Wednesday, June 22, 2005

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Roger Cohen dreams of Eumerica

Since I'm supposed to be advancing transatlantic understanding, here's one relevant link -- in his Globalist column for the International Herald Tribune, Roger Cohen dreams of a world where the best of Europe and America are combined. I'm pretty sure both Americans and Europeans would find something to object to in his section on politics and economics, but this section might actually appeal to all:

Needless to say, the coffee in Eumerica would be Italian, the (absence of) speed limits and the cars German, the steaks and the refrigerators and the air-conditioning and the can-do outlook American, the fresh cream and the rock bands and the tolerance for eccentricity British, the herring Scandinavian, the climate Spanish, the college fees European, the duration of a college education (and most of the professors) American, the vodka Polish, the roads (and landscaping) French, the beer Czech, the chocolates Belgian and the national sports soccer and baseball.

posted by Dan on 06.22.05 at 09:14 AM


No, no, no! The national sports would be "football" (soccer) and BASKETBALL. A sport that's actaully popular in Europe. Besides, baseball is boring! :)

posted by: Stephen Duncan Jr on 06.22.05 at 09:14 AM [permalink]

What's herring doing on the list?

If we're thinking of Scandinavian advantages, how about blondes?

posted by: Doug on 06.22.05 at 09:14 AM [permalink]

German Cars? Ugh. Most of the people with German cars have massive maintenance costs and quality problems. 10 years ago they were the best. But Mercedes and BMW have really let things slide.

If we have to pick from Europe, give me Scandinavian cars!

posted by: DK on 06.22.05 at 09:14 AM [permalink]

Dan, you'd be making a real contribution to transatlantic understanding if you'd make clear that America is bound to get the best of Europe without doing anything, as sooner or later the most talented Europeans wind up moving here. In exchange, Europe gets journalists like this Cohen fellow with a talent for staying awake through the whole of a soccer match. And from my point of view that's a very fair trade indeed.

posted by: Zathras on 06.22.05 at 09:14 AM [permalink]

and the scenery turkish

posted by: thg on 06.22.05 at 09:14 AM [permalink]

I would've guess the delights would be Turkish. :)

posted by: Caliban on 06.22.05 at 09:14 AM [permalink]

Or at least the Hash.

posted by: Johnny Upton on 06.22.05 at 09:14 AM [permalink]

We'll probably get Italian government, Spanish beer, English food, American health care coverage, Scandinavian weather, Irish sexual mores, German policing.....

posted by: C.J.Colucci on 06.22.05 at 09:14 AM [permalink]

You no longer want a Scandaivanian car -- they are now owned by Ford and GM. What you want are the European versions of Japanese cars.

posted by: spencer on 06.22.05 at 09:14 AM [permalink]

Polish vodka? Is he insane? Also California has better weather than Spain so I'm not trading.

posted by: vanya on 06.22.05 at 09:14 AM [permalink]

Actually it sounds pretty good to me!

posted by: NW Clerk on 06.22.05 at 09:14 AM [permalink]

Definition of Heaven

Police are British
Mechanics are German
Chefs are French
Lovers are Italian
Organization provided by the Swiss

Definition of Hell

Police are German
Mechanics are French
Chefs are British
Lovers are Swiss
Organization provided by The Italians

posted by: save_the_rustbelt on 06.22.05 at 09:14 AM [permalink]

Reminds me of an old joke that goes as follows.

Heaven is where:

The British are the policemen
The French are the cooks
The Germans are the engineer
The Swiss are the organizers
The Italians are the lovers

Hell is where:

The British are the cooks
The French are the engineers
The Germans are the policemen
The Swiss are the lovers
The Italians are the organizers

posted by: Eric on 06.22.05 at 09:14 AM [permalink]

Looks like save_the_rustbelt had the same thought. Pretty odd timing, considering how long it's been since the original post was made.

posted by: Eric on 06.22.05 at 09:14 AM [permalink]

Um, isn't this just a lame ripoff of a t-shirt?
Somebody put Cohen out of his misery.

I guess it's not considered plagiarism if the author is A. Nony Mous.

posted by: Lisa Williams on 06.22.05 at 09:14 AM [permalink]

Years ago, for a bi-continental corporate presentation, we used the joke reported 3 messages before mine. To that we added "American tact" and "Canadian national coherence".

posted by: Giovanni Ciriani on 06.22.05 at 09:14 AM [permalink]


Great minds work alike, and apparently within a minute of each other.

posted by: save_the_rustbelt on 06.22.05 at 09:14 AM [permalink]

Re the joke above about "Hell is where the French are engineers," this is idiotic and uninformed, as French engineers are among the best in the world. Anyone who knows France and/or engineering knows this.

posted by: Arun Kapil on 06.22.05 at 09:14 AM [permalink]


It is a joke. J O K E.

posted by: save_the_rustbelt on 06.22.05 at 09:14 AM [permalink]

The quickest way to tell if someone is out of touch with the U.S. is to ask them what the most popular sport is. It's only been about four decades since football passed baseball, but nooo, it's all Jacques Barzun, Bart Giamatti, George Will, and Roger Angell. Pardon me while I go puke.

posted by: Tom on 06.22.05 at 09:14 AM [permalink]

My experience is French engineers are average at best. You get all the attitude and none of the work.

The best comparison is a 6 year old explaning Quantum Mechanics to Max Planck

posted by: Johnny Upton on 06.22.05 at 09:14 AM [permalink]

It would seem to me that in Utopia, it's the GIRLS who would be Scandinavian, not the herring. Ask Tiger Woods, or this American.

posted by: y81 on 06.22.05 at 09:14 AM [permalink]

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