HE BLOGS

quote:
Originally posted by colin:
of Americans 18-24, 94% can accurately locate the US on a world map (page 26).


I think this depends on how they're asked to identify their country: one 'study' I saw that produced dismal results for Americans was one back in the late 80's, where all of the countries were 'detached' and randomly placed/pivoted on a globe. IIRC the results were worse than the recent survey.

I remember that one in particular because I was living in Canada at the time, and there was a good deal of chuckling about Americans and their lack of capability with geography; you see, Canadians were more successful in identifying the USA than Americans were.
The majority of Americans don't need to know where their country is on a globe, because they're not going to leave it.

Ever.

Either they are scared of what the news tells them the rest of the world thinks of them, or they're too poor to ever even think of travelling outside the country. There are plenty of Americans who will live and die in the same state they were born in. Some will play out their span entirely in the same county they were born in. And there are others still, who will live to their death without ever even leaving the podunk, backwoods little town they were born in.

Why would they ever even want to know where their country was in relation to some place that might as well be Oz, since they're never going there?

We're not really encouraged to leave this country. We're too valuable a revenue source to be allowed to travel freely.
A friend of mine here in Minnesota was trying to sell his car, I think it was an early 80's Buick Regal. He had it advertised on autotrader.com and would get calls from all over from people asking about it. He told me he was amazed at how many people called about the car but had no idea where the car actually was, even tho it said, "Duluth, Minnesota" in the ad. He would get calls from people in Texas, for example, thinking they would come and pick up a 20+ year old, thousand dollar car and drive it across the country.

He would say, "You know the car is in Duluth Minnesota right?"
"Yeah, yeah. it says so in the ad" they'd say. Then he'd tell them that Duluth is pretty far north, almost near Canada. and they'd say " . . . oh" and quickly sounded not as interested in the car.

One woman called from South Carolina and asked after she was told that the car was in Minnesota, "Imma be honest wit you, where's Minnesota?"

There are dumb people in this world.
Land of the provincial, home of Narcissus.

I tend to think television plays an inordinate role in the generalized worldview of quite a few US Americans. And because the broadcasts they, and much of the globe, are tuned into are inordinately focused on US news and culture, they naturally assume there's nothing of much interest going on elsewhere.

It's also easier to disbelieve these studies when your circle of friends is limited to thoughtful people with a modicum of self-awareness. Much easier to believe them when you get to know the neighbors (e.g., canvassing a neighborhood for non-profit things).
quote:
Originally posted by Clark Nova:
A friend of mine here in Minnesota (SNIPPAGE)


I'd be willing to bet that Minnesotans are less in need of a clue about geography, but then the school system here seems to be above average in quality ... and although when I moved down here I thought of it as being way more right-wing than Canada, a co-worker, knowing I came from North of the border, asked me once "So, how do you like living in the People's Republic of Minnesota?" I guess it wasn't Republican enough for him, or something, but I find it more like Canada than any of the other places I've been to.

YMMV, of course.
Had a co-worker three years ago, when asked "what two countries border the United States?", answered- "Ummm, England and France?".

Her grandfather came from Mexico in the 1950's. She has spent her entire life in Albuquerque.

New Mexico borders Mexico. And she could drive there in two hours. Go figure.

There's lots of people like that in the U.S. You just don't find them in bookstores.
quote:
Originally posted by limbojim:
Had a co-worker three years ago, when asked "what two countries border the United States?", answered- "Ummm, England and France?".

Her grandfather came from Mexico in the 1950's. She has spent her entire life in Albuquerque.

New Mexico borders Mexico. And she could drive there in two hours. Go figure.

There's lots of people like that in the U.S. You just don't find them in bookstores.


Hahah, that reminds me of another story about another friend of mine. She was trying to order something from a catalog over the phone. When she gave the operator her address, which was in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the operator told her, "I'm sorry, we don't ship outside the United States." She literally had to convice the operator that New Mexico was not part of Mexico.
quote:
Originally posted by ednothing:
quote:
Originally posted by Clark Nova:
There are dumb people in this world.


Hah hah. My wife worked with a guy (keep in mind this took place in Ontario, Canada) who told her that he was taking a trip to British Columbia. Midway through the conversation, he asked her if she knew where it was and so she told him it was on the west coast. He then asked if it was in Canada and if he would need his passport...

And yes, he was a native Canadian.


Well, the name says it, no? Must be in the UK!
quote:
Originally posted by psyclone:
quote:
Originally posted by ednothing:
quote:
Originally posted by Clark Nova:
There are dumb people in this world.


Hah hah. My wife worked with a guy (keep in mind this took place in Ontario, Canada) who told her that he was taking a trip to British Columbia. Midway through the conversation, he asked her if she knew where it was and so she told him it was on the west coast. He then asked if it was in Canada and if he would need his passport...

