Betty White made a cameo in the first episode of season two in the hugely popular US sitcom Community, rocking the role of anthropology Professor June Bauer. Described by the writers and publicized by the Hollywood Reporter as “an esteemed, albeit slightly unhinged, anthropology professor,” Prof. Bauer typifies one widespread perception of anthropologists.
In late April of this year, it was announced that twelve of the wealthiest and best supported teams from across Europe would be competing in a new competition across Europe. The Super League was to be played in place of the current Champions League. However, places in the Super League would not be decided on where a side finished in the existing domestic league table but instead the league would have no relegation or promotion and access to the league would have been based on prior agreement by the founding clubs. These clubs were the richest with the largest global audiences but not necessarily the best achieving teams. Within three days of the announcement of the new league, all of the English teams who had committed to participating had withdrawn in the face of giant public backlash. The proposal was, seemingly without exception, hated by every football fan including those of the teams that would have joined the league. So why did this particular proposal arouse such anger and disgust?
Every way of knowing is also a way of not knowing. Privileging one point of view, or one form of evidence, requires the erasure of other ways of perceiving and understanding the world. What do our cultures give us permission not to know? By what means are we permitted to blinker ourselves? And do our cultures ever encourage us to see those truths again?