We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
During my lifetime, lamentation over student ignorance has been sounded by the likes of E.D. Hirsch, Allan Bloom, Mark Bauerlein and Jay Leno, among many others. But these lamentations have been leavened with the hope that appeal to our and their better angels might reverse the trend (that’s an allusion to Lincoln’s first inaugural address, by the way). E.D. Hirsch even worked up a self-help curriculum, a do-it yourself guide on how to become culturally literate, imbued with the can-do American spirit that cultural defenestration could be reversed by a good reading list in the appendix. Broadly missing is sufficient appreciation that this ignorance is the intended consequence of our educational system, a sign of its robust health and success.
I often wonder how younger audiences can watch a great many historical based movies with little to no understanding of history. How can you watch a World War II movie without knowing who was fighting who, and why?
How can you watch an American revolution move without knowing why there is a revolution and directed towards what country.
How can you watch a Civil War movie and not know who is wearing blue uniforms and who is wearing grey. Why are they fighting and what was the outcome.
Actually those are the only three wars students do know about - precisely because they are portrayed endlessly in the movie. Try asking about the Peloponnesian War and see what kind of response you get.
I wonder if this also is the root of the anachronistic treatment given to many classics when they are re-made as modern movies: partly a deliberate rhetorical tool, partly an attempt to make the work "relevant" to the commercial audience, but also partly a simple failure of imagination on the part of the directors and screenwriters, who have no idea how to address a classic in terms of its own culture. So we see a "Pride and Prejudice" with sexually liberated feminist atheists.