What's this Ken Burns article saying about US and Germany?

The greatest TV in history is being made right now. The worst TV in history is being made right now.

Which of these statements is the MOST true?

The United States fought with the Germans in the Second World War
0
No votes
The United States fought alongside the Germans in the Second World War
0
No votes
The United States fought against the Germans in the Second World War
15
100%
 
Total votes : 15

What's this Ken Burns article saying about US and Germany?

Postby RaulMonkey on Sat Nov 25, 2006 6:56 pm

All right, tell me if I'm brainfarting right now or if this article makes no fucking sense: Ken Burns inspired by statistics to make documentary on Second World War

The Associated Press wrote:WALPOLE, N.H. (AP) - Ken Burns thought he was done with war movies after his series "The Civil War." But he says two troubling statistics fuelled the creation of "The War," a 14-hour documentary about the Second World War.

"It was really a couple of statistics that got me," Burns said. "One was that we're losing a thousand (Second World War) veterans a day, and the other is that our children just don't know what's going on."

Burns said he was astonished at the number of high school graduates who believe the United States fought with the Germans in the Second World War.

"That to me was terrifying, just stupefying," said Burns, who will show the first two-hour instalment of "The War" to Dartmouth College on Dec. 1.

The series follows four American towns - Waterbury, Conn., Mobile, Ala., Sacramento, Calif., and Luverne, Minn. - through the war years, focusing both on the soldiers from the towns sent to war and the families and friends left behind. "The point of view is from ordinary people, who do the fighting and who do the dying in all wars," Burns said.


I'm a University graduate, and I believe that the United States fought with the Germans in the Second World War. Unless the article means fought alongside, in which case I would accuse it of being poorly written, and I would be compelled to ask all Americans: do any of you know anybody who seriously believes the U.S. and Germany were on the SAME SIDE in WWII? And if you do, what the fuck, man?
Last edited by RaulMonkey on Sat Nov 25, 2006 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby TonyWilson on Sat Nov 25, 2006 7:01 pm

*Thinks long and hard about making a "friendly fire/trigger happy yanks" joke*




























































*chickens out*
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Postby Fievel on Sat Nov 25, 2006 7:02 pm

I'm assuming "with" means alongside. Burns is no douche when it comes to war documentaries. I'm really, REALLY looking forward to this one!!!

Another way of looking at it is that the US fought against the Germans, not with them.
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Postby Lady Sheridan on Sat Nov 25, 2006 7:07 pm

I'm with you Raul, talk about misuse of proper English. This must be one of those "write for a third grade reading level" articles? :? Maybe Ken Burns was similarily misled...

I've met alot of really really stupid students, and I don't know of any who thought the Germans were our Allies in WWII. They have usually played "Call of Duty" or seen Indiana Jones.

Then again, I did sit in a Geography class with a student who didn't know where Russia was.
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Postby minstrel on Sat Nov 25, 2006 7:10 pm

I remember a very old Mad magazine parody of the old men's adventure magazines in the 50s and 60s. The fake story went something like this:

"I fought with the boys of the 82nd Airborne!

Then I fought with the boys of the 103rd Infantry!

Then I fought with the boys of the 54th Artillery!

Seems I couldn't get along with anyone ...."



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Postby The Garbage Man on Sat Nov 25, 2006 7:23 pm

Hmmm... that's an interesting semantic question.

The issue is less ambiguous in the singular: if someone said, "I fought with The Hamburglar this morning," I would assume they meant they fought against him. But when you're referring to a group, especially a country, I'd be less inclined to assume "with" = "against."

It'd be interesting to see how the question was posed in the survey. If "with" was used, the statistic is pretty much meaningless. There are a great many ignorant Americans, but I agree with Raul - I have a hard time believing even a small minority think America fought alongside Germany in WWII. Hopefully, even if they weren't sure, most would make the connection Hitler = bad, Hitler = German, American must have fought against the Germans.
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Postby RaulMonkey on Sat Nov 25, 2006 7:27 pm

The Garbage Man wrote:Hmmm... that's an interesting semantic question.

The issue is less ambiguous in the singular: if someone said, "I fought with The Hamburglar this morning," I would assume they meant they fought against him. But when you're referring to a group, especially a country, I'd be less inclined to assume "with" = "against."

It'd be interesting to see how the question was posed in the survey. If "with" was used, the statistic is pretty much meaningless.


