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The moronic inferno, pt. 1,478

23 April 2013

23 April 2013

Is it the stupidity of Americans, or the stupidity of people who use social networking sites, that is responsible for the following letter, sent shortly after the Boston bombers had been identified?

‘As more information on the origin of the alleged perpetrators is coming to light, I am concerned to note in the social media a most unfortunate misunderstanding in this respect. The Czech Republic and Chechnya are two very different entities – the Czech Republic is a Central European country; Chechnya is a part of the Russian Federation.

As the President of the Czech Republic Miloš Zeman noted in his message to President Obama, the Czech Republic is an active and reliable partner of the United States in the fight against terrorism. We are determined to stand side by side with our allies in this respect, there is no doubt about that.

Petr Gandalovič

Ambassador of the Czech Republic’


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  • Studley

    All right now, you’ve had your fifteen minutes of thinking all Americans stoopid — the more American, the stupider — while you are all brilliant without exception.

    So now, since geography seems to be the sine qua non of non-stupidness on this forum, kindly find on a blank map the precise locations of Guineau-Bissau, Togo, Eritrea, and Burundi. (Hint: They’re all in Africa).

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=620222966 Neil Saunders

    As I’ve remarked elsewhere, Chile, Chesterfield, chickens, the Cheeky Girls, Chubby Checker and Chichele Professors at Oxford should be very worried right now.

  • William Reid Boyd

    H. L. Mencken said it first: “No one in this world, so far as I know-and I have searched the record for years, and employed agents to help me-has ever lost money by
    underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain
    people” aka “Never understimate the intelligence of the American people” for some reason.

    I think you’re being pretty unfair really, Rod, because the first syllabul of Checkoslovakia and Czechnya sound pretty much the same and it’s entirely thier fault if they spell so funny and serves them right if thy get nuked for it.

    By the way that wench you fancied picking her nose at the Archbishop’s inaugration who happened to be his daughter turns out to suffer from dreadful depressions so I see in the DT today. I think you should be covering your back here, just in case.

  • curious

    Tremble, you infidels, for your day has come. We´ll destroy your
    pathetic countries with our Czech Dumpling Bomb, we´ll drown you in
    beer, we´ll pelt you with our smelly olmutzer cheese and stuff cheap
    pork sausages down your unclean throats.
    (That´s my Czech jihad, what´s yours?)

    But to be fair, I would have some trouble to properly locate US states on a blind map. So…

  • Studley

    I think it’s wonderful that Americans can sometimes provide non-Americans with enjoyable moments of perceived superiority. It lets the rest of you blow off a bit of steam and wear the failures of your own countries a little more lightly. I consider the airing of our stupidities a public service.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Mel Gibson’s ‘Patriot”. When failures are not worn but forcibly put onto us by others.

      • ArchiePonsonby

        Don’t even get me started on Hollywood’s outright fabrications just to sell poxy films, Titanic and U-541 for starters!

        • pedestrianblogger

          The Titanic was sunk by a U-boat? I had no idea.

          • ArchiePonsonby

            Don’t pretend that you don’t know what I mean, cupid stunt! Or was that irony?

          • ArchiePonsonby

            Very droll, I’m sure!

  • http://twitter.com/bbcgoogle Rockin Ron

    This is a retweet, pretending to be a comment. Pathetic.

  • Daniel Maris

    I thought you’d posted a photo of your younger self, Rod.

  • David Ossitt

    Here is a classic example, watch this; Fox News has stopped this on most sites.

    http://www.snotr.com/video/675/A_blonde_and_a_3rd_grade_geography_question

    • Baron

      David, you should have posted earlier saving Baron the embarrassment of his posting about the female blond. Yours is the genuine article, Baron’s memory clearly isn’t what it used to be.

      • Studley

        The fact that it’s a blonde with a twang and not a person of colour from up North or elsewhere, and that the announcer goes out of his way to tell us it’s a ‘third-grade’ question should get your BS-antennae twitching, Baron. (To say nothing of the ludicrous unbelievability of her answers.) Leg, bells on, that sort of thing.

        The fact is, non-Americans are so willing to bite because they’re so eager to feel better than us. Rather sad, really.

    • JabbaTheCat

      Do you think that your average pleb in the UK would answer the question correctly?

      • pedestrianblogger

        Exactly, Jabba. But the point of all this is that, if you can find a hundred stupid people out of a population of c. 300 million who are capable of getting themselves on a trashy t.v. show or turning on some sort of electronic device with which to advertise their stupidity to the public, the World View of the likes of Eddie is proved correct. ALL Americans are stoopid so Eddie wins every argument and debate with Americans on the strength of that alone. It does no real harm and gives the poor man a reason to feel superior to something.

