Friday, August 28, 2009

Visiting A Broad

Bizarro is brought to you today by Vixen Travel Services.

I like this cartoon for its simplicity. The absurd lack of geographic proficiency of Americans is embarrassing and reflects our arrogance. It is yet another item on the "Why They Hate Us" list, and who can blame them? Far too many Americans are too self-absorbed and intellectually lazy to find out what is going on outside of our own borders. Or inside, for that matter. That's how the network calling itself "Fox News" gets away with passing off their absurd propaganda as "news."

On a less stressful note, with all the excitement of yesterday's first Bizarro contest I barely got any sleep last night. By the time the Western press was finished with me, around midnight, the Asian press started in. It was exhausting.

This morning, the winner, a reader indentifying himself as "t. tex," wrote to me and I was surprised to find out he is a guy I knew way back in my squandered youth in Texas. When I was front man for The Doo, Tex was at the helm of the infamous Dallas punkrock band, The Nervebreakers.

Tex is in Austin now, (good choice) and has a pretty interesting blog about music and other odd things. I got lost there this morning, applying my eye bones to the many peculiar photos and sundry art, to which I will be linking in the future. Always fun to find a new source.

Gotta catch some shut eye now. Conan wanted me on his show tonight to talk about the contest, but I just can't make it all the way out to the West Coast on such short notice.

See you in dreamland, kiddies...


xyling said...

You know, Dan, I've heard the statistics, and see Jay Leno go out onto the street and ask basic geography questions, but no one I know personally is geographically deficient. I'm not sure what circles you have to run to bump into those dunderheads, but fortunately, my lifestyle is an "edumacated" bunch.

ADAM said...

Immediately after I saw this cartoon in the newspaper and stopped laughing I cut it out and stuck it on the refridgerator.

b0b said...

Flunking geography won't hurt your chances of landing a job at CBS News.

Josh said...

If you're going to comment on how Americans are dumb, Mr. Piraro, then I assume you'd include yourself in that grouping since you are also American.

Anonymous said...

"...geographic proficiency of Americans..."


North or South Americans?

nick said...

Dan, check your mentions on Twitter! I tried saying hi to you but got no response. Unless that was intentional...uh oh.

Haha, I must admit that I'm not the best when it comes to geography. I do know all of my contents and major countries at least.

RSJ said...

I've known a couple of public school teachers, and I was surprised to learn that geography is not taught in public schools anymore, at least in the grades K through 8. As a cost-cutting measure, not only were arts programs jettisoned, but also such courses as civics, social studies, history, science and geography.

Back when I was in elementary school (before Elvis was drafted), it was mandatory we study all of those subjects that have been tossed out of the current school curriculum, and we had to get at least a 'C' on those subjects to graduate. (Getting sent back to redo 8th grade was a nightmare most 13 and 14-year-olds desperately wanted to avoid.)

No wonder the country ended up with Junior as president and, as you pointed out, Fox News can get away with using the word 'news' in proximity to its content without being laughed out of existence.

Does anyone think this degrading of public education was intentional?

Penny said...

I've lived in Colorado my entire life, with the exception of eight really unfortunate months in Lincoln, Nebraska (job transfer). When we were getting ready to move, my sister-in-law, who is a graduate of the public school system, asked where Nebraska is.

I just looked at her.

She said, "I mean, is it north, or south or what?"

I said, "It borders Colorado. How can you not know where it is?"

She got mad and stomped off.

I have a feeling she would not understand this comic in the least.

P.S. My husband was dropped off by gypsies. He is so unlike his mother and sisters, the gypsy thing is the only plausible explanation.

PIRARO said...

@Josh...I'm the fifth of five. :)

@Anonymous...I agree, it's a semantic problem. But what else to you call people from the U.S.? United Statesians? Mexico is technically the United States of Mexico, so it isn't much more specific than "American." We are a people without a name.

Unless we just agree to call us "Americans," which everyone already does.

@nick...sorry, didn't mean to ignore your mention. I'm new to it and don't really know how it all works yet. Mostly, I can post and answer a direct message. Send me one of those and I'll answer! :)

Al Pavangkanan said...

Reminds me of these girls:

beforewisdom said...

The absurd lack of geographic proficiency of Americans is embarrassing and reflects our arrogance.

I have to disagree with it being about arrogance. My opinion is that it is literal ignorance. I went through a good school system and I was taught very little geography. I think that is the same for most Americans.

Far too many Americans are too self-absorbed and intellectually lazy to find out what is going on outside of our own borders.

I think this comment is unfair for several reasons.

I work with a number of people from large foreign countries like India and China. Their ignorance about the U.S. is on par, if not worse than the ignorance Americans have about foreign countries. These are educated foreigners.

Europeans may know a lot about international issues, but they have to. You can't go for a long drive in some parts of Europe and not find yourself in another country.

That isn't true of the US, China, and India.

American news outlets rarely mention news events in other countries unless the US is in a war or conflict with one of those countries.

Dan, I agree with your sentiment that it is better to be informed, but I disagree that Americans have less noble motivations in this regard than people from other countries.

For what it is worth, the BBC is lousy for science,health and medical reporting, but it is a stellar free source of truly international news:

nick said...

Dan, I sent you an email since I was not able to direct message you on twitter.


PIRARO said...

Did I answer you? If not, send me another. My Twitter twat is pirarobizarro, if that helps.

Casandra A. Phillips said...

I have lived in South America,Brazil when i was growing up 7 and a half yaers and i also think this cartoon is ridiculously crazy because i live in the U.S. now and like it says many teens whant to visit Europe but never talk about visiting South America they think its less interusting and more dangerus i gess but i consider the U.S. more dangerus and i relly don't feal protected living here because i usto live with a larg tall gate around my house here i think some one is just going to come into my house and do crazy things...But i think people should stop being this way and start considering visiting everyware...Europe,South America,Africa,Aisa,Central America and so on...

Ray Avito said...

Not to drop in and add nothing of relevance to the geography conversation, but Cat-Women From Outerspace (1st outlink) is absolutely going in my Netflix queue...