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September 19, 2012 5:16 PM   Subscribe

A Conservative History of the United States - Jack Hitt for New Yorker's Shouts & Murmurs, pieces together America's storied history from quotes by Rick Perry, Dick Armey, Mike Huckabee, Dan Quayle and more.
posted by The Whelk (151 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite

 
I've been reading the New Yorker for at least ten years, and it still warms my heart to see that when they really want to say "fuck you," they just go ahead and do it.
posted by griphus at 5:25 PM on September 19, 2012 [26 favorites]


This was very funny and clever, but also a little disheartening when you realize why they have their own "facts" and "history". The Conservative Movement is a cult. Always remember that.
posted by MattMangels at 5:26 PM on September 19, 2012 [19 favorites]


cite
posted by twist my arm at 5:27 PM on September 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


The "Houston" thing is the answer to an old Trivial Pursuit question (Houston, the Eagle has landed)...
posted by mdn at 5:28 PM on September 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


"The Soviet Union brainwashes its first Marxist terrorist spybot: “Soviet Russian Communists knew of Barack from a very early date… he was raised and groomed Communist to pave the way for their future.”—Janet Porter

At first I thought it said JANE Porter and I thought to myself "well, heck, you'd think the woman who fell in love with Tarzan wouldn't be so open to conspiracy theories."

On that note, who the heck is JANET Porter!?
posted by sendai sleep master at 5:31 PM on September 19, 2012


I laughed.

Then I cried and poured another shot of whiskey
posted by crackingdes at 5:39 PM on September 19, 2012 [10 favorites]


This almost makes up for that dreadful bunch of nonsense they published from Gladwell about Sandusky.
posted by xmutex at 5:41 PM on September 19, 2012 [7 favorites]


On that note, who the heck is JANET Porter!?

One of Huckabee's advisers.
posted by Gary at 5:43 PM on September 19, 2012


Er – aren't some of these true? I have a feeling many are. Mitt Romney is right that "The Star-Spangled Banner" was written in 1812, and Rick Perry is right about the first word spoken from the moon being "Houston" – the exact phrase was "Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed."
posted by koeselitz at 5:44 PM on September 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Funny, but so so sad.
posted by ocherdraco at 5:45 PM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney's phrasing - "that song—written during the battle in the War of 1812—commemorates the sacrifice that won our liberty" - implies that the song was being written at the end of the American Revolution.
posted by thecjm at 5:46 PM on September 19, 2012


That's true, but a lot of people have characterized the War of 1812 as being about "our liberty," whether they're correct or not.
posted by koeselitz at 5:49 PM on September 19, 2012


(I mean, Romney's phrasing also makes it absolutely clear that the War of 1812 and the American Revolution are two completely different things. I would never vote for the guy, but his statement is technically correct and implies no confusion about the sequence of historical events.)
posted by koeselitz at 5:50 PM on September 19, 2012 [8 favorites]


“Thomas Jefferson creates the Marines for the Islamic pirates that were happening.”—Glenn Beck

I actually thought this was sort-of correct. The Marines weren't necessarily fighting the Barbary Pirates because just because they were Islamic, but it's their most famous action close after they were re-founded in 1798 (after being initially founded and disbanded for the Revolutionary War).
posted by LionIndex at 5:51 PM on September 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


As a Canadian, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Americans characterizing the War of 1812 as being about "our liberty" is not "technically correct"
posted by thecjm at 5:52 PM on September 19, 2012 [47 favorites]


While Herman Cain’s quote about Margaret Sanger starting Planned Parenthood to kill black babies is a bit crazily worded, it’s not… how to put this… entirely unrooted in some fact. Sanger was a eugenicist.

And yeah, so, a lot of stuff on there is a little bit crazy and wacky and a lot of it is very funny in a sort of GROAN sort of way, but as other posters have pointed out, it's not all entirely wrong.
posted by entropone at 5:52 PM on September 19, 2012 [8 favorites]


The first words spoke by man on the Moon was "Contact light", said by Buzz Aldrin.
posted by Punkey at 5:54 PM on September 19, 2012 [16 favorites]


Is the Dan Quayle thing making fun of another public speaking misstep?

'Cause Lancaster _was_ apparently the capital for one day in 1777...

Technically, the first word from the moon was "Shutdown" (or alternately "contact") but you could say the first intentional transmitted word was "Houston".

I guess I'm just not sure what's going on in that article.
posted by madajb at 5:55 PM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think the point on some of them is not necessarily that they are factually incorrect but that they emphasize arbitrary (and often weird or misleading) aspects of the events to twist them to whatever narrative is most convenient in that moment. It's not history as much as symbolism and you can almost imagine it turning in to "Reagan, when the wall fell!" for some future would-be star trekkers to deal with.
posted by feloniousmonk at 5:55 PM on September 19, 2012 [31 favorites]


Punkey: “The first words spoke by man on the Moon was 'Contact light', said by Buzz Aldrin.”

I haven't read that yet, but that depends on whether you count 'one of the pads was touching the surface' as officially on the moon. Please note I provided a citation.
posted by koeselitz at 5:56 PM on September 19, 2012


(The article you provided fleshes it out much better. Still, it's not an utterly ignorant thing to say.)
posted by koeselitz at 5:58 PM on September 19, 2012


These statements are about a United States that I no longer understand.
posted by Divest_Abstraction at 6:00 PM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh Metafilter, never change.
posted by The Whelk at 6:01 PM on September 19, 2012 [10 favorites]


Here's the history Rainbow Unicorn for you, if you need one after reading that.
posted by HuronBob at 6:04 PM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sanger was a eugenicist.

Not to derail like crazy but was she really? I've commonly heard from conservatives who were against Planned Parenthood that Sanger started it because of her beliefs about eugenics, but always thought it was such a ridiculous assertion that it was one of those idiotic conspiracy theories and never bothered to research. Looks like Wikipedia confirms that she did actually believe birth control would improve the population's hereditary traits.

Has PP ever issued a statement about this?
posted by windbox at 6:11 PM on September 19, 2012


I mean, Romney's phrasing also makes it absolutely clear that the War of 1812 and the American Revolution are two completely different things.

I'm actually not so sure his quote - "‘The Star-Spangled Banner’…that song—written during the battle in the War of 1812—commemorates the sacrifice that won our liberty" - makes it absolutely clear at all. The War of 1812 was declared by the US against Britain over a number of issues, none of them pertaining to our sovereignty as a nation. We even rolled into Canada to pursue the British. Our liberty was already won a couple decades previous, so Romney's statement is at best confusing, and at worse, actually alludes to the Revolution.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:14 PM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Has PP ever issued a statement about this?