        • Eddie

          So, pedestrianboringblogger thinks there are only 100 stoopid people out of 300 million in the USA? Errr… Nurse!
          Americans are notoriously ignorant of other countries – way more so than Europeans, although stoopid people are pretty much universal. You’re one, for example.

          • http://ajbrenchley.com/ A J Brenchley

            To the contrary: PB is an especially non-stupid chap. In fact, he’s lemon-meringue-pie wonderful.

      • David Ossitt

        Possibly not but I doubt that the average pleb (your word not mine) would go on to show such mind blowing lack of basic knowledge, every thing that she said was clear evidence of her stupidity.

        • Fergus Pickering

          As I said further up, have you all forgotten the Essex girl?

  • Baron

    In our enlightened society of equals we give the vote to millions of such imbeciles, the consequences of which are by far more disastrous than those a nugatory confusion of the Czech Republic with Chechnya may engender. Why, do you think, the messiah got re-elected last November?

    • ArchiePonsonby

      We have the same problem here, but in our case they re-elected Tony Blair……………….TWICE!

  • DougS

    What? Chechnya and the Czech Republic are different countries!

    When did that happen?

    • Baron

      So far, DougS, the wittiest by far, ta.

    • http://twitter.com/bbcgoogle Rockin Ron

      They are not different countries – Chechnya is not a country but a part of the Russian Federation. Try to keep up.

  • Forest Fan

    “That’s
    a lovely accent you have. New Jersey?” “Austria.” “Austria! Well, then.
    G’day mate! Let’s put another shrimp on the barbie!”

  • James Strong

    An old friend of mine travelling in the USA, was asked,
    ‘Where are you from?’
    ‘Australia’.
    ‘How come you speak such good English?’

    • Baron

      An American TV show. A young blond female college graduate is asked in which continent she would find a country called Hungary. She is shocked, laughs, says it must be a tricky question, there cannot be a country called hungry.

      When the Mandarin speakers take over will they have a need for such young female blond college graduates.

      • ArchiePonsonby

        I’ve reference that very same You Tube clip in my comment above, B.

    • Daniel Maris

      Misheard as Austria presumably…Given most Aussies speak Strine and come Strayah it’s not that hard to imagine.

  • Austin Barry

    I suspect that many Americans no longer buy muslin fabrics in protest at the recent atrocities.

    • Baron

      What? only illiterate Americans?

    • Noa

      What have fabrics ever done to the Americans?

  • Adam Maguire

    Ahem…is it just me Mr. Rod…or is there really a vague resemblance between him up there and your old Guardian mug shot…uh?

    Look-alikes on Private Eye(Watch this space.)

  • andrewsaint15

    #Sue Ward. Here is a link to Twitter messages that were saved before the dummies who posted could delete them.
    http://publicshaming.tumblr.com/post/48547675807/the-definitive-people-who-thought-chechnya-was-the

    • http://www.facebook.com/sue.ward.77770 Sue Ward

      Thank you! I followed the link and didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. As the mother of a teenager and thus exposed to the outpourings (as in the sense of sewage outflow pipe!) of our education system, I am so used to correcting misconceptions of this kind I am no longer particularly surprised.

  • Eddie

    So predictable.

    For many Americans, anything outside the USA is an amorphous splodge of blobby evil barbarism. There is next to nothing on the US TV or press news about ‘the rest of the world’ or anything foreign; schools barely teach about other countries; inventions by other countries (esp the UK) are claimed by Americans in the fabricated history kids get taught. Only 11% of Americans have passports, after all.

    It is just ignorance – which comes with a lack of shame about that ignorance and an unwillingless to learn – and so the Czech ambasador (poor bloke) felt he had to act and send a letter; the same way people call themselves ‘children’s doctors’ these days so the moronic chavvy tribes of Britain don’t burn their houses down…

    I used to live in The Czech Republic, and when chatting with certain people mention the lovely coastline and beaches: no American has ever queried me, and they have often agreed! Europe is a country to the USA.

    • sarahsmith232

      when I was there, admittedly many moons ago, I got to discover that quite a lot of Americans believe you can drive from England to Australia! I was once asked ‘so, like, how long does it take to drive from England to Australia’ I was so amazed I then started to talk about it with other Americans and was getting ‘well, I aslo wouldn’t know how long it would take’, so I started testing the water with it, A LOT, got to be 60% think Australia is in Europe.

      • MikeF

        A lot of young Australians did drive from Australia to the UK back in the 70s. They then sold their VW camper vans – there was a sort of unofficial used vehicles sales lot near Australia House which I remember seeing – to other young Australians who who wanted to make the journey back the other way doubtless dropping off for some enlightenment in India and who knows what in Thailand along the way.

