August 16, 2002
7:21 AM   Subscribe

900 now dead in flooding, and 25 million are trapped or homeless. Ha! Gotcha. It's just India.
posted by luser (70 comments total)

 
Oh, you had me worried that it was AMERICA where this was happening. I can rest easy now. Actually, this is quite tragic.

This type of monsoon flooding happens quite regularly does it not? Can't they build some sort of damn to prevent this? Basically, what I'm asking, is there a technological solution to this?
posted by insomnyuk at 7:25 AM on August 16, 2002


For hundreds of thousands of people, the river offers livelihood for six months a year. They earn their livings ferrying people from one village to another in mechanized boats, or trading in vegetables and fish. But with the monsoon rains, the river becomes a destroyer.
posted by ColdChef at 7:27 AM on August 16, 2002


That's got to be one of the most insensitive and funniest front page posts I've read in a long time. Insomnyuk, perhaps Enron can start on the dam after they finish the power plant. ;-)
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:30 AM on August 16, 2002


And then we can have the Dow Chemical company audit the whole thing, eh monju? Why don't we just call it the Bhopal Dam Building Project. That would probably convince most of the Indians to just move away.
posted by insomnyuk at 7:38 AM on August 16, 2002


It's just India.

The insensitive part I see - it's the funny part I missed.
posted by pjhagop at 7:39 AM on August 16, 2002


Actually while a flooding anywhere is tragic, I have pretty much the same reaction no matter where it happens. I realise your sarcastic comments suggest that many people think because it didn't happen in the USA, it doesn't matter. While you may think whatever happens there makes the world stop because American lives somehow count more than others, I have to tell you that world would manage to turn anyway.

These types of flooding seem to be getting worse around the world. Unfortunately for all we know, the US could be next. Wow, if actual PEOPLE were involved then instead of just Indians, I guess it really would be considered a tragedy!
posted by Jubey at 7:45 AM on August 16, 2002


your sarcastic comments suggest that many people think because it didn't happen in the USA, it doesn't matter

Actually I was referring to the flooding in Europe that has dominated the news over the past week.
posted by luser at 7:51 AM on August 16, 2002


Correct me if I'm wrong, but perhaps the sardonic tone is to point out that the floods in Europe are garnering front page headlines, whereas the floods in India are being ignored.

The point is that neither flood is affecting Americans - so why are the European floods getting so much more press than the Indian ones?
posted by Chanther at 7:53 AM on August 16, 2002


Whoops - sorry, what luser said.
posted by Chanther at 7:54 AM on August 16, 2002




Ha! Gotcha. It's just India.

Luser, please explain exactly why you wrote this. Are you that insensitive or was it one horrendous typo?
posted by lampshade at 7:54 AM on August 16, 2002


You've already been MetaTalked, luser. Thought you would like to know.
posted by insomnyuk at 7:55 AM on August 16, 2002


I also don't think the earthquakes in India received proportional coverage, same goes for all of the flooding which happens in China. Now, the U.S. press is more justified in paying attention to American natural disasters, but why the qualitative difference in coverage between European events and events which happen in Africa (Rwanda) or Asia?
posted by insomnyuk at 8:00 AM on August 16, 2002



Luser, please explain exactly why you wrote this. Are you that insensitive or was it one horrendous typo?


I believe that luser was using, what we call, sarcasm to point out the inequities in the coverage of flooding in India vs. our Anglo/European brethren.
posted by buz46 at 8:10 AM on August 16, 2002


sarcasm, i'm not so sure. better label?
posted by tolkhan at 8:16 AM on August 16, 2002


I think it's a very valid point. Compare CNN's coverage of the European floods that have "killed about 100 people across Europe and forced tens of thousands to evacuate their homes" to their coverage of the Asian floods that have "killed more than 900 people in South Asia, and have forced millions to flee their homes."


The European floods have, on the front page alone, the lead story including a story name (EUROPEAN DELUGE) and several video clips as well as links to 6 additional stories, a video clip, a photo gallery, some analysis on the damage with a map and in In-Depth feature. The Indian monsoon rates one story and one photo gallery. Inside the India story, there is no video and only one audio clip.

I wonder how much of the coverage difference is because North Americans value European lives over those in underdeveloped nations and how much is simply that this type of flooding in Europe is rather more rare than it is in India and therefore more newsworthy. I'm tempted to jump up and shout "Western Media Bias!!!" at the top of my lungs, but suspect the realities might be more complicated.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:17 AM on August 16, 2002


Ok, so some of us liked the joke and some of us didn't. (Personally, I appreciate the satire, especially since I feel the thrust of luser's humor acknowledged the gravity of the tradgedy rather than trivializing it.) Can we start talking about the flood now?

What I want to know is, sure, there are monsoon's every year. I learned that in ninth grade Global Studies class. But are 25 million people left homeless every year, or is this abnormal?
posted by tweebiscuit at 8:17 AM on August 16, 2002


Sean Connery shocked!
posted by tweebiscuit at 8:21 AM on August 16, 2002


The headline really grabbed me. Why isn't this making the news like the floods in Europe?
posted by VelvetHellvis at 8:24 AM on August 16, 2002


I wasn't at all offended by luser's FPP. It was succinct and made a point, I really don't see the problem. Although I wonder if this is really the most appropriate time for an in-depth discussion of bias in media coverage. Whichever way you look at it, and wherever you look, these floods are horrific. I think a sense of perspective is required.
posted by zygoticmynci at 8:24 AM on August 16, 2002


thank jeebus for that article. i often wonder how Sean Connery feels about devastating events.
posted by tolkhan at 8:29 AM on August 16, 2002


It's just India.

It's the unfortunate selection of just that makes this perhaps more offensive than the original poster intended. Had the word (or all three, individually) linked to stories on floods in Europe, the commentary on media bias would have been more elegantly displayed, (demonstrating a wonderful subtle aspect of hypertext).

This type of monsoon flooding happens quite regularly does it not? Can't they build some sort of [dam] to prevent this?

Gosh, those people in India are so backward! I bet they never came up with this idea! Maybe we Americans can help them. While we're at it we can teach them about electricity, christianity, and diet coke!
posted by troybob at 8:31 AM on August 16, 2002


I found the post entirely appropriate.

It's an open secret that American news sources, at least, have a pretty clear formula that news value can be measured in a ratio that goes something like this 1 American death = 10 european deaths = 500 developing world deaths.

This is, of course, morally abhorent, and worthy of ironic prodding with sticks.
posted by AlexSteffen at 8:31 AM on August 16, 2002


I'm shocked that one-quarter of the residents of a state with 26 million people are homeless. That might be worse than Hurricane Mitch.

Remember when the Mississippi River flooded about eight years ago? Bangladesh offered aid. I surely hope the United States returns the favor (and that it helps India and Nepal, too).
posted by Holden at 8:31 AM on August 16, 2002


It's really quite sad how, when confronted with with the large statistical death tolls in "Third World" countries, we (Americans/Europeans) tend to just see a number. However, when people with cell phones and designer clothes start to be affected, (albeit on a much smaller scale) we cry bloody murder. Have we always been this jaded/apathetic?
posted by buz46 at 8:32 AM on August 16, 2002


I think while all of the media-bias talk is relevant, I also agree with jacquilynne. The severe flooding Europe is seeing is something extremely uncommon and rare, like all the other extreme weather the world has been experiencing over the past decade. The flooding in India, though horrific and tragic in human terms, is a relatively common event.

What I would like to see on CNN, and in the media in general (in addition to more coverage of developing world issues) is some interesting pieces actually linking extreme weather to Global Climate Change. I mean, come on, we ALL know this is happening because of the greenhouse effect, lets at least debate this issue in the media.
posted by pjgulliver at 8:42 AM on August 16, 2002


Is it a question of jaded/apathetic or subconscious tribal sympathies? Or a simple inability to imagine one million homeless people?
posted by goethean at 8:44 AM on August 16, 2002


i thought this sort of flooding was happening because of el nino. while the greenhouse effect is theorized to increase the frequency of that phenomenon, el nino would still be around. could this kind of flooding have happened without the greenhouse effect? (not that i am against regulation of greenhouse gases, but there seem to be too many variables to point the finger only at them.)
posted by moz at 8:49 AM on August 16, 2002


Are Americans more likely to know someone affected by floods: a) In the midwest b) In Europe c) In India ?
posted by owillis at 8:54 AM on August 16, 2002


From what I understand moz, (and no, I can't link to a specific site right now) Global Climate Change increases the frequency and severity of the El Nino effect (as well as effecting other large climate patterns.) That's why while over the long term experts posit that Global Climate Change will increase global temperatures, right now we see a variety of effects, sometimes including unseasonable drops in temperature (bringing effects like extremely early or late snowfall and frost, which can have devastating effects on agriculture.)
posted by pjgulliver at 8:58 AM on August 16, 2002


Two points from me:

On the sarcasm. I think it was an effective tool to point out that the US press focuses on the deaths of rich white Europeans, and pays little attention to poor brown people, whether in India or Africa. The scale of difference is incomprehensible in these two floods. In Prague and Dresden, great buildings and art are being threatened, and about 100 have died. In India, ... well, you have the numbers.

