20 Feb 1920 / New York City part 1

Boas' lecture today will prove to be a punch to the gut of what we call reality. In another fascinating tale of anthropologic discovery, he told the story of a lonely African bushboy who finds an empty milk bottle and, having never seen one before, deems it to be his mother (as he had never seen his mother before either). How does this alter reality? That's tomorrow's lecture. He took an hour to set up what I have recounted in one sentence. We don't affectionately call him Franz Bore-Us for nothing.

I took a walk from the confines of the Columbia campus to meditate on Boas' ground breaking theories. What does it all mean? A bottle of milk. Sure, we associate milk with mothers. But it is also associated with growth and moving away from mother. Case in point, though I'm already of a sturdy imposing frame, as a ten year old, I know the importance milk will play on my growing body as I enter my formative pre-pubescent years of sexual conquest. So where does this put the African bushboy?

It wasn't lost on me that I was pondering the African bush boy whilst entering a neighborhood that exemplified the total opposite end of the cultural enlightened spectrum. The Harlem Renaissance. As I strode through, I was literally assaulted by jazz music, jazz art and jazz poetry. I'd heard of these roving bands of renaissance "wilders" and saw this welcome as my right of passage into this exciting culture. Throwing a piano on a wandering lad may appear excessive but I embraced it as a sign that I was accepted.

I wanted more, and I sought it in an establishment called Club Deluxe. Little did I know this random decision, brought on by my cultural curiosity and need for bandaging, would reunite me with the boxer who caught me coming through my mother's birth canal.