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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Neo Flags

Tonight, Renato and I were each watching the Jay Leno Show, when his cringingly hilarious "game show", The Battle of the Jaywalking All-Stars, came on.

"Jaywalking" is the term used for Mr. Leno's famous segment on selecting people on the street, and asking them questions about this or that famous event, geographical location, or historical person.

The whole premise of the skit, is to highlight to the audience the dumbest answers as said by the dumbest "random" passersbys, called Jaywalkers.

The skit works with everything, including Christmas carolling.



Because we the studio and home audience have no idea how heavily editted this segment is, or not, there is no way of having a real idea of who answers what, how they choose each passerby, or if they target them in the age-old, "S/he looks dumb, let's go pick on him" split-second judgement call.

Come on, it happens to all of us.

Before a person opens their mouth, you have an idea of what they will say, based wholly on your perception of the way they look, the way they act, or later, and instantly, how they speak.

If we do it to others, you can be sure it's being done to us, too.

Now, every single person chosen to be a Jaywalking victim could ALL well be as dumb as a shoehorn.

But the whole premise is to go for the belly-laughs, since the questions asked are so basic, that any half-way educated person would at least get within a city block of the right answer.

The people interviewed just plain don't. They ARE as dumb as a shoehorn.

Hence the hysterical laughter it produces on the viewing audience.

Well, the All-Stars as you can infer from the name, is the collection of the most egregiously ignorant Jaywalkers, all vying to see who can "win" the game show, one whose express purpose is to highlight yet again, their complete ignorance of the world.

Where am I going with this, you ask?

Well, here's the deal.

Inherent in this game show, is the premise that AMERICANS especially don't know about geography.

Indeed, when a girl was asked to name what this is, and where it was at:



She didn't know what it was.

But she thought it was in Berlin.

Another chap, who unfairly was playing with his even dumber brother as one team, was asked, "Where does Danish come from?".

His response being, "I think there were some in my hotel room."

Another gal was shown a photo of the newest Dear Leader, and though she guessed his profession correctly ("dictator"), she had to be coaxed as to his name.

Jay Leno: "What is his name...? (waiting) "Kim......JONG....what?"

Girl: "Kim Jong MAO?"

I almost split a gut.

Listen, these are segments that make people feel bad about their own lack of knowledge about the world. But they're still very funny.

But that's just not good enough for me.

I'm as pedantic as all get out.

To that end, I want you to check out the new Hit Counter I have placed to the right, in the Sidebar -- which highlights a nation's flag, when a person from that country visits Sundries.

My readership is VERY international, since I am, but I think all of us can sharpen our flag/geographical skills.

Now, when you click on this or that flag, it will show you a map of said country in relation to its world location.

On the off-chance you don't know how the Burundi flag looks like, all you have to do now is click on it. Hours of fun, promise.

And anyway, you think I myself knew, straight off, what the Burundi flag looked like?

Can I buy a vowel?

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12 Comments:

  • I had to turn off the java script running the older flag things as it ground my browser to a halt. (Some of these my be new blogger issues as well!) It also listed me as "Southfield" which probably where my ISP is. Fear not; Ann Arbor is where I be! This new one seems to be more stable!

    The arc in the picture is from the Star Trek Mirror Universe! It is the Arc du Vichy, inscribed with the famous slogan of the French Counter-Revolution, "humilitie, debilitie, passivitie."

    Those crazy German peace loving hippys, the Izans, thought it was far out, but didn't want to disrupt its vibes...

    OT, my friend Camie had her baby, Sabina,yesterday! All are well, and Uncle Ron goes to visit tomorrow..

    By Blogger Ron, at Sat Feb 17, 02:22:00 am GMT-5  

  • I had to turn off the java script running the older flag things as it ground my browser to a halt.

    Ooh, that's bad. And yeah, I decided not to purchase the Neoworx geegaw for $19.99.

    It was too "busy", if fun.

    (Some of these my be new blogger issues as well!)

    So far, New Blogger is excellent for me.

    If I changed my template (which I won't -- I love the colours), I could have "recent comments" on the sidebar, which makes searching for updated replies, easier.