Yes [pdf].
posted by jedicus at 6:14 PM on September 19, 2012 [24 favorites]


Radiation cures cancer: “There is a growing body of evidence that radiation in excess of what the government says are the minimum amounts you should be exposed to are actually good for you and reduce cases of cancer.”—Ann Coulter

There's a recommended minimum amount of radiation you should be exposed to. Nobody told me! Better go find the nearest source of radioactivity and make sure I get my recommended minimum intake...
posted by Dysk at 6:20 PM on September 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


The right has really missed an opportunity by not retconning Obama into Vincent Foster's death.

Let me get it started for them. "It's known among the elite of the democrat party that Obama killed Vincent Foster in exchange for the guarentee of a future presidency. Clinton's 2008 campaign was designed to keep out other liberal heavy hitters, like Michael Moore from running. She threw the election in exchange for Barack's silence."
posted by drezdn at 6:21 PM on September 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


MStPT: I'm actually not so sure his quote - "‘The Star-Spangled Banner’…that song—written during the battle in the War of 1812—commemorates the sacrifice that won our liberty" - makes it absolutely clear at all.
Take out the aside and it's pretty clear his statement is accurate:
Mittens: that song commemorates the sacrifice that won our liberty
posted by Doofus Magoo at 6:30 PM on September 19, 2012


I agree, I don't think the Star Spangled Banner one belongs in the list
posted by thelonius at 6:32 PM on September 19, 2012


I haven't read that yet, but that depends on whether you count 'one of the pads was touching the surface' as officially on the moon.

It wasn't 'a pad', it was a five foot landing sensor that dangled from three of the four legs on the Lunar Module.

Yes, it's a small, nitpicky point. *Flashes Badge* It's history thread on the internet, sir, we want to get it right. Thank you for your cooperation.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:35 PM on September 19, 2012 [8 favorites]


Tea Party Patriarchs Re-tell American History for the Ignorant non-christians to Learn some.
posted by Junker George at 6:36 PM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes, I too thought that a couple of these points could be argued if you look more closely at the details.

CONSERVATIVES NEVER GIVE A SHIT ABOUT THE DETAILS, EVER.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:43 PM on September 19, 2012 [10 favorites]


I looked at a copy of A Patriot's History of the United States in a bookstore once, an edition that had an interview of one or both of the authors by Rush Limbaugh as a prologue.

In it, one author described how George Washington's successes could best be explained as miraculous, proof that America is God's chosen nation. His theory of history is intelligent design.

I sincerely want to consider opposing viewpoints... but to engage in meaningful conversation, the participants need some fundamental recognition that they live in the same world. And Earth-Republican increasingly seems a strange and remote place.
posted by Zed at 6:47 PM on September 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


CONSERVATIVES NEVER GIVE A SHIT ABOUT THE DETAILS, EVER.

They often have a point there. Few people care that "shutdown" was the first world spoken on the moon. That's not sexy.

But they love the idea that their city was part of a major event in humanity. People want to not only belong but belong to the "right" team/group.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:49 PM on September 19, 2012


I stopped laughing about half way down the article and started shaking my head instead. Great post.
posted by Monkeymoo at 6:50 PM on September 19, 2012


I can't believe you people are arguing about 1812 and lunar landing pads when, by my estimation, 47% of Americans will have died at Clinton hands by the time I hit submiOH GOD CHELSEA PUT THE AXE DOWN I WAS JUST JOKINOOOOooooooooooooooooooooo
posted by Riki tiki at 6:51 PM on September 19, 2012 [38 favorites]


The Mitt one definitely does make sense if you look at it right, but some of the other ones are just jaw dropping.
posted by drezdn at 6:52 PM on September 19, 2012


I sincerely want to consider opposing viewpoints... but to engage in meaningful conversation, the participants need some fundamental recognition that they live in the same world.

Hm, doesn't sound very fair and balanced to me!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:58 PM on September 19, 2012


2012: Bankrolled by George Soros, a terrorist all-star team including Bill Ayers and the New Black Panther Party help Kenyan Muslim socialist Barack Hussein Obama steal the presidential election.
posted by box at 6:58 PM on September 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Indonesia brainwashes its first Islamic terrorist spybot: “Why didn’t anybody ever mention that that man right there was raised—spent the first decade of his life, raised by his Muslim father—as a Muslim and was educated in a Madrassa?”

I wonder why Fox News doesn't express similar dire concern over the coming Mormon insurgency?
posted by JHarris at 6:59 PM on September 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


The power is kind of diluted by including statements are either arguably true or don't have too much to do with history ("we are living in the end times"), as dumb or delusional as they may be.
posted by The Lamplighter at 7:00 PM on September 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing: “I'm actually not so sure his quote - ‘‘The Star-Spangled Banner’…that song—written during the battle in the War of 1812—commemorates the sacrifice that won our liberty’ - makes it absolutely clear at all. The War of 1812 was declared by the US against Britain over a number of issues, none of them pertaining to our sovereignty as a nation. We even rolled into Canada to pursue the British. Our liberty was already won a couple decades previous, so Romney's statement is at best confusing, and at worse, actually alludes to the Revolution.”

Yes, but the song is patently supposed to be commemorating "the sacrifice that won our liberty." The song identifies the British as an invading force that "vauntingly swore" to take away our land and liberty, and identifies the American struggle against them in the War of 1812 as an extension of the brave fight for liberty that took place in the American Revolution. If there's a conflation between the two, it would seem to be in the lyrics.
posted by koeselitz at 7:01 PM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


The first words spoke by man on the Moon was "Contact light", said by Buzz Aldrin.
posted by Punkey


Yeah, Houston as in, "Houston, we have a problem."
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:02 PM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


xmutex: "This almost makes up for that dreadful bunch of nonsense they published from Gladwell about Sandusky. anything."

FTFY
posted by symbioid at 7:05 PM on September 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


Mitt Romney is right that 'The Star-Spangled Banner' was written in 1812

No, he's not. The music for "The Star-Spangled Banner" is from "The Anacreontic Song," from the 18th century. Francis Scott Key wrote his poem "Defence of Fort McHenry" in September 1814 after witnessing Battle of Baltimore. The British had burned Washington DC about three weeks earlier. Key's brother-in-law combined the poem with the music to form "The Star-Spangled Banner."
posted by kirkaracha at 7:07 PM on September 19, 2012 [13 favorites]


This is true. One should say during the War of 1812. It's a trivial detail.
posted by koeselitz at 7:09 PM on September 19, 2012


As a Canadian, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Americans characterizing the War of 1812 as being about "our liberty" is not "technically correct"

Given that the British were kidnapping American sailors and forcing them to fight in a war; there is a case to be made that "liberty" was at stake. Especially once the British invaded and burned Washington to the ground.
posted by spaltavian at 7:10 PM on September 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


If there's a conflation between the two, it would seem to be in the lyrics.

