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Monday, November 5, 2012

Flashback Monday: How Reston Helped Win The Cold War, Using Multiple Choice Questions

scan0004.jpgOur favorite correspondent, The Peasant From Less Sought After South Reston, has made a shocking discovery: knowledge of the Reston ideal was once de rigeur for foreign service officers seeking to export aesthetically pleasing suburban color palettes democracy to the rest of the world during the Cold War. No, SRSLY, as the kids no longer say:

Whilst idly twiddling his manure-stained thumbs during our recent "severe weather event", the Peasant From Less Sought After South Reston made yet another astounding discovery of incalculable historical and geopolitical implications: in order to represent our nation abroad, aspiring U.S. diplomats once needed to possess an almost-carnal knowledge of Reston.

Yes, really.

The Peasant was perusing a carton of long-forgotten personal papers when he unearthed a dust-covered U.S. State Department booklet of his titled "1974 Examinations For Foreign Service Officer Careers". (Yes, diplomacy was career option #3 for the Peasant, should #1 of rutabaga farming or #2 of goat herding not work out for him). Among the practice questions for aspiring Kissingers such as the Peasant was one that nearly caused his head to rotate 360 degrees, a la Regan in The Exorcist, in stunned disbelief:
scan0005.jpg
Columbia and Reston are examples of which of the following?

(A) Urban sprawl at its worst
(B) Inner-city areas that have been redeveloped successfully
(C) Satellite cities with a full range of community services
(D) Plans of future towns to be built in the 1980s
(E) Scandinavian efforts at solving urban problems


That was easy -- (A), obviously!

This question, despite the unfortunate inclusion of our satanic twin that festers north of the Potomac, offers conclusive evidence of Reston's heretofore unknown influence as a power player in the global arena. Is it not enough that we have inspired nations from Ireland to South Korea to create their own beige new worlds? Is it not enough that our Reston is the linchpin of the secret quadripartite "Reston Republic" spanning the northern hemisphere from Manitoba to Scotland to England? No! The shining beacon on the hill that is Reston inspired an entire generation of American diplomats to bring enslaved people everywhere the accoutrements of democracy, such as covenants enforcement, design review boards, aesthetically pleasing color palettes, inspiring slogans to live by, and ever-rising annual assessments income redistribution plans.

We can only hope that our U.S. diplomats who bestowed these enlightening virtues of civilization upon the unwashed heathen masses were attired in suitably earth-toned pinstripes.
This could explain how our favorite earth-toned community became part of a major hearts-and-minds propaganda push in Eastern Europe back in the day.

6 comments:

  1. Bold development plans can change the direction of world history.

    Russia, for example, is proposing to end violence in the North Caucasus by hiring the French to build ski resorts.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/26/uk-russia-france-tourism-idUSLNE74P05620110526

    Yes, nothing brings out the inner Zen of a terrorist than having quick access to a weekend of Telemarking down the slopes.

    The propoganda value of Reston, however, is more on the order of John Law.

    Law would become the architect of what would later be known as "The Mississippi Bubble"; an event that would begin with the consolidation of the trading companies of Louisiana into a single monopoly (The Mississippi Company), and ended with the collapse of the Banque Generale and subsequent devaluing of The Mississippi Company's shares. The company's shares were ultimately rendered worthless, and initially inflated speculation about their worth led to widespread financial stress, which saw Law dismissed from his post as Chief Director of the Banque Generale end of 1720. Law ultimately fled the country disguised as a woman for his own safety.

    When Robert E. Simon's empire collapsed into the arms of Gulf Oil Corporation, Simon was forced to flee to Russia...hmmm...also dressed as a woman. However, Simon forgot to shave his beard, which resulted in his quick arrest by the KGB. The Russian people were horrified to learn from the KGB that Simon had created Reston, Virginia as a planned community of married transvestite capitalists devoted to building the largest military-industrial defense contractor industry in the world.

    Uh...well...it turns out the Russians of the early 1960s were right...about the military-industrial defense contractor thing...and probably the married transvestite thing, too...judging from the number of married transvestites that work at Northrop Grumman that be found shopping any evening at Trader Joe's.

    ReplyDelete
  2. There is a little-known variant of the Dunning-Kruger effect called the MDD effect. It is a cognitive bias in which unfunny individuals suffer from the illusion that they are comedians, mistakenly rating their funniness much higher than average.

    People with the MDD effect people will:

    1. tend to overestimate their own level of funniness;
    2. fail to recognize genuine funniness in others;
    3. fail to recognize the extremity of their lack of ability to be funny;

    There is no known cure.

    ReplyDelete
  3. There's also a little-known variant of Tourette's syndrome known as the Corncob in the Feh Dilemma.

    People with Corncob in the Feh Dilemma are bascially anally congested to point of having no sense of humor about people who are 1., 2. and 3. above.

    Fortunately, there IS a cure for Corncob in the Feh Dilemma.

    No, it's not a pretty cure...the extraction of which definitely hurts...but once that Corncob is removed the sufferer will be amazed at what they find to be funny.

    For example, Donald Trump has suffered from Corncob in the Feh Dilemma for years. Two years ago his Cornbob was surgically removed from his Feh, which thus allowed him to gain a sense of humor about a Kenyan communist being President of the United States of America.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Let a hundred Restons bloom!
    Ski resorts need Ski Resort New Towns don't they?
    Just what Putin and his ex-KGB honchos ordered! Ski Resort New Towns each with its own mandatory color scheme, enforced by a ruthless set of covenant enforcers!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Rose By Any Other NameNovember 5, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    Comrade Java Master!
    We will meet you for drinks at Breshnev's Mighty Fine Foods and Capitalist Running Dog Biker Bar for apres ski!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Eddie from North PointNovember 5, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    Feh, you are right on, MDD is not even remotely funny.He is so enamored with himself, he can't see the joke is on him!

    ReplyDelete

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