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August 12, 2006

“The flying shards of a better tomorrow”
Posted by Patrick at 09:15 PM * 99 comments

If you haven’t yet seen the Daily Show segment from earlier this week starring “Middle Eastern Affairs Correspondent” Aasif Mandvi, you’ve been missing one of the most withering things shown on television in years.

Comments on "The flying shards of a better tomorrow":
#1 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2006, 09:20 PM:

As Teresa observes, the most stunning line is "And we all understand it in exactly those terms."

#2 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2006, 09:26 PM:

I also liked the banner saying FORCED PERSPECTIVE.

#3 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2006, 09:55 PM:

Well, the "latest theories of your political scientists" wasn't bad either.

#4 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2006, 09:58 PM:

Man, that was a tour de force all the way around.

#5 ::: Michael ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2006, 10:02 PM:

The most impact (for me) was in "I'm sure you all see 9/11 in the same way: tough day; great opportunity."

Damn. Now that's television.

#6 ::: Joe J ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2006, 10:07 PM:

Exactly, Michael

Aside from the stunned silence at such a major PC taboo, there's the insight that the people who are calling the current conflict in the Middle East an "opportunity" are the same people who probably saw 9/11 as an opportunity. Thank you Daily Show for existing.

#7 ::: jane ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2006, 10:11 PM:

Whoooosh. Now THAT'S political commentary!

Jane

#8 ::: Shewood ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2006, 11:43 PM:

"The flying shards of opportunity." Hoo.

#9 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2006, 01:22 AM:

"Improvised Explosive Opportunity" was my personal favorite. And the deadpan delivery was perfect.

#10 ::: Graham Blake ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2006, 02:38 AM:

It was clear something profound happened as the crowd responded in stunned silence and nervous laughter at the end of the piece. The shock of awareness when the tacit assumptions you are expected to have are suddenly shattered, or at least deeply challenged. Brilliant.

#11 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2006, 03:33 AM:

Hey - Has GWB just done another Saddam + 9/11 stunt?

Bush links Hezbullah and 'plot'.

How long before a survey says that the majority of Americans think Hezbullah is the reason they can't bring drinks on planes, so Israel is right to bomb them out of Lebanon?

Sigh.

#12 ::: Bill Humphries ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2006, 03:37 AM:

Can I get a witness, or at least an epidural?

#13 ::: Bill Humphries ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2006, 03:40 AM:

@ abi: huh? I thought the Metropolitan Police had been following the "war with coloids" plot for over a year?

#14 ::: "Charles Dodgson" ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2006, 07:36 AM:
"I'm sure you all see 9/11 in the same way: tough day; great opportunity."

Oddly enough, I'm pretty sure that Don "Sweep it all; things related and not" Rumsfeld did in fact see it just exactly like that.

A related curiosity is the interview I heard a week ago with one Noah Feldman, an academic friend of the parties in power, whose area of soi-disant expertise is democratization in the Arab world, and whose discussion of incentive structures for Arab voters strucke me as divorced from reality in about the same way --- though unlike Mandvi, he wasn't trying to make that quite so obvious...

#15 ::: Steven Brust ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2006, 07:52 AM:

That really was brilliant. What can I say? I love that show. Thanks for the pointer.

#16 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2006, 09:01 AM:

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert: taking the place of both the journalists AND the political opposition. Hey, the world is run by those who show up.

#17 ::: Michael ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2006, 09:38 AM:

Joe and Charles: precisely. That's what makes it so effective, I think; that worldview -- silver-lined tragedy -- is so divorced from the maudlin melodrama of how they politicized 9/11 domestically that it just grabs you by the neck and gives you a good hard shake.

It was damned brilliant all around. TDS is just ... it's what I always thought America was all about. Jon Stewart will end up President, if there's any justice in the world. With Stephen Colbert as Veep, and Aasif Mandvi the Sec'y of State. I leave the rest of the cabinet as an exercise for the reader. See, that would be an America I'd be proud to be a part of.

#18 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2006, 09:42 AM:

Now, that was satire.

#19 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2006, 10:23 AM:

oh! my! gawd!

tiny, abstract drops in an oil field of possibility.

I think I cracked a rib.

#20 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2006, 12:52 PM:

Exactly the right tone. Cheerful, wide-eyed lunacy, just like Donald Rumsfeld.

#21 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2006, 01:18 PM:

What scares me most about that clip is that, while I thought it was mildly funny, it didn't tell me anything I didn't already know: what shocked me was the way the audience sounded so surprised and perturbed.

Next you'll be telling me that it isn't obvious to everyone that the US government today is the most dangerous rogue state on the planet. Right?

#22 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2006, 02:17 PM:

Next you'll be telling me that it isn't obvious to everyone that the US government today is the most dangerous rogue state on the planet. Right?

Charlie: In the US you get into trouble for suggesting that US foreign policy is not directed by angels and ministers of grace.

When Jimmy Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 people wrote letters to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution condemning the Norwegians for honouring such a vile anti-American figure. This after Carter had dared to suggest that W's headlong rush to war might not be a good idea.

#23 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2006, 02:29 PM:

Fragano: I knew that. What worries me is that most folks (in the US) don't seem to be explicitly aware that anything's wrong about it.

It's like, oh ... imagine visiting a Warsaw Pact country back in the 1980s and finding that everyone genuinely believes in communism. Weird, huh?

#24 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2006, 03:45 PM:

Charlie Stross: "What worries me is that most folks (in the US) don't seem to be explicitly aware that anything's wrong about it."

I think I just bit my tongue.

#25 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2006, 04:04 PM:

What scares me most about that clip is that, while I thought it was mildly funny, it didn't tell me anything I didn't already know: what shocked me was the way the audience sounded so surprised and perturbed.

