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The "Greatest" Generation

Remember, a handful of years ago, when there was this show in England called The Greatest Briton? And then it seemed like every country did a TV show where people voted on the greatest person from their country?

Well, okay then.

COUNTRIES WHICH, WHEN ASKED TO CHOOSE THE GREATEST PERSON IN THEIR NATIONAL HISTORY, ACTUALLY PICKED SOMEONE AWESOME: Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, the Czech Republic, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa.

COUNTRIES WHICH, WHEN ASKED TO CHOOSE THE GREATEST PERSON IN THEIR NATIONAL HISTORY, PICKED SOMEONE MORALLY QUESTIONABLE, BUT WHO, ON BALANCE, IS AT LEAST SOMEONE THE CITIZENS COULD RIGHTLY RESPECT FOR THEIR PARTICULAR HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Argentina, France, Germany, Japan, Romania, Spain, the Ukraine, the United Kingdom.

COUNTRIES WHICH, WHEN ASKED TO CHOOSE THE GREATEST PERSON IN THEIR NATIONAL HISTORY, ENDED UP PICKING SOMEONE WHO, ON BALANCE, IS KIND OF A PIECE OF SHIT: Finland, Greece, Israel, the Netherlands, Portugal, the United States.

Glad we got that sorted out.

Comments

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drownedinink
Oct. 7th, 2009 08:06 pm (UTC)
Not wanting to start a debate or anything because I am genuinely curious, but why would you consider Juan-Carlos morally questionable?
ludickid
Oct. 7th, 2009 08:11 pm (UTC)
Well, in Johnny C's case, he's not so much morally questionable as sort of just pretty far short of greatest-ever status, when you consider that he hasn't really done much worth mentioning but he beat out people like Cervantes, Picasso, Goya, and Adolfo Suarez. Even Zapatero seems like he's accomplished more than Juan Carlos I.
bisonfish
Oct. 8th, 2009 03:01 pm (UTC)
He has I would say, if you were Spanish. There was at least one attempted coup during the years after Franco, which he faced down, and a number of assassination attempts, during which he's been nothing but strong, decent and dignified. I think opinion holds him to be responsible in no small measure for Spain still being a democracy and not a fascist dictatorship.
cucumberseed
Oct. 7th, 2009 08:17 pm (UTC)
Reagan.

Really? Really?
cucumberseed
Oct. 7th, 2009 08:21 pm (UTC)
I didn't see Israel in there. Who'd they pick?
archaica
Oct. 7th, 2009 08:32 pm (UTC)
Oh, I would LOVE to see who Israel would pick.
ludickid
Oct. 7th, 2009 08:40 pm (UTC)
That would be Yitzakh "Bone Breaker" Rabin.
roninspoon
Oct. 7th, 2009 08:29 pm (UTC)
I don't know what I find more outrageous, that Ronald Reagan only narrowly edged out Abraham Lincoln, or that GWB was number 6 on the vote list.
archaica
Oct. 7th, 2009 08:32 pm (UTC)
Fucking A, America. All those Founders to pick from, and you pick some Johnny-come-lately hippy-baiter? Come on.
dreamweasel
Oct. 7th, 2009 08:39 pm (UTC)
Damn it, Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf was robbed.
dyskodyke
Oct. 7th, 2009 08:44 pm (UTC)
I can't decide if I think Alexander the Great or Reagan is the worse choice.

On the one hand, I feel the Greeks have more awesome ppl to choose from. On the other hand, REAGAN.
anne_jumps
Oct. 7th, 2009 09:06 pm (UTC)
For fuck's sake, America.
also_huey
Oct. 7th, 2009 10:46 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
kudaspeaks
Oct. 7th, 2009 10:55 pm (UTC)
You KNOW Greece just picked Alexander to piss off Macedonia once again. That is just what they do. Nope, no NATO and no claiming Alexander, puny Macedonia, if that is your real name which it totally is NOT.

Similarly, Reagan. To piss off my mom. America likes to do that, piss off my mom who hates her some Reagan.
marlo
Oct. 7th, 2009 10:57 pm (UTC)
Lots of women on those lists.
johnnylemonhead
Oct. 7th, 2009 11:09 pm (UTC)
Wow, I have absolutely no recollection of this cultural debacle. Also, there were no women selected by any country.
yuriverse
Oct. 7th, 2009 11:27 pm (UTC)
Oh dear, I had to go look at that list.

I do notice Australia's column is ... blank. Actually, that sounds a lot like what Aussies would do. "Greatest ... wot? Naw, let's go sit in the sun and get drunk."
krinndnz
Oct. 8th, 2009 01:08 pm (UTC)
"Someone who, on balance, is kind of a piece of shit" is perhaps an unreasonably kind way to describe Ronald Reagan. I suppose that what the shows are best at is displaying popular prejudice front and center, not analysis. I mean, it's television. Who does anything with actual data on television?
bisonfish
Oct. 8th, 2009 03:03 pm (UTC)
You can't argue with Alexander the Great. He was pretty Great.
conrad_zaar
Oct. 8th, 2009 04:04 pm (UTC)
I was just reading through the top 100 list for America, which briefly lists the achievements of the top 10:

4. George Washington,
known to many as the "Father of the United States" was America's first president.

5. Benjamin Franklin,
inventor, writer, and statesman; one of the most famous founding fathers of the United States.

6. George W. Bush
served as President during the September 11, 2001 attacks; he lowered taxes during his first term.


One of these things is not like the others...
bassman42
Oct. 8th, 2009 09:59 pm (UTC)
Reagan? Really? I can think of about 50 Americans who would've made better choices than him without even putting any effort into it! This is one of the reasons I chose to live in Canada lo these many years gone by. That and the fact that we don't have the CIA here, just CSIS who are really kind of innefectual when it comes to political crimes, er, dissent!
thaitea
Oct. 11th, 2009 06:42 am (UTC)
OPRAH WINFREY, 10 slots ahead of the next woman on the list. F you, fellow Americans. I recall you getting your dander up about this a few years ago.
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