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03 September 2009 @ 08:55 am
Oh American darlings …  
I do feel for you. I have met so many smart, serious and intellectually curious citizens of the United States, and yet your political climate is so filled with people just like this one:

Suddenly the abject lunacy that surrounds health and science debates in your country has a whole new layer of horror attached. And thanks to Jeph Jacques of Questionable Content for the URL.

I'm off to see whether having a sore knee is a good enough excuse for wagging work now that hideous deadline has passed. A few laps of the hall ought to settle my conscience one way or the other.

oldenuf2nboldenuf2nb on September 2nd, 2009 11:06 pm (UTC)
You know, if it weren't that we were being forced to listen to morons just like this one day in and day out, this might be really funny. Unfortunately.... it isn't.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 2nd, 2009 11:10 pm (UTC)
I've been working on a story regarding science education. The horror has crept into my bones. Maybe that's why my knee is so sore?

I found it heartening that it was pointed out by an American and that many of the commenters who know about light and refraction are also obviously Americans. Lots of you are smart, you're all just the employed ones who have a degree of dignity and so are busier and quieter.
Meredyth: Huh?meredyth_13 on September 2nd, 2009 11:29 pm (UTC)
Oh, interwebs, you are full of the funneh!

There's no monopoly on ignorance, although this is a very specialised kind - where there is definitely knowledge, but somehow the vital bit is just missing. I think it's the righteous outrage implicit in the commentary that amused me most.

I have managed moments of amazing stupidity in my time, but fortunately I have (for the most part) managed to isolate them to private moments with trusted friends (and alcohol), and not blazoned them across the aether for the mockery of the masses.

blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 2nd, 2009 11:37 pm (UTC)
It was her certainty that scared me. And yes, there is certainly no monopoly on idiocy. Had she been English I would have suggested that she explained some council election results -- BNP??!! And if Australian, well, I'd be hard pressed to choose these days. (If a Kiwi, she'd have been one of those who has the fences covered in neat printed words about government conspiracies.)
Meredyth: Mehmeredyth_13 on September 2nd, 2009 11:43 pm (UTC)
Oh, if she were australian, she'd be one of the voices calling to have the entire country denuded of all foliage and concreted over, so people can live closer to nature without fear of fire, or drop bear attack.


how's the knee?

ps. I saw a pic of you on Sunday. You were in front of a B&Rs. I think Push is possibly a cruel, cruel woman made of tease. :D
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 2nd, 2009 11:47 pm (UTC)
She's even worse than that, she made us move on rather than going in for ice-cream! But did you notice the short?

Knee is sore. Rang work, there is nothing going on as the deadline is now dead, I have decided that I would just be charging them lots of money on false pretences, and so am going back to bed for a nap.

And YES! Oh lord, that's exactly who they would be ...
Meredyth: MS Helpmeredyth_13 on September 2nd, 2009 11:52 pm (UTC)
And you let her make that decision? Sheesh! They closed the B&Rs in town here, and all the others are out in the south east. It makes me cry tears of blood. I haven't had a fix for more than a year.

I think a nap sounds like a brilliant idea. Unfortunately I have three loads of washing to sort, a stew to start, shoes to drive halfway across melbourne to get recoloured for a wedding, shopping to do, and a novel to start writing. *rolls eyes*

Oh, and then I have to put the bread on.

blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 3rd, 2009 03:54 am (UTC)
The nap was long and excellent. And now it's raining! Hurrah! OH SHIT! Left the drip irrigation on last night!

Start on that novel, I have to stop watering!
prone to mischieftreacle_tartlet on September 3rd, 2009 09:32 am (UTC)
If she was Australian, she'd be Pauline Hanson. Not enough money? Get the mint to print more!
Loyaulte Me Lie: killshocolate on September 2nd, 2009 11:31 pm (UTC)
*bites off my own leg to escape from the planet*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 2nd, 2009 11:38 pm (UTC)
It's not that bad. A vast majority of Americans are smarter than this. But her kind is loud and pops up all over the place.
Mockingbird Q: days like thismockingbirdq on September 2nd, 2009 11:49 pm (UTC)
Oh my everlovin' God. Where was this woman during her high school science classes? Heck, even my five year old has played with prisms and will purposefully create rainbows using the water hose.

Just insane, that anyone is that ignorant. And damn frightening!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 3rd, 2009 03:36 am (UTC)
I know! But people like her reassure me a bit in a way. Whenever I see the crazies with their 'Nazi health policies' rants on telly, I think 'Oh yeah, one of those Americans', and take comfort in the fact that they are a small if very loud group.

