Blog or Not?

A statistically improbable polymath's views on politics and culture.

Tuesday, April 29, 2003
This is in response to a comment thread on Matthew on "Shooting Protesters". I will reprint it here because I feel it holds up well enough on its own:

Unfortunately, other than giving each recruit going into boot camp a crash course in the atrocities of military history, I have no radical solution for this kind of thing (e.g. military atrocities). I do, however, have a proposal for fostering cultural understanding among our troops:

There is a group of professionals whose focus is the study of the culture of other countries and the relaying of this information to persons completely ignorant of these cultures. They are remarkably successful at this.

Who are they? They're not professors or anthropologists. They're travel guide writers.

Consider every Frommer's or Lonely Planet guide you've ever picked up about a non-American destination. Consider the hundreds of books telling businesspeople how to conduct business without offending people in countries from Argentina to Zimbabwe. Consider the number of books which purport to tell the reader how they can avoid being spotted as an American in Paris. And consider that all of this information is given in handy, easy-to-read, easy-to-carry book format.

In short: Uncle Sam wants YOU, Arthur Frommer!

Comments: Post a Comment