On the Indian flood (and the European one, now that I think of it): the problem recurs because people live on river flood plains. They're called flood plains because they flood periodically (please note sarcasm). People should not build, pave, or otherwise expect that things on the flood plain will survive a flood. If they make a living by living close to the river, then somehow they should be provided a place to move during flood season. Yes, this is expensive and difficult. But the only option to this is people dying in floods. (Many of the flood plains on the Elbe have been paved over in recent years.)
posted by Red58 at 9:06 AM on August 16, 2002


I mean, come on, we ALL know this is happening because of the greenhouse effect

Uh...Was that sarcasm I smelled? Again?

Regarding the European floods...some people saw this coming.
posted by jaronson at 9:18 AM on August 16, 2002


I think his sarcasm was a great way to point out the way we think about tragedies in developing countries.

I think sarcasm made more people think, than would have if luser had written some long post complaining about the way the media works.
posted by einarorn at 9:19 AM on August 16, 2002


Whoops, I meant that as serious, not sarcastic jaronson...but looking back at the post, it was an idiotic statement and caps are just not a good idea. What I meant was, out of the people I interact with, we are all fairly certain that this unusual weather is an effect of Global Climate Change.
posted by pjgulliver at 9:21 AM on August 16, 2002


We currently have a Nepali staying with us, this is his first time outside Nepal and it has taken 2 years of pestering the UK government to get him a visa - for him this is the trip of a lifetime.
His family live in a small settlement in the Himalayan foothills, they don't even have running water, never mind telephone etc. The village has been hit by mudslides during monsoon before.
He has no idea whether they are OK or not, he will not be able to find out until he returns to Nepal in September. For those of us in the West, with emergency phone numbers, mobile phones and email it's difficult to imagine hearing about a disaster where your family live and not being able to get any kind of news. All he can do is read the reports on the web and hope his family aren't affected.

For what it's worth, I showed Shusil luser's wording and he got the irony immediately - he thought it was funny, in a sad way. But he wasn't offended.
posted by Markb at 9:25 AM on August 16, 2002


It's interesting how the headline on CNN is "Monsoon floods force millions to flee". I'm sure if this happened in the States, it would be "900 Killed By Flooding."
posted by animoller at 9:38 AM on August 16, 2002


The post was perfectly appropriate. Anyone who complains about any perceived "insensitivity" just doesn't get it and frankly it's not our job to make you get it. Educate yourself and try to minimize your knee-jerk reactions.

This is the worst flooding in Europe in 100 years. That is probably not the worst flooding in India in 100 weeks.

The simple fact is, like the rednecks that keep building trailer parks in Kansas, it is not as newsworthy when it happens all the time.

Medieval castles waist deep in water? That's something we've never seen in our lifetime.

Instead of clamoring for more media coverage of their (common) disaster, how about clamoring for ideas to relocate these people or prevent future floods?
posted by Ynoxas at 10:07 AM on August 16, 2002


I am reminded of the classic National Lampoon newspaper parody (and why NL hasn't sued The Onon is beyond me, but that's a different story):

Banner Headline: THREE LOCAL WOMEN KILLED!!
tiny subhead: In other news, Japan destroyed in volcanic eruption
posted by briank at 10:23 AM on August 16, 2002


Don't forget about Mexico. Everything is flooding.
posted by spaceboy86 at 10:27 AM on August 16, 2002


People should not build, pave, or otherwise expect that things on the flood plain will survive a flood.

That thinking would cut out a big chunk of California. We have been trying to control the Sacramento Delta with levees since the gold rush. If we hadn't finally managed I doubt California would be the agricultural giant that it is today.

My grandparents told stories of having to move upstairs when the floods came- I think they just had boats handy. I don't know what they did with their cars or even if they had any.