So you're suggesting Ken Burns went to make a war documentary based on false intelligence.
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Postby TonyWilson on Sat Nov 25, 2006 7:38 pm

RaulMonkey wrote:
The Garbage Man wrote:Hmmm... that's an interesting semantic question.

The issue is less ambiguous in the singular: if someone said, "I fought with The Hamburglar this morning," I would assume they meant they fought against him. But when you're referring to a group, especially a country, I'd be less inclined to assume "with" = "against."

It'd be interesting to see how the question was posed in the survey. If "with" was used, the statistic is pretty much meaningless.


So you're suggesting Ken Burns went to make a war documentary based on false intelligence.



You do realise that the alleged intelligence could have been deployed within 45 minutes right? He had to go make that documentary, you fuckin hippy. :lol:
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Postby The Vicar on Sat Nov 25, 2006 9:38 pm

RaulMonkey wrote:So you're suggesting Ken Burns went to make a war documentary based on false intelligence.


Wait a minute, wait a minute.
This is sounding soooo familiar.
.
........................................
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Postby minstrel on Sat Nov 25, 2006 9:47 pm

The Vicar wrote:
RaulMonkey wrote:So you're suggesting Ken Burns went to make a war documentary based on false intelligence.


Wait a minute, wait a minute.
This is sounding soooo familiar.


And I looooove where this is going ...
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Postby Peven on Sat Nov 25, 2006 10:42 pm

The Vicar wrote:
RaulMonkey wrote:So you're suggesting Ken Burns went to make a war documentary based on false intelligence.


Wait a minute, wait a minute.
This is sounding soooo familiar.


yeah, but it was false intelligence fed to him by the British. :P
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Postby The Garbage Man on Sun Nov 26, 2006 3:33 am

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"In this vial are skin cells from the right palm of a German soldier... these cells were found on the left palm of an American soldier... thus proving incontestably that the American and German armed forces were holding hands and skipping through a field of tulips!"
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Postby Lord Voldemoo on Sun Nov 26, 2006 6:47 am

Just for the record, we did fight against the Germans in WWII. Just in case anyone's confused...

Insofar as Burns' quote is concerned, I tend to think of it as "fought with" vs. "fought against." Therefore to say that we "fought with" the Germans as in we "fought alongside" the Germans makes sense to me in this context. Maybe it's improper English, but...let's be honest, you knew what he meant.

As far as the potential for high school and younger age students to have no idea who we fought with or against in WWII...I have no problem believing Burns' claims. WWII, unfortunately, has slowly become one of those wars for which younger generations now have no living context. I do, my grandfather was a B24 Liberator pilot. But kids who are 16 probably would not.

The group here (i hope) is more educated than most, but I know of any number of people who have no idea that the War of 1812 was even fought, much less who we fought against. To many of the younger generation WWII is no more important to them than that. A distant war fought by a distant generation that is largely gone.
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Postby Al Shut on Sun Nov 26, 2006 8:14 am

The thought of an 14 hours documentary beeing made because of poor english is pretty funny.

The thought of highschool graduates knowing shit about WWII would be funny if it weren't so sad. Although it's nice to have ones prejudices about 'the stupid americans' confirmed :twisted:
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Postby Ribbons on Sun Nov 26, 2006 8:20 am

Lord Voldemoo wrote:The group here (i hope) is more educated than most, but I know of any number of people who have no idea that the War of 1812 was even fought, much less who we fought against.


Those fools! Everybody knows the United States went to war with Japan! It was Japan, right?
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Postby SilentBobX on Sun Nov 26, 2006 10:08 am

I'm sure Ken Burns will give us a great documentary, but then again, all this says is that kids today aren't paying attention in school. Why is it that kids need celebrities and filmmakers to educate them when the information they need is online or in books?

Sadly I do feel the current crop of kids aren't exactly the brightest bulbs on the tree(to coin a holiday reference), but if they just paid attention to their schoolwork with the diligence a trekkie pays to the continuity errors in a trek episode, they might actually learn something.

How many WWII movies, specials, books, etc are out there already now? And of course, the games like Medal of Honor and Call of Duty. Anyone whose brain isn't fried from a steady diet of meth for breakfast, beer for lunch, and heroin for dinner can tell we fought against the germans in WWI and II.

