Monday, February 18, 2008

The fall of the Western Empire

I will be the first to admit the above clip is funny. . . For a minute. Then it just becomes sad. Now before we Canucks start feeling all high and mighty, realize that we are not that much better. We are capable of being just as short-sighted as our southern neighbours when it comes to the myriad issues that lie beyond what is presented on prime time TV.

What really disturbs me is how little she really cares about her ignorance. She makes her flippant remark about how she knows more than men and then she laughs a little but you can tell she is not really bothered by it at all. She is not even burying her head in the sand; she just brushes it off because "who knew that 'hungry' was a country?" Wait until she finds out that Hamburg is not just something she buys at the local McDonald's.

I can accept that our society is getting dumber. I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later. I do find it sad that we as a society have chosen wilful ignorance at a time when the tools of knowledge have never been so widespread, cheap and available. What bothers me is how easy it is happening. How quickly we have dismissed anything that is vaguely intellectual in favour of some homogenized mess of slogans and pratfalls.

Almost half a century ago, JFK told a nation to "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."

Nowadays, that sentence would have to be jettisoned in favour of a short sound bite. I mean, how dare he ask the citizens to actually get up off their couches and do something? Next thing you know, they might start asking questions for themselves. Who knows? Maybe, someday in the future, they might even dig out a map and figure out where Hungary is.

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