And yes, he was a native Canadian.


Well, the name says it, no? Must be in the UK!


No, it says something about *some* "Southern" Ontarians. It's that "Upper Canada" mentality.
Are you even *allowed* to bring unpasteurized cheddar into Canada? And what about Greek *aroma*, isn't that an agricultural product (seeds and dirt in a can)

Lucky for him it wasn't me patrolling the border! :-)

(Says the woman who recently imported Landjaeger sausages from Wisconsin to Denmark)
quote:
Originally posted by martin:

.....

No, it says something about *some* "Southern" Ontarians. It's that "Upper Canada" mentality.


Ah yes - the Toronto as "The Center of the Universe" mentality - taken to the pinnacle of ignorance of anything geographically "other".
I just think that there's more than a sprinkling of dumdums pretty much anywhere you go.

Caught some late night news last night. A woman in Albuquerque is wont to take a percoset whenever her kids start "acting up". She was so schnozzled on perc, that she let her five year old son be her designated driver.
quote:
Originally posted by Fashionpolice:
quote:
Originally posted by martin:
Nothing to do with DEFRA. Anyhow, it was for "personal use".


Thanks, Martin. Those border rules are always so damned confusing.


Just not allowed to sell Unpasteurized Milk Products here. And please, whoever disagrees with that premise, let's not get into an argument.
Hm. I wonder whether WG's bag and Dick Cheney's bag didn't have drinks together in the hotel bar at Undisclosed Location. And if so, whether WG's bag didn't break a glass over Cheney's bag.

On geography, I recently had an unnerving conversation with a coworker. He asked another coworker where he's from.

"Okinawa."
"Where's that?"
"It's part of Japan."
"Oh. Where is that?"
"Japan? It's a country in Asia."
"What's it close to? Where is it?"
"...It's close to China. And Korea."
"Oh."
turning to me
"Where are you from?"
"Seattle."
"Where's that?"
"In Washington."
"Oh! By Alexandria?"
"Uh no, Washington State. West Coast."
"Oh. By Maryland?"
and on and on like that for some time

It should be said that this man lives in the United States, though he wasn't educated there. At least I get to blame his education on another country.
quote:
Originally posted by martin:
Nothing to do with DEFRA. Anyhow, it was for "personal use".


I was mainly concerned with export legislation, especially given that we've got another foot and mouth outbreak in the UK.

If Canadian border control have a problem with our artisan cheeses, I continue to live in blissful ignorance for now. I might decide that Toronto is totally in need of Bute Cheese showerings in the future, but I'll cross that bridge as and when. Big Grin
(a customer walks in the door)

Customer: Good Morning.

Owner: Good morning, Sir. Welcome to the National Cheese Emporium!

Customer: Ah, thank you, my good man.

Owner: What can I do for you, Sir?

Customer: Well, I was sitting in the public library on Thurmon Street just now, skimming through Rogue Herrys by Hugh Walpole, and I suddenly came over all peckish.

Owner: Peckish, sir?

Customer: Esuriant.

Owner: Eh?

Customer: 'Ee, ah wor 'ungry-loike!

Owner: Ah, hungry!

Customer: In a nutshell. And I thought to myself, "a little fermented curd will do the trick," so, I curtailed my Walpoling activites, sallied forth, and infiltrated your place of purveyance to negotiate the vending of some cheesy comestibles!

Owner: Come again?

Customer: I want to buy some cheese.

Owner: Oh, I thought you were complaining about the bazouki player!

Customer: Oh, heaven forbid: I am one who delights in all manifestations of the Terpsichorean muse!

Owner: Sorry?

Customer: 'Ooo, Ah lahk a nice tuune, 'yer forced too!

Owner: So he can go on playing, can he?

Customer: Most certainly! Now then, some cheese please, my good man.

Owner: (lustily) Certainly, sir. What would you like?

Customer: Well, eh, how about a little red Leicester.

Owner: I'm, afraid we're fresh out of red Leicester, sir.

Customer: Oh, never mind, how are you on Tilsit?

Owner: I'm afraid we never have that at the end of the week, sir, we get it fresh on Monday.

Customer: Tish tish. No matter. Well, stout yeoman, four ounces of Caerphilly, if you please.

Owner: Ah! It's been on order, sir, for two weeks. Was expecting it this morning.

Customer: Not my lucky day, is it? Aah, Bel Paese?

Owner: Sorry, sir.

Customer: Red Windsor?

Owner: Normally, sir, yes. (pause) Today the van broke down.

Customer: Ah. Stilton?

Owner: Sorry.

Customer: Ementhal? Gruyere?

Owner: No.

Customer: Any Norweigan Jarlsburg, per chance.

Owner: No.

Customer: Lipta?

Owner: No.

