DAILY BRIEFING
Goofus & Gallantus

Sep. 16 - It's a little past 5am again. I woke up early this morning to catch the streaming audio of the Giants-Cowboys game. For some reason it's not being offered this week.

As if that wasn't bad enough, I wrote a voluminous blog last night that I now discover not to have been saved. Poof! It's frustrating to have lost that work. I blame my lousy blogging software. That's also annoying, because my lousy blogging software was written by me.

So you'll forgive me if I summarize what I can remember of the blog and move on.

I wrote about a couple of Americans we met at the bar we'd gone to for the early game on Sunday. (Danish television—even cable—only broadcasts one game per Sunday during the regular season: one of the late afternoon games, which begin at about 4pm on the east coast, which is 10pm here. So if you want to see one of the early games, you need to have satellite TV or you need to go to the only bar in Copenhagen that shows NFL football. If you want to see a Sunday or Monday night game, you need to move back to the States.)

There was a lot of football talk, obviously. I described it in what was probably superfluous detail. (My loss may have been your gain.) On the bike ride home, I realized those were the first two Americans I'd talked to face-to-face since moving here in March, apart from the brief deluge of wedding guests last month.

Talking to them with Trine and our friend Jesper had brought something home to me about European ideas about Americans. I realized that Europeans have two idealized archetypes of Americans—archetypes which I identified in last night's vanished blog as Americanus goofus and Americanus gallantus.

I then decided I had written enough and promised to explain my theory of goofus and gallantus in the next blog.

Which I will.

Anarchists of the World, Whatever!

It was on this date in 1920 that a horse-drawn carriage loaded with dynamite exploded in front of the J.P. Morgan & Company headquarters at 23 Wall Street in New York's financial district. Thirty Americans were killed in the blast. More than 400 were injured.

Although the crime was never solved, it was believed to have been the work of the Anarchists, angry internationalists who believed the only good institutions were smoldering ruins. Anarchist Leon Czolgosz had assassinated President McKinley two decades earlier, on September 6, 1901, in Buffalo—an assassination that caused Teddy Roosevelt and the bully pulpit.

(Despite similarities in spelling, Anarchists should not be confused with Antichrists, Arachnids, or Pimentos.)

It was perhaps no accident that the Morgan bombing took place on the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower's departure from England. The Mayflower carried its cargo of Puritan Bastards ("Pilgrims") to Massachusetts, where they became the first tourists in history to visit Plymouth Rock.

Anarchists hate tourists.

Today is the birthday of Madeline Zima (1985), Jennifer Tilly (1961), David Copperfield (1956), Mickey Rourke (1956), Robin Yount (1955), Ed Begley, Jr. (1949), Peter Falk (1927), B.B. King (1925), Lauren Bacall (1924), and Allen Funt (1914).

It's Independence Day in both Mexico and Papua New Guinea.

2003, The Moron's Almanac™

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