I lost track of our friend after he kicked me out of one his Facebook groups this summer and I quit another. Previous to that, I had written about such weighty Pulitzer-related topics as the idea of Jurassic-age "Super Ancient Copper Culture" in Michigan, an interview where Pulitzer marveled at the SECRET ARCHIVES hidden in plain sight in the Allen County Public Library, Pulitzer's use of lots of exclamation points to "prove" that Minoans discovered Tennessee, and his use of allegedly fake copper artifacts to "educate" his fans.
"he's a guy out here that actually tags on every one of my posts, calls me a fool and an idiot . . . and he's started debating this mummy thing and saying there's no such thing as mummies and it's native and it's this and whatever. Now, Andy did help me track down some images, but he would not come onto the program. I tried to tell him, you know, I said 'Andy' -- and that's why I call him "4A:" Andy the Argumentative Angry Archaeologist -- 'come on, tell the other side of the story. People want to hear the other side of the story.' But he won't even do that. They are so upset that this might be something here. All they can do is poo-poo it and call everybody idiots."
I'm not sure where Pulitzer's "mummy" research stands now. The last I heard (as I wrote in this post), calling the human remains found in northwestern Indiana a "mummy" was an error: a July 2 story corrected the initial account, stating that the remains were not those of a mummy, but "just turned out to be really old." Pulitzer knows that, and he knows (because I told him) that the photo he's using with his interview is the mummy of Minirdis from the Field Museum. So don't hold your breath waiting for Pulitzer to follow through and produce anything interesting about this story. If his "team" can't effectively use the search capabilities of Google Image and admit that the press and those who talk to the press sometimes make mistakes, I'm not sure what else to say.
Since July, Pulitzer has written about a few things that I think are worth mentioning. If you're interested in following his journey as both a writer and a misunderstander of scientific methods, you can check out this blog post from early August. He expands his discussion of "Andy the Angry and Argumentative Archaeologist" while also deftly demonstrating that he doesn't actually know how archaeology is done. It is quite a piece of work: I may assign it to my class next fall as it nicely illustrates several important points about how difficult it is to mount an effective critique of something you don't understand. In the meantime, I have purchased the domain www.andytheargumentativearchaeologist.com. I'm not sure how I'll use that website, but it may include t-shirt sales.
In early September, Pulitzer wrote this ham-handed post comparing the "Black Lives Matter" movement to the actions of ISIS, equating the defacement and destruction of monuments honoring the Confederacy and Confederates with the destruction of ancient archaeological sites and materials in the Near East. What a mess. I can think of several recent cases where groups and societies decided to take down monuments, and they're not all the same (compare the toppling of the statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad in 2003, the removal of the statue of Joe Paterno from the campus of Penn State in 2012, and the removal of the Confederate flag from the grounds of the South Carolina Statehouse in July of 2015). I'm not advocating vandalism, but sometimes monuments are taken down for good reasons (I think that there's still plenty of work to be done at the South Carolina State House, for example, which is practically a memorial gardens for famous South Carolina racists). There is more to be said on the interconnected issues of race, history, society, and the "fringe" here, but I'll wait and say my piece about those things at another time.
In his latest post, Pulitzer couples an attempt to put his brand on "forbidden" history with an assault on the English language by coining a new term: "OOP-Gly." He provides a "wiki definition" of his new term:
"Out-of-place Glyph (Oop-Gly) is a term coined by American Publisher, Author, Expedition Commander and Historian Hutton Pulitzer for a symbol, glyph, language, script, ideogram, pictographic, ideographic script, engraved images, astrological carvings or hieroglyphic writing of historical, archaeological, or paleontological interest found in a very unusual location or seemingly impossible context which directly challenges conventional academic and historical chronology for being “not known to or used by the indigenous population of a specific area or region, but are known to of been used by a group, society or people specifically not connected and not patriated to the locations such indigenous peoples”,
Well, that's a mouthful.
So the beat goes on . . . Pulitzer's re-invention of himself as a maverick explorer and seeker of the truth has yet to yield much of substantive interest. He appears to have done a good job of talking, creating websites, using capital letters, and distancing himself from his past exploits. I have yet to see anything that constitutes an interesting idea or argument about prehistory coming from him, however, just a lot of promises about "testing" this and "proving" that. So far it's been just talk, which is pretty cheap and gets pretty boring after a while. And so I'll conclude this edition of the Pulitzer Pageant with a quote from Jay Z:
Some fools just love to perform. You know the type: loud as a motorbike, but wouldn't bust a grape in a fruit fight.
Archaeologists have a lot of problems, but Pulitzer ain't one. Moving on . . .