Charlie: I read the audience reaction as a mixture of two things:
1) Slight uncertainty as to how to react to the new guy ("OK, where's he going with this?");
2) Surprise and a bit of shock that the Daily Show really was making a very pointed and direct joke about September 11.

#26 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2006, 05:01 PM:

Fragano: I knew that. What worries me is that most folks (in the US) don't seem to be explicitly aware that anything's wrong about it.

Well, some are. By and large, though, Americans don't travel, aren't interested in the world outside the borders of the country, and have some rather odd assumptions about the world. Every semester I have to explain as patiently as I can that

(1) The United States is not the only democracy in the world.

(2) That the United States is not the most free country in the world.

(3) That other countries have different political systems because (inter alia) they work, not because they haven't yet been convinced that the American way is the only way nor because they are perversely trying to confuse Americans. (One student: I find some words confusing. Me: What words? Student: Like when you call the head of government in Germany the Chancellor. Why do you have to do that? Why can't you make it simple?)


And this is in just one comparative politics class at a historically black college (where some of the same students who in one context blithely assume that the American way is the only way will in another context claim that the United States is not really their country).

#27 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2006, 07:23 PM:

"Why do you have to do that? Why can't you make it simple?"

You know what would be neat? A spoof / hommage to Starship Troopers where you only get to vote if you've spent four years in the Peace Corps or some foreign service post. Or if you're a xenophobic isolationist concientious objector, spend four years cleaning up Superfund sites.

You've got a free line of dialog for it right there, from Fragano's student.

#28 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2006, 07:46 PM:

Fragano, are these freshmen, or does the idea of comparative politics necessarily imply (as it does to my brain) some previous college-level work in political science and/or history? If the latter, I'm stonkered. Or something.

#29 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2006, 07:51 PM:

They're juniors. It's a junior level class. They should previously have taken American Government and State and Local, and a broad intro course called Politics and Global Issues. In the case I mention, however, the student was not a political science major but a communications major taking comp pol as an elective.

#30 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2006, 09:51 PM:

Fragano, what kind of comparative Civics do they get in high school? (Or social studies, or whatever they call it these days?) And do they actually study history?

#31 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 08:12 AM:

Lizzy L: I don't know what they get in high school. They're not required to study world history, but are required to study US history as part of our gen ed core.

#32 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 11:56 AM:

In the case I mention, however, the student was not a political science major but a communications major taking comp pol as an elective.

Don't tell me--he wants to be a global correspondent.

This is probably the best argument for strictly enforcing prerequisites that I've seen.

#33 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 01:05 PM:

She, not he. I agree with you.

#34 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 01:29 PM:

I'm not sure I understand how you can study US history without some element of the rest of the world creeping in! I mean, where did the USA come from? Who were all those folks you fought wars with, over the years?

It sounds bizarre, to me. (But then, when I was in school, history was invented by the Greeks and the Romans.)

#35 ::: Lenny Bailes ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 02:57 PM:

When I was working as a high school substitute in the late 1980s, Tenth Grade (10th year out of 12) was "World History"--Egypt, Babylonia, Greece, Rome, "Dark Ages," Renaissance, Enlightenment, Industrial Revolution, WWI, WWII -- and whatever post-WWII material they could get to in the last month, depending on how fast they covered the other stuff. Some classes had a pitchout to India (pre/post Dravidian), China, and Japan. The Eleventh Grade was North American->U.S. History.

Somewhere in the 1990s, they started doing two years of American History, instead -- with special focus in California on Native American Tribes, Mexican, and California histories. I think "World History" turned into an elective.

I'm not sure what the history syllabi are like now. I do know that several publishing companies are still cranking out "World History" textbooks for middle school grades (6 through 8) because I had an editorial job in 2002-2003 composing study guides for some of them.

#36 ::: James ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 02:59 PM:

Charlie, you don't make allowances for New Worldness.

I went through school up to Grade Eleven in Canada. We had extensive history of, first, the exploration of the New World generally and then, British North America from the earliest public school through Grade Nine (the last year with compulsory history).

We had european figures appear in the histories, but absolutely no context. So Radisson and Grosseliers appear as founders of the Hudson's Bay Company and King Charles gets a look-in, but never a peep about the Restoration or the Revolution or Titus Oates, or even the model provided by the Dutch East India Company and the wars with the Dutch in that time period. Similarly, for all we knew, the only thing the Seven Years' War was about was the French possessions in North America. The political context around Lord Durham at home -- the Melbourne period between Peel's two periods in office -- was never explained, although the Durham Report received inordinate amounts of coverage.

This was a change from my parents' day, when they learned the Kings of England and all their dates in the approved British manner.

#37 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 03:08 PM:

Lenny, here is what the state of Texas has to say about history as a high-school graduation requirement:

"4) Social studies--two and one-half credits. The credits must consist of World History Studies (one credit) or World Geography Studies (one credit), United States History Studies Since Reconstruction (one credit), and United States Government (one-half credit)." (Texas Administrative Code, as published by the Texas Education Agency: §74.11. High School Graduation Requirements.)

At least at the end of the Sixties, the World History tended to get offered as a 9th or 10th-grade course, with the US history in 11th, sort of to go along w/ the American Lit offered in the same year. Because I came from a state with no world history requirement, I took it in summer school between 11th and 12th. I loved it, I aced it, I later got a history degree. I'm not sure why anyone else was in there, except maybe to make more room for band or something during the regular year.

#38 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 03:15 PM:

As James Loewen discusses in the book Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your History Textbook Got Wrong, American textbooks are (in general) purged of any "controversial" ideas. It's hard to learn anything at all about history if you never get exposed to anything "controversial". Especially the way that "controversial" gets defined by the textbook review committees.

