February 26th, 2004

you are here

of thee I sing

Some guy in our office just got back from Canada and was talking about how it was cold, but he wasn't sure how cold because everything was in °c, and how they drove places, but he wasn't sure how fast because everything is in kilometers per hour up there. Then of course some other nitwit pipes in about how stupid canadians are for having all those silly metric units. heh, yeah, canadians are so dumb for using scientific units, what the hell are they thinking?

I really want to be patriotic and love America. But it's so damn hard sometimes. I mean, I'm proud of a lot of things in our country... ethnic diversity, the bill of rights, democratic elections, roads, electricity, technology. America has cranked out some really good ideas and inventions. But I have no respect for people who are just so blindly self-absorbed that they accept everything American as golden. We make mistakes. In many ways we're really pretty backwards and fucked up. One of these ways is definately the standard system of measurement.

It's not based on 10s or even 16. It's not logical. It has nothing to do with science. But we cling to it, and suffer spending money to teach our kids both systems in schools, and pay for the consequences of screwed up conversions. We buy metric and standard wrenches, we buy milk in gallons but soda in liters. Why? Who the fuck cares?

Most everyone I know is always saying stuff like, "I put $15 worth of gas in the car the other day." or "I filled my gas tank two hours ago." How would that hurt us if gas was sold in liters all the sudden? We go for a run and go for 50 minutes, then the next weekend we go to a 10K race. How would it change things if the mile markers were in kilometers? Kansas City is three hours from Wichita. Pittsburg is four. Again, who cares what units the distances on the highway signs are about?

We cling to standard units out of sheer ignorance and pride. Our system, no matter how flawed or illogical, is THE ONE because it's what America uses and America is perfect... we always bomb the right enemies, always cut the right social programs, always aid the right guerrilla revolutionaries. We're right because we have the most nuclear bombs. We're right because we use 25% of the world's oil supply to fuel our giant SUVs just because we can. America just rules all around, doesn't it?

Oh well. I still like my country. It is pretty damn cold up in Canada, I couldn't live there. Cold is cold, the comfort of knowing that it's being reported in °c just doesn't bring enough comfort.