I thought I smelled a tipping point somewhere out there, but it took Lou Grant to confirm it: it's time to start speaking Mandarin Chinese.
With China's being the fastest-growing economy in the world, more than twice as populous as the U.S. and Europe combined, it would stand to reason that we should probably start understanding what these billion-plus people are talking about, because you can bet it's going to be more involved than just ordering #17 with a side of rice on the Happy Family menu.
Locally, a handful of schools are a step ahead. Harpeth Hall, Ensworth, MLK and Hume Fogg have recently introduced Mandarin language classes at the high school level. But if that's not enough to convince you that you're fixin' to get left out of the global conversation, Ed Asner, in the role of studio executive Wilson White on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
, warned the real-world TV audience on Monday night, in so many words, "Make sure your kids learn Mandarin." Lou has spoken; I'm ordering my Berlitz tapes.