May 02, 2006

Americans Are (Still) Geographical Morons

So sez here. Now, every once in a while it has occurred to me that despite my ridiculous retention of geography trivia (which, if I recall correctly, I was never required to be taught or tested on in school), I am still not gleefully paid voluminous sums of money for the sake of knowing it. I think it's a matter of absolute immaturity that I still sorta resent this.

I don't mean money in a Jeopardy sense either- getting that's all about timing. I mean being genuinely rewarded for taking the time to learn and remember all this crap simply cause I found it interesting. Now, that may or may not show proof of other sorts of brain damage, but when I see that many, many 18-24 year old red-blooded prime fighting age American kids can't find Iraq on a map, even after we've been killing people there for a few years, I can't help but get a little impatient with the stupidity of it all.

Worse, a sizeable chunk of Americans can't find Louisiana on a map even when you spot them the word "Katrina". That's appalling. That's not like silly me knowing the capital of Kreplakistan or how to draw Libya or whatever, that's knowing where a big fuckoff hurricane destroyed a major American city not even one year ago.

Granted, the last time I was seriously tested on this stuff, at the '89 Geography Bee in Sacramento, I bombed. I got my ass handed to me after the first round- after the first question, even. So even with all my map mojo I still ain't the best. Ten to one there's a 12-year-old out there right now who could eat me for breakfast and then go on Letterman and laugh about it. But still, I know my shit.

Schools should be required to teach geography, not shamed into it by National Geographic. Of course, they should teach art and music full time too, but do they? Hell, even science and history are electives where Em teaches. That's even more appalling.

I guess I should say that it's getting harder and harder to not heap total scorn on the willful ignorance of so many people, but then again I don't think it'll come to that. If people aren't going to take the time to learn about the world around them, it's their problem. After all, I've only actually been to seven U.S. states and Baja California, so I shouldn't be too mean.


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