I don't know that the levees are a long term great idea- I'm guessing the soil needs the enrichment every few years- but they have saved a lot of lives.
posted by small_ruminant at 10:27 AM on August 16, 2002


Briank: that's so true, though. That's how the American news works. Anything bad that happens in Asia, Africa and the Middle East (aside from war) is completely downplayed by the media. It doesn't matter if 900 people die every year due to flooding. 900 people still died.

To think that a disaster that happens somewhat frequently, yet still kills fuckloads of people isn't important - well that's just ignorance and pigheadedness.
posted by animoller at 10:27 AM on August 16, 2002


Does this mean, Ynoxas, that the next time a nuclear weapon is dropped on a city during a war, it will be somewhat less significant and newsworthy, because it's happened before?
posted by dgt at 10:32 AM on August 16, 2002


i wonder what would've happened if the WTC was located in india. would anyone have cared?
posted by jcterminal at 10:45 AM on August 16, 2002


those wacky indians! they could have stacked a few million of themselves up and had perfectly good flood dikes, but nooooooo.... it's those helpless white folk in europe who deserve the sympathy. everybody knows white guys can't pump.
posted by quonsar at 10:49 AM on August 16, 2002


If they make a living by living close to the river, then somehow they should be provided a place to move during flood season

That's funny. They will just whip up housing for 25 million people to live in during the flood season. Some how, that just isn't going to happen.
posted by a3matrix at 11:13 AM on August 16, 2002


DGT: you're either a troll or an idiot, neither is worthy of a response.

The implication from the aggrieved is that because it's "white people" getting flooded in Europe that the US press covers it more.

The fact that it is a much, much, MUCH rarer occurrence could not possibly be it. Of course not.

Nope, it's because we're all racists. Glad we cleared this up. Please inform the news agencies so they can close their Asian bureaus and save a lot of dough.

First off, in this day of dozens of 24 hour worldwide news outlets, basically everything gets "covered". Obviously this is being "covered" because we have links to it.

But some think it should be covered MORE. Ok fine. Cover it more. What will it change?

Rarity tends to enhance something's newsworthiness.

Is it rare for parts of Europe to be covered in water? Yes. Is it rare for parts of India to be covered with water? Unfortunately, no. I am very very sorry that these people (on both continents) are flooded.

But I'm more sorry that the government where this is commonplace hasn't done something to protect their people from what is basically an expected event.

THAT should be the news item.
posted by Ynoxas at 11:14 AM on August 16, 2002


This type of monsoon flooding happens quite regularly does it not? Can't they build some sort of damn [dam] to prevent this?
i was under the impression that the seasonal flooding deposits fertile soil and makes agriculture possible. or maybe that was seaonal flooding washes away fertile soil and makes agriculture impossible. and maybe that was just the nile, or the tigris-euphrates, or one of those other names i havent thought about since 8th grade geography. (but only because the media never mentions them.) and maybe that was normal seasonal flooding, not massive and destructive extraordinary flooding. i'm confused. i wish our new insect overlords would reveal the truth.
posted by quonsar at 11:26 AM on August 16, 2002


On the Indian flood (and the European one, now that I think of it): the problem recurs because people live on river flood plains.

From what I understand a major cause of great floods is deforestation. Prague and Dresden have been around for 700+ years and so I don't think flooding there used to be a recurring problem.
posted by Triplanetary at 11:27 AM on August 16, 2002


It's like when Jon-Benet Ramsey was killed- it made front page news for years (even still?) while we tend to forget/ignore dozens of inner-city children killed by stray bullets.

The point is: Indians and Bangladeshis don't look the same as you or I, and therefore really aren't as human as we are. Plus, some of them might even be *gasp* non-Christian or even creepy Muslims. They don't deserve the same coverage as our white-skinned friends over in Europe.
posted by drstrangelove at 11:34 AM on August 16, 2002


Ynoxas-

Maybe we're all not racists, but some are.

For example- how many times have you heard the calloused remark that we turn the Middle East into a "glass parking lot?" To paraphrase the line from "Deterrence," we don't give a shit about those people- their lives don't mean anything.
posted by drstrangelove at 11:43 AM on August 16, 2002


how many times have you heard the calloused remark that we turn the Middle East into a "glass parking lot?"

I thought that was because there's lots of sand out in the desert (not which particular people are in the desert). Maybe I just haven't been getting my PC updates regularly...
posted by stifford at 12:10 PM on August 16, 2002


The Indus River valley is so commonly flooding that the ancient religions of that area focus on the capriciousness of their gods. Take a gander at the Epic of Gilgamesh sometime, and you'll start to understand. It's been happening for thousands of years. It's not NEWS, even when it is news.

