Is it a generation gap or just plain ignorance?

Who’s Rodney King, who’s Dick Clark, who’s Robin Gibb, who’s Paul McCartney and what’s he doing on my TV they ask on Twitter, why are they trending?  Some even went so far as to say, “The Titantic really happened, I thought is was just a movie”.  Is this just the generation gap or just plain ignorance?  Granted this stuff shouldn’t be taught in the schools so where should they learn it or do they even need to?

I watched a video from my good friend and fellow blogger  where young people didn’t know who Hitler was, they had no idea about the Holocaust, is was disturbing.  Even if they don’t get into depth about the Holocaust the schools should at least be teaching about WWII, everyone of every generation should know who Hitler was.    Still another article from my good friend and fellow blogger  agonizes over what a visual society we have become, how our attention span has been shortened by 30 second commercials, news blurbs etc, nobody reads anymore, our youth believe that if it’s not memorialized in movies and video games then it’s not a real event.

How can you describe Rodney King and the LA riots or the Beatles in a 70 character tweet?  You can’t, all you can do is point them in the direction of an internet link that is not necessarily truth and is subjective at best, even our history books in school are subjective and not necessarily truth based on who wrote them.  Could this mean that everything I learned in school may not have been the truth but only the biased opinion of the writer?

John Steinbeck, Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway have been replaced by modern day classics like The Hunger Games and Harry Potter, you can’t get kids to even open their minds to reading any of the, what the older generation considers, classics, they have no interest in the past or the future, only the present.   The next generation will be asking their parents to buy the crib notes for Harry Potter rather than read the book much like this generation is asking of their parents when, on the rare occasion, they are challenged by a worthy teacher.   Say what?  I have to do a book report on The Grapes of Wrath??  There must be a movie version of it somewhere!!! Well there is, fortunately for the poor lad that has to do the report but teachers let them get away with it instead of directing the quiz on items not shown in the movie.   “Them Okies got no sense and no feeling. They ain’t human. Human being wouldn’t live the way they do.” The same could be said for todays generation, they got no sense, no human could live that ignorant but yet they do, they not only live that way, they thrive.

So who should teach them about the classics, the LA riots, Kent State, the Beatles?  Nobody, they are no longer teachable subjects, it’s self taught so does this mean that all of the history of this generation will be totally lost, gone forever?  I guess so! – Phoebe

‘Who is Rodney King?’ ‘Who is Dick Clark?’ ‘The Titanic was real?!?’ How death, major news events expose Twitter’s generation gap


8 comments on “Is it a generation gap or just plain ignorance?

  1. I wouldn’t necessarily say that it is ignorance, but most definitely a generation gap. We seem to be more or less from the same generation, because I remember having to read books like The Grapes of Wrath or Farenheit 451, and even The Joy Luck Club and Hamlet in high school. I shudder to think what the kids are reading these days. Hmm perhaps I’ll ask the youth group I help run what books they are reading these days and what is on their summer reading list.

    My mouth hung open when I read on twitter people asking if the Titanic was real. Seriously people? And that just makes me sad to know that events like WWII and the Holocaust aren’t being taught. My great, great uncle, President Tomas Masaryk of the Czech Republic played a HUGE role in freeing the Jews from Hitler, and would be VERY disappointed to know that such an important part of history is not being taught.

    I guess it just goes to show that we live in a much different society than we did 10 years ago, eh?

  2. I think the difference between this generation and past generations is, we had a thirst for knowledge. When I was a kid I read everything I could get my hands on and I loved and still love old movies, with this generation, heaven forbid they should watch a black and white movie.

  3. “A thirst for knowledge.” Exactly. Plays and TV and movies were just things to spur my interest…Watching the film version of the musical “1776” gave me a lifelong interest in the American Revolution. Seeing “The Miracle Worker” made me want to read everything I could about Helen Keller. This generation seems to delight in being shallow. What subject does anyone go deep in? Even my own kids fell easy prey to the pragmatic mindset: “Why learn this? When will I need it?” Grrrr.

      • Really good post, Phoebes, and thanks for the links.
        I’m with you and GBL on this one, obviously.

        We were immersed in books and the arts from my earliest memories, as well as classic movies. Not reading constantly was unthinkable. Heck, we belonged to three different libraries, and I could point to entire aisles of books where I’d read at least half of them. Movies from “Going My Way” to every war movie John Wayne ever made were there. Theater, etc.,.. was just part of the deal.

        Sports were included, but they were made secondary to learning.

        I believe that is why we are seeing such a counter-push towards homeschooling in recent years. Parents who want to have their kids actually learn are taking matters into their own hands.
        A classical education IS still available…just not in most public schools, unfortunately.

  4. I just wonder why this tech-savvy younger generation can’t spend 15 seconds on Google or Wikipedia before they feel compelled to ask basic questions like “Who/What is X?”

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