International Conflict
5

Regarding The War In Mali: Are Mali's Dogon People Really Aliens From Sirius?

"Suggestions that aliens from Sirius had imparted astronomical knowledge to the Dogon, created a modern myth and raised the tribe to cult status among UFO/ancient astronaut enthusiasts. Also, whites who rejected the African origins of mankind, could now claim their ancestors were from Sirius! As I have opined previously in this column, the whole Dogon business is hokum-perpetrated, perhaps, to help sustain the market for esoteric genre of books and film." —J.K. Obatala of Nigeria's The Guardian addresses the modern mythology of Mali's amazing Dogon people and their supposed ties to a race of fish-headed space monsters from a planetary system around Sirius B.

9

Where Is This "Mali" Where Frenchmen Are Having Wars?

Lately there has been a lot of confusing stuff in the news about "Mali," and also "France having a war." What is going on? Didn't France lose the war in North Africa, maybe in the 1950s? Also, Vietnam, remember that whole deleted scene from Apocalypse Now, the way the French colonials ate their food, while Vietnamese were getting killed by Robert Duvall? Is he French? And where is this Mali, anyway?

We don't want you to have to go around feeling like an idiot all the time, so here's the information you need to deal with any offhand references to "the French war in Mali," in case you know [...]

67

France is an Incredibly Foreign Country

We talk quite a lot of smack about France here, because we can. But one of the underlying points is that, in our terrible American high school educations, we're taught that there are countries "like" ours (France, England, Italy and maybe now Germany), countries that are less-good versions of ours (Mexico, Canada, Australia), countries that are disasters (Russia, India) and countries that are weird and scary (Japan, Honduras, Philippines, "Africa"). And this isn't true at all, and in the actual practice, France is as "alien" in terms of operational ideas as, well… Senegal and Algeria. (Heh.) The usual history lesson here goes something like "de Tocqueville blah [...]