Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Alex Trebek Is Spinning In His Premature Coffin

From ABC:
Three-quarters of Americans can correctly identify two of Snow White's seven dwarfs while only a quarter can name two Supreme Court justices, according to a poll on pop culture....

It shows that 57 per cent of Americans can identify JK Rowling's fictional boy wizard as Harry Potter, while only 50 per cent can name the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

Just over 60 per cent of respondents are able to name Bart as Homer's son on the television show The Simpsons, while only 20.5 per cent were able to name one of the ancient Greek poet Homer's epic poems, The Iliad and The Odyssey.

Asked what planet Superman was from, 60 per cent named the fictional planet Krypton, while only 37 per cent knew that Mercury was the planet closest to the sun.

Respondents are far more familiar with the Three Stooges - Larry, Curly and Moe - than the three branches of the US Government - judicial, executive and legislative.

Seventy-four per cent identified the former, while 42 per cent identified the latter.

Twice as many people (23 per cent) were able to identify the most recent winner of the television talent show American Idol, Taylor Hicks, as were able to name the Supreme Court Justice confirmed in January 2006, Samuel Alito (11 per cent).

Hooray.

We may not be winning the war on global extremism just yet, but it's clear that we're winning the war on intelligence, on pop culture factoid at a time.

Why bother educating yourself when you can simply sit back and let television's soothing cathode rays wash over you?

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