#39 ::: Laurence ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 03:31 PM:

I never learned any World History in school - only US History. Every year, they started us over with Columbus, and we generally got as far as the Civil War.

One year in high school, an exceptionally brave and daring teacher said "You already know this stuff," and by skipping some of it, she brought us up maybe to WWII. This same teacher informed us in class that in her opinion, Nixon and Reagan were two of the best presidents this country had ever had.

I sometimes wondered why our history books covered everything up to the present day, when we never got anywhere near that far.

#40 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 03:36 PM:

Mid-sixties California: World History in 10th grade. I was lucky enough to have a teacher who told us a little about east Asia - he'd been to China and Korea, and had actually learned a little Chinese, which he told us about.

It still should be required; otherwise we'll get more people like Shrub: ignorant and powerful.

#41 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 04:16 PM:

Charlie: Both my sons got world history in high school, but they are in a school district with (a) a high income and (b) a large number of university teachers in residence.

In practical terms, what happens is that high school and college US history passes in one ear and out the other. A lot depends on the student body. When you've got one, like mine, which (for reasons which are not altogether bad) gets taught the history of the US from a black perspective, a hell of a lot gets left out. And, frankly, most Americans don't care about the rest of the world (and this goes for blacks as well as whites). When confronted with the reality that the rest of the world is different from the US they tend to process it out.

I've tried, with I hope some success, to broaden their comprehension of the world (I give a lot of assignments on minority rights issues in Europe,Africa, and Asia, for example, to get them to see that the ways that African Americans have been treated are not unique). However, if they don't want to know, I can't force them.

#42 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 04:20 PM:

One of my high school teachers -- I forget if it was history or a current-events type class -- required us to read the New York Times every day for the whole quarter. I learned a hell of a lot, and kept reading the paper.

* * *

I suspect that there is more to the problem of college students being annoyed by big unfamiliar words than poor preperation in high school.

I suspect they're victims of a popular culture that does not much value curiosity and learning. They're in college for . . . symbolic reasons.

I ran into this when I taught "Introduction to Computing" classes at New York Institute of Technology, ~1993. This was a good school that went open admission, so it got lots of unmotivated suburban kids who squeaked through high school, and who'd really rather be out playing with their cars, but whose parents were paying for college, so . . .

What got me was how utterly fragging puzzled they were by things like numerals having different values depending on whether they were in the units place or tens place or hundreds place. College juniors didn't know this.

#43 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 04:37 PM:

Charlie Stross: I'm not sure I understand how you can study US history without some element of the rest of the world creeping in! I mean, where did the USA come from?

The USA sprung whole from our Lord God on the sixth day as his most perfect creation. Don't they teach you the truth over there?

Who were all those folks you fought wars with, over the years?

Furriners, of course. :-)

***

But seriously, World History or even Western History is pretty poorly taught in the public schools. I got three different versions of American History, only one of which dealt frankly with issues like abolition and one year of "Global Studies" which consisted of a continent a quarter covering Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. I took an elective on the Soviet Union in 11th grade.

And I went to one of the best public high schools in the country (Bronx Science).

The only way I learned about such tidbits as English history (esp. religion and politics) was via my English classes where we read Chaucer (translated) and quite a bit of Shakespeare.

I took some real Western Civ classes in college, and really enjoyed them. But there were no material offerings in Elementary or High School.

#44 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 05:12 PM:

"I'm not sure I understand how you can study US history without some element of the rest of the world creeping in! I mean, where did the USA come from? Who were all those folks you fought wars with, over the years?"

It is actually covered, but it didn't used to be very real to most of us. It is a bit like living in China; one can grow up here and simply never realize that there are a lot of people who speak different languages, so all these people exist only in books. One of the big problems we are now having is that it is dawning that there are a lot of people not like us, and a lot of us are shocked by the idea.

#45 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 05:18 PM:

"War is God's way of teaching Americans geography."

- Ambrose Bierce

#46 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 05:22 PM:

one can grow up here and simply never realize that there are a lot of people who speak different languages

I guess this is true for some people. But I grew up in NY, NY, attended college in Cleveland, OH and Chicago, IL, and now live in the SF Bay Area, and there's no way this could have been true for me. Don't most people in this country live in or near cities?

I wonder if the ignorance referred to above has more to do with the unappetizing gruel which passes for education and with the racism of popular culture via TV in this country.

#47 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 05:34 PM:

Where I was living in west Texas, there were people who'd never been farther away than Dallas, about three hundred miles by road. And some of them had never been out of the state - New Mexico was less than a hundred miles away. Most of the country, to them, would be as foreign as Europe or Asia, and about as accessible.

#48 ::: Ailsa Ek ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 05:38 PM:

Where I grew up, we knew there were two languages, English and Quebecois. Some people in my high school took Spanish, but most of us had no idea why anyone would do that, unless they just wanted to be contrary and/or exotic.

#49 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 05:40 PM:

Lizzy L: Living near a city has -nothing- to do with it.

My partner grew up in a little town in Ohio that was 99% white. The first time she saw an Asian was when she came to Columbus to go to Ohio State University (1970s). Mansfield is about an hour's drive to Columbus.

There are some Americans who have never travelled more than a day's drive from their hometowns. Some have never been out of the state where they were born.

In Hawai'i, I encounted folk who'd never been to the other side of the island they were living on, much less visited one of the other islands in the chain.

There is a whole sector of the American populace that has no desire to be aware of anything outside of their immediate environment.