Don't know if I'd go that far, but then, as a Baltimore native, we sorta dissected that piece and the battle around it to hell and back for a full semester of 10th grade US history. So in fairness to Mitt, I admit my objection does make me feel a bit like That Guy who says, "They're not toys; their figurines."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:10 PM on September 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


Kind of writes itself. More interesting because more nuanced is Frank Rich's piece in the current New York Magazine on his week marinating in the right wing media.
posted by IndigoJones at 7:11 PM on September 19, 2012


I demand that my comedy be accurate and my politicians be allowed to have a monopoly on lies.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:12 PM on September 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


oooh! lets do a "librul" one! bonus points if it's less than 25% Joe Biden sourced.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 7:13 PM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


As a non-American, what really stood out for me is the fact that it's not just professional rabble rousers like Glenn Beck or Ann Coulter that spout nonsense, it's prominent elected officials. And they can come out with the really full-on 'Hang on, is this person actually suffering paranoid delusions?' type stuff, without it damaging their careers at all, as far as I can make out.

Of course, British politics is full of oddballs, arseholes and liars too. But I really can't imagine, say, an opposition back bencher publicly accusing the former PM and his wife of roaming the country murdering dozens of people. If one did, they'd be on gardening leave in five minutes and never heard from again.
posted by jack_mo at 7:14 PM on September 19, 2012 [8 favorites]



They left out how Japan allied with us during WWII :

It begins here because for a century and a half now, America and Japan have formed one of the great and enduring alliances of modern times. - GW Bush, 2/18/2002
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:15 PM on September 19, 2012 [26 favorites]


"And Earth-Republican increasingly seems a strange and remote place."

It seems that way because the people who are quoted in this piece never intended to fit their beliefs together into a coherent vision of alternate history. The past for them is a sort of warm mush populated by superheroes who were just like modern Republicans. Like Horace Rumpole said, the details don't matter because they already know they're right.
posted by Kevin Street at 7:15 PM on September 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Marines weren't necessarily fighting the Barbary Pirates because just because they were Islamic, but it's their most famous action close after they were re-founded in 1798 (after being initially founded and disbanded for the Revolutionary War)

The Marines were re-founded in 1794. Beck's wrong twice: they were founded by Congress, not the president, and George Washington was president, not Thomas Jefferson.

This is true. One should say during the War of 1812. It's a trivial detail.

Trivial details are the entire point of this thread, innit?
posted by kirkaracha at 7:18 PM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Shit you guys, after starting to read a stream of this (and a little alcohol) My brain is starting to go wonky and I"m like 'Well of COURSE Barrack grew up in Kenya, he's Kenyan!" and then I realized what the fuck was happening and now...

HOLD ME! SOMEONE DEAR GOD HOLD ME!
posted by symbioid at 7:21 PM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, and not so trivial details, like the revolutionary war being fought in the 1500s. I mean, we're talking about the years when de Leon was looking for the Fountain of Youth and de Oñate was searching for Cibola. Those really aren't American Revolution periods in our history.
posted by hippybear at 7:21 PM on September 19, 2012


Bah! I was going off this statement in the main US Marine Corps wikipedia article (emphasis mine, but clearly I just skimmed):

At the end of the American Revolution, both the Continental Navy and Continental Marines were disbanded in April 1783. The institution itself would not be resurrected until 11 July 1798. At that time, in preparation for the Quasi-War with France, Congress created the United States Marine Corps.[30] Marines had been enlisted by the War Department as early as August 1797[31] for service in the new-build frigates authorized by the Congressional "Act to provide a Naval Armament" of 18 March 1794,[32] which specified the numbers of Marines to be recruited for each frigate.

Regardless, if you had asked me prior to checking that article about it, based on my clearly flawed high school US history I would have answered that the Corps was essentially founded to fight the Barbary pirates.
posted by LionIndex at 7:25 PM on September 19, 2012


I think that thing about the revolutionary war being fought in the 1500s wasn't so much a confusion about history as a confusion about what the phrase "the sixteenth century" means. Which, yeah. It is a little confusing. not really an excuse, but more a reason.
posted by koeselitz at 7:26 PM on September 19, 2012


It begins here because for a century and a half now, America and Japan have formed one of the great and enduring alliances of modern times. - GW

Wow, that was something - it's been years now, but Bushisms still give me whiplash.

Still, there were occasions every now and then when people made fun of the guy for the wrong reasons; as if him saying it made it dumb by default. Like during one visit to France, when among the country's contributions to the world, W actually cited Rimbaud, a few friends of mine were quick to point and laugh, "Haha! He pronounced it 'Rambo'!"
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:29 PM on September 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


I mean yeah some of these are legitimately stupid (anything involving Vince Foster, for example) but then I wonder how many of them are the same as that 'Obama thinks there are 53 states!' thing that was going around conservative circles like crazy in 2008.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:36 PM on September 19, 2012


oooh! lets do a "librul" one! bonus points if it's less than 25% Joe Biden sourced.
Obama claimed that he had visited 57 states, leaving one to go.

Beyond that, I got nothin'.
posted by Flunkie at 7:38 PM on September 19, 2012


W actually cited Rimbaud, a few friends of mine were quick to point and laugh, "Haha! He pronounced it 'Rambo'!

Yeah; I never though Bush was stupid. His probably was a profound lack of curiosity and intellectual rigor. He stuck me as a slightly above average guy who never applied himself or cared to, and then just kind of wander into politics until "Uh-oh, I'm president..."
posted by spaltavian at 7:39 PM on September 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


All hackney aside, Flying Jihad Terror Babies would be a truly perfect band name. I'm thinking a 60s-style girl group.
posted by threeants at 7:41 PM on September 19, 2012 [7 favorites]


Wow, that's a lot of errors for a comment about someone's intelligence. "though" = "thought" and "probably" = "problem ".
posted by spaltavian at 7:41 PM on September 19, 2012


Okay, so I printed this out and showed it to my neighbor and he sez, See? See? That's what I've been trying to tell you.
posted by mule98J at 7:43 PM on September 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


Looking for truth in these is like sifting turds for corn — there may be some kernels there, but you shouldn't swallow them.
posted by klangklangston at 7:50 PM on September 19, 2012 [24 favorites]


In it, one author described how George Washington's successes could best be explained as miraculous, proof that America is God's chosen nation. His theory of history is intelligent design.