      • mightymark

        Of course – their short attention spans had obviously blind eyed the “ral” in the name. DIdn’t they ask whether the Ozzies yodelled or sang the Blue Danube”?

    • Austin Barry

      I like to drop the word niggardly into chats with Americans. Their shocked discomfort is a joy to behold.

      Mind you, I was once in a pub in Hampstead when a Japanese tourist came in looking for directions to Keats House. The publican called across the room “Is there a John Keats in the house?”.

      • Eddie

        Oh you should read the novel ‘Crump’ – where a new university lecturer gets a warning for using that ‘racist’ word!
        Personally, I like a good snigger in front of Americans and behind their backs about their hyper-sensitivity and obsession with race (and I won’t be lectured by anyone from a country where racially mixed marriages were illegal until 1975).

      • MikeF

        Many years ago I was visiting Whipsnade Zoo and remember studying an information board that gave directions to the various animal enclosures – Lions this way, Elephants that way etc. At the top of the board was an arrow that indicated the direction of Leighton Buzzard (I jest not) – I wonder how many people went looking for it.

        • ArchiePonsonby

          Ha ha! Now THAT’S funny!

      • dmitri the impostor

        Anecdote from the memoirs of Michael Wharton (Peter Simple). A posse of naive American tourists wandered into the King and Keys pub on Fleet Street. One of their old ladies approached some archetypal Lunchtime O’Booze propping up the bar.

        ‘Pardon me, Sir. Is this the way to Dr Johnson’s house?’

        ‘I AM Dr Johnson. Now f*** off!’

        • Studley

          What a jerk!

          • ArchiePonsonby

            No, just a journalist!

            • Studley

              I wasn’t referring to Wharton, obviously.

              • ArchiePonsonby

                Understood; and Peter Simple would never say eff off!

      • The Sage

        The same if you tell this Bernard Manning joke:
        “Unfortunately, one of my relations died at Auschwitz”
        You then get a very sad response.
        “Yes, he fell out of a watch-tower”

      • chan chan

        In a conversation with some Americans in the late 90s, I described a chinese person as ‘oriental’. Now, this person wasn’t there, and everyone was white. I didn’t know exactly where they were from, just somewhere in the far east. Well, the whole group fell silent. I was accused of being a disgusting racist, and asked to leave by the host. My American girlfriend at the time was mortified I’d said it.

        I still don’t get it. Can anyone explain?

        • http://ajbrenchley.com/ A J Brenchley

          It’s nonsense, and they were wrong to treat you that way. ‘Oriental’ is embraced by some British people of East Asian origin because unlike the ludicrously vague ‘Asian’, it actually gives some idea of where they’re from…. The idea that ‘Oriental is a rug not a person’ is sheer ignorance.

    • Baron

      More like the USA is the world for the Americans, Eddie.

      • http://owsblog.blogspot.com Span Ows

        Or at least for the ‘estadounidense’ (United Statesians)

    • The Sage

      Yes, this may be so. But, of course, the British are so very knowledgeable about all places south of Dover. Not. Ask the average Brit to point out the location of Arkansas on a map of the US and I think most would be struggling. Or ask the average Brit to explain where Chechnya is located – or even where the Czech Republic is on a map – they would also have difficulty. It’s a shame about this lack of knowledge, but I don’t think it’s confined to the US. There are plenty of ignoramuses here too.

      • ArchiePonsonby

        But hardly the same quantity. Last time that I was in Canada, I stumbled upon a programme on the telly called “Are You As Smart (Clever) As A Fifth-Grader” or somesuch. It was a right toe-curler with industrial-scale ignorance and a complete lack of embarrassment about same: but don’t take my word for it…………….http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cey35bBWXls

        • Fergus Pickering

          This woman reminds me of that girl (Essex?)who became a celebrity for being foul-mouthed and ignorant and then died. I’ve forgotten her name but she thought East Anglia was a country

          • ArchiePonsonby

            I think that would be Jade Goody, F P! (Ooops! Re-Education Camp for me for offences against good taste and having knowledge of junk culture!)

          • http://twitter.com/roisindubh78 Roisin

            It was worse than that. She thought it was East Angular!

