” homosexuals, imprison people who “aid and abet” homosexuality, and require citizens to report homosexual activity to… Continue reading Un-civilized, Un-democratic, Un-relativist
Long before I came to Oxford, I had heard about Oxford’s notorious animal rights activists. They epitomized the absolute extreme to which the movement had come: “they” broke into labs, harassed professors, and even committed acts of bombing and arson. While there were many reason why my interviews for the Rhodes and Marshall were disasters,… Continue reading The Face of Terrorism (Oxford and elsewhere)
The ideas in this post were mostly bouncing around in my head at Christmastime, but with today being the one month anniversary of the quake in Haiti—and having just attended a panel on the international community’s response to said disaster—these things seemed suddenly relevant again. – – – – – The first proper summer job… Continue reading Giving Well
This post comes a week late. On January 27th, 1945, Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated by allied forces. Tonight, Oxford’s Chabad House held a commemorative event for the 65th anniversary. Before I can return to my (now much less important-seeming) work, there are some thoughts I simply have to put to paper (but, if you want to… Continue reading (N)ever Again
“We could live off of dumpsters if we have to Sell our blood by the pint to make rent This kind of dignity doesn’t come easy But you’ll never find it for sale” – Against Me! One of the things that surprised me in Uganda was that there were no beggars. I expected Kampala, the… Continue reading Indulgences
There are a few questions that seem to get asked at every single animal rights event I’ve ever been to, in spite of their complete inanity. At the end of any lecture by a vegan philosopher, it’s inevitably that some carnivore with raise their hand and smugly—as if they had come up with an idea… Continue reading On “Happy Meat”
Mitch Duneier – the ethnographer who advised my thesis – wrote a book called Slim’s Table with a chapter asking “I’m Black, You’re White, Who’s Innocent?” It’s a complicated question, but in Uganda, the answer is fait accompli. A few days ago, our project manager – a Ugandan named Charity – approached me and said… Continue reading You’re Stealing, I’m Exploiting. You’re Black, I’m White. You’re Fired, I’m Fine.