This is what irks me about intelligent design. The fact that Washington somehow managed to keep the ragtag Continental Army together through force of personality while Congress bickered and some men marched around nearly naked for lack of supplies AND managed to beat the British several times AND managed to take the presidency and guide the country through its early stages AND then step down and go back to his farm rather than becoming king or overthrowing the whole thing is one of history's amazing and inspiring stories. Changing it from "G-Dub was an amazing human being" to "god did it" is much less inspiring.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 8:03 PM on September 19, 2012 [12 favorites]


Especially once the British invaded and burned Washington to the ground.

It's not too hard to find a Canadian to tell you the Canadians, not the British, burned the White House.
posted by hoyland at 8:07 PM on September 19, 2012 [8 favorites]


madajb: "Is the Dan Quayle thing making fun of another public speaking misstep?

'Cause Lancaster _was_ apparently the capital for one day in 1777...
"

Was coming here to say the same thing. I used to live in Lancaster, and it was DEFINITELY a factoid most people knew.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:07 PM on September 19, 2012


Methinks some folks missed the section heading.
posted by wierdo at 8:13 PM on September 19, 2012


I know he said 1977, but I think there is an enormous difference between stumbling over a word in a public speech and something like accusing Obama of having been raised from birth as a Marxist secret agent.

Quayle has a justly deserved rep as a dimbulb, but come on, everyone trips over a phrase sometimes.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:25 PM on September 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


While Herman Cain’s quote about Margaret Sanger starting Planned Parenthood to kill black babies is a bit crazily worded, it’s not… how to put this… entirely unrooted in some fact. Sanger was a eugenicist.

No, the quote is entirely unrooted in fact. The objective of PP most certainly was not to "target" black communities to influence racial dynamics or, I might add, to "kill babies".

Eugenicists were not a homogenous group, and had differing concerns about heredity*, that certainly didn't always include malicious racialism.


* Many of these concerns, I might add, are still relevant to lay people and health professionals, even if no longer under an explicit "eugenics" banner.
posted by dgaicun at 8:31 PM on September 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


Especially once the British invaded and burned Washington to the ground.

It's not too hard to find a Canadian to tell you the Canadians, not the British, burned the White House.

The queen is on their money.

Seriously, though, in 1812 I don't think you can make that sharp of a distinction. Canadians keep referring to the war as them developing a national identity for a reason; one was lacking up to that point. American leaders, right up until they reluctantly declared independence, were calling themselves British.
posted by spaltavian at 8:37 PM on September 19, 2012


Goddman, the Clintons are bad ass motheruckers. They killed more people than cancer and Seal Team 6 combined. Who know two unassuming middle aged people were America's greatest secret weapon. Anyone know for sure where Bill and Hillary were when we got Obama?
posted by Ad hominem at 8:41 PM on September 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sigh, Osama.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:45 PM on September 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


FactCheck.org on Herman Cain and the black genocide claim.
posted by gingerest at 8:52 PM on September 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


With all the ACTUAL terrible things that the conservatives believe, cherry-picking these cuckoo-bird/off-the-cuff/actually true/misstated remarks seems almost counter-productive.

I mean, if you want to show that Republicans are totally batshit crazy pants, just publish their official platform (or better yet, some of the official platforms of state and local republicans).
posted by mrnutty at 8:52 PM on September 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


Anyone know for sure where Bill and Hillary were when we got Obama?

As gangsta as they apparently are, it makes you wonder why they didn't cap him before things got completely out of hand and he ended up with the nomination.
posted by fuse theorem at 8:52 PM on September 19, 2012


it makes you wonder why they didn't cap him before things got completely out of hand and he ended up with the nomination.

He was never wandering around their neighborhood in a hoodie with an iced tea and a bag of skittles.
posted by hippybear at 8:54 PM on September 19, 2012


spaltavian: Canadians keep referring to the war as them developing a national identity for a reason; one was lacking up to that point.

Isn't WWI usually cited as the nation-defining war for Canadians? 1812 was more than fifty years before Confederation.
posted by stebulus at 8:57 PM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Imaging Hillary and Bill as some kind of combination of Mr. and Mrs. Smith and R.E.D. makes them even more badass.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 9:00 PM on September 19, 2012


The objective of PP most certainly was not to "target" black communities to influence racial dynamics or, I might add, to "kill babies".


Why are people not concerned with the Disparate Impact though?
posted by Confess, Fletch at 9:12 PM on September 19, 2012


What in the world does Dan Quayle have to do with the Christian flag?
posted by roll truck roll at 9:15 PM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'd be curious to know the context of Quayle saying that, actually. I'm not finding anything quickly on Google.
posted by hippybear at 9:22 PM on September 19, 2012


koeselitz: Er – aren't some of these true? I have a feeling many are.

Depends on whether you're willing to quibble on what "many" means, and pull out one or two items to moan about that are surrounded with dozens of hysterical claims, claims like that blacks defended the South en mass in the Civil War, that the Republicans passed the Civil Rights Act over the heads of Democrats, and that the Clintons murdered ever-increasing numbers of people. There are also quotes that laud Joe McCarthy, pooh-pooh Abu Gharib torture as no worse than a college hazing, and warn of an impending light-switch tax that would cost each family over $3,000 a year. To recount but a few.
posted by JHarris at 9:23 PM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


As gangsta as they apparently are, it makes you wonder why they didn't cap him before things got completely out of hand and he ended up with the nomination.

To be perfectly honest, I was sure during the last election cycle that something was going to pop up out of nowhere and deep-six Obama in order to ensure that Clinton got the nomination. I mean, it just seemed like she was the establishment pick for the job, and they wouldn't let some upstart get in the way.

Goes to show you that cabal theories of US politics are, as tempting as they sometimes seem, not always entirely predictive.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:32 PM on September 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Seriously, though, in 1812 I don't think you can make that sharp of a distinction.

Of course you can, by simply looking at the units who burned Washington, which had no significant connection to Canada. Saying that the Canadians burned Washington is as silly as saying the Canadians defeated Napoleon at Waterloo.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:33 PM on September 19, 2012


Which would be silly; we all know that Napoleon whipped the Canadians.
posted by thelonius at 9:37 PM on September 19, 2012


The Canadians killed Dumbledore!
posted by elizardbits at 9:37 PM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not to totally derail about our awesome Canadian friends and the war of 1812, but many a time a on this topic a Canadian pal will make the case that Canada won since they burned down Washington. I usually reply that we could have burned down their capital, but we would have had to get on a ship, cross the ocean, and then burn down London. Because Canada wasn't a country. Or a Dominion. But anyhoo...
posted by boubelium at 9:56 PM on September 19, 2012


koeselitz: “Er – aren't some of these true? I have a feeling many are.”

