Questions re: the ethical consumption of suffering

How can we construct an ethics around the fact that suffering is everywhere; how do we construct an ethics in relation to ‘dispersed suffering’ (Povinelli 2011)?

What might a Christian ethics in relation to dispersed suffering look like? Do we use it for the production of our own Christian identity? Do we use it as an example?

How might we humanize those who are suffering without objectifying them for our self-benefit and consumption? Is that even possible?

If we recognize that the suffering of others is fundamentally contingent on our own actions, how might we consume (or give) in ways that do not objectify others? Is that even possible?

Is green consumption the answer? Are the master’s tools ever enough to dismantle the master’s house? (Lorde 1983)?

So many questions, so few answers.


Canada 150? #Resistance150.

ses·qui·cen·ten·ni·al: a one-hundred-and-fiftieth anniversary.

Canada 150. Canada, the nation-state, the former British colony-turned-dominion, turns one-hundred and fifty years this year. And as the sesquicentennial festivities around the country celebrates the occasion, corporations and institutions are licking their chops with the prospect of cashing in on all of that celebratory, patriotic goodne$$.

Now, if that sounds rather cynical and overly sarcastic, it’s meant to be. But this post isn’t to highlight How Indigenous people are rebranding Canada 150. It isn’t even to harp on what it means for the thousands of indigenous communities who see this occasion as a celebration of 150+ years of colonization. This small post wouldn’t do justice … and nor would I feel inclined to speak for indigenous communities.

It’s uncomfortable thinking about these issues. Countless churches, big and small, visit native reservations as a missions trip. I’ve gone on one and although I will reserve my personal opinions on the subject, I can’t help but self-reflexively think to myself: How am I complicit in the colonization of indigenous communities? In what ways have I been reproducing or legitimizing the Canadian state’s ability to silence indigenous voices and coerce them into the nation-state body politic?

Continue reading “Canada 150? #Resistance150.”


My first blog post

Hello. Welcome to my first WordPress blog post. A space where I write my (relatively unfiltered) thoughts on many things, the contents of which encompass the political to the social to the spiritual. More often than not, I’ll be talking about all of these things simultaneously within the same post and through an anthropological perspective.

In lieu of recording myself 24/7, I thought writing would
(a) be a good outlet for me to write my thoughts and return to them in the future and …
(b) provide a space through which meaningful discussions can be had in a productive fashion (I recognize how very few people comment on blogs in general but it is a hopeful delusion I carry)

To give you a glimpse into what I’d be sharing, take for instance a recently published article titled, “For vulnerable high school girls in Japan, a culture of ‘dates’ with older men.” Reporting for The Washington Post, Anna Fifield writes in the article how a particular kind of ‘subculture’ in Japan has allowed high school girls to engage in various ‘dating’ activities with older men. “High school dating” in this context could mean anything from a casual walk, a drink in a bar, to transactional sex. She would assert that what is happening is simple: child prostitution. The point of the article is to highlight the ongoing (and often futile efforts) in curtailing child prostitution because of a persistent societal effort to put the onus on girls to take responsibility for their actions.

Continue reading “My first blog post”