Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bones and Progressives

On the TV show Bones, the main character is often referred to as a genius given her standing as the best forensic anthropologist in the nation. Perhaps. I think of her more as an idiot savant. Certainly her social skills, ability to work with others, her ego, lack of empathy and general abilities to reason in any field other than skeletons is on par with a Down's Syndrome child.

Bones' application of anthropology to current culture is challenged and warped by her total inability to frame what she knows with the wider cultural and social implications of man's progress. She is like a computer with no compass, an automaton who views the world and its culture as a large toy to be manipulated. She is marvelously adept at her job, and dangerously, neurotically stupid at the same time.

In a lesser way, that is how I view many academically inclined Progressive contributions to society. They are often artificially academic, based on assumptions with a stilted compass, and purport to manipulate the human experience and progress as though it were toy which can be manipulated to its own benefit.

It is not a coincidence that Bones is a Progressive. Her cultural ineptitude prevents her from seeing that most of her academic science would destroy the very culture in which she lives. Surely that is partly what she wants, as do most Progressives. What makes it dangerous is that in destroying it, in valuing it no higher than the jungle tribes she studies, she would reduce the current society to the economic level of the shaman run tribe she so readily exonerates. Maybe that is what she prefers as well, although there will be no Smithsonian there, her rational thoughts afforded only in the wisps of time between her harried search for survival and the brutish magnanimities of her master.

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