Sunday, April 13, 2008

How America looks at the world? 

At the risk of making an Obama-esque comment about the average American, this cartoon rings more true than I would like to admit (click the picture for full size):


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Apr 13, 11:22:00 PM:

Three cheers for public education.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Apr 14, 12:03:00 AM:

Mouse Heads?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Apr 14, 12:07:00 AM:

" this cartoon rings more true than I would like to admit"

What a strange comment! Are you saying you think the public is so consumerist that they can only base their world view on the goods they buy? Or, are you saying Americans are superficial when it comes to geography?

What exactly are you saying? These more sophisticated drive-by smears of the public sometimes elude me, I readily admit it, so a little elaboration would help.  

By Blogger Ray, at Mon Apr 14, 12:27:00 AM:

And strangely, that's not a bad viewpoint on how those places affect America ...  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Apr 14, 01:15:00 AM:

I've seen at least 3 different variations on this same idea.

Of course the average American is an idiot. Then again, so is the average person in any country.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Mon Apr 14, 06:11:00 AM:


Dawnfire - "Mouse Heads?" Yeah, I did not get that one, either.

Anon 12:07 and Anon 1:15 - Well, I thought the map was more goofy than anything else, which is why I posted it. That said, Americans know amazingly little about the world beyond them compared to people who live in most other rich countries. Now, you might argue that is a feature, rather than a bug, but there is a real asymmetry that crops up in survey after survey. I'll try to dig up a link.

On a more entertaining level, though, the truth is hilarious. Quite recently I heard somebody with an Ivy league education declare that you could not live in Hiroshima because of the radioactivity (a goofy point made by the map that I thought quite funny).  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Apr 14, 08:32:00 AM:

So, the map didn't express some "truth" that implicitly described an insular, ignorant world-view, it was "goofy", and that's why you posted it. You should have just said so.

As far as a link goes, I'm perfectly prepared to believe most Americans can't find Ontario without illustrated instructions but I wouldn't go so far as to say Belgians are any less ignorant. Nor would I jump to a conclusion that geographic illiteracy equates to narrow mindedness. In my own conversations with Americans I think they're quite aware of world events, and acutely sensitive to politics beyond the border. But. hey, what do I know- the number of people I quiz on world geography makes for a pretty small sample size.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Apr 14, 08:42:00 AM:

Actually, ask the average American car buyer, and he knows all about Japan and Korea. In fact, instead of "radioactive area" it should say, "head of automotive production."  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Apr 14, 08:43:00 AM:

I think it should read "Moose heads." Aside from that typo, though, the map pretty well summarizes my world view.  

By Blogger SR, at Mon Apr 14, 09:11:00 AM:

After Obama's SF opine, I'm not so sure
he and his Upper West Side and Beverly
Hills fellow travelers don't believe the rest of America's rubes don't have this kind of world view. Hence the need to "educate" everybody else on proper etiquette and speech.
There are plenty of rubes in the rest of the world who, if they could find the US on a map would list: McDonalds, Pornography, and .......................the US Marines.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Apr 14, 09:52:00 AM:

Well, we at least now know that Obama thinks religion is the same as racism, that anti-immigrant feelings are endemic to fly-over country and that support for gun-rights is the natural condition of anti-statist free marketers.  

By Blogger ScurvyOaks, at Mon Apr 14, 09:58:00 AM:

I'd been wondering rcently why I think that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, the savior of mankind. Now I know it's because the mill closed. Thanks, Barack, for clearing that up!  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Apr 14, 10:31:00 AM:

Yeah. It's "Moose heads" or a reference to Moosehead beer. And I don't think it's a typo but is trying to simulate a Canadian accent. (Wrongly. Hosers.)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Apr 14, 11:53:00 AM:

OK, as an American who has lived in two foreign countries, and who has excellent geographic knowledge, I'd just like to say -- this was funny as hell. I especially like the "don't go here" part.

Reminds me of that chart showing what people in Europe really think of one another.


PS: I'm glad you cleared up the moose head thing.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Apr 14, 12:02:00 PM:

Back in school, the local Fox affiliate came down and did one of those on the spot quizes where they ask random passerby geography questions.

They took up shop right outside the liberal arts building and started quizzing the various liberal arts and business majors as they came from class. The poor students couldn't get anything right, and came off as complete dunces, until one guy not only answered every question correctly, but corrected a mistake by the reporter.

When asked why he knew so much when compared to his classmates, the student answered, "I'm an engineering major.", and walked off.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Apr 14, 03:04:00 PM:

Reminds me of that chart showing what people in Europe really think of one another.
Are you referring to Heaven and Hell?
Heaven is a French cook
Hell is an English cook etc.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Apr 14, 04:37:00 PM:

I love that joke.

For those unfamiliar:
The Difference Between Heaven and Hell

In Heaven the Italians are the lovers, the French cook the food, the Swiss run the hotels, the Germans are the mechanics and the English are the police.

In Hell the Swiss are the lovers, the English cook the food, the French run the hotels, the Italians are the mechanics and the Germans are the police!  

By Blogger Assistant Village Idiot, at Mon Apr 14, 08:11:00 PM:

Everyone knows where America is, but Brazilians don't know a lot about Ukraine. For example.

We do pretty well, actually. There is a great deal of learn-it-when-you-need-it about American education, and I think that will prove a workable model.  

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