Rand McNally’s mapped stupidities

I have one of those big map atlases that Rand McNally puts out each year, and have begun to use it some to home school my kid in geography. Since the District 11 school she attends is so busy constantly testing kids about the 3 Rs, they don’t seem to have time to teach geography, history, science, nor much really about anything. As it is, if I don’t teach her where Kansas is, she’ll probably be graduating down the road, with the herd of American kids that will be unable to locate their asses from a hole in the ground.

What gets me about Rand McNally is the, shall we say, subtle racism they practice. Where the fuck is Mexico, you idiots? It’s not like Mexicans and Americans don’t drive in each other’s countries. So what happened here? Let’s see? there are detailed maps of Canada’s provinces on 12 pages, plus semi-detailed maps of most of the big cities of that country. But Tijuana? Where is it? Where are the major Mexican cities, the Mexican states? Why might they not be shown? Instead, there is one page with a poorly detailed map of the country of Mexico as a whole. The idea here is a racist one. It is that Mexico is unimportant, and just does not rate being mapped by such a prestigious outfit as Rand McNally. Oh brother. And what idiots!

I wouldn’t mention this map thing, except that it seems so prototypical of the American racist mindset of the world. Dear Mr. McNally Inc., how many Mexicans do you think are in the US as compared to Canadians? When they drive back and forth from the US to Mexico, and Mexico to the US, don’t you think it would be nice of your ‘service’ to provide folks with directions? After all, that is the service your business supposedly is engaged in. Canada gets mapped, so why not Mexico?

Why not provide Texans, for example, with detailed maps of the North of Mexico? It would be nice to have city maps of Monterrey/ Saltillo, Guadalajara, and the DF. And certainly if Newfoundland can get its own detailed provincial mapping, then why not Nuevo Leon, Baja California, Chihuahua, etc.? And why not, other than the racism involved?

This is not just an unthought about error neither. The passage between Tijuana and San Diego is perhaps the busiest international crossing in the world. So why leave a blank space on that map for where Tijuana should be? Duh… Rand McNally is clearly a business that is ready to shoot itself in the foot by totally ignoring Hispanic buyers of their product. Racism seems to be more important to keep intact, than sales of their product or integrity of the service they provide. There are far more people traveling between Mexico and The US, than between the US and Canada, yet Canada gets mapped in detail, while Mexico gets only the barest of outlines of a national map.

The lesson here for my kid, is that neither her Colorado public school nor our big American Rand Mcnally book of maps will educate her well about geography, nor about other cultures. That, she will have to pick up on her own with my help, or she won’t learn much about these things at all. Why? It is simply that we live in a culture that prizes ignorance and stupidity much more than education. America the Free has become America We don’t know Our Asses from a Hole in the Ground. Keep fighting the rot. That’s all we can do.

4 thoughts on “Rand McNally’s mapped stupidities

  1. Yeah you can’t even get a good city map of Juarez in EL PASO or not at the usual buy-a-street-map place, like a gas station or such.

    They do have the Napoleonic structure of street mapping and addresses like America does. Britain has the worst addressing scheme I can think of. You would need a map AND a local guide.

    But Mexico has some fascinating places to visit. And it would be good to get a map, even if for no other reason than to mark “here be dragons” on the places you don’t want to go back to.

  2. I’m glad somebody understands why I made this post. Half of Monterrrey has family somewhere in Texas, yet when they go to Mexico, they go back into unmapped terrirtory when they enter into the states of Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, and Coahuila. Similarly, the maps of Chihuahua and Ciudad Juarez just are not available for residents of El Paso and Las Cruces.

    It’s just a stupid situation. It is a case where the racism of the map makers actually hiinders their own sales of maps, makes their product less useful, and goes into reinforcing peoples’ emotional separation from each other because the physical relaity of the maps intheir hands say that tehy should feel separate.

    Something similar happens with how news is presented inside the US, too. Where is Mexico? Where is Canada? Where is the rest of the world?

    If all the crap that goes into prettified little stories about ‘the troops’ and image puff pieces to polish up the images of their Commanders in Chiefs went into actually informing people of real events, we would be a much more informed and better nation for it. First step though, is just having real maps ready for real people. Especially for countries that border on our own, and where people drive to all the time.

  3. I would bet that a place to buy a map of any border region at least, and a fairly accurate one, is to go to an army surplus store. Some of the guys are Anarchist but have to put on the Right Wing shit just to stay in business, it takes a little feeling around to find the right places. But they have the good stuff in armored bunkers and not on the premises. Like “situational maps”.

    I had a map when I was in ROTC in El Paso which showed amongst other things, some place labelled “biological warfare research station” at the corner of BiggsField, Ft Bliss/MacGregor Range and White Sands Missile Range, south of the narrow part of White Sands right below Holloman AFB.

    That was in the mid ’70s, when I dropped out of JROTC Carter had just come into office.

    That dumb sack of rocks Ray who commented recently about how we should all be drafted, it would make our attitudes better haahaaahaaa he ought to spend a little time actually listening to the “misfits and malcontents” than merely being a Super Obedient Servant.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *