Friday, January 13, 2012

Mudengruber (A Political Parable)

One of my reunion buddies is a first grade teacher in Alaska. Her school attracts an interesting diversity of students, but this is the first year she has had a student from Germany. She noticed an interesting phenomenon, which I retell here. Make of it what you will.

Chris, the German child, didn't speak any English when he arrived in Alaska, and his new classmates were fascinated by his native tongue and anxious to make him feel welcome. One Alaskan child tried to speak to him in "German."

"The Alaskan kid thought he could just say anything that sounded German and Chris would be able to understand it," my friend recalled.

"Mudengruber, Chris," the Alaskan boy said enthusiastically. It sounded good, but it was gibberish, and Chris stared at him without responding. "Mudengruber! Mudengruber, Chris!" the first child said, this time a bit impatiently.

Now the rest of the class was beginning to think they, too, could speak "German."

"Mudengruber! Mudengruber!" they chorused.

Finally, they left Chris alone and went back to playing, and Chris wondered why he couldn't understand what everyone was trying to tell him when they said it so loudly, convincingly, and enthusiastically.

And now, as I listen to the various candidates and their followers speaking loudly, convincingly, and enthusiastically, I will end my string of political posts at two.

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