Dresden, on the other hand, is NEWS. If this warming thing continues to happen, it might switch to news, too.

See, the SIZE of the tornado in Kansas is what makes it news, not that there was another one. As a friend of mine once said, "Hmm. A tornado. Today must end in 'Y'."
posted by dwivian at 12:30 PM on August 16, 2002


This comment:

The simple fact is, like the rednecks that keep building trailer parks in Kansas, it is not as newsworthy when it happens all the time.

Begot this comment:

Does this mean, Ynoxas, that the next time a nuclear weapon is dropped on a city during a war, it will be somewhat less significant and newsworthy, because it's happened before?

Which in turn begot this comment, which I thought was uncalled for; but not bad enough to take over to meta-talk:

DGT: you're either a troll or an idiot, neither is worthy of a response.

Let's, at least, attempt to be civil with one another.
posted by buz46 at 12:34 PM on August 16, 2002


20 million people made homeless is news, I think. Read the articles -- those people were surprised.

I can understand why people look at the flood in India as a number, however -- hell, even I do, and I'm trying to be as empathetic as possible. Read any social psychology textbook, and you'll see a codified piece of common-sense psychology -- people attach more emotional weight to events that happen "near" them, both physically and emotionally. I feel worse when I run over a squirrel than I do when I read about a murder in New York (after all, if we were that shocked all the time we'd always be grieving.) Likewise, Europe is closer to us culturally, politically, and socially than India is. I'd be willing to be that the number of you who have been to Germany, for instance, is a lot higher than those who have been to India. That's because, to a much larger extent than India, they're part of our "cultural sphere." Hard to face, but it's true. When all you have to go on is newspapers, it's a lot easier to imagine the effect on life in Dresden (I mean, hell, I was just there two months ago) than India.
posted by tweebiscuit at 12:42 PM on August 16, 2002


The U.S. has always cared more about Europe than other continents. Before we make too much of the disparate coverage of the floods, the Metafilter community exhibits the same bias on our front page. How often do we link to U.S. or European media, compared to how often we link to the rest of the world?
posted by rcade at 1:03 PM on August 16, 2002


Buz46: I just call 'em as I see 'em. I don't believe any reasonable person can compare an almost yearly occurrence with something that has happened exactly twice in the history of mankind.

I refuse to believe he's that ignorant, hence the troll line.

If you have to belabor the point, then yes, if a nuclear bomb fell tomorrow it would most likely be newsworthy because it is exceedingly rare.

It's the same reason car wrecks in your local town are not broadcast on CNN. There are too many of them, it is too commonplace, and yes it's tragic that someone was in a car wreck, but it is not newsworthy on an international scale.

And the analogy still doesn't fit, because this flood in India WAS OBVIOUSLY newsworthy, as it was covered in the international news. Just some are complaining that because something much more rare displaced it from the lead story, then suddenly that means that the US isn't interested in any non-european events.

And that is hogwash.
posted by Ynoxas at 1:21 PM on August 16, 2002


tweebiscuit,

I suppose this is why those darned "swarthy" types don't really care if a bunch of people die in a terrorist attack on the US. Perhaps then, when we give the "you're with us or against us" speech, we should keep in mind that they really aren't in the same "cultural sphere," and might not feel the same outrage.
posted by drstrangelove at 1:25 PM on August 16, 2002


Ynoxas: it's not "hogwash" at all. It's bloody true. The news in America is pretty much limited to America and Europe.

When the captain of the yahct that took the AMERICA'S Cup away from America (who happens to be a well known sporting figure, not just in New Zealand) was shot and murdered by PIRATES, it was nowhere to be seen. Regardless of what country this particular sporting figure was from, anything to do with pirates should be in the news because it's so strange. Doubt it, though!

The news on American newssites is usually just American news. Even though you could visit newssites from any number of different countries, and you'll find a crapload of American news.

NEWSFLASH: America is not the world.

