Thursday, July 30, 2009

Generation Why?

I'm a big fan of trivia and game shows, mostly because I'm a font of minutiae that is useful only in those circumstances. (Currently, my DVR is full of Cash Cab, where people answer questions and win money until they hit their destination.) However, I've noticed a trend in these shows that disturbs me quite a bit: people in their twenties seem to have slept through history class. I hated history when I had to study it, but I'm a bigger fan of it recreationally. The Aztecs are much more interesting when the History Channel is telling me about them. The thing is, I wonder if anyone under 30 is watching. Ask a quartet of 25-year-old girls about Manolo Blahniks and they could tell you the name of the Filipino sweat shop kid who inspected their pair. But quiz them on World War II and they'll look at you like a dog that's been shown a card trick. One of my pet peeves is when a time-specific query is answered with, "How would I know that? That was before my time."- as though nothing happened before the Reagan administration. You know what happened before my time? The moon landing, the signing of the Magna Carta, the Spanish Inquisition, and Velcro- but I'm familiar with all of it. I'm not sure if it's the result of a culture of immediacy, where anything that has passed is immediately rendered less relevant, or if it's merely laziness. Either way, you might want to know who the first man in space was. In case it ever comes up in a taxicab.

1 comment:

Not Surfing said...

Could not agree more! I once witnessed my wife tell her friend that Vietnam was a war not a country. Sad knowing that her father served 2 years over there.