#50 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 05:41 PM:

And, be it noted, people draw their impression of what the United States is like from their immediate experience. I had one student in an American government class who was shocked to learn that three out of every four Americans is white. Her experience, living in Washington DC and in Atlanta, both of them majority black cities, had led her to conclude that there were at least as many blacks as whites.

#51 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 05:58 PM:

Fragano, this is an American you're talking about?

Wow.

An online acquaintance recently started spouting off about how "all Moslems are"—you don't need to know much more than that, aside from the fact that it was pretty negative. He's Mormon and lives in SLC (and AFAIK he'd never seen anyone he knew was Moslem except on CNN), so after saying that my Moslem friends appeared to be counterexamples, I said "By the way, all Mormons are pimply teenage boys in ill-fitting suits, with tags that say Elder, which is a laugh, because they're only ELDER than people in diapers. I know because I see them around Hoboken, and of course the Mormons I see around Hoboken are representative of all Mormons. See how dumb that sounds?"

He did not reply.

#52 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 06:12 PM:

some Americans who have never travelled more than a day's drive from their hometowns.

Well, it would be interesting if you could create a map, and on the map put a point representing an individual, and then from that point, draw a line upwards that reflects the min, median, and max miles that person has traveled from the place they were born.

I have a feeling that the milage for people born in chicago wouldn't be too much different than the milage for the people born in (insert some equivalent sized, non american city).

#53 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 06:22 PM:

Grey: on the milage front, you're probably right.

But the big difference is, most anywhere on the planet except the North American continent, if you travel 1000 miles, that will take you through several other countries where they speak different languages and have different customs. Whereas, from Chicago, you're surrounded entirely by other US states, plus bits of Canada (which is about as different from the USA as Ireland is from the UK, i.e. different enough to notice, but similar enough to feel pretty much at home very rapidly).

#54 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 07:18 PM:

Xopher: I have a good friend who enjoys cigars, rum and whisky. Except for 29 days a year when he fasts from dawn to dusk. He's a Muslim. Not a very good one, except during Ramadan, but still a Muslim.

Except for American government (which I teach at a community college), almost all my students are Americans.

#55 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 07:20 PM:

Yes, I know that folks stay home, etc. I live in a small town called San Pablo, near which are other small towns named Pinole, El Sobrante, Hercules, Crockett, Richmond, etc. I am sure that if you looked you could find some of my neighbors, especially say, the ones who haven't graduated from high school, who have never been farther away from home than the next town. But in El Sobrante (pop. 12,000) there's a Sikh temple. Pinole has two Japanese restaurants. Richmond is majority African-American. And right around the corner one finds Oakland and San Francisco, both melting pot cities, stunning ethnic mixes, and we won't even discuss the People's Republic of Berkeley. The world is out there -- you have to have help and encouragement to miss it. I suggest that help and encouragement comes from a dumbed-down educational system (in which, for example, one is no longer required, as I was, to study 2 years of a foreign language in high school) and a racist, violent, fear-mongering pop culture that is happy to let you pretend that that there is only one "real" way to look at the world - the Murcan way.

#56 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 08:09 PM:

Lori C: "In Hawai'i, I encounted folk who'd never been to the other side of the island they were living on"

Ouch. I haven't been to Kaneohe or Kailua in, oh, ten years. Last time I was on the Big Island was 1993.

I had World History in 10th grade in Fairfax Cty, Va. in the mid-1960s. It was pretty well taught, as I recall. But I got an awful lot from taking French for all four years of high school, and two years of Russian (from the same French teacher) junior and senior years.

Didn't hurt to be a Navy junior growing up, either. "What? You've got new friends? Must be time to move, then."

#57 ::: Chad Orzel ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 08:59 PM:

There is a whole sector of the American populace that has no desire to be aware of anything outside of their immediate environment.

Of course, you could delete the word "American" from that sentence without significantly affecting the truth value...

#58 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 09:25 PM:

Lori Coulson: There is a whole sector of the American populace that has no desire to be aware of anything outside of their immediate environment.

Chad Orzel replies Of course, you could delete the word "American" from that sentence without significantly affecting the truth value...

The big difference is that you can be successful and (considered to be) well-educated but never have traveled outside the country, studied a foreign language or have been forced to consider that other places may just do a thing or two better than we do. (Recall GWB's pre-election travel history.)

#59 ::: Chad Orzel ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 10:14 PM:

The big difference is that you can be successful and (considered to be) well-educated but never have traveled outside the country, studied a foreign language or have been forced to consider that other places may just do a thing or two better than we do.

That's more a function of the size of the US, both geographically and economically, than any uniquely deplorable elements of the national character. And Americans don't exactly have a monopoly on the belief that their way of doing things is the best, as anyone who has spent any time talking with foreigners should be aware.

I don't disagree that there are large numbers of small-minded people in the US. But that's a human trait, not an American one.

There's an undercurrent of "All Americans are pinheads (except the slans in this thread)" to this conversation that I find incredibly irritating, and that's what I'm attempting to counter.

#60 ::: Scott W ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 11:06 PM:

For a bit of anecdotal evidence from the side of having more than just US History, my school district (Wheaton/Warrenville, western suburbs of Chicago) had World History taught in sixth grade, US History in seventh and eighth, with eighth grade also having a large segment on the Constitution.

High School also had a year on World History, another year of US History and a semester of American Government or Political Science. I'd rather have had more focused courses in High School rather than slightly less vague reiterations of middle school classes, but from reading all the people whose districts supplied little to no global history awareness, I guess my bar's set too high

#61 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 11:12 PM:

the big difference is, most anywhere on the planet except the North American continent, if you travel 1000 miles, that will take you through several other countries where they speak different languages and have different customs.

