Thursday, March 02, 2006
You know, I see an article like this and on the surface it seems upsetting. This company in Chicago called up 1,000 people and asked them some questions regarding the amendments. Apparently, only 1 in that 1,000 could say what was protected in the first five amendments. 22% know, however, what the names of the five members of the Simpson family.
Apparently, this is supposed to be alarming. Now, I don't watch The Simpsons. Not my cup of tea. I have before but no where near a regular basis, especially when I remember the "I'm Bart Simpson, who the hell are you" T-shirts way back in flipping ninth grade. (School wanted to ban it because of the shocking swear word!) That was 1988. I can name the Simpson family, and I am only an occasional viewer. However, many people love the Simpsons and I am sure that many could make a case for it to be biting and hard-hitting satire, as some of the episodes I remember were. Hell, I can still remember all the characters names from What's Happening?, for Pete's sake.
Trouble is with this survey, can I honestly say I remember what ALL the first amendment covers? No. I tend to get blurred around the third and fourth. I would have to refresh my memory. Did the poll take into account partial answers? I knew all of the amendments at one point. I think the gist is that I know OF all these amendments. I don't remember which amendment talks of "cruel and unusual punishments" but I know it's there. I know where to go looking for them. I am an educated individual and know what's expected of me. To be honest, these amendments do not pertain to me on a daily or an individual basis. If I ever have to claim the fifth amendment right against self-incrimination, then I have much bigger problems in my life.
This study and this article makes it seem that we should all be able to regurgitate information that OTHER people find valuable. I think it is a shame when I meet educated people that have never read Hamlet but I don't think they're morons for it. And what the hell made them equate The Simpsons with the first five amendments anyway? All this article and study do is to degrade society. This is not Jay Leno's Jaywalking. It's not funny. But I wouldn't have passed their little survey either and I am a teacher, just about have my masters degree and am a productive member of society. D'Oh!