Margaret Mead Among the Munchkins
From a scientific point of view, is there a universal coefficient of comfort and joy? If, that is, an old-school anthropologist like Dr. Mead were to have dropped into Munchkinland via parachute, right after the first Wicked Witch had met her end, would she have recorded the events accurately, or rather would a filter of academic "objectivity" have erased their true significance?
It probably doesn't matter. That sort of anthropology is long dead, replaced by a new discipline with a new name, a discipline that Margaret would not even recognize as akin to her own. The new discipline purports to focus on "lived experience," but the lived experience is an experience projected onto its subjects through a confused and broken ideological kaleidoscope, one crafted decades ago, with not a little malice, by the heirs of Marx and Foucault.
The first so-called science would have interpreted these events as mere ritual. The second would now employ cultural rituals of its own to shoehorn the events into categories that the Munchkins would abhor. In both cases, the fundamental joy is lost.
This makes me want to rouse the rabble. "Rise Up, oh Munchkins, to Your Full Height! You Have Nothing to Lose but Your Chains!"