Making Strange

Picture 5With the release of “Noah” in theaters across the U.S. on the day that I’m writing this, an old thought occurred to me: wouldn’t it be interesting to use popular movies as a way to entertain how to see “their” local as “they” might see it? For the familiarity that we attribute to stories about, say, talking to burning bushes or feeding throngs with a few fishes and loaves is surely comparable to how familiar other people surely consider the miraculous tales that they grew up hearing, that they read and study, or that they hear recited regularly in ritual settings. Continue reading

What Does “Omaha!” Mean?

Photo: Craig Hawkins via Flickr

Peyton Manning loves Omaha. Or at least the Denver Broncos quarterback loves to yell “OMAHA!” just before the start of a play. Omaha is just one of the many words he and other quarterbacks yell just before the ball is snapped. Sometimes these words are audibles, quick changes of the play the team is about to run. Sometimes they are meaningless verbiage meant to confuse the other team. Continue reading

One Bad Apple Don’t Spoil the Whole Bunch

juggalosIn the news this past week was the FBI’s classification of the fans — the so-called Juggalos — of the hip hop duo, Insane Clown Posse (ICP), as members of a gang (a classification that allows law enforcement greater freedoms). The group is now suing the FBI. Continue reading

“The Same…, But Different”

 [This post is reblogged from Culture on the Edge]

aristotleIn 2008 I took a small group of undergraduate students from our Department at the University of Alabama to Thessaloniki, Greece (that’s us above, with a famous philosopher, who has a shiny toe, likely from tourists rubbing it), where I had been for a conference a couple years before, and at which I first met my Culture on the Edge colleague, Vaia Touna. I’ve returned several times since that first trip, sometimes with other students and sometimes to help further my own school’s initiative to establish a long term relationship with Aristotle University — a school whose namesake was from a village about an hour’s drive east of the city. Continue reading