U.S.-Mexican Border Rehab: ‘Ex-Addicts are the Best Psychologists’

I feel uncomfortable when I enter the main dormitory that is home to more than 30 men in a drug rehabilitation center in Mexico, next to the U.S. border. There are two rows of bunk beds. Some men look at me in surprise and containment. There is no privacy in the room, just surprised and curious . . . → Read More: U.S.-Mexican Border Rehab: ‘Ex-Addicts are the Best Psychologists’

Profit and Suicide: The Hidden Dimensions of War

The assertions made at a Wrath-Laying ceremony I recently attended at San Diego State University (SDSU) stood in contrast to some of the general facts about the United States involvement in wars around the world and the increasing militarization of civil society itself. Anthropologists have pointed out the recent militarization of U.S. American society is not . . . → Read More: Profit and Suicide: The Hidden Dimensions of War

Remember the Fallen Heroes: The Normalization of War on a U.S. University Campus

Today, I attended the 16th annual War Memorial Wreath-Laying Ceremony at San Diego State University in sunny Southern California. The memorial site was constructed originally in 1996 in order to remember the alumnies who lost their lives in World War II, the Korea and the Vietnam Wars. In the wake of the Afganistan/Iraq War the site . . . → Read More: Remember the Fallen Heroes: The Normalization of War on a U.S. University Campus

My Sexpo Experience: A Closer Look at Cape Town’s Sex Fair

André told me that he wants to go to the Sexpo, South Africa’s largest sexuality exposition at Cape Town’s International Convention Centre (CTICC). When I pick him up on Sunday afternoon his girlfriend lies in bed. She just came back from work and points out that she’s too tired to join. ‘Don’t get drunk!’ she says . . . → Read More: My Sexpo Experience: A Closer Look at Cape Town’s Sex Fair

The tokkie: A Methamphetamine Induced State of Mind

In Cape Town’s street youth culture there is a word for a particular state of consciousness induced through methamphetamine or Tik. Tony defines the term tokkie as a mode of preoccupation: ‘You want to do something but you don’t know what you want to do.’ It has a double meaning of being completely absorbed mentally while . . . → Read More: The tokkie: A Methamphetamine Induced State of Mind

Mythic Poison: A Man Fears his Wife

‘The stress is gonna kill me,’ Lukaya points out and refers to his high blood pressure. He sits on a toolbox in a shed made out of corrugated iron shining bright like silver. I feel sorry about him. More than three years ago he welcomed me into his house ‘like a son’. He did not want . . . → Read More: Mythic Poison: A Man Fears his Wife

Love & Simulated Pregnancy

I give Juan a lift to his (ex)girlfriend. We ride on one of Cape Town’s highways to reach her workplace, a pub. They haven’t seen each other since she simulated a pregnancy. When we arrive Marika smiles. Both disappear. I sit at the bar and think of reasons why she could have simulated the pregnancy. ‘Men . . . → Read More: Love & Simulated Pregnancy

Male Mother Worried about Becoming (Grand)Father

‘He’s definitely not a man at this stage,’ Juan’s father Willem asserts. We sit in the lounge of his apartment in Paradise Park. His son told him lately that he might become a dad. ‘What? Dad?!’ was the seniors first response. Willem tried to be as composed as possible and immediately raised practical issues. He urged . . . → Read More: Male Mother Worried about Becoming (Grand)Father

Fatherhood on the Edge: A Pregnancy Test Drama

Juan gesticulates me to the veranda. ‘I have news,’ he frowns and looks to the ground with a mixture of excitement and remorse. We always talk about personal stuff outside. There is little privacy in the flat. Outside he starts to talk about his weekend. We went to his ex-girlfriend’s bar. I left when I deemed . . . → Read More: Fatherhood on the Edge: A Pregnancy Test Drama

Kickboxing: A Matter of Discipline?

Kickboxing, Chantell Kotze argues, is a way of life that might keep young people from a downward-spiral of drug abuse. Recently, the young woman identified a need in her community and established a kickboxing gym with the support of a Cape Townian club. Young people from Parow’s low-income families receive classes for free. However, people from . . . → Read More: Kickboxing: A Matter of Discipline?