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Some Remarks on 'Some Remarks'[]

The title Some Remarks on Cannibalism is written in a style similar to anthropological documents written from the 18th-20th century; it is a running gag that each episode is a journal entry for Archer following his unwitting and unlikely encounters with the various strata of human beings on a remote island.  In the upper echelons are Charlotte - an heiress to a multimillion dollar fortune - and Lanaluakalani (and parents) - a princess and Royal family; Malory, Reynaud the capitaine, Pam and Fuchs the Nazi scientist/adventurer all represent the middle strata; Manu, Doudou and Luigi the bottom tier with the cannibals representing the aboriginal or 'natural state'; to the extent they exist outside of the dominant economic world view of the day; the unclassified 'other'.  And then there's Crackers.  Pam makes the titular remarks in a moment of self-reference whilst contemplating her mortality (and her flavour).

On the Meaning of a Savage Declaration[]

Malory: "I swear to God if those cannibals don't have a bar I may literally die"
Charlotte: "Oh my God!  And an oyster bar!"
Crackers: "I can pretty much guarantee they don't have either of those things"
Malory:  "...savages."

The history of anthropology (and to a large extent history itself) is written from a Euro-centric perspective. (That is to say, ethno-centrism where the group (ethno-) at the centre is European).  Malory uses the word ironically, as you would describe anyone who didn't have a bar, not just a group of so-called savages.  Her wit is as savage as ever.

Self Reference in the Taboo Groves[]

When musing on whether she would voluntarily "eat a person" as if they were just "damned dinner", Pam adopts the narrative voice and addresses the episodes title with some remarks on cannibalism.  She expresses a considered view on what is perhaps the most unspoken of taboos:  that cannibalism in survival ("starvation-type") situations "goes without saying".  Her only ethical concern about eating a person for dinner seems to be the way they die.  She doesn't like the idea of someone being killed for the purposes of eating, but if they happened to die of a brain aneurysm (a recurring cause of death) that would be more humane, in her mind, in spite of the 3 days of horror as they are prepared for the pot.  

Pam's dialogue reveals that, whilst anthropologists might favour a moral relativist position towards all cultures at all times, when modern people consider tribes of cannibals to be 'savages' we tend to be more ethno-centric and morally absolutist.  (Cannibalism is always wrong).   What is being remarked upon is that, in extreme life-or-death circumstances, if we are to survive, we are all capable of being moral-relativists with regards to cannibalism.  Morality is context dependent, when pushed to extremes.  If the conditions are extreme enough, the most abhorrent behaviours can be justified.  This scares people, which is why the subject is taboo; for others, it is a cold matter of survival.  Archer is represented as a common sense moral absolutist, believing himself to fighting for good against the evils of Nazism etc.  Whether context would make a cannibal of him is unclear, but the rationalisation has been put out there by Pam.

A Stimulating Thought[]

  • Trying to dismiss any physical attraction to Pam as involuntary ('it's just a reflex') fails on logical grounds as he wouldn't (ordinarily) respond sexually to a non-sexual stimulus.  By failing to specify what type of stimulus results in that kind of response he commits the fallacy of affirming the consequent, thereby implying that any stimulus would give him an erection:  
    • For a response R to occur, a stimulus S must be present; R occured: therefore an S is present. 
  • What would have made sense logically would be if he admitted to finding Pam attractive:  
    • If there is a sexual stimulus, a sexual response will occur; there is a sexual stimulus (in the form of Pam); therefore a sexual response occurs.
      • But where would be the fun in that?

Communications of the Highest Kind (talk) 01:24, June 5, 2018 (UTC)