Also, just because India has horrific floods that kill hundreds pretty much yearly, it doesn't mean it isn't newsworthy. And you can't make silly comments like, build a dam! If you lived in poverty and lived off the land and some ignorant person said to you, "Well, why don't you just move?" I think you'd knock his block off.
posted by animoller at 1:55 PM on August 16, 2002


I remember seeing articles about that Americas Cup guy being killed by pirates in the US (in the US media, not that he was killed in the US).
posted by stifford at 2:08 PM on August 16, 2002


I did too, stifford. seems we've moved from a straw man to a hay man.
posted by dwivian at 2:10 PM on August 16, 2002


Or to a recent issue of Maxim, if I'm not mistaken....
posted by pjgulliver at 2:14 PM on August 16, 2002


Gosh, those people in India are so backward! I bet they never came up with this idea! Maybe we Americans can help them. While we're at it we can teach them about electricity, christianity, and diet coke!

LOLOLOL! I wasn't telling them to build a dam, ninny. I was merely asking why they had not built one? Apologies if that seemed arrogant.

Quonsar actually answered my question without flaying me for my ignorance. If only everyone could be so kind.
posted by insomnyuk at 2:17 PM on August 16, 2002


Ynoxas:
It wasn't the troll part that i was referring to, it was the "he's an idiot". It's one thing to call someone on their shit, but I think it goes against the spirit of the place to lob around insults. it's not conducive to a constructive dialogue.
posted by buz46 at 4:06 PM on August 16, 2002


Now if he had called you a name first....
posted by buz46 at 4:08 PM on August 16, 2002


It's an open secret that American news sources, at least, have a pretty clear formula that news value can be measured in a ratio that goes something like this 1 American death = 10 european deaths = 500 developing world deaths.

As opposed to developing countries coverage of such events in developed countries? Did India have extensive coverage of the US west's massive fires, floods, etc...?
Or are only Western countries supposed to overly care about other countries?
posted by HTuttle at 9:43 PM on August 16, 2002


Contrary to what a lot of you seem to believe, flooding in central Europe has happened on a fairly frequent basis in the last ten or so years (that I can remember, at least: no doubt before then, too). Germany has regularly suffered from floods, even southern parts of the UK to a lesser degree.

Of course, recent events in Austria + Czech Republic have been particularly dramatic, but not so anomalous for Europe as to quantify your "frequent occurance = less newsworthy" hypothesis.
posted by Practise at 6:36 AM on August 17, 2002


HTuttle: Wonderfully put. A great perspective-shift.

Practise: Well then I guess CNN was wrong when they said "Heavy rains across central and eastern Europe have created flooding conditions not seen for centuries...".
Notice that centuries is plural.

I do not live in Prague so I can only go by what is reported to me.

Are you saying this is a common event?

I still stand by my original hypothesis (which is not as you put it , but slightly different) that the less frequent something is, the more newsworthy it is.

The floods in India were covered, they were just "bumped" from the lead story by floods that were much more rare.

It really is as simple as that. For those that still want to find a racist conspiracy behind every door I hope you enjoy your time spent.
posted by Ynoxas at 7:50 AM on August 17, 2002


How shocking that an occurence should be new to be considered news.
posted by NortonDC at 10:19 AM on August 17, 2002


Ynoxas:

CNN says "conditions not seen for centuries" (by which I assume they mean the extent of the current flooding, and that it's happening in Prague itself -- which is true).

I conceded myself that the Austrian + Czech floodings were "particularly dramatic" in my post, but it can't be argued that flooding in central Europe isn't common.

Didn't think I'd have to clarify this with another post -- it's all there in my initial one.
posted by Practise at 7:03 PM on August 17, 2002


As opposed to developing countries coverage of such events in developed countries? Did India have extensive coverage of the US west's massive fires, floods, etc...?
Or are only Western countries supposed to overly care about other countries?


I was told of an article on the Al-Jazeera website, in Arabic, with the headline, "US Firefighters Wage Jihad On Massive Wildfires" or something to that effect.
posted by laz-e-boy at 7:36 PM on August 17, 2002


The point is: Indians and Bangladeshis don't look the same as you or I, and therefore really aren't as human as we are.

Likewise, Europe is closer to us culturally, politically, and socially than India is... That's because, to a much larger extent than India, they're part of our "cultural sphere."


Uh, could we stop using the "we" thing here? Your assumptions and conjectures are false, and it's either annoying or offensive, depending on my mood. I know you're trying to be thoughtful, but your writing reveals that you think MetaFilter is some lily-white enclave where you can talk about me like I'm an "other" and, well... I'm not.
posted by anildash at 12:39 AM on August 19, 2002


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