Thursday 2 July 2015

Two free gifts in return for an Anthropologist


Although I am fond of reading, I avoid libraries. They make it all too obvious exactly how much I have not read. Taken as a mass the unturned pages oppress me. In a coffee shop or sunny garden any reading material is a treasure, but stacked in large piles in gloomy corridors the wasted effort of scribbling is all too apparent. I am willing to concede that in the furthest abandoned metal-shelved basement there may be gems sparkling in the darkness, but mostly the contents will be deservedly obscure, like Mankind Quarterly. I presume that it is read only by people who wear waistcoats by day and pyjamas by night.

Now the Editor of that esteemed publication writes to me with a kind offer: two free editions for general distribution issued under his new command. The Spring edition has a “Winds of Change” editorial which describes the new approach.

Gerhard Meisenberg writes: “I attach the complete MQ issues of Spring and Summer. Feel free to distribute them. Although the MQ is a subscription-based journal, we want MQ papers to circulate freely and actually encourage our authors to put their papers on Researchgate and similar places. Richard Lynn and I are trying to turn the MQ into a respectable outlet for serious research. If you know of any people who have interesting papers, especially papers that fall under the umbrella of “anthropology”, feel free to direct them to us. We try our best, but we need more submissions and better submissions.”

I do not know how one contacts anthropologists. I presume one has to travel large distances to out of the way places, approach them cautiously, and gently get to know them. I am very aware that one should not impose values on them, nor disturb their simple way of life. In the best traditions of potlatch you should offer them the two issues with as much aristocratic ostentation as possible, and engender a sense of deep indebtedness which may force them to submit a paper.  Could you, very respectfully, and with the greatest cultural sensitivity, let any anthropologists of your acquaintance know of this revived quarterly tribal meeting place?


  1. "it is read only by people who wear ... pyjamas by night."

    Are you a nightshirt man, then?

  2. "I do not know how one contacts anthropologists." It probably involves disrobing.

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