JHarris: “Depends on whether you're willing to quibble on what ‘many’ means, and pull out one or two items to moan about that are surrounded with dozens of hysterical claims, claims like that blacks defended the South en mass in the Civil War, that the Republicans passed the Civil Rights Act over the heads of Democrats, and that the Clintons murdered ever-increasing numbers of people. There are also quotes that laud Joe McCarthy, pooh-pooh Abu Gharib torture as no worse than a college hazing, and warn of an impending light-switch tax that would cost each family over $3,000 a year. To recount but a few.”

Yeah, I guess my quibbles are really just limitations of the format; I do think a lot are just honest mistakes that don't indicate real ignorance (like the "sixteenth century" one at the beginning, or the Romney 1812 one).

And – well, I guess I was just disappointed by the way they treated history if you go back before 2000, just listing a few silly mistakes and skipping over the huge ideological errors in the reading of history. Like – the claim that many conservatives love to repeat now that the Civil War was about "states' rights." That one is only now just finally dying.

Or there's the guy I thought of immediately when I saw the title – Glenn Beck, the king of conservative revisionist history. He's got alternate histories for half a dozen presidents that are inane and ridiculous. Like, for instance, his painting of Calvin Coolidge as some sort of Tea Party saint who saved the United States from a bigger depression than the Great Depression in 1920. (Apparently Coolidge avoided this bigger depression by doing absolutely nothing. Brilliant.)

Or Viet Nam. This thing skips over Viet Nam almost entirely, whereas the war there was one of the defining moments of modern conservatism – probably the most important issue to conservatism until the end of the last Bush administration.

It's just kind of focused on the last ten or fifteen years. Which is okay, I just care a lot about history before then, and there's a lot of craziness that modern Americans like to talk about history without understanding it.
posted by koeselitz at 10:06 PM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


(Gah, I'm making a huge mistake and watching that Glenn Beck video about Calvin Coolidge. He actually says that Woodrow Wilson "gave us Prohibition" – even though Prohibition was passed over Wilson's veto. Seriously, idiots. But I guess nobody pays attention to Glenn Beck anymore – thank god.)
posted by koeselitz at 10:08 PM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


What in the world does Dan Quayle have to do with the Christian flag?

I'm not sure, but I'm picturing Jesus nailed up there with "INRIE" over his head.
posted by kengraham at 10:09 PM on September 19, 2012 [8 favorites]


Actually the burning of Washington was retaliation for the burning of York (now Toronto), then capital of Upper Canada.

The American militias didn't 'pursue' the British into Canada; they tried to annex Canada. This was a primary war aim of Madison's government and conceptualised as a continuation of the Revolutionary War (hence the Canadian claim to victory: the various Provinces of Canada survived intact).

Oh, and the claim that the British were kidnapping American sailors also has another side to it. They were actually arresting deserters from the Royal Navy while boarding US ships as part of the blockade. This was perfectly legal under international law at the time. Ironically, Madison's protestations would establish the precedent that Canada could freely take in US deserters and draft dodgers during the Vietnam War. So if you don't like Canada's draft-dodger-coddling ways, blame Madison.

But Dumbledore... that was totally Canada. Daft old wizard had it coming.
posted by Dreadnought at 10:17 PM on September 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


It's just kind of focused on the last ten or fifteen years. Which is okay, I just care a lot about history before then, and there's a lot of craziness that modern Americans like to talk about history without understanding it.

It seems more general than that. There's a growing contingent of "epistemic radicals" who simply don't include things like coherence or consistency with empirical or documented fact on their list of criteria for what makes a good statement. For these people, the merit of a statement lies in its ability to support a predetermined narrative. Sherlock Holmes might describe these folks as "twisting facts to suit a theory". But it's really immaterial to these folks whether they're "wrong", because "wrong" is a value on a scale that's orthogonal to any standard they care about.

To us epistemic conservatives, who are still stuck worrying about correctness of stated facts, or validity of arguments, or whatever, this new development looks scarily nihilistic, but it's actually not. It's the natural solution to the problem of maintaining an expedient narrative in the face of contradictory evidence, and then staving off the resulting cognitive dissonance.

In US politics, the epistemic radicals tend to be "conservative" (although it seems almost anyone with any seriouss power is sympathetic to epistemic radicalism these days), but the frightening thing about this article is not so much that some folks are full of shit as much as it is that being full of shit is low on their list of concerns.
posted by kengraham at 10:22 PM on September 19, 2012 [14 favorites]


Now I have that "Blame Canada!" song stuck in my head.
posted by Brocktoon at 10:22 PM on September 19, 2012


It's amazing how selective American educators/historians are when it comes to 1812. Have they put a spin on Vietnam too, or do we have to wait a few more years for that one?
posted by Pseudonumb at 10:33 PM on September 19, 2012


"To us epistemic conservatives, who are still stuck worrying about correctness of stated facts, or validity of arguments, or whatever, this new development looks scarily nihilistic, but it's actually not. It's the natural solution to the problem of maintaining an expedient narrative in the face of contradictory evidence, and then staving off the resulting cognitive dissonance."

To be fair, sophistry isn't a new invention. And neither is creating facts to suit a narrative — there's a rich catholic tradition of that.
posted by klangklangston at 10:33 PM on September 19, 2012


Remember Clinton's "vast right-wing conspiracy"?

He was right.
posted by Malor at 10:47 PM on September 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


To be fair, sophistry isn't a new invention. And neither is creating facts to suit a narrative — there's a rich catholic tradition of that.

That's true. In particular, I've just been debating whether to add another comment replacing "growing" with something else in the first line of my previous post. However, though I'm not old enough to remember politicians on TV pre-Clinton era*, wasn't there a time, not that long ago, when US politics was at least neutral toward, if not discouraging of, out-and-out factual wrongness, and lying was something into which one politicians put effort? Maybe not, I guess.

