The Mendi

mendi from Steve r on Vimeo.

A man in his forties thinks back to when, in 1975 in his teens, he was sent along with a film crew making a documentary in Papua New Guinea for the tv series Man Alive.
I can dimly remember these kind of films on tv in the seventies. The people filmed were always portrayed very obviously as the primitive other, but the narrator’s monologue undercuts the images ” I took no interest in the Mendi – they seemed so rational, so straightfoward.”

Now it’s 2006 and I’m forty-eight. It’s time to start a new life. It is time to start a new life and I’m looking for models. I know I won’t find anything here. The Mendi way of life is not a viable option — even for the Mendi. I want to say that I’ve been to the dream house, and I’ve been to the bone house, and I’ve eaten human flesh and it tasted like ash or it tasted like pork. But they wouldn’t let me go to the bone house and when I snuck into the dream house I found nothing. And the Mendi said that they never ate their ancestors, that was those other tribes. But all the other tribes say that as well. I still want to be a cannibal not so much any more for the pleasure of eating human flesh as for the pleasure of vomiting it.

from Steve Reinke’s site – my rectum is not a grave

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