January 20, 2004

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Once every 4 years a small American state becomes the focus of American politics. There will be billions of bits of bloggy bullcr@p on the significance of it all. How it changes the race for the Presidency. You can fill in whatever other cliches you can dredge up.

To the 5 billion people in the world who don't give a sh!t about this, I promise this blog will remain Iowa-free except to make silly jokes for the next 4 years.

posted by Simon on 01.20.04 at 12:31 PM in the


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Another promise
Excerpt: Last week it was Iowa. This week it is New Hampshire. Population just over 1 million. Plus several thousand media for the week. Yet again I make a promise. The only mention of New Hampshire on this blog will be in reference to a book and the movie of s...
Weblog: Simon World
Tracked: January 27, 2004 10:41 AM


Fortunately, Dave Barry is covering the primaries so you don't have to.

posted by: Pixy Misa on 01.20.04 at 01:10 PM [permalink]

Even though I am an American, I have always thought we should use Iowa as the next voluntary test site for nuclear weapons. Why blow up beautiful atolls in the South Pacific, when we can lose a state that is only known for corn?

I spent some time growing up there for a year. That was long enough. *Shudder*

posted by: Helen on 01.20.04 at 01:53 PM [permalink]

Isn't it potatoes?

posted by: fumier on 01.20.04 at 03:03 PM [permalink]

No darling. That's Idaho.

posted by: Helen on 01.20.04 at 03:09 PM [permalink]

See, that's the joke. I thought it was potatoes too, at first.

All these American states sound the same.

posted by: Simon on 01.20.04 at 03:23 PM [permalink]

the whole iowa thing just proves how wierd america and americans are. how anyone can mistake the financial juggernauts rolling through the state of iowa for democracy in action is beyond me. it's clear that whoever has the most money wins in american politics, and the fact that the U.S is the worlds biggest economy despite this just proves my point that democracy is NOT the best way to run a country. give me a semi-benvolent dictatorship anytime. at least they can take longterm views and don't have to worry about pissing off the electorate

fortunately there are no discernible differences between the 2 lobby groups americans mistake for political parties anyway except for their attitudes towards medicare, and unless you're an american then you don't give a 5hit about that.

as for iowa.... is that 1 of the big square ones in the middle?

posted by: english on 01.20.04 at 03:31 PM [permalink]

You know what, English? Bite me. That kind of regionalistic and stereotypical attitude is precisely what winds me up. You don't see me running around complaining about all the English who seem to have a pole stuffed up their English channel, do you? Or saying that all Aussies must be like the Crocodile Hunter?

Americans do have two political parties that, perhaps if you ever looked at their platforms, are actually pretty wildly different. If you can't be bothered to go read two paragraphs on BBC, CNN, or whatever podunk news page you red, then don't comment about it.

As to where Iowa is, I normally wouldn't care that you don't know, but your response wound me up. So how about this: geography. Learn it. Love it. Be it.

I am perhaps the least rabid flag-waving among the Americans, but I do take exception to people taking the p--s out of my country if they haven't boned up on the details. If you read up and get informed and still want to rag on the U.S., then go for it.

posted by: Helen on 01.20.04 at 04:35 PM [permalink]

Iowa-free zone? Does that mean I'm being de-linked?

posted by: Jennifer on 01.20.04 at 05:01 PM [permalink]

and you know what - i'm glad you're pissed off.

on the politics issue - americans have 2 political parties certainly, but only americans can tell them apart - to everyone else 1 is right wing, and the other is even more right wing. i do watch BBC and CNN - perhaps you should know i work for a bank and so have endless news and information thrown at me from 3 different news agencies plus CNN on 1 TV and BBC on the other. i have more information than i will ever be able to use.

re stereotyping etc.. i have spent the last 15 years working with and for americans and can categorically state that their ignorance is encyclopaedic. i actually once went on a business trip to paris with a guy who had moved over from n.y. to our office in london to head up a team of traders in europe. he was genuinely surprised that the french spoke french and not english. he actually thought that all europeans spoke english and that their other languages were a sort of slang / dialect. he was even more amazed that i spoke french. he was 35 years old at the time and highly paid and highly regarded. however he had never been outside of the states - he had to apply for a passport to move to london.
last year the "global" head of our business was finally persuaded to visit asia (25% by $ value of her business) after 5 years as "global" head. she came to h.k. for 1 1/2 days. she would only come if accompanied by someone from the london office. she refused to stay longer, and refused to visit singapore because she had heard there was "civil unrest " there! she seemed surprised that we had electricity here.

i could go on but it'd be pointless.

re geography - i actually spent 6 mths backpacking in the states before college and have visited the u.s. regularly for work and or holidays (vacation in american) - admittedly mainly to new york but i have managed to fit in chicago, detroit, houston, dallas, san antonio, los angeles, miami, boston, charlotte and san francisco. i actually do know where iowa is but it's fun to wind up americans by asking about those big square ones. god knows why but it really seems to get up your noses.

in summary, americans individually are almost always really nice, sincere, funny, people (if sometimes scarily uninformed) who are generally great company, but as a country you're just wierd.

posted by: english on 01.20.04 at 05:04 PM [permalink]

Love Simon. Not chuffed with his colleague.

posted by: Helen on 01.20.04 at 05:15 PM [permalink]

freedom of speech - dontcha love it... it takes all sorts to make the world go round. i'm sorry if my views annoy / offend you but i can only base my views on my own experiences. anyway imagine how dull it would be if we all agreed on everything.

posted by: English on 01.20.04 at 05:20 PM [permalink]

Note to the pom: Iowa is bigger than England.

And it's the 26th largest state.

posted by: Pixy Misa on 01.20.04 at 10:21 PM [permalink]

Thanks for the info Pixy Misa - but what is the point? If size were everything then Russia, Canada and Australia would all be well ahead of the U.S.! Iowa may be large but to all intents and purposes it's empty.

and having a go at england isn't going to bother me i'm afraid. i happen to think england is a god-forsaken small muddy island with terrible weather, the inhabitants of which are living a mass delusion that they're still a world power and living in a semi-tropical paradise (you should read an english paper when it's snowed - they always seem surprised it could happen in england). if i never see england again it won't bother me much (except maybe for attending the odd rugby match at twickenhanm or cricket test match at lords).

posted by: English on 01.21.04 at 09:46 AM [permalink]

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