June 26th, 2007

What color was the sky on your planet?

When I was a kid (I'm probably talking about the middle sixties) in northern Delaware, the sky had a pale green band on the horizon during the day. It seemed to be there any time I looked for it. It was quite a pretty color, but was presumably a result of air pollution, and was eliminated by the Clean Air Act.

And there were *bright* green pools (areas between the clouds that looked like lakes in the cloudscape) in some sunsets.

I am not bad-tempered enough to do this justice

I listen to NPR a lot--I count on the station to report on horrors, but not to horrify me itself.

However, today's Here and Now inspired me to send the following email:
12:20 AM, June 26:

The interviewer was talking about China. She just said (approximately), "Imagine when 900 million people acquire inner lives and stop walking in lockstep." They've always had inner lives.

If your interviewer didn't notice until she was told the story of a suicidal prostitute, it's an astonishing blind spot.


Full disclosure: The sound on my computer doesn't work, so I quoted from memory, but I'm pretty sure I got it right.

It gets worse: I didn't realize until I started putting this post together that the man being interviewed (Rob Gifford, author of "China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power") who'd also been astonished by the story from the prostitute into realizing that Chinese people have inner lives, was an NPR reporter.

Yes, I know racism exists--I just didn't realize it was quite that pervasive, nor was I expecting to hear such an example of blatant stupidity on NPR.

Please do my homework. Could someone with a functioning soundcard check on whether I got the gist of the quotes right?