You may have heard some of these exchanges on recent TV ads. I offer them up purely for your entertainment.
Moderator: “Who lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?”
Contestant: “I don’t know”.
Moderator: “Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?”
Contestant: “Sponge Bob Square Pants!”
Moderator: (Pointing to an American flag fluttering in the breeze) “How many stars on the flag?”
Contestant: “I don’t know; the wind’s blowing too hard for me to count them”.
Moderator: “Who wrote Handel’s ‘Messiah’?”
Contestant: “I don’t read books”.
Yes, these are ads for Jay Leno’s new show starting this September on NBC. And yes, they could be “made up” (it is, after all, going to be a comedy show). But I would suggest that even if they are fictional, they could easily be real exchanges. I don’t know about you, but I personally know people who would probably respond the same way. It’s not that they’re too stupid to know these things. They’re probably very bright. The vast majority of people in this country are reasonably intelligent and, as Cedric noted in a comment on my last post, they’re basically “good people”, just trying to make it from one day to the next. Life ain’t easy, especially when the economy’s in the toilet. But not knowing stuff like this is just flat – ass lazy. This is the simple stuff. What happens when something “hard” comes along?
So what’s the point? Just this. Going through life minimally informed isn’t good enough. Believing that what’s happening in Washington or in your own hometown doesn’t affect you is, to say the least, dangerous. If your view of the world is based exclusively on headlines and sound-bites, or what you read on your favorite website, you’re no better off than the folks characterized in the exchanges above.
If you know anything about Notre Dame or Notre Dame football, you’ll recognize “Touchdown Jesus” in the image above. No, I didn’t go to Notre Dame (I only wish that I did, even though I’m not Catholic). I’m one of those people they used to call “subway alumni”. Touchdown Jesus, of course, can be seen from inside the football stadium; you don’t have to use a lot of imagination to believe that he’s signaling a touchdown (for the Irish, of course).
Unfortunately, things haven’t gone all that well for ND football fans the last few years. They still fill the stadium for every game and people love to watch them on TV, but other teams no longer fear them. Losing has become all too common. But we’ll “keep the faith”. Maybe this year will be different……