Watch as these same young adults who can not tell us who won The Civil War, who our current VP is, or from whom or when the US won independence can ALL – without a moment’s thought – correctly answer stupid questions about celebrities at the end.
Now, I know: “It is the schools, TV, Common Core, parents, where they are, etc.” Nope. Not at all. If they cared even a tiny bit who the VP was, and/or who won the Civil War, they would Google it.
There is no way a college student who doesn’t know who their sitting VP is, but has even heard of Snookie and Brad Pitt can twist that into the school’s fault. My son would know ALL three, even if his teacher never showed up all year.
This has nothing to do with the trendy teaching method or testing du jour. It is solely due to our nation’s obsession with material wealth and celebrity, combined with a lack of caring about things that matter. Nothing but our social norms, mores and priorities.
The same person who can find out who BOTH of Brad Pitt’s wives were/are can find out who won the Civil War and who the sitting VP is the same way. They don’t have to even attend school.
I was recently in a room with an adult NYU student from CA, and he did not know who his sitting Governor was. I told him (I live three time zones away, in PA). That was a couple weeks ago…I’d bet he wouldn’t remember it today.
And it isn’t just kids being kids. It is adults being adults. As kids, even our most ignorant students (including many who would never go to college) could answer those questions. At that time of life, I knew all three answers. Without a moment’s thought.
Something deeper is happening here. And no new curriculum or TV channel will fix it. Maybe it is this:
“So long as they (the Proles) continued to work and breed, their other activities were without importance. Left to themselves, like cattle turned loose upon the plains of Argentina, they had reverted to a style of life that appeared to be natural to them, a sort of ancestral pattern…Heavy physical work, the care of home and children, petty quarrels with neighbors, films, football, beer and above all, gambling filled up the horizon of their minds. To keep them in control was not difficult.” ~ George Orwell, 1984 (written in the 1940’s)
I say it often: 1984. We are living it; the mind-dead automatons who wander around in that book saluting flags when commanded, smiling blissfully always, either out of ignorance or fear. The plot of that book has proven prophetic. Read or re-read it.