A lot of peo­ple dis­cussed the choices that were made in pro­duc­ing the United States cen­sus, and the word­ing of ques­tions on it. When it comes down to it, though, peo­ple need to be hon­est and tell it like it is: the cen­sus is prob­a­bly the most bor­ing thing any of us have done all year. For me, it was even more bor­ing than lis­ten­ing to the BBC radio pro­gram “World Have Your Say.” On a tan­gent: if you lis­ten to this show, the world is com­posed of a fast-talking Britisher, a drawl­ing Texan, and a long-winded Indian man.

The cen­sus, yes. I was talk­ing about that. Wouldn’t it have been more inter­est­ing, more news-worthy, if you opened up the gov­ern­ment let­ter and dis­cov­ered the ques­tions were about things that mat­ter? You know, like, “What’s your favorite color?” or “This paper feels like… (select one)
1) Bath­room Tis­sue
2) Newsprint, but good newsprint, like the New York Times
3) Shitty Office Paper
4) Alarm­ingly like the paper the IRS uses
5) Damn slippery!

Then the gov­ern­ment could gather all sorts of inter­est­ing cen­sus infor­ma­tion. Rather than get­ting some bogus sta­tis­tic like 30% of the U.S. is com­posed of Puerto Ricans with an aver­age fam­ily size of 10 males, we instead learn that 125 mil­lion Amer­i­cans think the gov­ern­ment could have spent a lit­tle more money on the paper the cen­sus was printed on. Maybe some emboss­ing. And foil stamp­ing. And a lit­tle less of that mail­ing a let­ter to alert us to the fact that the cen­sus is com­ing in the mail.