Instead of a new documentary, let me make some recommendations to anyone who wants to learn about WWII:

DVD:

The Longest Day(almost shot documentary style, great film about the Normandy invasion, altho it shortchanges the Canadiens, who weren't featured,
great performances)

Patton: Shows you the mindset of one of the greatest military leaders of the war. George C. Scott's best performance imho

Battle of Britain: Very well done story, beautifully acted, and shot. This shows the RAF during its finest hour and is a better movie depicting aerial combat than Top Gun.

Battle of the Bulge: Not 100% historically acurate(what WWII film is?) but Robert Shaw shows you how to play a nazi that isn't over the top or cartoonish.


Books:

The Illustrated History of WWII by John Ray. Almost a cliff's notes type of book but it makes for fascinating reading, and covers the war beginning to end on its major points. By no means a complete account, but a good starter.

Last Days of the Reich by John Lucas: Covers atrocities committed by the nazis and the russians during 1945 leading up to the final shot.

These are of course by no means any substitute for a real education on this subject, but it might start people on the road to understanding this conflict. And I of course do not brand myself an expert on World War II but I believe these will help.

Mahalo
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Postby buster00 on Sun Dec 03, 2006 12:54 am

For me, Ken Burns gets a permanent pass on the strength of his Baseball series.


I think the guy who committed the syntax error must have been Ken Boo-urns. Different dude.
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Postby TheBaxter on Sun Dec 03, 2006 1:21 am

it seems pretty obvious that he, or the article's author, whoever wrote that, meant "fought with" as in "fought alongside."

we americans are lazy in how we use language, so we use "fought with" to sometimes mean "fought alongside" and sometimes to mean "fought against," but grammatically speaking, the proper use of "fought with" is to mean "fought alongside."
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Postby Lady Sheridan on Sun Dec 03, 2006 1:43 am

SilentBobX wrote:I'm sure Ken Burns will give us a great documentary, but then again, all this says is that kids today aren't paying attention in school. Why is it that kids need celebrities and filmmakers to educate them when the information they need is online or in books?

Sadly I do feel the current crop of kids aren't exactly the brightest bulbs on the tree(to coin a holiday reference), but if they just paid attention to their schoolwork with the diligence a trekkie pays to the continuity errors in a trek episode, they might actually learn something


I don't know if it is neccessarily stupider kids, although it might be--I'd have to say the current crop of freshmen I deal with are Neandrathals in both in looks and brain capacity.

I think it is a general failing on the part of American schools and parenting. Schools are underfunded, understaffed and the stress put on standardized testing has killed American education. The teacher ed programs are full of red tape and hoops to jump--the stress isn't on the teachers *knowing* the subjects they will be faced with teaching, it's on theories of teaching and problem-solving. The only people who manage to make it through are the same high strung robots who design the programs. I just saw a program on our local news about how teachers are taking seminars to teach kids handwriting--kids no longer know how to *write* and the teachers "don't know how to deal with it--we were never TAUGHT this." It was bewildering. How can children not know how to WRITE for God's sake?

And today's parents are less and less concerned if their kid actually knows anything about the wider world--they're too busy preening them into empty trophy children who will major in business administration. They want them to have a college degree but they don't really care if they actually KNOW anything.

This is just the end result of a long American distaste for education. Americans prided themselves on *working* their way to the top. Education was a sissy, girly thing that women dealt with. "Those who can't do, teach" as the saying goes. It's rather ironic in today's world, given that we've shut down our trade schools so that kids are forced to attend those brainwashing, liberal universities full of fluffy nonsense...like who fought who in WWII.
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Postby SilentBobX on Sun Dec 03, 2006 11:33 am

Agreed Lady Sheridan. It's a general failing across the board and the placement of blame only enflames the problems, instead of addressing them, which should be addressed by all concerned.

Parents, students, teachers, and administration ALL need to look at the problem of greater education in general and work HARDER toward solving the problem. The old saying 'Knowledge is power' while being a cliche, doesn't make it any less true.
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Postby AtomicHyperbole on Sun Dec 03, 2006 12:41 pm

SilentBobX wrote:I'm sure Ken Burns will give us a great documentary, but then again, all this says is that kids today aren't paying attention in school. Why is it that kids need celebrities and filmmakers to educate them when the information they need is online or in books?

Sadly I do feel the current crop of kids aren't exactly the brightest bulbs on the tree(to coin a holiday reference), but if they just paid attention to their schoolwork with the diligence a trekkie pays to the continuity errors in a trek episode, they might actually learn something.