*I knew that the stuff was on a blue dress before I'd ever seen the stuff itself.
posted by kengraham at 10:48 PM on September 19, 2012


Yup, Canada burned down the capital in Ho Chi Minh City too. Stupid Americans! Don't know shit.
posted by Brocktoon at 11:00 PM on September 19, 2012


I remember reading — though I can't remember if I read it here — that one of the big shifts in the Enlightenment was a shift away from an ahistorical epistemology, where there was no bounding of narrative in common conception. I'm probably describing this poorly, but an example would be how paintings of historical events would always have the clothes of the time they were painted because there was no sense that things had changed. (As opposed to now, when no matter when a TV show is set, their hair is always contemporary.) This grounded both Biblical and secular understanding and ties in with that bizarre imagined history.
posted by klangklangston at 11:04 PM on September 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


I don't know about a high level of radiation helping prevent cancer, but radiation's certainly a mutagen and thus one of the drivers of evolution. So Ann Coulter is thus pro-evolution, which is a surprisingly brave position for her.
posted by Devonian at 11:09 PM on September 19, 2012


"...wasn't there a time, not that long ago, when US politics was at least neutral toward, if not discouraging of, out-and-out factual wrongness, and lying was something into which one politicians put effort?"

I'm not sure. Maybe it started with Nixon when he said he wasn't a crook, but no one believed him. There used to be more of a distinction between the lies you'd tell to get elected President, and the things you said after you won the election. People expected you to be a statesman once you got the job. Roosevelt's fireside chats were accepted by most people as helpful guidance in a time of crisis, and the presidents who followed him were generally listened to when they spoke in an official capacity. Then came Nixon, who said things that no one believed, and looked like a crook when he said them.
posted by Kevin Street at 12:04 AM on September 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, and the claim that the British were kidnapping American sailors also has another side to it. They were actually arresting deserters from the Royal Navy while boarding US ships as part of the blockade

The other side has another side, which is that the RN was not always too scrupulous about whom they pressed, and were big assholes about the whole deal considering the US was a neutral sovereign nation; e.g. there's the fact that the blockade you mentioned existed in the first place. "I'm harassing the fuck out of you coughcoughscribblescribble legally" is not having clean hands.

I think the invasion of Canada was in the usual sieze-key-parts-of-and-give-back-in-negotiation kind of war invasion whose goals were not ultimately the annexation of much/any Canadian soil into the US. Though the rhetoric might be similar, I don't think the desire to annex is consistent with how the war came about or went down.

It's cute that Canadians think they won, or that it was even about them, though.
posted by fleacircus at 3:08 AM on September 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wait, what's wrong with this one:

1964: Republicans fight for the Civil Rights Act: “We were the people who passed the civil-rights bills back in the sixties without very much help from our colleagues across the aisle.”—Representative Virginia Foxx

Republicans did pass the Civil Rights Act after Democrats tried to block it. LBJ and Humphrey knew they needed the Republicans on board to get the cloture vote, and they got it with Dirksen's help. Of course that didn'[t stop them from immediately turning it around on the Democrats in their Southern Strategy, but, essentially the statement is true.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 5:08 AM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I remember reading — though I can't remember if I read it here — that one of the big shifts in the Enlightenment was a shift away from an ahistorical epistemology, where there was no bounding of narrative in common conception. I'm probably describing this poorly, but an example would be how paintings of historical events would always have the clothes of the time they were painted because there was no sense that things had changed. (As opposed to now, when no matter when a TV show is set, their hair is always contemporary.) This grounded both Biblical and secular understanding and ties in with that bizarre imagined history.

Hm. This is really interesting and thanks for posting it.
posted by kengraham at 6:07 AM on September 20, 2012


Republicans did pass the Civil Rights Act after Democrats tried to block it.

Higher percentages of the Republicans in Congress voted for the Civil Rights Act, but more Democrats voted for it than Republicans did.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:34 AM on September 20, 2012


"We will never have the smart people on our side" -- Rick Santorum
posted by briank at 6:35 AM on September 20, 2012


Civil Right Act votes by party:
The original House version:Cloture in the Senate:The Senate version:The Senate version, voted on by the House:
posted by kirkaracha at 6:37 AM on September 20, 2012 [6 favorites]


The thing that jumped out at me was Human Events implying that MLK was a Republican. It's one of those things that might arguably be technically correct, but it obviously was going to be presented in a way that was going to be batshit crazy.

Since I tend to find batshit crazy historical fiction entertaining, I looked it up. And holy shit did they not disappoint.

I really wonder if the people who write blog posts like that are completely delusional or if they're just being cynical as all hell.
posted by graphnerd at 6:39 AM on September 20, 2012


Republicans did pass the Civil Rights Act after Democrats tried to block it. LBJ and Humphrey knew they needed the Republicans on board to get the cloture vote, and they got it with Dirksen's help.

But it's idiotic, lying, or both to say that Republicans passed the Civil Rights Act without any help from the Democrats. Without Democratic help, it would have died 136-279 in the House and failed cloture 27-73.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:40 AM on September 20, 2012


These beliefs signal the "end of days" for a large percentage of Conservative brains.
posted by incandissonance at 6:43 AM on September 20, 2012


Republicans did pass the Civil Rights Act after Democrats tried to block it.

What this article speaks to is conservative belief systems - not Republican vs. Democrats. It just so happens that today all these dumb f*&ks are Republicans.
posted by incandissonance at 6:50 AM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Of course, British politics is full of oddballs, arseholes and liars too. But I really can't imagine, say, an opposition back bencher publicly accusing the former PM and his wife of roaming the country murdering dozens of people. If one did, they'd be on gardening leave in five minutes and never heard from again.

That is such a British way of saying European Parliament.
posted by srboisvert at 7:10 AM on September 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


t's cute that Canadians think they won, or that it was even about them, though.

It's not that we think we won. It's that we didn't lose, eh.
posted by srboisvert at 7:16 AM on September 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


stebulus: spaltavian: Canadians keep referring to the war as them developing a national identity for a reason; one was lacking up to that point.

Isn't WWI usually cited as the nation-defining war for Canadians? 1812 was more than fifty years before Confederation.


I keep hearing that this is when Canadians really became "not Americans" and that has been critical for the independence of such a small country sharing a long border with a massive one, that share just about every aspect of culture.
posted by spaltavian at 7:23 AM on September 20, 2012


Higher percentages of the Republicans in Congress voted for the Civil Rights Act

It might be useful to remember that this was in the era of the southern democrat.
posted by DarkForest at 7:34 AM on September 20, 2012


Isn't the Civil Rights Act kind of a red herring, and the quote about it in TFA therefore disingenuous, since the Democratic Party of the 1960s is completely different from the current one, partly because of the Civil Rights Act (or at least this is what I was told in high school)? If it's true that the South stopped being a Democratic stronghold after the CRA (whether in response to it or not), citing the CRA's comparatively weak Democratic support as a way of commenting on the modern Democratic Party is sort of bullshit, no?
posted by kengraham at 7:35 AM on September 20, 2012


Pseudonumb: “It's amazing how selective American educators/historians are when it comes to 1812. Have they put a spin on Vietnam too, or do we have to wait a few more years for that one?”

