Being Inanimate




not living, i.e., not engaging in activities and ways of being and becoming an elder/ancestor and malevolent or helpful spirit that have been symbolically rendered, a rendering that supports various versions, or personas of organized political communities living under groups of specifically non-elected officials (known as the State)

not alive as witnessed by lack of motion within a certain range and frequency

being like a fetish



Various versions of organized political communities living under groups of specifically non-elected officials (State personas) symbolically deem objects to be animate or inanimate.

Many alternate versions and subversions of the State (cultures) oppose the symbolic deeming of objects as animate or inanimate.



The Question “Why?” and Its Answers

[a part of the game Masks in the Sun, developed in 2003, unpublished]

In 2011, Doug Walters was asked by a nonprofit organization helping couples with issues of fertility to contribute to their organization by writing a piece for the organization’s magazine on how different American cultural groups view questions of fertility. He agreed to write the piece and began to consider how to address this topic in the most scientifically valid way possible. The article he sent them explained how in the wider American cultural context, fertility is divided into three, separate and basically incompatible areas. First, is the area that treats fertility as something biological. Second, is the area that treats fertility as a magical or psychological issue. And third, is its treatment as something political. In many American cultural groups today, however, it is often more common to blend rather than separate these three ways of viewing fertility. This being the case, he wrote, those involved in outreach or otherwise encountering this more blended view would be well advised to work with this fact.

Weeks passed since he had sent the article to the fertility organization’s magazine, but no acknowledgement of receipt, no thanks, or no plans for publishing were forthcoming.  Looking further into the matter, he concludes the magazine editors had been looking for something quite different from what he had given them, something that fit their own lay and ill-informed notions of how individuals could be dealt with according to things learned in simplified anecdotes of cultural differences. Despite the clear explanation in the article as to why what they wanted was not scientifically correct, the magazine and its nonprofit parent organization wanted something that was basically misleading and false.

From this point on, he began a staging of a response, of the impossible.



Staging the Legal System I: Anthropological Expertise in Military Research

[a part of the game Masks in the Sun, currently in development]

When Walters learned the magazine had found a colleague to write the article they had been looking for, he wrote the colleague, explaining his situation and why the colleague should not write the article they wanted. Being ignored by the colleague, he the decided to both sue the magazine and to seek to censure the colleague who wrote the misleading article.

Both actions lead to failure. The court dismissed the lawsuit, using the testimony of the colleague who wrote the article, and the university employing his colleague refused to review the situation.

These results lead Walters to then file another lawsuit against both the university and the nonprofit forfalse claims in their receipt of government funding. To back up his case, Walters linked his suit to the turmoil around the uses of anthropology within the US military.


Play of Secrets                                                 

A Feature-Length Film

 [a part of the game Masks in the Sun, currently in post-production

Under the direction of small town community leader Marla Larson, three local stage actors are drafting an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol that makes Scrooge’s demise into the work of plotting friends and relatives. A local documentary filmmaker is following the production is intrigued to learn there is a dangerous reality to this play that no one could have imagined, and which is leading to dire consequences.

Players Guide

A Novel    

[a part of the game Masks in the Sun, currently in development]

While the story of the play unfolds, Marla’s son David, an investigator for the US Department of Defense,  is back at home investigating a series of disappearances linked to a local government bureau and pointing to international weapons proliferation scheme. Though unknown by Marla or her son, this intersection of the local and the global is leading to deadly consequences and deeper mysteries that extend far beyond the lives of those involved.

