February 25
Weather beaten, divorced father of 4 through a lot of changes and far happier than I have been in my entire life... in spite of the day to day crap coming my way. The ability to find the humor in it all and maintain a sense of openness and respect with those with whom I choose to share my free time, makes it all worthwhile. Expect intermittent rants of whimsy as time permits. And maybe the occasional political rant to get my left leaning friends all in a dither.


Gwool's Links
JULY 3, 2010 10:55AM

WTF!! When It Comes To The 4th, 3 Out of 4 **IS** Bad!

Rate: 19 Flag

I was auditing MSNBC while reading a book yesterday when this little nugget tumbled from the blond coifed visage of the eye appealing talking head:  One in four Americans cannot properly identify the country from which we gained our Independence.

Sweet Jesus, are you fucking kidding me?

Singer Meatloaf believes "three out of four ain't bad," and oftentimes I am inclined to agree, but not on this one.  The only way you should boot this one is if you have Alzheimer's, and if you don't then someone should do us all a favor and place a pillow over your head and press down really, really hard, you waste of oxygen! 

Next time you are in a crowd, look to your left, look to your right, and then look straight ahead.  There’s a good chance one of those morons can’t identify Britain as the country from which we gained our independence. 

This is not a hard question, people.  This is not some twit from Mensa trying to show off by asking you to parse  Einstein’s theory of relativity so they can jump in an correct you and wax pedantic about it.  This is not a political wonk asking you to name your governor, senators and congressmcritter, which should be doable, nor is it a wonk asking you to name all nine Supreme Court Justices, which can get a tad dicey.

 Paul Revere did not yell "The Ghanans are coming!  The Ghanans are coming!" For fuck's sake, did you sleep through third grade all three times you took it, you moron? 

Now, I will readily admit my being a native New Englander likely has me more imbued with Revolutionary War history than someone from parts of the country settled after the fact.  I will admit to fuzzy knowledge of the shit stirring with Mexico that spawned Texas.  There’s likely a slightly different spin on “The War of Northern Aggression” south of the Mason Dixon Line, to boot.  Californians likely have better command of the facts around the Gold Rush.  I get that.

But the question wasn’t asking for a whole hell of a lot of detail, folks.  Name the country?  THE COUNTRY? 

This is something you were fed by elementary school teachers.  It was later re-enforced in your high school American History class.

Furthermore, I do not care how horrid a school system or how dated the text book.  This little fun fact is going to be expressed and articulated no matter how dimwitted, disinterested, or incompetent the instruction. 

There’s roughly 300 million people in the country, meaning 75 million cannot answer the question.  Cede that all 11 or so million illegal immigrants screw this one up, and that leaves 64 million Americans unable to correctly identify Britain as the country from whom we gained independence.

This is John Belushi as Bluto Blutarsky in Animal House talking about the Germans bombing Pearl Harbor… only worse.

Then again, the credits rolled indicating later in life he was Senator Blutarsky.

If the country is going to hell in a hand basket, then I suggest you consider the pithy rejoinder attributed to cartoon character Pogo …

I have seen the enemy and he is us.

So, by all means enjoy the long holiday weekend.  But, should you have a few minors in your charge, take the time to TEACH them about the country in which they live.

If you are also blessed with a few adult cretins in your mix, stand by the beer cooler and make them answer the question before reaching for another 12 ounce personality can.

One in four Americans cannot properly indentify the country from which we gained our independence.

Shoot me now.  Just fucking shoot me now.

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if it's true, i'm witchoo. but i gotta know who they asked. especially if it was on the scarborough show. just sayin'. ;
Pfffft, everyone should know the answer to that question, it was Ethopia!!!! Gawd!!

**Wanders off for another beer**
[ is] widely considered to be the greatest singles club ever by millions of black white singles, about half of which have actually found matches from it.
Modern society has allowed those that would normally be offed by natural live.

Hence that fourth troglodyte.

And...they have driver's licenses~
[[[ sigh ]]]

tink, a heads-up. it was not ethiopia. it was tanzanistan. or maybe uzbekarocco. wait.
Outrageous. I'm witchoo all. (Well, except for the singles ad). To Persephone's comment I would only add, they not only have drivers licenses, but most likely guns.
Big deal. Three out of four Americans can fire a rifle and will shoot any Indian who tries to colonize us.
Sometimes I think we shouldn't have won that war.

Tweed alone makes being a part of Great Britain worthwhile.
Stellaa: not sure the context of your statement there. I found the link and have embedded it in the post. If you can find a way to discount the awe inspiring stupidity here, by all means give it your best shot. :)
Rather than shoot you, I'll just come by with a bayonet. As soon as I assemble my fife and drum band, and wiggle into this old blue coat. The wool is stiff and itchy, the belt not so wieldy. Shall we have tea?
That is sad. Why aren't we teaching kids about this country's history? Oh wait, we've dumbed it down to the point kids don't learn a damn thing.

I remember civics class in junior high. They covered this British/American schism thing fairly well. I've been told civics classes are rare nowadays, and that might be the problem. Is this a element of a larger effort to divorce Americans from the facts of our history?

Fortunately I have obtained a copy of the beta version of the Texas High School American history textbook. Now I know that the Blessed American Conservative Colonists bravely fought the Godless Liberals to obtain our independence. This freed us to create a Biblical Constitution and adhere to Old Testament laws.

Thank God our founding fathers Washington and Adams were able to defeat the Godless Liberalism of those enemy interlopers -- Madison and Jefferson. (I had to source Jefferson's part in this from the Heritage Foundation's website, as he doesn't, for some reason, appear in my Texas textbook.)

I have researched this further on the internet and have come to the conclusion that fabricating history is even worse than not teaching it at all. We are lucky we have Conservative Americans, like those in Texas, to expose the Liberal lies taught in our schools for the past 234 years.