      • Eddie

        Your analogy is wrong: knowing where US states are would be the equivalent of knowing where English counties are, or German Lander or French departments.
        I am talking about countries.
        Arkansas is not a country and there is no reason for any Brit to know where that is (in fact, the ignorance of many Brits is not about US states which seem almost daily questions on TV quiz shows).
        At the same time, a worrying large proportion of the population hasn’t a clue where most European countries are (partly because our education system does not teach facts and general knowledge as it should – and as still happens in France, say, or the Czech Republic).
        More fool them. Although, to be fair, the land where Bohemia is located changed it’s name 5 times during the 20th century.
        But hey, we are nowhere near as bad as the Americans. I think even Americans would agree with me there!

    • pedestrianblogger

      You assume that the Americans who don’t query your references to the Czech coastline don’t do so because of their own ignorance. Has it not occurred to you that they may have taken your measure and that they are motivated by a sense of tact and a desire not to do anything which might prolong the conversation?

      • Studley

        Not to mention the fact that they probably thought he was not right in the head. ‘Anything you say, Eddie’. He caught the nodding but not the eyeroll that followed.

    • Hugh

      Close to 40% of Americans have passports. And since they’ve got a massive and varied country to explore, and have not traditionally needed them to go to Canada, Mexico or the Carribean, it’s not that suprising frankly.

      • ArchiePonsonby

        So how to explain the middle-aged American couple whom we had to walk through a menu in Paris despite that being their seventh visit?

        • Hugh

          I’m not sure what you want me to explain. Do you reckon it would be impossible for me to dig up a couple of middle aged Brits who don’t speak a word of French despite going there on their summer holidays?

          • ArchiePonsonby

            A good deal more difficult than to find two Americans, based on my experience of both, I would suggest.

            • Hugh

              Not if attitudes are any guide: The National Geographic — Roper 2002 Global Geographic Literacy Survey asked whether it was important or necessary to know a foreign language. Only 60 per cent of Amercian 18 to 24 year olds thought it was necessary or important, far below the figure in most other countries – except Britain, where the figure was 54%. The findings were similar when it was asked whether it is important to know where countries in the news are located.
              And while the US respondents could only identify an average 2.5 out of 12 European countries on a map, the British only managed 4.6, which given that they live in Europe doesn’t really convince me we’re well placed to look down on American ignorance.

              • salieri

                Intriguing statistic; thank you. But where attitudes are concerned it’s hard to top the Chairman of the Congressional Educational Committee in Washington a few years ago, who sat through a powerful funding plea by 6 Ivy League Professors of modern languages and then drawled, “Way I see it, if English was good enough for Jesus Christ it’s good enough for me.”

                • Hugh

                  It is hard to top it, but it’s also hard to credit it. It appears to be an urban legend, frequently attributed to Miriam A. Ferguson, who’s been dead 50 years. There are also various records of the quote attributed to various people from the 19th century onwards.

              • ArchiePonsonby

                There! You’ve nailed it with the 18 to 24 year-olds survey sample! I’m into my sixth decade and thankfully had what I’d call a reasonable education. From what I’ve seen, our “yooof” has been dumbed down mercilessly for at least forty years and would be hard-pressed to place Scotland on a map!

      • tvswine

        yeah, but most of them aint US passports!

    • http://ajbrenchley.com/ A J Brenchley

      ‘schools barely teach about other countries’: Not true in the least.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sue.ward.77770 Sue Ward

    I must have a better class of contacts on Facebook and Twitter as I have not seen anyone confuse Chechen with Czech. Having said that, this is a nation which notoriously produced people who confused paediatrician with paedophile. Hmmm.

    • Mr Creosote

      Nationality is clearly no barrier to being thick as a plank.

      • Eddie

        People from Plankistan would be offended by that, y’know…

        • Eddie

          What sort of idiot would vote against a funny and innocuous pun in a post?
          A pig in a poke?
          Or just another stupid Plankie?

          • janswed

            A person from the many Stan countries I would assume.

            • Eddie

              You mean Londonistan? Or Bradfordistan? Or perhaps Hestan Bloomin-eck?
              I think stupid Plankies should get a sense of humour transplant.

              • hexton

                But would it help, when Planck’s constant?

          • alabenn

            Telemachus

        • ArchiePonsonby

          That smacks of plankism!

      • Baron

        Which plank? Not the one an Irishman who wanted to cross the Atlantic on a plank, gave up because he couldn’t find one long enough?

    • The_Missing_Think

      Even more notoriously, we’re also the Nation that failed hideously to differentiate between defensive Nationalism, and aggressive Nationalism.

      It’s the same sort of similar, subtle 180º difference, probably the ‘sive’ bit at the end that confuses so many… perhaps?

    • Studley

      Which people?

      • http://www.facebook.com/sue.ward.77770 Sue Ward

        The chats a few years ago who vandalised a a paediatricians office because they thought the brass plaque indicated the presence of a child molester. Do keep up!

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