What exactly are you basing this on? What I was taught in high school was that the War of 1812 was a complicated, messy affair involving several nations. Or were you saying we ought to interpret it as the first victory in Canada's glorious history, as half the Canadians I've met seem to?
posted by koeselitz at 7:44 AM on September 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


spaltavian: I keep hearing that this is when Canadians really became "not Americans"

Ah, I see. I'd thought the influx of Loyalists right after the American Revolution is what started us on the "not American" thing, but I'm not very knowledgeable about this. I guess I'll have to add it to my list of things to read up on.
posted by stebulus at 7:46 AM on September 20, 2012


Higher percentages of the Republicans in Congress voted for the Civil Rights Act, but more Democrats voted for it than Republicans did.

But it's idiotic, lying, or both to say that Republicans passed the Civil Rights Act without any help from the Democrats. Without Democratic help, it would have died 136-279 in the House and failed cloture 27-73.


Sure, it goes without saying that a minority party cannot pass a bill without some support from the majority, that's just simple math, but distance of the statement from the truth is much closer than, say, Perry's "the Revolution happened in the 1500's" gaffe. If you give politicians "one pinocchio" wiggle room, I'd say that one is within the margin of partisan error.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 7:47 AM on September 20, 2012


me: “It's just kind of focused on the last ten or fifteen years. Which is okay, I just care a lot about history before then, and there's a lot of craziness that modern Americans like to talk about history without understanding it.”

kengraham: “It seems more general than that. There's a growing contingent of 'epistemic radicals' who simply don't include things like coherence or consistency with empirical or documented fact on their list of criteria for what makes a good statement.”

You misunderstanding me; when I said "it's just kind of focused on the last ten or fifteen years," by "it" I meant "the linked article above." Which I think is true – they list a few perfunctory conservative mistakes about things before ten or fifteen years ago, but almost all of it is about the Clinton years or later. And that's unfortunate, because there's a lot more to talk about.

In other words, I agree with you, and I wish this article reflected it.
posted by koeselitz at 7:48 AM on September 20, 2012


The other side has another side

Ooh! Re-fighting the War or 1812 Sidebar!

the RN was not always too scrupulous about whom they pressed

This is totally plausible, given that the RN was not very scrupulous about how they impressed people in general. This was a live political issue in the UK too, and the practice was actually ended in 1814.

Nevertheless! Because I'm taking up a partisan position here (completely irresponsibly), here's the British/Canadian argument:

There's scant evidence that the British were impressing people willy-nilly. Indeed, the most US-partisan historians I can find are reduced to complaining that they were impressing Irishmen who had deserted from the RN, which is a bit rich considering that Ireland was part of the UK at the time. Actually the real flashpoint came when a UK ship fired a shot over the bow of a US merchantman (perfectly legal: an internationally recognised signal), and that shot accidently hit a different merchant ship and killed a dude. Even though this was clearly an accident, the British still tried their own captain for murder (he got off).

But then there's the blockade itself. Are you seriously arguing that blockading France was an act of war against the US? Because subsequent to the war, the US would itself agree that boarding neutrals to cease cargo bound for a blockaded third party was ok. Indeed, during the Second World War, the US torpedoed neutral ships headed for Japan. Not boarding them, torpedoing them without warning, killing the people on board. And then, in 1962, the US boarded neutral ships to enforce a blockade against Cuba, a country with which they were not at war.

Ok, time to step back and be responsible:

The impressment issue is, I think, honestly a red herring. If the Brits were impressing people who were not deserters, the names would have been trumpeted from the rooftops of New York. As it was, the real complaints we see are kind of vague: they were picking up unspecified Americans and blah blah blah, and this specific guy was killed by shot from HMS Leander and when USS Chesapeake fired on a British ship, the British shot back, and so-on. I'm inclined to think that the American claims in this regard are rocky at best.

About the blockade: the Americans did indeed claim that this wasn't allowed under international law (such as it existed at the time), but later reversed course and, without admitting that the British were right at the time, agreed that this was in fact a legal thing to do. Were the Brits arrogant jerks? Maybe. Were their actions against international law? Doubtful.

Ok, on to the annexation of Canada:

I don't think the desire to annex is consistent with how the war came about or went down.

So it's not entirely clear that the US was going to permenantly annex Canada. It is clear that there were many senior US politicians who were calling for the annexation of Canada, and it is clear that the US invaded Canada and tried to cease Canadian lands. That they did not actually get the country is not, in my biased opinion, evidence that they didn't intend to do so. After all, the US never managed to possess Canada because they were militarily defeated.

So yeah, that's not how the war went down. But that wasn't for lack of trying. A lot of Americans were buried in Canadian soil in their attempt to uphold Manifest Destiny, and a lot of Brits and Canadians died to defend that same soil against those invasions. Repeated threats to annex Canada over the course of the subsequent fifty years is one of the big reasons the country eventually confederated into its present political incarnation.
posted by Dreadnought at 7:51 AM on September 20, 2012 [5 favorites]


If it's true that the South stopped being a Democratic stronghold after the CRA (whether in response to it or not), citing the CRA's comparatively weak Democratic support as a way of commenting on the modern Democratic Party is sort of bullshit, no?

They want to how off the "cake" of securing the CRA victory, while "eating" the fall-out as the Southern Strategy. Incidentally, I've been reading "Taking Charge" the Michael Beschloss accumulation of LBJ tapes, and Johnson, Humphrey and the pro-CRA democrats knew full well that it meant the death of the old DNC hold on the south, but felt that civil rights was more important.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 7:52 AM on September 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


They want to have, HAVE the cake.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 7:53 AM on September 20, 2012



Remember Clinton's "vast right-wing conspiracy"?
He She was right.


The "vast right-wing conspiracy" was a Hillary quote. Bill rarely if ever spoke on those terms, at least while president.


The Star-Spangled Banner’…that song—written during the battle in the War of 1812—commemorates the sacrifice that won our liberty.”

Just separating the factoids from facts in this word salad -- however brief-- is too otiose to bother with, and quibbling the details is unworthy, so I'll just offer this quote:
There were one quadrillion nations in the Universe, but the nation Dwayne Hoover and Kilgore Trout belonged to was the only with a national anthem which was gibberish springled with question marks. -- Kurt Vonnegut

Republicans did pass the Civil Rights Act after Democrats tried to block it.