But my point was that the behaviour is a function of the environment, and that if you took any person at a young age from any country, and let them grow up in Chicago, they'd probably do the same thing.

Or, as Chad just said, this is a human trait, not an American one.

I'm not sure how much people actually choose how they model the world based on the environment they grow up in. The person who grew up in DC and simply assumed that Whites and Blacks were about equally distributed in teh whole country, is that an inherent human short sighted-ness? Or is it something people choose?

#62 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2006, 11:28 PM:

Chad - I'm not saying that all Americans are pinheads, but I am saying that we're too quick to laud ones that are.

Greg: I'm not sure how much people actually choose how they model the world based on the environment they grow up in. The person who grew up in DC and simply assumed that Whites and Blacks were about equally distributed in teh whole country, is that an inherent human short sighted-ness? Or is it something people choose?

Good question. I'd lean towards a qualified yes. Then again, I also think that people choose to have regional accents, despite the ubiquitous exposure to Standard American English in the media. (Sample set of one - by all rights I should have a heavy Brooklyn accent, but I was absolutely determined not to.)

#63 ::: Vian ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 12:08 AM:

Or, as Chad just said, this is a human trait, not an American one.

To add to that view, I was visiting Trastevere a couple of years ago, and was fairly shocked that there's a large section of the population there which prides itself in never having spent a day in the rest of Rome, much less anywhere else. No Florence? No Siena? No rest-of-Europe? Boggling to me.

So, it's not just an American thing. Parochialism is deep in the bones for some. And I have few stones to cast - I've been to 3 other continents so far, but I've barely seen the Outback.

#64 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 12:10 AM:

Larry Brennan said:

But seriously, World History or even Western History is pretty poorly taught in the public schools.

This I can attest to, having two offspring who've just now survived public school.

Neither of them has any school-taught knowledge of American History from about 1806 to present, except for the depression; my daughter got a 5 on her AP history test with that knowledge. She also spent a semester studying European history in the mediaeval period without any discussion at all of the relationship between Christianity and Islam.

Greg London said:

I'm not sure how much people actually choose how they model the world based on the environment they grow up in.

There may, then, be some advantage to having grown up in Yelm; between the utterly foriegn world on television, the constant presence of the otherness of Fort Lewis, and the gap which existed between my life and that of my cousins who lived in Olympia, I knew damned well my experience was typical of the world in general.

#65 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 12:12 AM:

"not typical", that is.

#66 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 01:14 AM:

what confounded me in college (I read, I'd read history partly because of my Latin teacher who encouraged a catholic taste in history and partly because I liked it) is that Western Civilization can be interpreted so broadly differently. I went to U. Miami, Coral Gables my first year of college, and our Western Civ (required) course was Western history and I learned a lot about religions, politics, and the evolution of government.

Then for family reasons and "I hate Miami, FL" reasons I transferred back to U. Kan. KU's "Western Civ" (required but they regarded the fact of what I'd taken at UM to be clearing the first semester of the requirement) class was more Western philosophy/politics than history, and I had to take secnd semester over. And there was a lab (discussion group required), and the TA for my lab was a fervent Marxist. I called the TA on trying to make John Stewart Mill out as a communist because it was absurd. he did not like me at all but I passed. He tried to turn all the ideas of what we were reading into Marxist thought, and I really had a difficult semester in that class because I could not keep my mouth shut. (most of the other students were freshman, I was not....) I expect if he still recalls me at all, it was because I made him think. At least I hope so, because his little Marxist glasses were on so tight I was surprised he wasn't blind.

#67 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 06:27 AM:

One difference I think does exist between Americans and Europeans is that Americans are significantly more willing to pick up and move within the US. That is, many Europeans really prefer to stay in their home towns, or at least their home provinces.

I suspect this is a combination of looser family ties in the US and the fact that most Americans, even those who were born and grew up in the same place, know that their parents (or grandparents, or...) moved there from somewhere else. Another factor may be the lack of strong regional variation in culture, which makes it easier to contemplate living in another part of the country: the culture in Texas is not the same as that in New York, but the differences are not as great as the difference between, say, Sicily and Tuscany.

#68 ::: Ailsa Ek ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 07:49 AM:

Depends on the people, I think. My experience is that most people aren't comfortable with the idea of moving out of their region. I spent a year in Texas, and it was neat and educational and all (I quite like live oaks), but I'll move out of New England when you pry my cold dead hands loose of it.

#69 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 08:47 AM:

I'm not sure how much people actually choose how they model the world based on the environment they grow up in. The person who grew up in DC and simply assumed that Whites and Blacks were about equally distributed in teh whole country, is that an inherent human short sighted-ness? Or is it something people choose?

I'd say the former. People have a tendency to project from their experience to the rest of the world. Add to this a suspicion of any official information (based on a not-unreasonable distrust) and what do you get?

#70 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 08:55 AM:

Paula Helm Murray: While no communist, John Stuart Mill was certainly a socialist.

#71 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 09:29 AM:

When Jimmy Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 people wrote letters to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution condemning the Norwegians for honouring such a vile anti-American figure.

(chuckle) Really? The Norwegians?

Reminds me of a British news satire: "After the Sun calls on its readers to face across the Channel and shout 'Up yours, Delors [unpopular EC chief]', millions of them turn up in Doncaster."

#72 ::: debcha ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 09:39 AM:

Ailsa - Depends on the people, I think. My experience is that most people aren't comfortable with the idea of moving out of their region.