Customer: Lancashire?

Owner: No.

Customer: White Stilton?

Owner: No.

Customer: Danish Brew?

Owner: No.

Customer: Double Goucester?

Owner: (pause) No.

Customer: Cheshire?

Owner: No.

Customer: Dorset Bluveny?

Owner: No.

Customer: Brie, Roquefort, Pol le Veq, Port Salut, Savoy Aire, Saint Paulin, Carrier de lest, Bres Bleu, Bruson?

Owner: No.

Customer: Camenbert, perhaps?

Owner: Ah! We have Camenbert, yessir.

Customer: (suprised) You do! Excellent.

Owner: Yessir. It's..ah,.....it's a bit runny...

Customer: Oh, I like it runny.

Owner: Well,.. It's very runny, actually, sir.

Customer: No matter. Fetch hither the fromage de la Belle France! Mmmwah!

Owner: I...think it's a bit runnier than you'll like it, sir.

Customer: I don't care how fucking runny it is. Hand it over with all speed.

Owner: Oooooooooohhh........! (pause)

Customer: What now?

Owner: The cat's eaten it.

Customer: (pause) Has he.

Owner: She, sir.

Customer: (pause) Gouda?

Owner: No.

Customer: Edam?

Owner: No.

Customer: Case Ness?

Owner: No.

Customer: Smoked Austrian?

Owner: No.

Customer: Japanese Sage Darby?

Owner: No, sir.

Customer: You...do have some cheese, don't you?

Owner: (brightly) Of course, sir. It's a cheese shop, sir. We've got--

Customer: No no... don't tell me. I'm keen to guess.

Owner: Fair enough.

Customer: Uuuuuh, Wensleydale.

Owner: Yes?

Customer: Ah, well, I'll have some of that!

Owner: Oh! I thought you were talking to me, sir. Mister Wensleydale, that's my name.

Customer: (pause) Greek Feta?

Owner: Uh, not as such.

Customer: Uuh, Gorgonzola?

Owner: No.

Customer: Parmesan,

Owner: No.

Customer: Mozarella,

Owner: No.

Customer: Paper Cramer,

Owner: No.

Customer: Danish Bimbo,

Owner: No.

Customer: Czech sheep's milk,

Owner: No.

Customer: Venezuelan Beaver Cheese?

Owner: Not today, sir, no.

Customer: (pause) Aah, how about Cheddar?

Owner: Well, we don't get much call for it around here, sir.

Customer: Not much ca-- it's the single most popular cheese in the world!

Owner: Not 'round here, sir.

Customer: (slight pause) and what IS the most popular cheese 'round hyah?

Owner: 'Illchester, sir.

Customer: IS it.

Owner: Oh, yes, it's staggeringly popular in this manor, squire.

Customer: Is it.

Owner: It's our number one best seller, sir!

Customer: I see. Uuh...'Illchester, eh?

Owner: Right, sir.

Customer: All right. Okay. 'Have you got any?' he asked, expecting the answer 'no'.

Owner: I'll have a look, sir........nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnno.

Customer: It's not much of a cheese shop, is it?

Owner: Finest in the district!

Customer: (annoyed) Explain the logic underlying that conclusion.

Owner: Well, it's so clean, sir!

Customer: It's certainly uncontaminated by cheese....

Owner: (brightly) You haven't asked me about Limburger, sir.

Customer: Is it worth it?

Owner: Could be....

Customer: Have you (turns to shout at bazouki players) --WILL YOU SHUT THAT BLOODY BAZOUKI OFF!

(players stop)

Owner: Told you sir....

Customer: (slowly) Have you got any Limburger?

Owner: No.

Customer: Figures. Predictable, really I suppose. It was an act of purest optimism to have posed the question in the first place. Tell me...

Owner: Yes sir?

Customer: (deliberately) Have you in fact got any cheese here at all.

Owner: Yes, sir.

Customer: Really?

(pause)

Owner: No. Not really, sir.

Customer: You haven't.

Owner: No sir. Not a scrap. I was deliberately wasting your time, sir.

Customer: Well I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to shoot you.

Owner: Right-oh, sir.

(The customer takes out a gun and shoots the owner)

Customer: What a senseless waste of human life.
"I love the way this makes a book tour look. There can be no more flattering depiction of the process, none. Though I must say that, as tours go, that was quite an enjoyable one."

-- WG

Wellsir, it was quite an enjoyable book. With regards to enjoyalityness... perhaps your best. Put it this way. It read like it was kinda fun to write.


BEEK!

"Brad asked me to do additional cover art for this remix album, but it was right after he did something horrible to me that no one can speak of. So I just drew a squid eating him. I don't think this will make it to print, but you can still buy the original album to get a 100% authentic CD cover by me, Norman Rockwell."

-- Allen Henderson

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