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Saturday, February 05, 2005

Oh Dear

From Norman Geras, an English proficiency test as set by the University of Leiden in the Netherlands.

Do you feel like you live in a nation of idiots? I used to (1) console myself about the state of (2) [STUPID] in this country by repeating this to myself: Even if there are two hundred million stone-cold idiots in this country, that (3) [LEAVE] at least eighty million who'll (4) get what I (5) [SAY] - and that's still more than the populations of the United Kingdom and Iceland combined! Then came the day I found myself (6) [SHARE] an office with the ESPN game show Two-Minute Drill. This is the show that (7) [TEST] your knowledge of not only who plays what position for which team, but who hit what where in a 1925 game between Boston and New York, who was (8) rookie of the year in 1965 in the old American Basketball Association, and what Jake Wood had for breakfast the morning of May 12, 1967. I don't know the answer (9) [prep] any of those questions, but for some reason I do remember Jake Wood's uniform number: 2. Why (10) [prep] earth am I retaining that (11) [USE] fact? I don't know, but after (12) [WATCH] scores of guys (13) [WAIT] to audition for that ESPN show, I think I do know something about (14) [INTELLIGENT] and the American mind.


This is one of the most moronic things I've ever read. What's the point?

I don't like to indulge in paranoid fantasies about mass Anti-Americanism in Europe, but there is very definitely a strain on the European Left of reflexive, brainless criticism of American society and people. There are certainly, unquestionably, problems in America (and God knows I try to avoid talking about the Bush administration), but much of the criticism of America that comes from the European Left is nothing more than posturing and finger-wagging - as if that is going to solve anything.

|| RPH || 11:01 AM || |