Inbox: Samoan sex, Shania, wild west, reno’s, Retiree Visa, Korea
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Samoan sojourn in the ‘20s
Re. William Thomas column, November FYI.
I didn't know William Thomas's mother, and I didn't know Margaret Mead (1901-1978). I did, however, know Mead's third husband, Gregory Bateson (1904-1980.) In the late 1960s at the University of Hawaii, he taught me just about everything I knew about biology, cybernetics and so on. In 1970, I presented my first academic paper. He was on the panel. It was quite a rite of passage.
My main gripe about Thomas's column is his claim that Bateson's first wife (of three) "shocked the sixties world with her study of teenage sex in ... Samoa." Not so. Her work in Samoa and elsewhere in Melanesia was done in the mid-1920s. If she shocked anyone it was her parents' late-Victorian generation in pre-Depression New England. By the 1940s and 1950s, however, she was among the secular saints of progressive education.
As for "mostly naked Samoans," they were nothing of the sort. Mead lived in a comfortable Western-style dwelling during her nine-month sojourn in Samoa as a young 23-year-old graduate student and talked mostly with Christian converts among the "natives." In fact, there's a good case to be make that they were playing a gentle practical joke on her or, at most, that they just told her what they thought she wanted to hear. Derek Freeman's books Margaret Mead and Samoa: The Making and Unmaking of an Anthropological Myth (1983) and The Fateful Hoaxing of Margaret Mead: A Historical Analysis of Her Samoan Research (1999) claim not only that Samoa was not the land of innocents that Margaret Mead described but had, among other things, a high level of violent rape and that virginity was much prized at marriage.
Some of Mead's supporters have published replies to Freeman (mostly attacking Freeman for his occasional errors) but her reputation seems somewhat to have been restored. But, as for the 1960s, Mead was by then an attentive elder and by no means about to "shock" anyone.
Richmond Hill, Ont.
Remembering Korea (November edition, online)
Lara Davidson wrote in response:
James Davidson was my father-in-law, and it was a pleasant surprise to see his photo in your paper. Jim passed away in November 2011.
Canadian Retiree Visa Would Permit Eight-Month US Stay
Rejean Deschamps wrote in response to the online story: I think this great, but have concerns regarding income tax. If we stay in the USA more than 180 days then are we not then considered a resident alien in the eyes of the IRS?
(Editor’s Note: FYI will follow up on the tax implications of the proposed retiree visa.)
Tales of the U.S. Wild West
Ken Warner wrote in response to our online story:
“My wife and I drove by some of those towns on our way to the west coast last summer. Next time, we'll be sure to stop and check them out! Whether it's fact or fiction, that part of history will be fun to visit.”
Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit, What Is and What Isn’t Eligible
Claudette Clost wrote in response:
“I had to have a ramp installed last December for my husband's wheelchair. I do believe I can claim this – could you let me know how to claim?”
Editor’s Note: To inquire about the credit call 866-668-8297 or visit ontario.ca/taxes-and-benefits/healthy-homes-renovation-tax-credit.
Shania better in person
A Youtube comment from Turtlebeth3 critiqued the FYI video covering Shania Twain’s debut at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas on Dec. 2 (see FYI TV at foreveryoungnews.com):
“While I appreciate you posting the video, why would you post this and then talk over her singing?
“And by the way, having been there in person, the videos and audio clips that are popping up just don't do her justice. It sounded so much better in person!”
Clarification re snowbird vacations
An article in the December edition of FYI describing the progress of the proposed Canadian Retiree Visa contained misleading information. Under the proposed visa, Canadians over the age of 50 who are able to show that they either own a home in the United States or have arranged accommodation for the length of their stay would be permitted to remain in the U.S. for up to 240 days, or eight months, per year, with some conditions. The current limit is six months, not seven months as was printed. Ontario permits its citizens to retain provincial health care coverage if they are out of the province for up to seven months.