Syncretic Beings Labs 

[a part of the game Masks in the Sun, currently in development]

Walters for Congress

[a part of the game Masks in the Sun, developed in 2003 and published in 2011]

Curtis | Jacobsen | Lamb

[a part of the game Masks in the Sun, developed between 2010 and 2011, and published 2012]

The One Ten Society

[a part of the game Masks in the Sun, currently in development]

Nouning Productions

[a part of the game Masks in the Sun, currently in development]

Help Danny Wells

[a part of the game Masks in the Sun, currently in development]

Video Footage and Photos

[a part of the game Masks in the Sun, currently in development]

Sound Recordings

[a part of the game Masks in the Sun, currently in development]


[a part of the game Masks in the Sun, currently in development]

The Pop Ethics of Special Interests in US Anthropology Today

[a part of the game Masks in the Sun, developed in 2010, unpublished]

“While anthropologists so often lament the lack of anthropological perspectives in ethical, legal and policy debates, the American Anthropological Association’s preamble to its own ethics statement opts for a pop cultural instead of anthropological consideration of anthropologists themselves.”

“Desert People”

[a part of the game Masks in the Sun, developed in 2010, published on]

This is a brief response by Walters to a post on a discussion list dedicated to anthropology in the military. This post referred to the following article in Discover Magazine as “food for thought.”

Human Origins/ Mountain, Desert & ForestAre the Desert People Winning?

“Anthropologists say all the world’s cultures fall into two basic groups: those from forests and those from arid lands. Increasingly, the future looks treeless.”

Effending the Defensive

[a part of the game Masks in the Sun, developed in 2011, unpublished]

Acting as a consultant for the Syncretic Beings Labs, anthropologist Sandra Virtanen Cole write a defense of candidacy of Doug Walters for a contract position within Elder Systems working for the Department of Defense.

“Although it is hard to understand, you seem to consider the following points from nine years of non-area-specific work and experience as being unrelated to your need for a leader of a DoD social science research team dedicated to cultural analysis. For an organization whose greatest challenge is to strike a magical balance in achieving specific missions between the many shifting centers of power and influence that make up different spheres of influence , this is certainly curious.

state building,
state vulnerability,
non-profit communities,
transnational organizations,
international organizations,
military organizations,
anthropology is military organiztaions,
ethnic political organizations,
professional conflict and facilitation of solutions,
project management,
leadership of significant fact-finding groups,
“herding cats” to get projects to work in politically charged situations,
challenges in handling bureaucracies in various international settings,
disease in international contexts,
extensive experience in public health,
non-profit management,
major issues of conflict resolution,
post-conflict governance,
the anthropology of gender,
the anthropology of aging and eldership,
extensive knowledge of popular culture in Africa,
extensive knowledge of IT and web-based methods of data collection,
extensive experience building systems for data collection and analysis require inter-agency cooperation,
and dozens of other things directly relevant to working solutions with all African nation-states today?”

GPS-Based Caching Projects

[a part of the game Masks in the Sun, developed in 2008]

Phone Numbers, Email Addresses, and other means of contact information

[a part of the game Masks in the Sun, developed in 2010]

A Social Networking Site

[a part of the game Masks in the Sun, currently in development]



Staging the Legal System II:  Alliance of the Impossibles

[a part of the game Masks in the Sun, currently in development]

As the case proceeds, Doug Walters’ German-based work in bioethics becomes the focus of his critics, and they find German scholars to support them in US courts. This, in turn, leads to the anthropologist introducing a case into the German courts where he argues that the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) is in support of a type of eugenic legal reasoning due to:

(a) its unwillingness to question patently false and disproven forms of cultural/practical reasoning, such as those of state locators and identifiers, and

(b) failing to integrate cultural anthropological knowledge into its legal system as a form of practical reason.

The argument against the FRG is that in a proper legal consideration, things the German attorneys are calling “amerikanisch” in distinguishing German society from the US are not simply products of a nation state or culture, but also products of a syncretic, European-based movement against a false form of cultural reasoning (a false meaning of life) itself.

So many in the US and Germany actively manipulate the ignorance of judges and the legal profession in order to use state-sanctioned force to empower the very forms of practical reason made the 19th and 20th centuries so violent and tragic.

Both nation states need to see this situation as a common dilemma.

As either a threat, a game, or a court case, I am somehow here to supply the incentive to help this process.

Which one I am remains continually in play.


Motel Algiers

[a part of the game Masks in the Sun, currently in development]