I think it strongly depends on the region, too; there are lots of different places that I'd be happy to live (although I joke that I'd only move to a city with one of the Original Six NHL teams, subbing SF or Vancouver for Detroit). But I have to admit there are many places in the US that I don't think I'd feel comfortable moving to (as a foreigner, a visible minority, and an atheist). On the other hand, there are lots of places in the rest of the world that I'd love to live (London and Sydney are near the top of the list). And yes, I realize that I have the tremendous luxury of getting to choose where I live, and not being compelled by circumstances.

#73 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 10:09 AM:

Ajay: The Nobel Peace Prize, unlike all the other Nobels, is awarded by the Norwegian Storting.

#74 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 11:24 AM:

Lenny, it's not true that high school students in California are supposed to do two years of American history with an emphasis on Native America. Here is how it's supposed to go (but doesn't, often: we seem to have real difficulty effectively standardizing curriculum):

Fourth grade: California history and geography

Fifth grade: first American history course. Supposed to include geography, Native America, the Age of Exploration, and Colonial Life (that would be English-and-French-and-Dutch as well as Spanish)

Sixth grade: human evolution, prehistory, and classical history. This is supposed to cover all the ancient civilizations, including Asian, African, and American ones.

Seventh grade: the world in medieval and renaissance times.

Eighth grade: American history from colonial times through the civil war (in practice, a lot of teachers just recap fifth grade history and geography for most of the year). This class is supposed to go into the Constitution at great depth, and sometimes it does.

Ninth grade: no history -- they're supposed to get health and computer literacy and maybe other crap.

Tenth grade: "World Civ" which tends to be "modern world problems" -- sometimes this is a really good course, because it tends to be taught by enthusiasts

Eleventh grade: American history from Reconstruction to the present, butin practice it tends to recap fifth grade American history for most of the year.

Twelfth grade: Civics and economics -- sometimes as a single year-long course, sometimes as two semester courses. These classes are sometimes offered to anybody in tenth grade or above. The economics classes, in practice, fall into two categories:
a. how to balance a checkbook and buy a car
b. isn't capitalism wonderful?

The Civics classes emphasize "how a bill becomes a law" but sometimes they go way beyond this.

#75 ::: Dan Hoey ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 12:10 PM:

Any word on whether Aasif Mandvi is a pseudonym? What about an anagram?

Flying head-on into the twin birth pangs of a new opportunity.

#76 ::: Dan Hoey ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 12:14 PM:

head-on

Hrmph. I guess that's supposed to be headlong. Pullet surprise material.

#77 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 12:15 PM:

Depends on the people, I think. My experience is that most people aren't comfortable with the idea of moving out of their region. I spent a year in Texas, and it was neat and educational and all (I quite like live oaks), but I'll move out of New England when you pry my cold dead hands loose of it.

Yes, it does depend on the people; also (as debcha pointed out) on the region. You can poke around here for some 2000 Census-related statistics. For example, it suggests that about 25% of people living in California were born in a different state (and another 25% were born in a different country); in contrast, almost 80% of Louisianans were born there.

Unfortunately, there isn't a breakdown by larger-than-state "region," so I can't tell what the situation is for New England, except that Maine has a higher native-born fraction (67%) than New Hampshire or Vermont (54% and 43%, respectively). Of course, some of that could be people moving around within New England.

#78 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 12:18 PM:

Any word on whether Aasif Mandvi is a pseudonym? What about an anagram?

Given that there's a page on him at the Internet Movie Database, I think that's almost certainly his real name. (And he's got a longer filmography than Jon Stewart, too!)

#79 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 12:19 PM:

is that an inherent human short sighted-ness? Or is it something people choose?

I'd say the former.

Then I'd point out that when someone berates "Americans" for being shortsighted, when it's really a human condition, it isn't really addressing the cause of the problem. The problem still exists and needs fixing, but "stupid americans" isn't going to solve it.

I'm thinking something more along the lines of "look, this is how humans in general work, and it so happens that in the geography of America, it gets exacerbated by the lack of any nearby foreign cultures."

That isn't a solution, but at least it seems to more properly address the actual problem.

#80 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 12:34 PM:

Aasif Mandvi is a playwright, too.

(Makes me wonder if he might have had a hand in writing some of his Daily Show sketch.)

#81 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 12:57 PM:

Peter Erwin: Yes, it does depend on the people; also (as debcha pointed out) on the region. You can poke around here for some 2000 Census-related statistics. For example, it suggests that about 25% of people living in California were born in a different state (and another 25% were born in a different country); in contrast, almost 80% of Louisianans were born there.

Even within the state, it varies enormously. My experience in the South Bay circles where I worked in the 80s was that encountering an actual native Californian was so rare as to be worthy of note.

#82 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 01:40 PM:

I would agree, joann -- my wife is a fifth generation native Californian (her ancestor panned for gold then grew apples near Sebastopol). Funny thing, you would have to look hard in some parts of the state to find a native at all, but up in the Sierra foothills, there are all sorts of people with roots that deep.

I take comfort in being married to a native Californian -- come the revolution I should be able to claim resident alien status here, at least.

#83 ::: debcha ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 01:43 PM:

Greg, I absolutely agree with you that this is not about Americans being somehow more insular and less mobile than other groups. Frankly, it's amazing that 21% of Americans have passports, given how hard it is to leave North America. Conversely, for example, Amsterdam and Paris are closer together than Boston and Philadelphia (and you pass clean through Belgium en route). I agree that it's not clear to me that Americans are more insular than other cultures, certainly not if you correct for geography and the resources required to travel outside the country.

However, I think people care more, and are more surprised about, the insularity of Americans for the simple reason that the US has a tremendous impact on the world. And if the people who are evaluating the foreign policy decisions made by their elected representatives don't know (or don't care) about the rest of the world, it's a problem. To say nothing of the knowledge of the elected representatives themselves; I think that many people were shocked about the President's minimal travel outside the US because it was so clearly not limited by resources, and could therefore only betray a complete lack of curiosity about other people and cultures.

