(republished at Dear Dirty America)
Upon returning to the United States after a year-long stint as a Fulbright Fellow in the Middle East, whizkid and all around nice guy, Nigel Cage, has been asked repeatedly what he learned studying overseas, to which he has, reportedly, only given one answer, “I didn’t realize it before I left, but now upon my reentry into the US, I have to say American women are too butch.”
There is no trustworthy evidence to suggest the US Senator and his legacy, the Fulbright Program and namesake, would be offended or even in disagreement with the young scholar’s assessment.
The Fulbright Program, which was originally known as the Fulbright-Hays Program, was founded by US Senator James William Fulbright. The senator, who was a good Southern segregationist and appears to be Colonel Sanders clean shaven cousin, signed the Southern Manifesto and also wanted to create an international educational exchange program, where competitive US students could exercise their skills and talents overseas.
While forty-three Fulbright scholars have later in life been given Nobel Peace Prizes, and seventy-eight have won Pulitzer Prizes, there is much skepticism today about the Fulbright program being nothing more than a method to pluck out some of the smartest students from the teeming, red-faced masses and provide them with a possible path to entering into the controlled realms of the elite.
But what about Nigel Cage? Is he poised to be elevated into the outer circles of the shadowy, ruling elite?
His family is somewhat disheartened by their son’s experience overseas, and the young man’s former university professors also don’t know what to make of his change in attitude. “He was superb at reading books,” Professor Thingry, who’d recommended Cage for the scholarship, said when asked about the boy’s bare response about his time as a Fulbright scholar.
Thingry, a Middle Eastern conflict historian twirled a tiny ballerina statuette in his yellowed fingertips as he answered questions about Nigel Cage. “His reading comprehension was off the charts. I don’t know what he learned overseas. I can’t imagine what he saw over there, but maybe there’s something to it.”
Cage’s friends are also baffled.
Thinking back on his friend’s behavior before leaving to fulfill the duties of his Fulbright Fellowship, Paul Westerhouse said, “Nigel was never openly combative about fashion or femininity, but now that I think about it more, he was really only ‘so-so’ about American women.”
Fulbright officials may fear Cage will give a bad name to the prestigious scholarship award, but they probably don’t, at least publicly, regret their decision in selecting him for it.
[photo by Thomaseagle]