Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Australia Sure Looks Like North Korea

ABC (no, not THAT ABC, but the Australian Broadcasting Corporation) has been playing some nastily hilarious games with Americans, specifically, in Texas. From Crooks and Liars, I saw a clip from ABC's "CNNNN" or Chaser Non-Stop News Network of their intrepid reporter on the Dallas streets, asking the pointed question, "Who Should the U.S. Bomb Next?" Now, I'll give the folks on the streets one caveat: the names of countries were intentionally mislabled to add further hilarity (or intellectual challenge) into the mix. But the question has to be asked: "When the hell did Australia ever look like North Korea?"

The answer: Never, you lovable American clods, never!

What's so frustrating about this scenario is that geography is one of
the most simple lessons to be learned, really. It takes all of looking at a World map and being somewhat curious about the world outside of one's front porch, city or county borders, state lines, and national boundaries. It takes thinking outside the box of your own little world and having teachers and leaders foment a sense that there is a larger world outside of your own damned borders.

It just makes me crazy.

What's even more frustrating is that we are in the middle of this so-called "Global War on Terror" (which I like to call the G-WOT Now?) and Americans can't pay enough attention to the countries we're declaring hypothetical war on to know that Australia ain't North Korea. Not by a long shot. (Though, hey, I will say that at least they are on the same side of the globe.)

Now, I'm not the smartest person in the world. I have trouble remembering exactly which States make up the "Four Corners," but I know one of them isn't Hawaii. Not by a longshot.

All I ask of my fellow citizens is that if we are going to fight the G-WOT Now?, please, please, please, let's at least know where we're fighting, who we're fighting, and for the love of a duck, why we're fighting it. If we can't bother to learn the basics, we have no reason fighting anyone.

I fear, however, that it's just much too late for us, because CNNNN has now discovered that:

Oh, and here is what Kyrgyzstan looks like:

All maps from the CIA World Factbook. The CIA will not hunt you down if you go to their site and find out more regarding 1) Facts or 2) The World. However, they might be a little bugged if you go to their site and start a war on a country that you 1) can't find or 2) can't be bothered finding out about before you declare war on them. I think. Well, maybe. Or maybe not.


Anonymous said...

I've always wondered if out lack of education about the world is on purpose.

The general feeling seems to be "what you don't know can hurt you...because we said so".

My son didn't learn geography in school. His room was decorated with globes, maps, and books.


Anonymous said...

oops..I meant our. Should have used that preview feature.

Elderta said...


That's how I learned North American geography, my parents have a big mounted map of the US that has hung on our wall for about 35 years now. By looking at that map, I became interested in other areas, and just got fascinated from there. It certainly is a gread idea for parents to keep maps in their kid's rooms on their house, or at least an atlas! I love atlases! But then again, I'm a fucking geek! :)

Red Tory said...

Good thing we had that meeting about this El. ;-)

Aren't there maps in your classrooms? That's one of the most memorable things to me. The big roll down map. As a kidlet in elementary school didn't you have, um, what are they called...? Oh, yeah — an atlas! We even had two of them: a geographic and historical atlas.

It's confouding, but I've been highly amused on more than one occasion when getting people to draw maps without any reference (a party game that was spawned by "Pictionary"). Try it some time... believe me, the results are truly amazing, not to mention hilarious.

Anonymous said...

We had pull down maps in our classrooms...of the US.