It's not that Americans are so much more insular than the people in the rest of the world; they may or may not be. It's that the impact of American insularity is vastly greater.

#84 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 01:53 PM:

it suggests that about 25% of people living in California were born in a different state (and another 25% were born in a different country)

There was a news story about plate tectonics once that started off something like '75 percent of California is from out of state, and that's not counting the people'. (Native speaking here. But my parents were immigrants to CA.)

#85 ::: Anna Feruglio Dal Dan ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 02:00 PM:

There's an undercurrent of "All Americans are pinheads (except the slans in this thread)" to this conversation that I find incredibly irritating, and that's what I'm attempting to counter

Parochialism is indeed universal, as is pinheadedness.

People from abroad, however, are generally made distinctly uncomfortable by the continuous, and often official, insistence on American preminence. The idea that America is God's chosen country, and/or that the American way is the best, is very often encountered. (Of course, this may be true of other countries I have heard about but have no first-hand experience of).

Other countries show an ingrained preference for their own ways that is natural, but the conviction that they are better than everybody else around, while not absent, is nowhere near this overwhelming and often expressed. French may be smug, and the English may have a certain polite sense of knowing they are right, but they do not inform the world if it daily. And they don't feel the need to continually reassure themselves of their pre-eminence.

It's not that "Americans" are not unaware of the rest of the world, they are in constant competition with it, in a sense. This continuos need to reaffirm one's superiority after all has to have an audience, if only an implied one (that is, Americans tell themselves how good they are, but this presumes the existence of Something Else). In fact, Americans ignore the rest of the world FAR LESS than other people - it's just that it is an abstract Rest of the World. (Abstract drops in the oil fields of reality, eh)

Of course most of the Americans I meet are on average far more knowledgable in history and languages than me or your average European. But the prevailing culture, from the recitation of the pledge at the beginnig of class to the by now almost obligatory Show of the Flag (long and complicated story here, and long discussion we could have but I will attempt to forestall by saying YouknowwhatImean, and there is the weird factoid that the State were I saw the least number of flags is Texas and the one where I saw the highest of them is Vermont), to the constant reaffirmation of how "we love freedom", to an endless stream of movies where even the exotic can only be seen through American eyes, tells a different story. (Yes, I was exposed to GWB yesterday. I still bear the scars)

This is not universal human parochialism, this is something else, and I have a suspicion that it is a top-down phenomenon.

The fact that this continual confrontation with the rest of the world is coupled with a resolution not to get to know the facts about the rest of the world (maybe because facts have a well-known liberal bias) is even more scary. Italians are ignorant. Americans are deliberately kept ignorant. In fact, the mere fact that several hundred, IIRC, people with a working knowledge of Arabic have been kicked out of the services for being gay is, well... part of the picture.

Yes, I am bashing The Fascists again. So sue me.

Two days ago I was listening to a programme on Radio 4, which is called "More than a song". In this case the song in question was "This land is your land". Several things (many of which our esteemed hosts certainly know) struck me deeply:

First, Guthrie wrote the song as a deliberate counter to Isaiah's Berlin "God Bless America". He felt that it was complacent and unrealistic, and as a matter of fact, his own song ends with a question mark (in the verses that are mostly not sung).

Second, I did not know and was shocked to learn that this song of a man whose guitar bore the inscription "this machine kills fascists" had been all but appropriated by the Right, so turning it into quite a sinister thing.

Third, when I took off my headphones (I was at work) I surprised my co-worker in the next cubicle humming it. We chatted a little and she told me that she had never heard the song, was unaware of its history and meaning, and her only exposure to it was through a version sang with comic intent on "Friends". This is an English woman.

I had a point there somewhere... or maybe not.

Maybe I'm just trying to get the tune out of my head. It isn't the worst thing to have as an earworm, but it's been two days now...

#86 ::: Anna Feruglio Dal Dan ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 02:09 PM:

Oh, and in an already too long and rambling post, I forgot to add that, indeed, while it's far easier in Europe to cross a national border by just keep going in a straight line, not many people do so, while in America it's almost impossible not to encouter people of a different cultural and/or ethnic background, unless you close both eyes and go la la la with your fingers in your ear. Sometimes they are your grandparents, and sometimes they are on tv, but they are there. There are, after all, plenty of Mexicans in Dallas, just to make an example.

(Not that the IMAX feature on the History of Texas I saw in Austin ever mentioned them, or the fact that people were there before the arrival of the current inhabitants...)

(One of my sources of constant irritation is the Italian Abroad Who Will Not Eat The Local Food, or indeed ethnic food in Italy. Grrr. Indeed, parochialism is most definitely universal).

#87 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 02:18 PM:

Third, when I took off my headphones (I was at work) I surprised my co-worker in the next cubicle humming it. We chatted a little and she told me that she had never heard the song, was unaware of its history and meaning, and her only exposure to it was through a version sang with comic intent on "Friends". This is an English woman.

Maybe I'm just trying to get the tune out of my head. It isn't the worst thing to have as an earworm, but it's been two days now...

Although what you've made me think of is the brief riff on that song by The Waterboys (a mostly Scottish group) at the tail end of their album Fisherman's Blues (recorded in Ireland), where they end by singing:


This land is your land, this land is my land
From the Aran Islands to the Liffey waters...

(There's another line after that I can't quite make out, due to my very limited knowledge of Irish geography.)

#88 ::: Chris Clarke ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 02:39 PM:
I am sure that if you looked you could find some of my neighbors, especially say, the ones who haven't graduated from high school, who have never been farther away from home than the next town. But in El Sobrante (pop. 12,000) there's a Sikh temple.