Though I have to say that the general level of science education and understanding around the world is nothing like what it should be, and can't work out if it's because of bad teaching or bad journalism.
Libbylibby_drew on September 2nd, 2009 11:52 pm (UTC)
*dies* Is that real? My kids are rofl right now. Maybe that was someone trying to be funny. One can hope, right?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 3rd, 2009 03:37 am (UTC)
Nah, she's the woman who was at the Barney Frank town hall meeting. They're out there and they're loud, but I think your kids are more representative of the real America, so wish that your media would stop focussing on lunatics like her.
Seshetasesheta_66 on September 2nd, 2009 11:55 pm (UTC)
It boggles the mind.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 3rd, 2009 03:38 am (UTC)
And 20 years ago, that wouldn't have happened!
Seshetasesheta_66 on September 3rd, 2009 04:04 am (UTC)
I know! Perhaps we should be worried about what was in the water and the air 20 years ago if it didn't happen then. ;D

I just showed it to my son (okay, he's a science major, starting university next week, so perhaps that's unfair). He was VERY amused.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 3rd, 2009 04:11 am (UTC)
I'd laugh comfortably, except so many politicians make concessions for people like this, rather than saying 'No ma'am, you're just nuts!'

Go your son, though. Fight the dumbness, young man!
Robyn: thoughtfultimeasmymeasure on September 3rd, 2009 12:05 am (UTC)

I don't even-what?
Sadly this is the state of general knowledge, and the politicians appeal to this base and raise them into a frenzy over issues they've no comprehension on.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 3rd, 2009 03:41 am (UTC)
Yes, that's the thing that drives me crazy. I know that 9/10 Americans are sane and smart (even though science education around the world is a bit dismal, but that's another rant). But so often you see policy made and conveyed as a reaction to lunatics like her. When the woman with the Nazi Health Policies poster and her ilk started ranting at health care reform meetings, even Democrats started talking about abandoning public heath care. The pollies should all have just treated them like the idiots they are, hurrah for Barney Frank!
Robyn: angrytimeasmymeasure on September 3rd, 2009 06:25 am (UTC)
Barney Frank became a lot of people's political hero that day. I think it had just gotten to a point where intellectual debate, real facts, LOGIC, wasn't really getting through to them and verbal smackdown was the only option left.

This insistence of compromise with ignorance is mind boggling. I just don't understand why they're still trying to "reach across party lines". It's pretty clear where everyone's position is.

Ann: eyetsosh on September 3rd, 2009 12:21 am (UTC)
This is a great examples of how conspiracy theories work - use big scientific words, speak with righteous indignation on behalf of all mankind, and blame the mysterious "them".

Have you seen this video? After that, nothing surprises me.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 3rd, 2009 03:50 am (UTC)
YES! You're exactly right. And OH GOD! The Chaser team were very naughty boys with CNNNN. To be fair to the people interviewed, most of them just seemed to have gone to bad schools and probably watch bad TV media (which is SO bad in he US that I have been banned from watching it by my friends as I throw things at their televisions. Except for PBS, which is mostly good). That Mason hater, on the other hand ...
parallel parking prodigy: i can see russia from my house!empress_jae on September 3rd, 2009 12:47 am (UTC)
i'm so embarrassed, and i haven't even watched it. *sigh*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 3rd, 2009 03:51 am (UTC)
It's all right, I know most of you aren't like that and just wish politicians would stop reacting to the ones who are.
Anna Fugazzi: Limitationsannafugazzi on September 3rd, 2009 05:19 am (UTC)
Me too, and I'm not even American. ::sigh::
romaine24romaine24 on September 3rd, 2009 01:37 am (UTC)
Someday when we meet and have a drink or four I'll tell you about my first experience with fireflies when I was 22 and had moved from California to New Hampshire.

Thanks for sharing!!!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 3rd, 2009 03:52 am (UTC)
I think it's always fine to be a bit boggled by fauna. My response to the platypus may or may not have involved a little squeal, and my two friends decided on the Great Western Beachside Squirrel before someone told them they had in fact seen a chipmunk.
Samena: Draco WTF by Potterpuffssamena on September 3rd, 2009 03:44 am (UTC)
Seriously?! I'm assuming this woman has lived in California for a while, which is a state that uses a LOT of water for irrigation and all sorts of things, and yet she's NEVER seen an effect like this before? I knew about this stuff when I was a toddler (though not in scientific terms, of course). It's really odd.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 3rd, 2009 03:53 am (UTC)
Some people are just stupid. Which would be fine, except that US governments have a history of pandering to them.

I'll say one thing for Kevin Rudd, he just talks to them earnestly about why they're a bit misguided until they begin to fall asleep ...
Anna Fugazzi: Failureannafugazzi on September 3rd, 2009 05:18 am (UTC)
So... what was responsible for the freaky rainbows???? Because we have got to get to the bottom of this!!1! Why doesn't anybody care any more what happens to our Constitutional Rights?!11!

Personally I think we really need to look at the socialist Homosexualists. This really sounds like the sort of thing they try to do while we are all distracted by the Global climate Hoax!!

Thanks for posting this! I'll spred the word!!!!!!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 3rd, 2009 07:40 am (UTC)
Rainbow flags. Do we need to look any further?
Cerise: PB Stephen Discoverwivern on September 3rd, 2009 05:43 am (UTC)
I kinda like the idea of rainbow oozing out of the ground. *g*

Sometimes people scare me.

blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 3rd, 2009 07:54 am (UTC)
That does sound nice, you're right.

