Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Giant elf adventures in Vietnam

Goin with the semi-shorter form to cover a few of the doozies Megan laid today. Minus the post already covered quite well by *Clem* (my bad) just below.

They might be giants: I loved They Might Be Giants when I was 14 or so. Megan sucks extra today for using their name, twice. Anyway,
I am starting to feel as if I should just shout "Fee! Fi! Fo! Fum!" before I enter a room here. People back home stare occasionally, but here a near-majority point and chatter. Their eyes, meltingly, ask a question they have neither the courage, nor the English, to speak out loud. I cannot bear to deny them.

"188 centimeters," I say. It took me ten minutes to work out the first time, but now I'm practiced. Their eyes widen, as if I had suddenly gotten even taller. Smiles. Giggles.

"My God, you very tall girl."

"Yes," I agree. "Very tall."

Perhaps it was unwise to pack so many high heels. And what could I have been thinking when I tossed in the turquoise suede platforms?
Gotta love that they all leave out "are a" when speaking to Megan. I'm sure it's actually happened and yes each language has its own individual structures which show up as characteristic mistakes in other languages, but still.

Next door neighbors: [Megan voice] Vietnam and China share a border. This means one of two things; Vietnam will be able to improve their economic situation, or they won't be able to. I don't know.

The beginning of the end of history: [Megan voice] Oh yeah, Vietnam is communist! [/Megan voice]
There's a natural tendency to blame Vietnamese poverty on the legacy of communism, and of course, some of that is fair. Vietnam suffers in many ways from the legacy of state-owned enterprises; things like financial markets, and financial accounting, are still novelties that budding capitalists are struggling to get the hang of. And corruption, which is such a big problem that it is actually mentioned as something that needs fixing by government officials we interview, is undoubtedly at least partly attributable to the insanities of a non-market system.

But in fact, Vietnam is mostly just poor because it's poor, just as it's always been poor--and just as the overwhelming majority of the human race has always been poor.
Or cuz it was ravaged by imperial and civil war for decades, and pretty much every square inch of the country done got blowed up 3 or 4 times, at least? N cause the economic engine of the West wouldn't have anything to do with them until the 90s?
After some badness I'll be kind and spare you, Megan ends this post with
Communism stalled progress, but unlike in many parts of Eastern Europe, it didn't actually reverse it. And judging by the enthusiasm for education and human capital acquisition (one entrepreneur simultaneously advocated more spending on socialized medicine . . . and raising school fees so that there would be more money in the educational system) it seems likely to be a fairly temporary delay at that.
Socialized medicine and higher school fees are good. Megan said this. I am stunned and stumped, and can go no further.

6 comments:

Clem said...

Sheesh, I go a few weeks without posting, and then get mistaken for M. when I do.

Fire Brad.

brad said...

Oh chreebus.
Sorry clem. My focus has been on the Ron Paul thread over at S,N! n I done fucked up.
Excellent post, at any rate.

M. Bouffant said...

Surely you didn't think I would've bothered to look anything up? That would be more like work & less obsessive.

Maybe brad should make the "posted by" line bigger, however, 'cause I skipped over it & assumed it was brad.

But now we know that facts/stats are clem's dep't. And photoshoppery. And not being as obsessed as some of us.

Clem said...

Is there another blogger as taken with their own physical dimensions as McArdle is with hers?

New poll idea: "What do the Vietnamese say when they see McArdle approaching?"

a) "Call the museum, their SAM-2's gone walkies."
b) "Quick, hide the electronics and the internal combustion engines!"
c) "That's Ann Althouse?"
d) "Look, it's Larry Wachowski."
e) "Arc Light!"

Anonymous said...

Oh, for crap sake, can this woman go one day without reminding everyone how tall she is? Memo to Megan: being tall is an accident of birth, not a damn mark of character or achievement.

Rickm said...

Her commenters sound like Lord Cromer.