'Republicans' didn't pass it and neither did 'Democrats'. Congress passed it, under sustained pressure from Kennedy, Johnson, Humphrey, civil rights organizations, and what they saw happening on their own television screens. As has been pointed out, members of both parties fell on either side of the vote.

These quasi-historical factoids about what each party did or didn't do aren't of much use in understanding the parties that exist today. And the current paradigm of the two parties -- their alignment along an imagined ideological axis from 'conservative' to 'liberal', and what mix of issues inform those ideologies -- is a fairly recent development that is of little use in understanding those past events.

The vote tally for the 1964 Civil Rights Act is one of the best illustrations available of this fact.

This is the same kind of muddle-headed rah-rah for our side thinking that gives us 'Democrats are a weak on defence' but that 'the killed and wounded in Democrat wars in this century. . . would be enough to fill the city of Detroit".


Rick Perry is right about the first word spoken from the moon being "Houston" – the exact phrase was "Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed."

There's a lot of quibbling here about the technical speech that preceeded the word "Houston". Well I've got a quibble for you.

The article quotes Perry as saying "Houston" was the first word spoken from the moon, not the first word spoken on the moon. I take from the moon to mean uttered by someone on the moon, intended to be heard here on Earth, in which case Perry is correct.

But let's be honest, the New Yorker article is just a Hitt piece anyway.
 
posted by Herodios at 8:27 AM on September 20, 2012


I take from the moon to mean uttered by someone on the moon, intended to be heard here on Earth, in which case Perry is correct.

Not even then. You can watch the original Cronkite broadcast of the landing here. On that broadcast, you get "contact light" and "engine arm off" before the Famous Words.

The first words from Mars will also probably be some sort of shutdown or landing checklist, whatever language they're eventually in. And for good reason.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:51 AM on September 20, 2012


Not to derail like crazy but was she really?

Last time the topic came up and the reaction of readers is below the link.

CHAPTER IV: The Fertility of the Feeble-Minded

I'm not shocked that Mr. Cain brought the issue up - plenty of exposure to that viewpoint via his skin color.

I'm sure many of the "truths" of the world, there is more than one way to frame them.
posted by rough ashlar at 10:03 AM on September 20, 2012


We're still arguing over the factual nature of a piece labeled as humor, I see.
posted by wierdo at 10:05 AM on September 20, 2012


I
posted by cthuljew at 10:21 AM on September 20, 2012


Mitt and Lucille
posted by The Whelk at 10:40 AM on September 20, 2012


Like during one visit to France, when among the country's contributions to the world, W actually cited Rimbaud, a few friends of mine were quick to point and laugh, "Haha! He pronounced it 'Rambo'!"

Are your friends Julie Delpy's dad, by any chance? ;-)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:37 AM on September 20, 2012


spaltavian: I keep hearing that this is when Canadians really became "not Americans"

Ah, I see. I'd thought the influx of Loyalists right after the American Revolution is what started us on the "not American" thing, but I'm not very knowledgeable about this. I guess I'll have to add it to my list of things to read up on.


For me it was when Joe Carter hit that homerun.
posted by srboisvert at 11:39 AM on September 20, 2012


We've had a discussion about the War of 1812 before. I was taught in school that Canada won, and my husband was taught that America won; the thread concludes essentially that we were both right (but Britain still lost).
posted by joannemerriam at 11:55 AM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Was skimming the thread and misread "loyalists" as LOLists. Think I've been on the internet too long.
posted by hap_hazard at 12:29 PM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Better go find the nearest source of radioactivity...

You don't have to go anywhere. It's all around you.
posted by neuron at 6:03 PM on September 20, 2012


It'd probably be difficult to expose yourself to this supposed minimum dose without any source other than background radiation. (And it'd be pretty difficult to go find the source of background radiation.)
posted by Dysk at 6:34 PM on September 20, 2012


, on how Canadians & Americans: ...share just about every aspect of culture.

I know a lot of Americans believe stuff like this, but it's really not true. Unless by culture you mean "speak the same language". I remember a story about a well-known American musician crossing back over the border to NY, and when he said he'd been doing some production work in Canada, didn't appear to understand why he might need a work permit. "Why? It's not another country...?"

Normally I put it down to ignorance, education spending cuts and too much tv. Our ideas about the US are probably equally wrong, but at least you can learn lots of interesting things about the US on Metafilter .
posted by sneebler at 5:12 AM on September 21, 2012


spaltavian,
posted by sneebler at 5:12 AM on September 21, 2012


Now certainly there are differences between Canada and the US, but other than the accents, climate, and the lack of ethnic diversity, I find very little difference between the area around my wife's family farm in New Brunswick and where I grew up in rural Alabama.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:19 AM on September 21, 2012


Oh, I should add though, at least the poor people get healthcare, so there's that.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:20 AM on September 21, 2012


I was going to go the reverse route -- yeah, there are differences between Ontario and the American Great Lakes areas. But those differences fit comfortably the differences between the Great Lakes areas and, say, the south.

I mean, nearly all the time I've spent in the US has been in the south (or Texas if you want to kick it out of that club), and to me Ontario has all the foreign mystique of Ohio -- just more Yankeeland.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:29 AM on September 21, 2012


I'd agree with that, I'd also add that essentially though the differences between either of those places and the rural Indiana community my father grew up in are negligible.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:47 AM on September 21, 2012


hap_hazard: "Was skimming the thread and misread "loyalists" as LOLists. Think I've been on the internet too long."

No, you just had a high school teacher with a thick southern drawl. Back in the last century, I thought she was saying "lawless," but today I would probably hear "LOList".
posted by wierdo at 6:48 AM on September 21, 2012


I know a lot of Americans believe stuff like this, but it's really not true. Unless by culture you mean "speak the same language". I remember a story about a well-known American musician crossing back over the border to NY, and when he said he'd been doing some production work in Canada, didn't appear to understand why he might need a work permit. "Why? It's not another country...?"

What the hell are you talking about? Your story has nothing to do with culture and seems to imply I don't understand that there are political differences between the two countries. Yes, language is one of many shared aspects of culture the two nations share. I stand by my statement.
posted by spaltavian at 8:13 AM on September 21, 2012


Quayle has a justly deserved rep as a dimbulb, but come on, everyone trips over a phrase sometimes.

You say potatoe...
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:58 PM on September 22, 2012


Because Canada wasn't a country. Or a Dominion.

In the Republican version of history, what is now Canada at that time would not be a Dominion, but rather a Metro.
posted by juiceCake at 2:34 PM on September 23, 2012


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