How many WWII movies, specials, books, etc are out there already now? And of course, the games like Medal of Honor and Call of Duty. Anyone whose brain isn't fried from a steady diet of meth for breakfast, beer for lunch, and heroin for dinner can tell we fought against the germans in WWI and II.

Instead of a new documentary, let me make some recommendations to anyone who wants to learn about WWII:

DVD:

The Longest Day(almost shot documentary style, great film about the Normandy invasion, altho it shortchanges the Canadiens, who weren't featured,
great performances)

Patton: Shows you the mindset of one of the greatest military leaders of the war. George C. Scott's best performance imho

Battle of Britain: Very well done story, beautifully acted, and shot. This shows the RAF during its finest hour and is a better movie depicting aerial combat than Top Gun.

Battle of the Bulge: Not 100% historically acurate(what WWII film is?) but Robert Shaw shows you how to play a nazi that isn't over the top or cartoonish.


Books:

The Illustrated History of WWII by John Ray. Almost a cliff's notes type of book but it makes for fascinating reading, and covers the war beginning to end on its major points. By no means a complete account, but a good starter.

Last Days of the Reich by John Lucas: Covers atrocities committed by the nazis and the russians during 1945 leading up to the final shot.

These are of course by no means any substitute for a real education on this subject, but it might start people on the road to understanding this conflict. And I of course do not brand myself an expert on World War II but I believe these will help.

Mahalo


I can't understand. Call of Duty and Medal Of honour are two of the biggest gaming franchises there are, played by kids from 15 upwawrds. I'm sure the majority know the Germans were fought AGAINST...

BTW you missed out Band Of Brothers! How COULD you? :P
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Sun Dec 03, 2006 1:41 pm

Lord Voldemoo wrote:Just for the record, we did fight against the Germans in WWII. Just in case anyone's confused...


with the exception of The Ford Motor Co., Henry Ford, General Motors Corp., Eastman Kodak company, The Union Banking Corporation, Prescott Bush, Bert Walker,Charles Lindbergh, and a bunch of other corporations and rich folks.

after all, the business of America is business, and war (along with concentration camps) is rather profitable :roll:...
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Postby DinoDeLaurentiis on Mon Dec 04, 2006 11:57 am

minstrel wrote:The English language is a precision instrument. The problem is, a lot of people use it improperly.


Tell a me about it, eh? Do any of a you know how hard it is for a the Dino to understand some of a you goddamm putzes?!?
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Postby Peven on Mon Dec 04, 2006 12:04 pm

Lady Sheridan wrote:
SilentBobX wrote:I'm sure Ken Burns will give us a great documentary, but then again, all this says is that kids today aren't paying attention in school. Why is it that kids need celebrities and filmmakers to educate them when the information they need is online or in books?

Sadly I do feel the current crop of kids aren't exactly the brightest bulbs on the tree(to coin a holiday reference), but if they just paid attention to their schoolwork with the diligence a trekkie pays to the continuity errors in a trek episode, they might actually learn something


I don't know if it is neccessarily stupider kids, although it might be--I'd have to say the current crop of freshmen I deal with are Neandrathals in both in looks and brain capacity.

I think it is a general failing on the part of American schools and parenting. Schools are underfunded, understaffed and the stress put on standardized testing has killed American education. The teacher ed programs are full of red tape and hoops to jump--the stress isn't on the teachers *knowing* the subjects they will be faced with teaching, it's on theories of teaching and problem-solving. The only people who manage to make it through are the same high strung robots who design the programs. I just saw a program on our local news about how teachers are taking seminars to teach kids handwriting--kids no longer know how to *write* and the teachers "don't know how to deal with it--we were never TAUGHT this." It was bewildering. How can children not know how to WRITE for God's sake?

And today's parents are less and less concerned if their kid actually knows anything about the wider world--they're too busy preening them into empty trophy children who will major in business administration. They want them to have a college degree but they don't really care if they actually KNOW anything.

This is just the end result of a long American distaste for education. Americans prided themselves on *working* their way to the top. Education was a sissy, girly thing that women dealt with. "Those who can't do, teach" as the saying goes. It's rather ironic in today's world, given that we've shut down our trade schools so that kids are forced to attend those brainwashing, liberal universities full of fluffy nonsense...like who fought who in WWII.


so, LS, ever thought of going into teaching yourself? take all that passion you have for knowledge and pass it on to the younglings.
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Postby Lady Sheridan on Mon Dec 04, 2006 5:46 pm

Peven wrote:
so, LS, ever thought of going into teaching yourself? take all that passion you have for knowledge and pass it on to the younglings.