...and a pretty good Peruvian restaurant, and Tandoori Chicken USA, a drive-up place in an old Foster's Freeze.

On my small block in relatively lily-white Pinole, comprising seven households, there are two Peruvian families, one Chinese household (not including my own half Chinese-American household), and a couple of old-timers. The Methodist Chruch behind my house has a heavily Pilipino congregation, many of them coming over from Hercules across the creek, which is about evenly split among African-Americans, Pilipinos, and "white." Not bad for a suburb.

But here's the thing: even in Pinole, which is conservative relative to its surroundings, even among the most conservative residents, there is still a sophistication that comes from having lived in the polyglot Bay Area. Which is not to say that ignorance, especially of the chauvinist variety, is not a problem in my neighborhood, because it sure as hell is. But I've lived elsewhere. The Bay Area's different.

#89 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 02:46 PM:

The Bay Area's different.

The Bay Area, hairy and sweaty armpit of America the Good. And we wouldn't have it be any other way.

#90 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 02:54 PM:

It's not that Americans are so much more insular than the people in the rest of the world; they may or may not be. It's that the impact of American insularity is vastly greater.

That is probably true, more now than ever. I was only saying that the path to a solution does not start with the notion of fixing those "Ugly Americans".

I do wonder what might happen when China awakes, and how insulated its people are from the rest of teh world, and how much economic force, military force, and force in general, it has to bring to bear on the world. But until that happens, I would agree that the US insularity is having the biggest negative impact on the world.

#91 ::: Lisa Goldstein ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 05:11 PM:

Lucy Kemnitzer describes my experience in the California school system perfectly. Except for seventh grade -- then we were supposed to study Europe and Asia (in one semester!) and somehow, after covering England and France, never got out of Germany.

#92 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 07:12 PM:

You guys wouldn't believe what happened in Virginia yesterday. Our idiot Senator George Allen called a Webb campaign volunteer a "macaca" which is a monkey. The kid is American-born of Indian (subcontinent) descent and when Allen wants to call him racial slurs, he can't even get the right continent. Allen even said "Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia."

Allen said that he didn't even know what the word meant when he semi-apologized. Uhhuh.

#93 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 07:43 PM:

Ailsa Ek: My experience is that most people aren't comfortable with the idea of moving out of their region. I spent a year in Texas, and it was neat and educational and all (I quite like live oaks), but I'll move out of New England when you pry my cold dead hands loose of it.

Even among people who are willing to move around from region to region have boundaries. I grew up in NYC and have also lived in Rochester, the Bay Area and Seattle. I'd consider living in much of the Upper Midwest or Northeast, as well as going back to CA. But you'd have to pay me a heck of a lot of money before I'd even consider moving to the South, much of the Intermountain West or the High Plains. Basically, the redder the state, the less I want to live there, and this was the case well before the 2000 elections.

#94 ::: Chad Orzel ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 08:13 PM:

Anna: People from abroad, however, are generally made distinctly uncomfortable by the continuous, and often official, insistence on American preminence. The idea that America is God's chosen country, and/or that the American way is the best, is very often encountered. (Of course, this may be true of other countries I have heard about but have no first-hand experience of).

It's pretty universal. Maybe without the God bit, but you don't have to spend much time on the Internet to run into plenty of Europeans whose response to American political issues is basically "Why can't you people see reason, and do things exactly the way we do in our country?" You probably don't notice it, because it's not directed at you, but it drives me nuts.

I agree that American ignorance and parochialism are more likely to cause problems for the rest of the world (at least at present, the British Empire having had the good sense to implode after they finished fucking things up), so we probably deserve more grief about it than, say, the Swedes do. Which is why I usually just roll my eyes and move on to the next comment. But there's a threshold above which I feel compelled to say something.

Larry: I'd consider living in much of the Upper Midwest or Northeast, as well as going back to CA. But you'd have to pay me a heck of a lot of money before I'd even consider moving to the South, much of the Intermountain West or the High Plains.

I feel the same way, but it has nothing to do with politics. I hated summer in DC, and have no desire to live any farther south than that, and while I'm perfectly comfortable with New England winters, I don't see any real need to turn that particular knob to eleven by moving to the northern plains.

I'd probably be ok with a bunch of the reddish western states, though. After all, the specific part of New York that I grew up in is about as staunchly conservative as you're going to find-- Broome County gave the world "Operation Rescue" after all.

#95 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 09:36 PM:

The idea that America is God's chosen country, and/or that the American way is the best, is very often encountered.

The same could be said about Israel. Did I mention the bumper sticker that said "God promised Israel to the Jews"?

Then, of course, there's always the Vatican.

One could probably argue that both of these countries have quite a bit of impact on the rest of the world. And not all of it good.

#96 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 11:10 PM:

"FATHER, Mother, and Me,
Sister and Auntie say
All the people like us are We,
And every one else is They.
And They live over the sea,
While We live over the way,
But—would you believe it?—They look upon We
As only a sort of They!"
--Kipling

#97 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2006, 11:46 PM:

Chris Clarke -- hi, neighbor!

#98 ::: Temperance ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 09:28 PM:

Parochialism shows up in all kinds of ways. We once had an Italian friend who claimed to be a member of the Italian Communist Party and was constantly dissing Americans as bourgeois running dogs, yadda yadda. But when we suggested going to a Mexican restaurant for dinner one night he refused to eat "poor people's food." I also used to think that Europeans were more intellectual and cultured, until some Scottish people we knew slightly came to stay with us and utterly refused to do anything except shop and go to the beach.

#99 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2006, 10:01 PM:

Randolph, nice.

;)

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