Everybody’s home today, because there’s a fresh load of snow outside. Therefore, everything electronic in this house is currently set to ON, and the younger Secret is upstairs pretending he’s Bonzo Bonham on the drums.
It’s like living in a Guitar Center, without all the bald spot ponytails, and fingerless gloves.
While I was coming home from work last night the stuff was really coming down, and it’s quite an adventure driving at the pinnacle of a storm. Especially in the middle of the night.
The left lane of the interstate was completely grooveless, so I had to fall in behind some terrified doucheketeer going 30 mph. I stayed there as long as I could take it, then entered uncharted territory and went around him. And for roughly two seconds my car was at a 45-degree angle, but still moving in the desired direction.
I stopped at the McDonald’s near our house, and the woman at the drive-thru window had a “you’ve got to be shitting me!” look on her face. Hey, weather conditions have nothing to do with McMuffin cravings, sister. Just pass me my cannonball of trans fat, and keep your opinions to yourself.
A few nights ago we attended an “orchestra concert” at the middle school, and a different student stood and introduced each song.
Before they did “New York, New York” a girl read a short paragraph off an index card (without pauses or even a hint of inflection), and butchered alive the name of Sinatra. Clearly, she’d never heard it before, and her pronunciation was something along the line of “sanitary.” Frank Sanitary.
I don’t know why, but it bothered me for the rest of the night. I can understand (I guess) a thirteen year old not knowing a whole lot about Sinatra — but she didn’t even know how to say his name! How is something like that possible?
Toney works with teenagers, and she’s all the time telling me about how little they know. A good number of them apparently believe World War II happened in the 1960s, for instance, and that Philadelphia is the capital of Pennsylvania. You know, stuff like that… But I’d never really experienced it first-hand. It makes me sad, and a little anxious.
I remember bumping into one of my junior high teachers, years after I’d graduated high school, and he launched into a diatribe about how ignorant kids are becoming.
He said he passes out maps of the U.S. on the first day of school every year, and asks students to fill in the name of each state. And they come up with stuff like Chicago, Eurasia, and “Hampshire.” He told me several kids can be counted on to get NONE of the states correct, not even West Virginia.
I laughed as he was telling me this, and he looked at me like I’d just let loose an oily cauliflower fart. There’s nothing funny about it, he assured me. I silently disagreed at the time, but think I’m starting to come around to his way of thinking.
Heck, I often encounter people who are twenty years younger than I am, and can’t attach a file to an email or copy and paste a URL. They grew up with computers, and don’t know shit about them. How? Why??
Is this a real phenomenon, or just an illusion? Do people in their mid-40s ALWAYS believe younger people are complete dumbasses? Or is it true?
All I can tell you is: my kids know how to pronounce Sinatra. In fact, they know at least a little about a lot of things. Perhaps they’re geniuses? I don’t know.
Any opinions on this subject? Use the comments section to set us straight.
And I’ll be back tomorrow.