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Saturday, July 30, 2005

Guide To World Culture

I mentioned in my post entitled "SIGGRAPH Next Week!" that everybody in Japan flies around with jet-packs, each with their own personal Giant Robot servant controlled via 2-way wrist radio. It turns out that I was not entirely correct. I was set straight by the following response sent by an offended Japanese person:
Dear Mr. Romanek,

I took offense at your sweeping generalization of Japanese people in your post called "SIGGRAPH Next Week!". Not all of us are technology whizzes. In fact, some of us can barely use a matchbook correctly. And not all of us are smart and live in comfortable, supermodern apartments, taking three baths a day. Some of us live in ditches and are very stupid. I, for example, collect filth for money and have bathed only one time.

You should do some research before you start painting a 1500 year old culture with such broad strokes.



So I did some research - on the Internet and using television programs and spending time sitting trying to remember what I figured I must already know, as well as employing good old common sense. I want to educate people, not further the prejudices that already exist amongst us. I am blessed with so many resources, living as I do in a large American metropolis, I have no excuse for not getting the facts straight and passing them on to all who would here them. My research has blossomed into the following:


(couldn't decide whether to say "WORLD CULTURE" or "WORLD CULTURES". "CULTURES" sounds a lot more educated, but also reminds me of yeast and bacteria)

AFRICANS - They live either in the jungle or in big tent cities. Eat the hands of mountain gorillas. Dying of AIDS because of a lack of moral fiber. Colorful head gear.

AMERICANS- Residents of the continental USA. Devotion to freedom and rights of the individual allows them to vote for either a republican or a democrat every leap year. Pizza deliverable to every home. World's best health care system. Internationally renowned for their kindness and generosity and their empathy for the plight of oppressed nations. Often hated because of their goodness.

AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINALS - Wear cowboy hats. Admire white Australians and help them out whenever possible. Can turn into animals at will. Religion involves "Dreamworks".

BRITISH - Easily pushed around. Love Americans. Would never have had a Global Empire in the 19th century if it weren't for America. Have stiff upper lips. 85% of men homosexual.

CANADIANS - Irritating little bastards with great social services, brilliant comedians and a low crime rate.

CHECHNYANS - Doubtful that a country called "Chechnya" actually exists.

CHINESE - No blue jeans. Lousy cigarettes. Can't turn around for Chinese. Slightly irritated at responsibility of having to rule the world in the 21st century.

EGYPTIANS - Big mustaches. Big gray suits in 100 degree heat. Hats made out of pure gold.

FRENCH - Enjoy coffee, art, sex, language, film, and fine food. Naturally, they are to be hated and despised.

HAITIANS - Refuse to behave sensibly. 12% of population zombies. Can turn into animals at will.

INDIANS - Amusing accent. Geniuses with thin bones and big feet. It's OK if they have nukes because they have a cool Elephant God. Embroiled in long-standing trade dispute with Pakistan over materials used to make fluffy sweaters.

IRAQIS - Best not go there.

IRANIANS - Big beards. Have outlawed color. Evil Arabs.

IRISH - Kind of like Bostoners who have moved to Arkansas and acquired a crazy accent.

ISRAELIS - All secretly working for Mossad. Fly around in F-15's and Apaches. Know what Krav Maga is. Resent proximity to Iran, Iraq and Ireland in alphabetical lists.

KOREANS - The Mexicans of Asia. Have a north and a south.

KURDS - Like Turks but with no money.

NATIVE AMERICANS - Alcoholic, but very, very wise. Can turn into animals at will. Lots of blue flannel shirts.

PAKISTANIS - Indistinguishable from Indians. Not OK if they have nukes because they worship a strange and mysterious monotheistic deity that hates Americans. Embroiled in long-standing trade dispute with India over materials used to make fluffy sweaters.

RUSSIANS - Gangsters. Stunningly beautiful women with bad teeth. Like to weep while singing loudly. Have produced very few great jugglers.

SAUDIS - Still dress like the characters in "Lawrence Of Arabia". People live either in large hotels or in tents. Almost as many F-15's as Israel. Unlike the extremist countries, they understand that the USA is only trying to help.

SOUTH AFRICANS - Primarily white people with upsetting accents. Some not-white people there also. Great sharks!

SPANISH - Don't eat as many burritos as Mexicans. Fight bulls.

SWEDES - Both males and females are 6'+ tall. Elimination of war, poverty and violent crime has driven them to alcoholism and sex addiction.

TAIWANESE - Blue jeans. Really good cigarettes. All women look like Faye Wong, all men look like Tony Leung or Michael Caine.

TURKS - Like Kurds, but with money.

UZBEKISTANIS - It's true that there is a country called Uzbekistan, but it seems unlikely that people actually live there.

And so, in conclusion, I hope this has cleared up questions you may have had about world cultures. If you have any further questions about world cultures and what they are for, refer to your local television stations. If you don't live in a country that has television stations, just ask around. People will be happy to set you straight.

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Well now you've done it.

- By Blogger Warren, at Sun Jul 31, 01:39:00 AM GMT+1  

Just a minor correction --

I think it is F-16's that those Mid-Easterners fly in, not F-15's. Other than that, everything you right is 100% factually correct. Well done!

- By Blogger Fun Joel, at Sun Jul 31, 11:34:00 PM GMT+1  

F-16's! Of course. I hope this minor error will not affect the credibility of my research.

- By Blogger Neal Romanek, at Thu Aug 04, 06:58:00 PM GMT+1  

I plan on being horribly offended as soon as I stop laughing. Will get back to you... you silly Pole.

- By Blogger Rob, at Fri Aug 05, 03:56:00 AM GMT+1  

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