Friday, September 29, 2006

From "Traveling Light"

The Perils of 'Going Native' by Rolf Potts
In The Songlines, Bruce Chatwin observes that nomadic animal species tend to be less dependent upon hierarchies and shows of dominance, since the hardships of the journey naturally weed out the weak. Now that nomadic life rarely involves natural selection, however, travel culture seems to have utilized fashion (among other things) as a subtle kind of litmus test. Ostensibly, a Shan jacket worn with a Mao hat and cotton pyjama bottoms implies that you had the Darwinian oomph to survive northern Burma, communist China, and the Punjab. (Wearing a fanny pack over a lungi, on the other hand, implies that you have yet to prove your evolutionary jam.)

Full article.

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