I am always appalled at ignorance, especially when it is my own. I can scoff and laugh when I read that some ginormous percentage of the United States population doesn't know who actually fought in the Revolutionary War, but just last week, my friend Kris and I were trying to figure out exactly where Connecticut is located. Really. Is it, we questioned, right on top of New York or to the side? And does New Hampshire actually have any coastline? we pondered. And if so, how much? (Thirteen miles. Shorter than any other state.)
Here we were, women in our forties, very well-educated, and yet, our geography databases were pretty compromised. I couldn't believe that New Hampshire had any coast at all--Kris was sure, but unclear about Connecticut. Finally, we gave up, but I came across a map and all was revealed.
So who am I to laugh at anyone. I--who could no more tell you the exact position of Uzbekistan than I could water ski on one ski--have no right to laugh at anyone who thinks we were fighting against the Native Americans for independence in 1776.
I'm not sure what to do about ignorance because it just can't be cured. I can know now about New Hampshire's coastline, but I can promise you that in a year or so, I'll forget, just as I forgot all the great information I learned about Maslow in college (hierarchy of needs--that's it). I learned about Colonial history, environmental biology, and chemistry, and I still don't know where the hell Connecticut is.
I write "to-do" lists so I can remember what to do in an hour. Yes, I know about the English and their fine red uniforms, but I haven't a clue about the Modoc wars or that exact reference of Mohammad's about salt and iron and something and something else.
I have a great fear that I will be walking down the street in Manhattan one day and a reporter will ask me a question like, "Who is the leader of South Korea?" and I won't know because I don't know (who the hell is it?).
Here's what I can tell you. It's the Fourth of July. It's a big ass party for the whole country. Go and have a hot dog and have a good day.
Causes Jessica Inclán Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org