Be not afraid, just as long as we can convince more politicians to ignore people like that, the rest of us will be fine. I miss normal sensible dumb people who used to say 'I have no idea. Whatever.' In the days of the internet they seem to have all disappeared.
Shivshiv5468 on September 3rd, 2009 07:36 am (UTC)
You'd never get that over here.

The sun doesn't shine long enough for the pretty rainbows.

Why doesn't she assume it's a sign of god's covenant with her put into the sprinkler rather than a government plot. Has she no faith?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 3rd, 2009 07:39 am (UTC)
You know, I would actually think better of her if she did. It's the automatic leap to conspiracy theory that exasperates me. That and the fact she has obviously spent the last several decades paying no attention whatsoever to the world ...
Shivshiv5468 on September 3rd, 2009 07:48 am (UTC)
Oh yes. It is the difference I notice between British stupid and US stupid. Our stupids blame all the immigrants. Their stupid get all paranoid abot teh Gumment.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 3rd, 2009 07:52 am (UTC)
I was on the train with a subcontinental looking and sounding chap the other day who proceeded to tell me why all of England's problems were the fault of people who looked like him and yet acted more English than the English.

I told him that a lot of the people I knew who looked like him were English, being second, third, sometimes fourth and fifth generation.

He told me that it was people like me who were ruining Australia. I'm still not sure how that conversation happened ...
Shivshiv5468 on September 3rd, 2009 07:57 am (UTC)

Er I think he was being more English than the English there.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 3rd, 2009 07:59 am (UTC)
I didn't want to mention it, he had a glint in his eye. Still wondering why he chose to target me. He opened by asking what country I was originally from, I can only surmise it was the fact I was reading Margaret Drabble.
Shivshiv5468 on September 3rd, 2009 08:07 am (UTC)
He should have known you were the type to be ruiining Oz from that alone.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 3rd, 2009 08:15 am (UTC)
In my defence, it was The Garrick Year. And there were no public readings.
prone to mischieftreacle_tartlet on September 3rd, 2009 09:40 am (UTC)
Is it just me, or does this loon sound a lot like Berta from Two And A Half Men?
Ah, now I can explain it all away. Berta made the video to freak out Jake.
I feel much safer in the cocoon of my little fiction...
hitsuzen_himehitsuzen_hime on September 3rd, 2009 06:08 pm (UTC)
In response to many posters questions 'Where was this woman during her science classes.'

Please bear in mind that in the US schools are largely locally funded, which is to say that if you live in a low income area you go to a school with probably enough money to teach reading at a middle school level, the historical curriculum required by state law (which could probably be adequately covered by fortune cookies) and maths to a level of basic algebra with perhaps some geometry thrown in.

Required education in the upper levels DOES NOT require any sciences beyond what is covered in the basic health and human nutrition courses.

Light refraction is typically covered in introductory Physics, which for many schools is not even offered as an elective course due to a lack of funding. Where would she have learned about light refraction? Unless it's covered as a side note on some American sitcom, it's highly unlikely that she would. Many students make it all the way through Uni in the US without having to sit for more than one quarter or semester of sciences and many choose Geology or Food Science and Human Nutrition as the 'soft option'.

My own mother spent four hours on the phone when CERN fired up the particle accelerator while I tried to convince her that Dark Matter is not in fact the devils work and the size of black hole created by dark matter is not going to exceed the mass of the planet and swallow us all up. And she's got a BA and a MA in Cultural Anthropology!

My best friend has three degrees in computer sciences and electrical engineering and he was never required to sit a single sciences class his entire education. He has taken them of course, but on his own. So you see, in America, natural sciences are left out in the cold in even the highest levels of the education system. As Brammers pointed out thats one of the reasons the debates on health and sciences get so scary in our country. Even the well educated folks are operating at a fourth grade level in that particular part of their education.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 3rd, 2009 10:24 pm (UTC)
That's so not good ...

The thing that astonished me about her, though, was her insistence that this never used to happen. What has she been doing for the last 20 years that she's never noticed refraction? Are there parts of the desert that have had no rain and water restrictions for that long?
hitsuzen_himehitsuzen_hime on September 4th, 2009 12:30 am (UTC)
No, but there are large large swaths of urban zones in California where you would not have grass or any sort of outdoor plantings which would require watering. Water for irrigation is something of a luxury in California, which gets most of it's water supply from two states away via a canal. Also the air in various parts of California is hazy with pollutants and that's been getting better but it's been pretty bad. I'm not sure how much haze you have to have to block light refraction but it might have been enough. She talks about a rainbow effect around the moon and that is typically caused by light refraction of particle matter which is usually pollution in Cali as the water vapor content is so low.

Alternatively she might just be really really unobservant.
camillily on September 4th, 2009 07:29 am (UTC)

rubyemerald_1 on September 5th, 2009 02:36 pm (UTC)
Be afraid. Be very afraid.