Sunday, June 14, 2009

Only in Canada

I have been remiss blogging. Bad, bad me. But life has been hectic and there so much I want to talk about—which means, I usually end up telling myself that many of these things are so much better wrapped up into my fiction, and especially Aslam, which now has a definite personally-imposed deadline. The repercussions, ramifications, delays and distractions introduced and priorities imposed by our last move may not have petered out into insignificance, but they are becoming less important in the light of an urgency felt about getting Aslam written. It's the the-dam-will-burst-if-you-don't release the pressure thing, I guess.

Anyway, there's one thing I will blog about very soon, and that is my most recent non-fiction reading, Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate. I don't read a lot non-fiction, if for no other reason but that I think so much of it isn't worthy wasting time on. The Blank Slate—to which my attention was drawn by a Pinker TED talk—was a notable exception; which is always encouraging to see. Until I get aorund to thet though, here's something else.

As some of you may know, I do take the piss out of German foibles every now and then. I guess I should apologize, but I was born there and occasionally I come across something that's so utterly 'typical' that my evil little self just can't seem to resist the temptation. I also do this, because, unlike Americans, the Germans of today aren't nearly enough beaten up on. And the same goes, of course, for the American's northern neighbor, Canada. But then one comes across this...

Words almost fails me!

Of course, one might wonder of anything like that hasn't actually happened in the US as well. Surely, with whole nations being in the throes of PC convulsions these days, you gotta be able to find something equivalent is come demented US media outlet.

Well, yes, there is, so rest easy. Or not, because the 'media outlet' in question is the Onion, which, in 2000 (yes, the year Y2K!) had the following article:

Ahh, yes, Germany, alone you are not. Don't know exactly what you're not alone in, but it's something.

Of course, in Germany meanwhile, fate decided to give at least one young German a break. When your time isn't up it just isn't up. A few inches further to one side and it would have been his head that had the hole in it, not the pavement.

14-year-old hit by 30,000 mph space meteorite

Apart from the loopy headline—all meteorites are 'space meteorites' (damn journalist retard)—and some really awful scientifically illiterate writing, including the wording "bouncing off" when referring to what the object did with relation to the boy's hand, this is a definite feel-good story. When it's not your time, it's not your time. In my life I had at least two experiences like that and they make you think about stuff you mightn't have thought about before.

P.S. Also, one wonders idly, why has the headline a reference to a non-metric measurement system? And, no, it wasn't a 'direct hit' either, but a 'glancing' one at best. A direct hit would have gone straight through the kid. So, the writer not only is ignorant of science, but doesn't even understand everyday English.

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