    But as I say, I won't.

    It also listed me as "Southfield" which probably where my ISP is. Fear not; Ann Arbor is where I be! This new one seems to be more stable!

    Yeah, it always places me in Key Biscayne or some such, when I'm not really that close even.

    Wonder why this happens?

    The arc in the picture is from the Star Trek Mirror Universe! It is the Arc du Vichy, inscribed with the famous slogan of the French Counter-Revolution, "humilitie, debilitie, passivitie."

    LOL!!


    OT, my friend Camie had her baby, Sabina,yesterday! All are well, and Uncle Ron goes to visit tomorrow..

    Sabina, how sweet. Enjoy! :)

    Please take your time with the bread post, since I am going to be blogging for 3 days solid, about the Rio Carnival.

    I'll go back to normal on Wednesday. ;)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sat Feb 17, 02:51:00 am GMT-5  

  • I don't like the Google/Blogger relationship. I sign in with Google, but it acts weird when I try to post comments, reloading the page more than once while it figures out that I have already signed in. Annoying!

    Bread Post is up already Vic! It's no great shakes...the Rio Carnival! I certainly look forward to it, as I sit and freeze!

    If you had anything on your blog, I wish you had a "down arrow" which would be near the post title, which you could click and go directly to the previous post, without scrolling. Just a thought.

    By Blogger Ron, at Sat Feb 17, 04:28:00 am GMT-5  

  • I don't like the Google/Blogger relationship. I sign in with Google, but it acts weird when I try to post comments, reloading the page more than once while it figures out that I have already signed in. Annoying!

    Ooh, I haven't experienced anything like that yet.

    I did notice that when I was logged in on Blogger, having gone to Google Maps, that I was logged in there as a matter-of-course.

    Rational, but I hadn't thought of that.

    Bread Post is up already Vic! It's no great shakes...the Rio Carnival! I certainly look forward to it, as I sit and freeze!

    I'll link soon, fear not! :)

    And talking of freezing, last night was one of the coldest nights I've ever experienced in SoFla.

    40sF!!

    And to think, that would've been a warm summer's day in England for me.

    (Exaggeration, but still ;)

    If you had anything on your blog, I wish you had a "down arrow" which would be near the post title, which you could click and go directly to the previous post, without scrolling. Just a thought.

    Well, having almost ruined my template yesterday, trying to hack the "Recent Comments" widget, I think I best give up attempts to modify, ex-Blogger. ;)

    But that would be a good idea. Why not email Bloogle?

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sat Feb 17, 02:54:00 pm GMT-5  

  • The rap against Americans for being geographically ignorant isn't entirely unfair. Even if these interviews are Michael Moore-style set-ups, any American should at least know where Canada and Mexico are. So maybe they'd have a hard time pointing to Luxemburg, but geez, at a minimum know your neighbors and allies.

    By Blogger Ploorian, at Sat Feb 17, 06:21:00 pm GMT-5  

  • The rap against Americans for being geographically ignorant isn't entirely unfair. Even if these interviews are Michael Moore-style set-ups, any American should at least know where Canada and Mexico are. So maybe they'd have a hard time pointing to Luxemburg, but geez, at a minimum know your neighbors and allies.

    I know, I know.

    But as I have mentioned innumerable times when speaking of this topic to my friends, you think the average Frenchman knows where Duluth is?

    By that I mean two things:

    (A) People who allegedly have better cultural knowledge, such as "Europeans" (and by that, Americans usually think French, Italian, German, and British), often have the most rudimentary, and selectively nationalistic knowledge of history.

    Ask your average Frenchman in the street, and he couldn't point to Minnesota or Manitoba, if his life depended on it.

    Nor would he know about the Battle of Iwo Jima, or many battles of World War II.

    (The lack of knowledge of World War II is SHOCKING, and I think somewhat Freudian. They WANT to forget. These people who mock Americans' lack of historical knowledge, tell you immediately and without a trace of irony -- "oh that's ancient history!", as if to dismiss it. Meanwhile, they'll talk about Rome and Carthage with aplomb).

    I think your average any person on the street is very uncultivated,in ANY country.