Facetious? Yes. I'm simply saying that if you think the low level of civics education we have now is bad, just wait until the first generation of conservative revisionism students hit the streets.
But if you asked the same people about Lindsay lohan of some other doyenee of pop culture, they would know. go figure.
Weird, I liked the natural selection comment. Ha. Sos I's witchoos alls. R
Femme: You really ought to try listening to Morning Joe. It even got positive reviews from the New York Times for being one of the more erudite talking head shows. They let guests go on at length about complex topics and seek to keep the partisan rancor to a minimum. Sure, Joe can foam now and again, but he settles down when Mika gives him an eye roll or two. They also have very good guests from the spectrum. From the editor of Nation and Politico and Joan Walsh to old angry conservative Pat Buchanan who seems somewhat mollified on this show moreso than when roaring on other ones.

Tink: Not Ethiopia silly. They we were the ones who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo thanks to Ike giving them a B1 Bomber through Lend Lease.

Messiz: Thanks so much for stopping by. If I ever want to try to hook up with one of the 26% who spit the bit on the aforementioned Marist poll, I will give your site a look. In the interim, I hope you guys find one another. Best of luck in your pursuit of the discovery of fire.

Persephone: I had a long riff from mixing a couple research surveys. (A cardinal sin from which one needs to take care to draw conclusions, but I write surveys for a living and find it humorous.) One survey stated the more educated one was the more one enjoyed sex and the more one practiced birth control. Another one said the less educated one was, the more religious one was and the more children one had. In short, birth control has been a man made circuit breaker into our natural evolutionary cycles as smarter people breed less on average and stupid people breed more. See Pogo’s observation above. (I did my part to be the exception to the rule, having 4 kids, although one might say having 4 proves I am an idiot.)

Sally: Why the insinuation they own guns? This would imply right wing domination of idiocy by the right as the right likes them their guns. Shirley you are not trying to suggest that the lower income special interest groups gravitating to left wing wealth redistribution programs paid more attention in civics class than their gun toting, beer drinking, hard working American Brethren. Bite thy tongue, woman!

Steve: As long as we stop trying to count cards in their casinos, the Indians will not try to colonize us. They will just comp us T-Bones and serve us watered down drinks from Buxom lovelies as long as we keep dropping cash.

Existence: The blond haired blue-eyed look parodied by the characters of the Pigeon Sisters in the Movie Comedy The Odd Couple is another benefit. Particularly if you could get them out of their tweed.

Oryoki: Stiff and itchy? Sounds like you need to get out of that.

Lady: If I didn’t know better I’d say you were about to yell, “Get off my lawn!”

Paul: That cuts both ways. We also want to try to teach ebonics rather than English? We want different testing for different groupings saying our cultures put some at competitive disadvantage. The pursuit of fiddling with curriculums cuts both ways. (Not a defense of the right here, but an effort for a little balance.)

Bernadine: Forget Lindsay. What is Charo up to these days?

Stellaa: Enjoy the World Cup.

Sheila: Indeed.
I am constantly amazed at the basic ignorance of so-called "well-educated" Americans. And I include virtually all the "Gen Y" members in that group. It's a scary proposition. Generally, naturalized citizens have a better grasp of "basic" American history than "native born" Americans because they have to study it in order to gain their citizenship. AND, they consciously enter into a social contract which none of us has ever had to do other than the occasional "rote" mumbling of the Pledge of Allegiance.
I have done contract work for the Brits for a decade now and I've come to the conclusion that they are not aware that we obtained our independence from them. So maybe that fourth person is actually more knowledgeable than the other three.

Cheerio, old chap.
Walter. I talked to a college freshman who had to take the naturalized citizenship exam as part of a class this year who said it was, indeed, scary how little he knew. Still, as I said. All this asked was for the person to NAME THE COUNTRY. WTF?

Susan: Brits have a hard time letting go of the fact they no longer rule the world. I imagine it's a bit like having your 85 year old father still wandering around the family business trying to tell you how to run it. That could be said of all of Old Europe who loves to sniff at our crude politicians while realizing they are completely and utterly irrelevant.
The Soviet Union (Duh!)
The Soviet Union? I think that is just your latent desire to turn this country into a replica of the Soviet Union, you commie pinko bastard! :)
History is being taught in TX, and our independence was from USSR, and Ronald Reagan saved us. Thomas Jefferson is only on a two dollar bill, Reagan will get the real respect he deserves when he takes his place on the new three dollar bill coming soon.
And they can't figure out why people of a certain age are feeling crotchety.

I was at a conference two years ago on citizen diplomacy where a short film was shown. People "on the street" across America were asked to name just one country that began with the letter "u." The film showed most of the respondents struggling to answer.

The laughter in the room was singed with fear, I can tell you...
Actually, it was "tinged" with fear, not "singed" with fear, although that would be an interesting occurrence. I love that I try to make a point about ignorance and make a stupid typo...
That sounds pretty bad Gwool but by now I'm almost completely desensitized to the level of public ignorance. Isn't something like 20% can't identify the US on a map? How many would have an informed opinion of the balance between deficit reduction and stimulus spending? And how many would have an opinion, informed or otherwise?
i would be the first to decry americans historical knowledge, but, sometimes they don't ask the question in a way that people get, although, it wouldn't surprise me.
Nikki: "People of a certain age?" Et tu? :)

Abrawang: It is the sobering underbelly to universal voting rights.

Don: I think you're just worried someone might ask it to Sarah Palin and she'll screw it up. :)
Hilarious method of highlighting a seriously troubling problem. How in the world can we feel good about that statistic? But the silver lining is that once in awhile, we manage to produce an educated, funny wordsmith like yourself.