Sunday, March 27, 2011

Palin the Incurious

You want to see another incident of how utterly incurious Sarah Palin is about the world, watch this:

Pay attention to two particular moments: (1) When asked what she has seen in India, the only thing Palin could muster up was a reference to the sights from her hotel room and out of the window of the car driving her around. Even a regular tourist would come up with at least some kind of historical building or monument to mention. The image that her comment conveys is of a person who never leaves the car or the hotel room and who never ventures out to really get to know the people and the place that she is visiting. (2) The second revealing moment is when Palin is asked whom she would have liked to meet in India, but didn't have the time nor the chance to meet. And, again, Palin could only think of the people she has met and didn't even address the question itself. This makes Palin look utterly uncurious about the country. Maybe she could have mentioned a famous Indian scientist, or novelist, or artist, or, hell, even a cook or TV entertainer. But she apparently knows so little about the country, and is so incurious about it that she couldn't even care to learn about it some.

Let me ask you all this: every time you plan a trip to a foreign country, what's the first thing that you do? Well, what I do is that I read up as much as I can about that country's history, culture, national monuments and treasures, and its people. I formulate a plan for how I want to see and learn about the country and its people. I think of the hotel room and the car as mere means to an end, and I certainly don't try to keep myself cooped up in such places, or subject myself to such a scripted and sheltered schedule that I can't enjoy the place. It shows to me that Palin simply doesn't really care all that much beyond the photo-op what visiting a place outside of the US can really teach her.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Michele Bachmann's Tea Party Patriotic FAIL

I don't expect most Americans to know all that much about all the mythology and symbolism surrounding the American Revolution; but when you wrap that mythology and symbolism all around yourself with the kind of bombast and pretension that many Tea Partiers do (even the name itself harkens to this mythology), and when you use this mythology to vilify others of your fellow countrymen for their apparent lack of patriotic credibility, then you damn better at least know this history beyond the knee-jerk sound bites -- especially if you are a political leader of the Tea Party movement like Minnesota's Michele Bachmann is.

Because when you, you know, not only get it wrong, but get it so epically wrong, like Michele Bachmann did, you make yourself and your movement look like the foolish patriotic poseurs and utterly craven, ignorant pretenders that you are.

Tea Partier patriots who take their patriotism seriously enough to know their early American history are (or should be) embarrassed by Bachmann's arrogance and ignorance.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Carnival in the Atlantic Magazine

OK. I get it that the festivities in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) for carnival are really impressive, but, come on, out of 52 photos of carnival festivities around the world, New Orleans only gets a total of ONE picture? And the New Orleans picture is that of a dog parading in "Barkus"???? Sheesh! I'm very disappointed in the Atlantic. New Orleans might not be as glitzy as the paraders in Rio's Sambadrome, but we are certainly much more celebratory and colorful in our Mardi Gras festivities than just about any other place in the world.

Monday, March 07, 2011

T.S. = Team Sullivan?

Or is it a case of Plagiarism? I hate to think the worst of Andrew Sullivan, but I can't help but wonder. The college professor in me, always on the lookout for plagiarism, caused me to raise my eyebrows and the red flag of concern at the following:

Check out this blog posting over at The Daily Dish.

In that blog posting, there is a source link to this posting over at the Israpundit blog.

But when you scroll through the comments at this Israpundit blog posting, you'll find this comment (comment number 12, if the link doesn't work properly), written by one "T.S." With the exception of a few words here and there, it's an exact copy of the blog posting up on The Daily Dish.

At the very least, if this comment is one that Sullivan left on the Israpundit blog, Sullivan might want to reference on his own blog posting that he's reprinting his own comment that he left on the Israpundit blog under the "T.S." moniker. Just a suggestion for Sullivan to not open himself up to questionable practice.