It is Thanksgiving week, so here is something light. If you aren’t watching Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, get to it. See you next week.
(Should you actually want to ruin your holiday with serious reading on this issue, my previous thoughts are here, here and here.)
Hat-tip to Daniel Nexon on Duck of Minerva for this one.
This is great, yet another clever inside joke for the field. Here a few thoughts:
1. This is yet more evidence that IR needs some kind of serious treatment of alternative media presentations of what we do. Movies, video games, and now videos like this or the Chinese professor ad, all bolster my growing belief that we are missing something by not seriously examining media and IR. Reading – what IR-types do all day, cause its all we did in grad school – is obviously competing with lots of other sources of information in our digital age. Anyone who has taught undergrads for more than a few months knows that they don’t like doing the reading, but they love digital media. In the same way we now teach more and more IR film courses, we more generally need to adapt our pedagogy to the multifarious ways our students absorb information. NB: This is not an argument to dumb-down the field with video; it is a pedagogical concern. IR grad programs will still be the chilling, totalist, never-exercise, read-all-day, live-on-cigarettes-and-microwavable-food boot camp for you brain.
2. I am impressed how much knowledge of detail the authors of the video assume. Insofar as this is meant for a general audience, that reflects a fair amount of economic literacy in your average Joe viewer. Consider all this insider jargon: ‘capitalism with Chinese characteristics,’ DoT Secretary Geithner is only referred to as ‘Timmy G,’ ‘reserve currency,’ ‘currency manipulator,’ the list of Chinese premiers, the joke that GM means ‘government motors,’ Argentina’s 2002 default/meltdown, ‘buyer of last resort,’ ‘dollar denomination.’ That is a nice compliment to how much about econ the general public has learned since the Great Recession broke.
3. Great jokes: Uncle Sam dances and fires a machine gun in the air as Obama wears ‘USA No. 1’ bling. Somehow they managed to build a rhyme with ‘capitalism with Chinese characteristics.’ Did anyone else notice that the Chinese panda looked like Panda from Tekken? Obama’s dog died from lead in the Chinese dog food, complete with a green cloud around the dog. Adding the macarena dance from the 1990s was superb. I am embarrassed to admit that I thought the macarena was pretty cool dances moves back in the 1990s golden age…
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