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Cheers - AE

Monday, 9 March 2009

Oh for fuck's sake... ignorant Britain.

And I don't mean bad taste ignorance or chavvy ignorance, I mean plain old fashioned knowing fuck all ignorance. Aside from the depressingly easy exam papers mentioned here, here, here and here, there's also evidence that the teaching of history has become just as hopeless. A quarter of 11-16 year olds polled (from 1,200) don't know what Auschwitz was and several thought it was a country or, and my brain is still not sure my eyes got this bit right, the name of a beer. We're not talking ancient Babylonian scrolls or Ethelrede the Unrooted here, this stuff happened within living memory. They're still making films about the period for fuck's sake.
The poll found that six in 10 youngsters did not know what the Final Solution was, with a fifth claiming it was the name of peace talks held to end the war.
Six out of ten? Fuck me. Well, not a bad guess if you're without a fucking clue, but hard to see how they could get it more arse backwards. Even if they though a V2 was an early version of a popular fruit and veg based drink and would be shocked to learn that one landed on my mum's local chippy and turned it into a smouldering hole in the ground they still wouldn't be as utterly wrong.
While 97 per cent of those questioned could identify Adolf Hitler from a photograph, those who could not mistook famous figures such as Winston Churchill, Salvador Dali and Albert Einstein for the dictator.
Well at least they're better at getting the infamous face right, which suggests that they are being taught something about the mid C20th, or maybe that they've all found the Downfall mash ups on YouTube. But that still leave 36 who either missed out, took the piss or are hopelessly thick. I hope they were taking the piss, I really do, but it wasn't so long ago that I was at a trivia evening at the local and one team labelled a photo of Churchill as Benito Mussolini. Chuckle chuckle at the Aussies and their shaky grasp of history. Not any more. Not when a similar proportion of Brits might be growing up similarly unaware of the recent past.
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