Thursday, June 22, 2006

Connections between United States' States and Iraq

Just noticed this one, but I can't resist pointing it out. Part of our problem in Iraq is that we have some cultural learning to do. I remember when the war broke out how we didn't have that many people who could speak the local languages.

But I think our media has its own cultural problem. I call it geographicentrism. Everything in the world has to be compared to a US state. Iraq is the "size of California." In this article from AP, US troops are pulling out of an area in Southern Iraq that is the "size of West Virginia." Why not the size of Denmark, or France or Indonesia or whatever other size may or may not fit the description.

I say this for selfish reasons. I'd like a little variety in my news. For instance, "Bomb goes off in city the size of Kathmandu." I'd actually have to go look that one up, but it would be a change. Or how about, "Insurgents operating in an area the size of Swaziland." Again, I'd have to look it up.

Many students today can't even find their own city on a map, much less another state. Why not gear the news to the crowd who's watching? We'd like to see variety.

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