    But I also think that it serves certain Americans needs to beat themselves about this.

    That Americans are not very knowledgeable about geography is without a doubt.

    But all I am saying is that you guys are not so different from the rest of the world.

    When other people tell me that Americans are the stupidest people in the world, I shut them up very easily by saying,

    "If they are the stupidest people, that doesn't say much about you, since they run the world."

    Oh, I was very popular in cocktail parties on the continent. :)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sun Feb 18, 01:30:00 am GMT-5  

  • But I also think that it serves certain Americans needs to beat themselves about this.

    Yup. Let's not forget the Internet campaign to apologize to the rest of the world for invading Iraq. Could there have been a more blatant display of self-loathing?

    That Americans are not very knowledgeable about geography is without a doubt.

    But all I am saying is that you guys are not so different from the rest of the world.


    I agree. My criticism isn't based on a comparison with the rest of the world but on my own modest public educational experience. I have no clue what they learn in Frenchland, but I do know that if you pay attention at all in a public school classroom in the US, you should absorb some fundamental geographic knowledge. When I hear that X% of Americans can't even identify what part of the world a major country is in, that tells me that they really went out of their way to not pay attention.

    For [expletive delete]'s sake! There are people here who don't even know what country's make up the United Kingdom!

    When other people tell me that Americans are the stupidest people in the world, I shut them up very easily by saying,

    "If they are the stupidest people, that doesn't say much about you, since they run the world."

    Oh, I was very popular in cocktail parties on the continent. :)


    I hope that the French take offense with a classic Maurice Chevalier accent and then refuse to bathe as a form of protest.

    By Blogger Ploorian, at Sun Feb 18, 01:53:00 am GMT-5  

  • There are people here who don't even know what country's make up the United Kingdom!

    Wait, wait, that's easy! Tomorrowland, Frontierland, Queenberg, Ile de Candle in the Wind, NHS, Inland Revenue, Scotland, James, Scotland, Hobbittown, WhereWeKeepTheIrishLand, and, of course, The Orkneys!

    That it? Thinks so!

    By Blogger Ron, at Sun Feb 18, 02:50:00 am GMT-5  

  • (The lack of knowledge of World War II is SHOCKING, and I think somewhat Freudian. They WANT to forget. These people who mock Americans' lack of historical knowledge, tell you immediately and without a trace of irony -- "oh that's ancient history!", as if to dismiss it. Meanwhile, they'll talk about Rome and Carthage with aplomb).

    A German academic who tried to talk up how "peaceloving" Germany has become, I said "Let's wait until all those people with those tattooed numbers on their arms are cold in the ground before you start calling yourself Gandhi. Not a long wait, but still..."

    By Blogger Ron, at Sun Feb 18, 02:54:00 am GMT-5  

  • Wait, wait, that's easy! Tomorrowland, Frontierland, Queenberg, Ile de Candle in the Wind, NHS, Inland Revenue, Scotland, James, Scotland, Hobbittown, WhereWeKeepTheIrishLand, and, of course, The Orkneys!

    You forgot WordsMadeEntirelyOfConsonantsLand.

    By Blogger Ploorian, at Sun Feb 18, 03:21:00 am GMT-5  

  • A German academic who tried to talk up how "peaceloving" Germany has become, I said "Let's wait until all those people with those tattooed numbers on their arms are cold in the ground before you start calling yourself Gandhi. Not a long wait, but still..."

    Hmm, yes, but by that same reckoning maybe electing a German as Pope, was not such a good thing.

    Because in their minds, electing is rewarding.

    I know what you mean, but also, I'm half-German and can see what they are trying to say.

    "We made a colossal mistake, but now we have learnt our lesson, and are trying to teach others."

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sun Feb 18, 11:52:00 am GMT-5  

  • "We made a colossal mistake, but now we have learnt our lesson, and are trying to teach others."

    If anything, they're overcompensating in that direction.

    The Japanese, OTOH, seem to have few regrets over what they did in China and SE Asia.

    By Blogger Ploorian, at Sun Feb 18, 12:24:00 pm GMT-5  

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