I saw a rockabilly band during my time in Texas (I wasn’t in jail, but it certainly felt like I was doing time), at a tiny little bar on 6th street. They were flanked by Satan’s Cheerleaders (great group o’ girls), and rockin’ pretty hard. At the time I admit that I wasn’t as receptive to rockabilly as I am now, but I’ve always dug it, about the same as I’ve always dug ska and ska-core. But I digress.
So the singer of this rockabilly band, a band whose name I can’t remember but will never forget, started singing a song (as singers are wont to do). This song started with a whole series of facts; the preemptive statement “It’s only funny ‘cuz it’s true…” and then stating some unbelievable, incredible, usually kind of sad, fact.
It’s only funny ‘cuz it’s true… Texas has a higher incidence of trailer homes than the rest of the United States combined.
As amazing as that might seem, and as unbelievable, it’s still feasible. I don’t know if it’s true, but it could be. And that’s really the important thing here. It could be.
It’s only funny ‘cuz it’s true… The average American has the education of a 10 year old anywhere else in the world.
Now that’s a little extreme. I’m sure there’s 10 year olds in some third-world country out there that are less educated than the average American.
Anyway, the band followed up with 5 or 6 of these facts before breaking into some serious music. It was educational and entertaining. In some cases, even a little sad.
The thing about a video like that, however, is that it shows the worst, and gives the perception that everyone interviewed was that bad. They never show people getting the questions right – and I just can’t believe for one second that nobody got a correct answer. Granted, the ‘wrong answers’ are amazingly ignorant, but I wouldn’t consider myself uninformed or ignorant, and there were questions I could answer off the top of my head. Like, seriously, what does the Prime Minister of Australia (John Howard) actually look like?
To be honest, I didn’t even know who the heck the Prime Minister of Australia was either. I had to Wikipedia it. Make a convincing enough scenario, however, and I’m sure I would’ve fallen for it too.
I blame the information age. We’re bombarded on all sides with so much information from so many sources that we segregate the data we want to absorb. It’s not that current events should take a backseat to other forms of information, but I do spend significantly more time on Wired than watching CNN on TV. That’s not to say that I spend a lot of time on Wired – I just don’t spend a lot of time watching television. I don’t know… I stay reasonably current, but I think it’s unfair to judge all Americans based on a video of a select group’s ignorance. It’s like watching a Michael Moore flick and thinking it’s all gospel truth – while he laughs all the way to the bank.
Oh, that’s a whole other can of worms, I’d better leave it alone. Heh, I think I just defended Americans. There’s a first, lol.