Bemoaning the State of Things
Every year or so one of those polls comes out telling us how many more Americans can identify [insert pop culture reference here] versus how many can identify [insert historical, governmental or news reference here]. Well, it's that time again. Zogby International did the polling, on behalf of a new game show, "Gold Rush." Just over 1,200 Americans were polled, and the margin of errors is +/- 2.9%. Some of the results (mainly just for their scare value):
- 60.4% knew that Bart is Homer's son on "The Simpsons". A combined 20.1% could name one epic poem attributed to the classical poet Homer.
- 56.6% knew that Harry Potter is J.K. Rowling's wizard creation. 49.5% knew that Tony Blair is the current prime minister of England.
- 77% could name two of Snow White's seven dwarfs ... 24% could name two Supreme Court justices (of those, Justice Thomas was the top pick, followed by Scalia).
- 73% could name the Three Stooges, while just 42% knew the three branches of the American government.
- 60% knew that Superman hails from the planet Krypton ... 37% knew that Mercury is the closest planet to our sun.
"Also worth noting is that some topical issues appear to make an impression on Americans both in real life and in fiction. According to the 'Gold Rush' poll, more than 67% of those questioned correctly named President George W. Bush as the world leader who had signed a secret order authorizing the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens and foreign nationals."
What scares me about that is that there's 33% or so who thought some other world leader could sign a secret order authorizing the NSA to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens ...