Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

You know,

I think National Geographic was much better before they started printing reader letters a few years back. Got mine the other day, and it's ALWAYS the same thing--no matter what story they print or how innocuous it might seem, there are always letters from Angry People Who Take Great Pride in Their Ability to Be Righteously Indignant, who can't believe the Geographic would stoop to doing a story on Y, because Y is evil, and Americans are the worst abusers of Y (because we're illiterate and evil), and we pump Y into puppies and grandmothers just to watch them suffer.

We've subscribed to the Geographic since 1971, and have stacks of them squirrelled all over the place, and despite the self-loathing bitterness evident in so many of the letters and the obvious effect it has had on the editorial slant of the publication, I suppose I'll keep subscribing.

But it's less a magazine than it once was.

One of their history page describes the Society's founders thusly:

The group included geographers, explorers, teachers, lawyers, cartographers, military officers, and financiers—all learned, well-traveled men distinguished by a love of knowledge and a thirst for discovery and achievement. As one of them pointed out, they were the “first explorers of the Grand Canyon and the Yellowstone, those who had carried the American flag farthest north, who had measured the altitude of our famous mountains, traced the windings of our coasts and rivers, determined the distribution of flora and fauna, enlightened us in the customs of the aborigines, and marked out the path of storm and flood.”

I think they would think the same thing about what their journal has become. One need only re-read that paragraph and immediately you can imagine the howls of protest were such a group to get together to form a similar venture today.

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