Chapter 9 in Whitehead and Wesch is about two men who visit the Mek for the purposes of live television. The effect is a dramatized anthropological experience projected by the media for entertainment. Encounters are made more thrilling (axes and aggressive actions when finally meeting), departures more sorrowful. The impact that westerners have on the noble savage (positive) is noted and then the explorers move on.
This Chapter brings up Mark and Olly as an example of this reality tv/virtual creation of interaction and comments on its applicability towards the rest of Anthropology. While we can laugh and point fingers at how foolish and un-culturally relative Mark and Olly are, in many ways the Anthropologist in the field acts in the same capacity.
Our field notes are their video diaries. Our break through moment is their cultural appropriation. Our school/company/government source of funding is their television network. I use these examples as differences of degree rather than type. The Anthropologist is motivated by their passion for a group of people, phenomenon or situation much as Mark and Olly are venturing to pursue their own quests. Their quests sound sexier, and ours more ‘rational’ but Anthropologists in the field are just as culpable for the crimes we point Mark and Olly out on, and just as capable of changing ourselves and our ethnography for the purposes of our network.