5) Americans are the most pig ignorant people in the developed world. I'm not referring to the "educated" folk mind you, broadly speaking we're as schooled in the arts and sciences as anybody (I count myself among the intelligentsia even though I didn't go to a "public ivy" like some jumped up, high-minded, pretentious, social climbing...well never mind). No, I'm referring to our lower and (I'm ashamed to say) increasingly our middle classes. A few years ago my own sister was telling us about a Mediterranean cruise her friend was considering and described the itinerary as "They'll go all around the Med with stops in Italy and France and Venezuela." My wife looked at me and said "Do you think she means Valencia?" And several years ago my wife was speaking to a guy who was doing some work for us and he commented on her accent. She related that she was from Ireland. The man replied that he had been through there when he was a teenager, on his way to California.
I wish I could say this incomprehensible level of cluelessness was uncommon, but sadly it is not. We Americans are already derided by the rest of the world (well Europeans) for our near total linguistic incompetence (we barely speak English), and I count myself in that group (apart from a little GI German, enough French to get my face slapped and once upon a time a functional knowledge of Italian).
The fact is there are so many problems in education, so many compromises, that we are so in the dark we don't even know we don't know. We are blissful in our ignorance. We're like the Chris Rock bit, we're "keeping it real... REAL DUMB"!
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