By Derek Leung
Usually, when there is a physical fight, if there enough people, they will soon form a circle around the fight, usually without helping the victim of the fight. After the fight is over, the crowd will disperse, leaving the injured victim behind with little to no people helping them. This is often attributed to the bystander effect.
The cold war was a period of tension between the two major world powers, the U.S. and The Soviet Union, and the two major world political structures, Communism and Capitalism during the 20th century. It was, of course, much more complex and interesting than quickly outlined here. But this simple description gives us a bit of context for what we are about to discuss.
The Cold War was all about getting people on either side of the tension. Both sides used all kinds of propaganda to get their own citizens more strongly associated with the beliefs of their government.
This propaganda was perpetuated through various different mediums, including cartoons, posters, and (as made possible by the popularity of advancing technology) movies.
When the anthropology students of Horace Miner harshly judged and mocked the cultures of the people they studied and read about, Miner showed his students the humanity of these cultures and put them in a better light in a very clever way. He wrote an article about the Nacirema, a Tribe with very strange customs and traditions, such as a mouth-rite ritual done by sticking horse hairs in the mouth. How strange indeed. A culture with medicine men and women and a charm-box in the washing room.