Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Maple Leaf

by Edd Doerr

Rereading recently Kurt Vonnegut's 2005 book A Man without a Country reminded me of something that occurred in the early summer of 2001, a few months after the Supreme Court had chosen Bush to be President. As president of the American Humanist Association I was in Oslo, Norway, for a meeting of the board of the International Humanist and Ethical Union. As I had to make some remarks on an item of business, I opened with this  ---

"You may have noticed that I am wearing on my jacket a small Canadian flag pin. That is so that I will not be recognized as someone from a country that recently had a judicial coup d'etat."

The Europeans found that amusing

Wearing the same pin on a trip to Spain, I found that Spaniards were more likely to recognize the Maple Leaf emblem than many Americans, some of whom even think that Canada is part of the US.

Americans too often seem rather ignorant of geography. During the Reagan administration the governor of New Mexico wrote to an official of the Reagan regime, who responded that the governor should contact his own government in Mexico City. The governor wrote back that New Mexico has been a state since 1912, but the Reagan flunky did not believe him.

And so it goes, as Vonnegut would have said. BTW, Kurt and I went to high schools in Indianapolis on the same street and my wife and I were married in the Unitarian chapel designed by Kurt's father.

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