Oh certainly. I think, despite my pipe dreams of film, I will probably end up teaching. My original plan was to go and get my MA in European or Russian history, tormenting college students by assigning Trotsky's "My Life" but I've changed my mind. My medieval professor says I would waste myself there, and I think he might be right--plus there's just something unsettling about many of the students who take Russian history...you'll usually find them in the Nazi Germany classes as well...


So I think I'll do my MA in English literature, specializing in medieval and Renaissance. I haven't decided if I want to jump into grad school just yet I hate the idea of my 20's being stuck in school--I'm almost 25 :shock: But I do think teaching would be alot of fun, if only to torment generations of American youth by forcing them to read Beowulf and marking them down if they read modern language editions of Chaucer.
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Postby Adam Balm on Mon Dec 04, 2006 5:51 pm

Peven wrote:so, LS, ever thought of going into teaching yourself? take all that passion you have for knowledge and pass it on to the younglings.


second.
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Postby so sorry on Mon Dec 04, 2006 6:00 pm

The Associated Press wrote:
WALPOLE, N.H. (AP) - Ken Burns thought he was done with war movies after his series "The Civil War." But he says two troubling statistics fuelled the creation of "The War," a 14-hour documentary about the Second World War.


personally, I think he did this documentary for more selfish reasons (like getting paid!) then because he was 'disturbed' by a few statistics, but whatever his motivations were, I'm glad he did it... he's great at this shit.

And regarding the state of American schools, I blame ZombieZoneSolutions for poluting and dumbifiying our youth.
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Postby TheBaxter on Mon Dec 04, 2006 6:42 pm

so sorry wrote:...poluting and dumbifiying...


:sigh:

nah... it's just too easy...
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Postby Fried Gold on Mon Dec 04, 2006 6:51 pm

Make it a legal requirement for every school pupil to watch Band of Brothers.
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Postby Lord Voldemoo on Mon Dec 04, 2006 6:55 pm

Fried Gold wrote:Make it a legal requirement for every school pupil to watch Band of Brothers.


Enthusiastically seconded!
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Postby Fievel on Mon Dec 04, 2006 7:06 pm

Lord Voldemoo wrote:
Fried Gold wrote:Make it a legal requirement for every school pupil to watch Band of Brothers.


Enthusiastically seconded!


Thirded.

It's a shame that Stephen Ambrose passed away, as the thought of Burns & Ambrose working together on this project gives me shivers.
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Postby Ribbons on Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:21 pm

TheBaxter wrote:
so sorry wrote:...poluting and dumbifiying...


:sigh:

nah... it's just too easy...


Tell me about it, there's no i in-between the f and y of dumbifying...
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Postby DennisMM on Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:29 pm

Was a time I wanted to teach freshman college composition, but my skills have got skewed and sloppy by too much informal writing. Also, I think I'd rip their throats out with my teeth if I saw something like the paragraphs my wife has brought home. They can't write paragraphs, much less essays. Some of them can't write clear sentences, much like the news writer whose article started this entire thread.

Had to take a moment and change my sig file to something appropriate.
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Postby so sorry on Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:58 pm

TheBaxter wrote:
so sorry wrote:...poluting and dumbifiying...


:sigh:

nah... it's just too easy...


is it too late to reply to this by saying I was being sarcastic?







:oops:
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Postby MasterWhedon on Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:38 pm

When I was a senior in high school (2000), my Government teacher gave my class a test that consisted of nothing more than a blank map of the United States. The state lines were drawn, and he told us to go through and name the states. Two points per state. I sat there with the map in front of me and stared back at him, asking him at least three times if he was serious. He said absolutely. And I just could not friggin' believe it.

Half the class got A's, about a third B's and the rest C's and below. And I just looked at those who scored poorly and said, "What friggin' country did you grow up in?" (Thus began my elitist streak...) Now, show me a map of Europe, Africa, South America, or any country therein, and I'll be lucky to scrape out a C. But to not know the layout of your own country--especially when the whole class was born and bred--is a bit baffling to me.

I suppose it's a good thing my teacher gave that test after all, as it was the reality check some needed. And CLEARLY there are some things I take for granted.
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