by Ben Kleinman

By now you've probably seen the world map in the UC mezzanine. If you haven't, I suggest you stop by -- it's rather impressive. Seeing that map brought back memories of the statistic floated around in the late 1980's which held that only a pitiful percentage (around 60) of Americans could actually locate the United States on a world map. I guess we owe a debt of gratitude to the benevolent folks in purchasing. Because of the way they spend our money Tulane students will always be able to saunter over to the UC and discover their place in the world.

Another debt is owed to those who decided to put the United States in the most prominent position on the map. Why is the US always right in the middle? (Do maps in other countries center around Belize or Belgium? I've seen maps that had the south pole at the top and the north pole at the bottom, maps with Brazil in the middle, and maps with California where we usually see the equator. I have yet to see a map with the state of Texas labeled 'Home of the Dallas Cowboys -- They were good once.') Perhaps Rand-Mcnally is on the PIG's payroll -- or maybe Atlas is part of Rupert Murdoch's media empire (for those of you scratching your heads, 'PIG' refers to Newt 'Zhirinovsky' Gingrich). Now, I'm not going to bitch and moan about the Republicans throughout this entire article. After all, that would get boring after a while. But there is no denying that those 'friends of America' (amazing how much friends looks like fiends when typing) have a perverse sense of what it means to be an American.

They're pretentious enough to assume that America is the center of the world. I suppose all cultures like to believe that they are superior to others, but Republicans often carry this ethnic bigotry to an extreme. As happened when then-President-and-now-just-another-unemployed-politician Bush sent the great US Armed Services on a police mission -- invading our ally Panama to serve an arrest warrant on their President, Manuel Noriega. (Imagine Iran sending in troops and arresting Clinton. Or Kruschev sending the Red Army after Nixon. However justified those actions may be, they're just not done. Unless you're George Bush, leader of the Republican Party.) But I'm willing to admit that the issue of foreign policy can be difficult. After all, the job of presidents and congressmen is to represent Americans and further the interests of America. And this begs a question -- what are the interests of America? To me America is freedoms and responsibilities. The freedom to elect my leaders and the responsibility to vote. The freedom to move away from this country and the responsibility to obey the rules while I am here. The freedom to do what I want -- abridged by the responsibility of not hurting anyone else. The freedom to walk down the hall naked, burning an American flag and shouting "I just gotta have a wildebeest" at the top of my lungs. The responsibility not to do so during quiet hours.

But PIG and the gang have a different view of America. To them, America is the land of opportunity. The opportunity to fulfill the dreams of Reagen, Quayle, Bush, and North. The opportunity to make a quick buck. The opportunity to give a friend a job. The opportunity to degrade women in a public forum. The opportunity to defame the president of the United States of America in the halls of congress. The opportunity to drive the middle class into poverty, deny them welfare, and hope they go away and stop annoying those productive businessmen.

Anyway, this opportunity is so important to Republicans that they just had to make sure the US was the focal point of the map (well, it was that and the small fee the American fascist party offered GOPAC). However, it might not be entirely the fault of Republicans. It's not that they haven't done some stupid things in the past (like last Tuesday: PIG was asked by reporters why his wife was given a job she wasn't qualified for and PIG bellowed 'JOB! I TOLD HER A WOMAN'S PLACE WAS IN THE HOME.' This is true. I heard it from Oliver North and he'd never lie. OK fine, the real truth -- he wanted to know why they were accusing his wife of being underqualified and the reporter said, essentially, I asked you wife in an interview and your wife said she wasn't qualified) and will probably continue to do stupid things in the future (like attempt to repeal the strongest and most effective crime bill ever passed), but I'm sure Dem's share some of the blame for the map issue also. I'd find it much easier to blame them if I wasn't so ecstatic about another map on campus.

For those of you who don't go to class anymore allow me to clue you in. We now have a campus map! Yes, if you ever get disoriented or lost on our vast 110 acre campus, just make your way to the intersection of McAlister and Freret and right where we used to have a nice informative kiosk you'll find a map. One more excuse for missing class is gone. No more can I say O was lost and confused. Lost like a Republican in Congress. Confused like the PIG when he looked up ethical in the dictionary and instead read the entry for corrupt.

Last modified: 1995/96 academic year?