earth to margo do you copy

  1. 4,788 Posts.
    Sounds like this spacehamster wants to time travel to a different century;

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    So now who is stupid?
    By Harry HeidelbergÊÊ05/11/2004
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    I'm not quite sure how this fits in but Hamish asked me to blog this one!

    OK, so Bush won and I am unhappy with the result. Election night was a rollercoaster of emotion as at first I was foolishly elated. I was convinced the exit polls were right. I thought of course Bush would be booted out. The economy was not good and Iraq had resulted in a high human (i.e. dead Americans) and financial cost (i.e. billions). I knew Kerry wasn't a very attractive figure but the high turnout had me convinced that Bush was on his way out. The orthodoxy said high turnout equals high Democratic vote. As we know now, the coastal, liberal left orthodoxy doesn't count for much.

    I watched the BBC coverage because in 2000 I'd watched American networks (mainly CNN and CNBC). I've now watched two US elections from Switzerland. It involves an all night vigil with the count starting at around midnight. I am going back to Australia soon and I am pleased I will never have to stay up all night to watch a US election. Both the 2000 and the 2004 have delivered an outcome that I've found both frustrating and somewhat depressing.

    Next time around, who knows where I will be. I know one thing, I will not be watching BBC. I've now been watching BBC for 48 hours straight. In fact it is on right now as I am writing this. I'm a masochist. I think I can bear it because I know in one hour, I leave for a week away from this madness.

    The BBC has been knocked over the head. In a truly delirious state, it keeps repeating the mantra that America is a very divided nation. Sure, BBC. Bush won by more than 3 million in the popular vote. That is more than Reagan in 1984. It's far more than Clinton or Bush Snr could ever do. I may be disappointed with the result of the election but I do not engage in mindless delusion as does the BBC and others. In a two party state, isn't the nation permanently divided?

    As for the so-called cultural issues, so what? So what is new? The liberal left is out of touch with the moral right? Sorry, but it has been that way all my life. I don't know of an era when it wasn't like that.

    Meanwhile, the toilet paper newspaper, the Guardian, asked its readers to write to voters in Clark County, Ohio. They did and the responses back from the Americans were brilliant. Some of it was unprintable but the gist of it was p*ss off you presumptuous, pathetic, pretentious Europeans. The attitude of Europe in the past year would have only energised people in America to vote for Bush.

    The idea that Americans would seek approval from Europe is so utterly laughable to anyone who has lived in Middle America as have I. It would be more the reverse. If the Europeans are offering praise, middle Americans would start to worry. Praise from Europe would be a sign that something is going wrong.

    As Europeans may see America as some kind of failed society, the thought applies doubly in the reverse. Middle America sees Europe as the sclerosis economy, offering lower living standards and quashed opportunities. Europe in short is everything America does not want to be. America has the American dream. Europe does not. Europe is full of grouchy dream quashers.

    Then you have the stupidity question. The dilemma. Who exactly is more stupid? The headline of Switzerland's leading German speaking daily, Bild, yesterday screamed 'Are 62 million Americans Simply Stupid'? Of course they are. The European sensibility says that Americans are stupid. Europeans have been saying that for a very long time.

    Why do they say it now as if it is brand new again. Europe, you have always said America is stupid. Always, always, always.

    Guess what Europe? Yesterday, America told you to take a hike. They don't care what you think. You are a crumbling, run down historical theme park of a place with bad service and small hotel rooms. Not to mention your generally duplicitous and weak approach. Your haranguing and hissy fits have only helped Bush. Americans look at the circus continent of Europe and think 'thank GOD we're not like them'. So Switzerland asks if the Americans are stupid while at the same time, America doesn't even ask the question. America knows Europe is stupid. America knows that the only Europeans you can count on are the ones on the offshore islands. The ones that speak English.

    So there you have it. Everyone else is stupid. No one ever looks in the mirror. Europe lectures middle America. Middle America doesn't even engage in the discussion. It merely acts. Actions are louder than words.

    Meanwhile you have Bin Laden intervening and helpfully pointing out that he doesn't have a beef with Sweden. He says its not a target. Thanks Binny, because Sweden is where I am going. A few days in Stockholm will be nice. Thanks for the travel tip, Binny. Also, after that my next destination is Hamburg. Mmm, it gets confusing, Bin Laden, because didn't one of your guys, I mean the Atta guy, live at Marrianstrasse 22 in Hamburg?

    Then as we know, Australia becomes more American each year. Praise the Lord, praise Allah, Praise Jesus, one of my best friends has become an evangelical Christian. He wants me to become one. Frankly, Id rather be cynical, twisted and bitter rather than all this happy clappy Christian smiling stuff.

    I'm not happy and I'll be damned if I become clappy.

    So you have the Secularists vs the Christians. The Faith Based Community vs the Reality Based Community. Then you have the Coasts vs the Interior. Europe vs America. Old Europe vs New Europe.

    Meanwhile, the Asians aren't against anyone. They're just making business and money. They're the only ones who are not stupid.

    Don't forget last week there was a crisis in the EU over a religious vs secular matter. A potential EU commissioner held a religious view. This then created a crisis.

    I just decided something. I am not going to follow Blair's re-election. I am tired of elections. We'll have the whole thing about the rise of the Lib Dems. The party who stands for nothing because they only whinge in that classic, distinctly British middle class way. That contest will be so tiresome I am not going to waste a moment on it.

    I am saving the limited neurons I have left for more pleasurable pursuits. I see my future as an epicurean, wandering the world, tasting here, tasting there.

    If a terrorist at some point decides to intervene in my activities, so be it. At least I will know that I died with a good Sauvignon Blanc in hand and an oyster nearby, firmly in its little shell.

    Fiddling while Rome burns? Perhaps.... but if it is going to burn anyway, why not do some fiddling and enjoy the fireworks?

    I'm certainly not going to engage in discussions any more where continents, cultures, races, religions or any group of humanity is going to be described as 'stupid'.

    If that is 21st Century debate in the 'civilised West', I'm out of it.

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