Tag Archives: ze Germans!

We’re Too Self-Aware To Rule The World

I recently had this (approximate) conversation with a friend:

A:  Did you write your grandmother yesterday?
B:  Yep, letter’s in the mail.  Annoying that I can’t just e-mail her.
A:  I wonder, when people our age are grandparents, what quaint form of communication will we want our grandchildren to use to communicate with us?
B:  “Ugh, grandma won’t accept holo-texts.  I have to send her regular video-mails.”
A:  “And she refused to learn Mandarin, so it has to be in old-school English.”
B:  “Grandpa won’t just get the chip implant and learn chinese.  He’s so old-fashioned.”

This got me thinking.  I regularly make, and regularly hear, jokes about how eventually we’ll all be speaking Mandarin.  Not tomorrow, but at some inevitable but comfortingly-distant point in the future.  Maybe, oh, March 12th, 2080.*

I wonder if there has ever been a rivalry between powerful nations, such as the rivalry between the USA and China, where the people of one nation joke about how eventually the other nation will buy their country, dominate our way of life, and everybody will speak the other country’s language.  Not joke in a paranoid way, but in a humorous acceptance of the future kind of way.

Did ancient Athenians joke about how it was only a matter of time before they’d all be wearing Spartan helmets?  Did Romans joke about how they’ll all end up speaking…whatever they spoke in Carthage?  Did zé Germans suggest with humorous acceptance that they’ve been meaning to bone up on their French because they know the French don’t like to speak any other languages?  (I’m guessing not on that last one.)

Maybe we’re too self-aware to rule the world.

*I think the inevitability-of-China-owning-everything timeline is on the same scale as the global-warming-causing-the-sea-to-flood-Manhattan timeline.  Which is why nobody really wants to do anything about either eventuality.  “Yeah, I guess they’ll both probably happen, but that’s, like, a long time from now, dude.  What I care about right now is lower taxes and no health care for bums.”

State of the Union: Quick-Hitting Analysis

Some impressions, of questionable taste, from last night’s State of the Union address: 

  • At one point, Obama talked about injecting more money into the higher education system.  The Republicans did not applaud.  Why?  Because the more people go to college, the fewer people will vote Republican. (Of course, some conservatives say that this is due to ‘liberal indoctrination’ by liberal professors.)

Went to college, became socially liberal

Should have attended more college

  • Call me a snotty undemocratic elitist, but I kinda want the best and the brightest to run the country.  I dunno, I just think they’re more qualified to do the job.  I want the best cook making my meal, the best pilot flying my plane, and the smartest and most capable people running the country.
  • This (above) is why I want to enter a cheat code into my political system that allows Obama to govern without thought to, consideration for, any other politicians of any party.  I guess that’s a King, but I’m all for enlightened monarchy over lowest-common-denominator mob rule.

If I was good with photoshop, I'd replace Aragorn with Obama

  • In the last few days, Iran singled out Germany and accused them of helping support the civil unrest Iran has been experiencing.  Maybe it’s time we let the Germans have a real military again.  Hey, desperate times for desperate measures, right?  Give them five years to get back up to steam, and then let ’em loose.  I’m pretty confident they’d be on our side this time, and it’s pretty clear that Germany is good at having an army

Except instead of being a philosophical sociopath, Germany would be a bureaucratic but highly efficient and motivated military force

  • Let’s think about this for a minute.  What is hampering America’s fight against Islamic extremism?  Broadly speaking, we are having trouble funding the war, convincing allies to help, and we are losing the propoganda war.  History suggests a militant German state is good at all of those things.

Franco-Prussian adult cider

Next big hipster look?

A tasty new drink (really!) embodying the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 is up at History Drinks:

http://historydrinks.com/?p=774

Something I learned from the post: nobody pulls off the spiked-helmet-and-walrus-mustache like Otto von Bismarck.  But I dearly hope that look becomes the next big hipster trend.

The post features another great drawing by Eric Nielsen.  The man is good.