Proposal to perfume within your region

Greetings, I found your information while surfing for a dance instructor within your location. How ever, I want to believe you are a dance teacher/instructor reliable with a good teaching experience. I have been contracted to do this booking and it is my wish to book with you for a group of 10 students coming from Germany, as they are preparing for their contracted proposal to perfume within your region. Kindly get back to me with the kind of dance you teach along side with the cost for 2 weeks dance lesson. How ever, they will be starting on the date of 10th November till 24th of November 2010, for 3 hours each day Monday to Saturday (morning hours) a total of 36 hrs. Further more, they are beginners have not done dancing before. A prepayment will be made to you as initial deposit for this booking via credit card once availability is confirmed by you. Hope you accept credit card? Your prompt reply will be appreciated.

Dowasky Jones

Outer Space

“Proposal to perfume within your region” Listen to you! You sure are good with words, Mr. Jones. But, no … we’re sorry, we don’t do much dance instructing here at American Ethnography. We can do a pretty mean pogo, though! We also know how to move like that guy in Joy Division. Are your students into goth? If they are, they might be interested in that Joy Division thing …

Newsletter archive

Sir, I was just now sitting around working on a Revell 1:25 model kit of a Kenworth® W900, and the absorption and joy of the work put me into some deep, deep contemplation, and so one thought took another, and before I knew it I was thinking about cool ethnography and stuff … and then telling myself “you should support American Ethnography’s new research project, shouldn’t you, with the outlaw aesthetics and what not!” And then I decided I wanted to read that newsletter I received about it once more, but then it turns out the email has mysteriously disappeared, or is it just that I’ve been sitting too close to the glue … So can you send it to me again?

George B

Texas, USA

The Kenworth® W900 is a good vessel for philosophy, isn’t it, George? As for the e-mail newsletter, you’ll find it in the newsletter archive: American Ethnography launches independent research program.

Shocking? Sensational? Perverse?

So this is what it’s come to? Is this the kind of stuff our capitalistic society breeds? American Ethnography Quasimonthly … with this woman on the front page, dressed up as a “sexy” nun. (I write “sexy” in quotation marks, because I don’t think she’s sexy, I think she’s slutty and obscene!) Is this supposed to be shocking? Sensational?! Is your goal to be perverse? Isn’t that what ethnography used to be, and isn’t that what we don’t want it to be? May I suggest you leave this type of stuff to Rush Limbaugh—he’s much better at it.


Somewhere, USA

Look Bob, I can see you’re really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over.

Deep thought and increased awareness

I am interested in how insights can be used to provoke deeper thought amongst the general public … promoting increased awareness of their lives and the lives of others. I wonder if you have any thoughts about this considering your own goal.

Design Ethnography Student

Dundee, Scotland

I once took a job programming an LED sign for a restaurant. An LED sign is one of those electronic displays with colored text running across it from left to right, or right to left, or up and down, or down and up, with all kinds of fancy and not so fancy transitions. The public transport buses in my hometown used to have those hanging from the ceiling. They always made me nauseous when I rode the bus, they made me real nauseous, because I get car sick easy so I am supposed to watch the road. Still I could never help but read the signs, because those suckers are so mesmerizing!

So the restaurant decides they want an LED sign like that. This place has a theme of Elvis-Presley-meets-Bollywood-films-meets-French-cuisine running through it, and they figured a sign like that could be loads of kitschy fun. So they call me up and ask me if I can find them one, and install it and what not. I have never done anything like this, so when they ask me if I can do it, I tell them “sure, no problem!” Then I order an LED display from some post order company. A week later it’s delivered at my office door. I drag the thing home, plug it in, and start programming it with the remote control that comes with it. It’s a real pain in the ass, and time-consuming as hell, but I’m still having a bunch of fun doing it. I’m a nerd, what can I say?!

The owner of the restaurant has told me to put some cool text or graphics on the sign—whatever I fancy putting on it—so I’m thinking “something with sex, I guess!” I walk over to my bookshelf and pull out some Bukowski books and start looking for juicy passages. I’m mainly trying to find something for inspiration, but besides I figure who doesn’t like Bukowski, right? And so I find a nice little snippet I can put in there, where two women are fighting over Bukowski, or I guess he’s called Henry Chinaski in the book, and he’s drinking beer while the women end up fighting on the sidewalk outside the house where he lives. The cops have to come separate them, while Bukowski, or Chinaski, is watching them, thinking “wow, two women fighting over me.” … I guess you could say it’s standard Bukowski stuff, and it’s not exactly the old in and out I was searching for, but I’m thinking it’s cool literature and I figure it will look great up on that LED sign. So I get down to it, and start programming the text into the sign. I have to punch in a goddamn bunch of letters, one by one with my thumbs, on that lame remote control; I’m telling you it’s a real pain in the ass. I also have a bunch of other text in there. I’m in my living room doing all this, working for hours hunched over a table in the corner.


Drawing of The Minister-General Rock Monumental drinking coffee

Do you have a question or a suggestion? Send an email to the Minister General.

Eventually I finish and turn around to my roommate, who’s slouching on the sofa at the other end of the room, smoking Moroccan hashish and watching a TV documentary on space travel. I run the sign by him and ask him what he thinks. I figure he’ll be my quality control, right? He grins and says “yeah, it’s really cool, man!”

Fine! So I pack the sign up, and bring it down to the restaurant, and hang it up indoors over their entrance door, and then I power it up, and that’s it, right!? Sure, they give me the free meal they were going to pay me for the job. I’m eating snails in truffle sauce or whatever and drinking fine red wine and I’m watching the sign while I’m eating, I watch the sign for more than an hour just to make sure the programming works like I intended it to. And all the text scrolls by, looking hunky dory, everything works fine, and I’m happy as hell. So I finish my meal and leave.

Later the same night I get a phone call from the owner of the restaurant. He sounds a little pissed off.

“Hey, man, you have to come down here and change the sign! It’s vulgar! We can’t have it running up there like that when people are here to eat! The guests are complaining already, it’s really too much, man!”

I wonder if he even threw in a little thing about how I had disappointed him. Then he hung up.

So the next day I have to go down to the restaurant, early in the morning, and reprogram the thing. It was like when you’re a kid and you write “cock” and “cunt” in bold letters on the wall with your crayons and your primary school teacher, or whoever, catches you red handed, and she makes you go get a bucket of water and a rag, and you have to clean everything off the wall while everybody is watching, laughing. That’s how it felt.

So much, I guess, for provoking “deeper thought amongst the general public” and “promoting increased awareness of their lives and the lives of others.”

…so I’m thinking “something with sex, I guess!”