to readers: there has been little time to produce a normal
article this week. To those of you who subscribe to this paper
and receive it regularly every Saturday, at the time you receive
this I will be somewhere in the air over the Middle East on
my way to Australia. My wife is in Sydney and I have been appointed to a Visiting Fellowship at the Macleay Museum of the University of Sydney. It will be a pity to leave Eivissa, with
its stunning weather at the moment, but for those who live
on the island the summer is actually the best time to get
away. Away from the crowds and the noise (at least on the
coast: up here in the hills one notices no change at all and
I have never seen tourists up here in the 12 years I have
been based on the island). This year is not so noisy, however,
it seems: tourism has suffered a rather massive slump as larger
numbers of eager young British summer travellers head further
east into the Mediterranean,
toward cheaper destinations outside of the Euro zone. Crete and Cyprus, Turkey and Greece seem to be taking a lot of those who should
normally be roasting on the beaches of Eivissa. Greece finally realized that it had to ease up a
bit on its anti-drug laws to enable this type of tourism to
really boom there! There will be a lot of bankruptcies on
the island here as the year goes on, but hopefully people
here will learn from it; I remember the same thing happening
on Eivissa in 1992 but nobody really seemed to learn from
that. Many of the same mistakes continue to be made. But at
least those here will, of course, have a memorable holiday
with lots to tell their friends when they get back home.
it will be good to get out of this part of the world for a
while - Europe is
a bit too close (although one of the good things about the
real Eivissa is that it is sort of part of Europe but not really in it) to many of the rather
weird things that are happening at the moment. Wars and rumours
of wars. The tragic situation continues in Palestine/Israel.
Bush continues threatening a war with Iraq (wars - hopefully brief - have usually been good for a president's popularity
and have beneficial effects on the US economy). Corporate scandals in the US continue
to damage 'confidence' in the US (and elsewhere) economy and
'capitalist' business system (rather surprising to me that
there was really any confidence in it anyway, as I had always
assumed that much of the higher reaches of the system was
pretty sleazy) and millions of poor members of the elderly
public are seeing their pension funds or life savings wither
away. Repercussions will spread around the world in a sort
of rippling-out domino-theory type collapse from the epicentre
in the US. There are a lot more big companies due for
collapse or due to be discovered to have 'inflated profits'.
The modern world has been 'Hanging on the Vine called Money'
(see my article about that - I can't remember what issue that
was in) and now the Vine is sick.
nearly three weeks time I will be back in Vanuatu in the Southwest Pacific for a month. I will
be bringing in to Vanuatu Luis Pancorbo and his renowned documentary
film team from Television Espanola to produce two, maybe three,
one hour documentary programmes which should be broadcast
later this year on Spanish TV's Channel Two as parts of Luis's
famous "Otros Pueblos'
('Other Peoples' series). For me it will be another opportunity
to renew my contacts and friendships with indigenous Ni-Vanuatu
there. They are a people that are basically a lot more sensible
than many of our present-day leaders in the 'modern' world.
actually think that our leaders are sensible? How can they
be? Listen to this statement given in April 2001 to the US
senate's House International Relations Committee by the US
Secretary of State Colin Powell: "If we hold true to
the principles of our system, and if we keep advocating that
system around the world, we are going to continue to reshape
this world in a way that will benefit all mankind
is no ideology out there that can truly compete with what
we can offer to the world
what we have to do is not to
be afraid and remain strong
and be willing to fight and
deter those who will not be a part of this new world."
And this is not a Hollywood movie script; it's the real thing!! Well,
a part of this new world at the moment seems to be 'our system'
in a stage of economic upheaval that is definitely not benefiting
anyone - except for those sneaky ones at the top of the system
who have for years been immorally ripping off the system to
the detriment of those lower down: a few of those have recently
been caught with their hands in the cookie jar, but there
are untold numbers more of them obviously trying to keep a
very low profile at the moment. If I happen to come across
any shifty-looking US (or others) CEOs, bankers, auditors,
stockbrokers, etc, who have suddenly become 'beachcombers'
in isolated Vanuatu, you readers will be the first to hear of
will still be submitting 'An Anthropological View' (although
not necessarily every week) from wherever I am, if it is possible.
Meanwhile, until one returns to Eivissa, good reading and
Kirk W Huffman