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Onion report gives sly nod to Chestnut Hill

Posted by Joseph Dussault  March 3, 2014 02:54 PM

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The Onion, known for its particularly biting brand of news satire, added a local twist to one of its latest parodies.

The article satirizes the commonly-referenced education gap between China and the US. It reports that American high school students have miraculously pulled ahead of their Chinese peers in math and science. Hold your applause. Their rivals in China happen to be third graders.

It's unclear which stereotype the Onion is poking fun at Ė that Chinese people are geniuses or that Americans are stupid. It quotes Chinese Minister of Education Yuan Guiren as saying, "If thereís an American 17-year-old who can do something academically that a Chinese 8-year-old canít, thatís a very big problem," so it's probably both.

Very funny, guys. But take a look at the dateline. The "news" takes place in Chestnut Hill, an affluent Boston suburb that has produced a disproportionate number of sports team owners and managers, including Robert Kraft, Terry Francona, Theo Epstein, and John W. Henry. It's also home to Boston College.

Obviously, the study isn't legitimate. But could Americans really be closing in on China when it comes to smarts? Well, maybe not. Otherwise, this Boston College student probably would have thought twice before blowing an $80,000 settlement with a Facebook status.

But why the jab at Chestnut Hill? Was the writer a disgruntled BC reject? A former resident with a penchant for self-deprecation? Discuss in the comments below.

(H/T @BostonLara)

Reach me at Follow me @josephdussault

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