Friday, November 14, 2008

Illiteracy in America: Can People Understand Terms Anymore?

By Bobby

We've seen the popularity of the Mark Burnett Productions/RTL franchise "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader / 10 Year Old" worldwide (the name is different in some countries; RTL holds international rights). But when an Olympic swimmer was a guest of his friend at my alma mater's Homecoming game Saturday, he was grandly applauded, and even the mascot cowtowed to the legendary Olympic champion (I had speculated he was a guest of an SEC sponsor).

Sadly, other important words related with it were never understood by youth when I mentioned the guest that night as I was grocery shopping. Only the local sports-talk radio host understood the terms I used to refer to him. Could you identify the athlete on these two terms only?


It's very sad when people cannot identify the person based on those two words alone. In fact, many people did not even know what either word meant! One, you might need to read National Review. The other clue you need to study Latin, or even the Periodic Table.

Speaking of which, I was greatly offended by university sponsor Vodafone. During halftime, they featured a promotion where fans could send text messages that would be shown on the Daktronics ProStar screen. There were too many "Marry Me" texts aimed at the celebrity, who pitches rival (and conference sponsor) product AT&T. I thought it was rude. What happened to manners with celebrities? Has the paparazzi attitude of today's generation grown worse than it was than when nearly 20 years ago I met an Olympic legend?

Seriously, if people do not know what Peking or Aurum are, then what type of people are we producing? Are we producing the same type of people that voted for Barack Obama based on their feelings, and not have an understanding of the issues? Whatever happened to thinking? When people do not have an understanding of even basic things such as the periodic table or world history, something is extremely fishy, and when the Obama Administration takes over, they will assure people will learn less.

Look at the illiteracy over the automakers' bailout. One thing I've learned about the bailout proposal is liberals plan to force the Big Three to cease production of high revenue trucks and force them into producing only the loss leader minicars and microcars. Families, Joe the Plumber types who need trucks for businesses, and other industries would lose because liberals want foreign automakers, with no government intervention by the US, to have the ability to produce the trucks we need, but not domestic automakers, which would be forced to produce nothing but Trabants. But why aren't people understanding the danger in telling the Big Three that trucks that industries need cannot be produced, but we'll only allow the tiniest cars on the road?

Once again, that too is a byproduct of illiteracy where people do not understand the issue and go by feelings, and not read behind the numbers of what liberals want.

Whatever happened to literacy, understanding, and being able to do fundamentals in this country? Seems the teachers' unions have successfully dumbed down America to cave into the New World Order.

DISCLAIMER: Bobby is a shareholder in Daktronics.

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