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Common Knowledge Ain't Common Anymore

Old People, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials.

With all these groups, we're losing a valuable item. Common knowledge.

The other day I stood in utter disbelief as a 30-something, with a college degree, asked if a uniform with a swastika was from the Vietnam War. Even more embarrassed for him when a fourth grader corrected him. I'm always amazed that not everyone knows warm water freezes faster, that most homes didn't have electricity until 50 years after electricity was invented, and which way the toilet paper goes. OK, the last one is just the ultimate pet peeve.

It seems to me, Americans take so much for granted, especially education, that we've forgotten to teach the basics. We're so concerned with pushing religion, political stances, and the ridiculous American Dream, that we sometimes forget that these kids don't know how things work and they grow up not understanding anything.

I'll go to real estate. So many of my friends are bright, education, contain every bit of common sense that could be hoped for, and then they go to buy a house. They add their salaries. They figure the cost of their kids. They come out with a number and say "We can afford $10,000 a year, easily. So they multiply this by 30 years and buy a $300,000 home, which the bank graciously accepts and gives them a mortgage. Then they invite friends over, enjoy the spoils, and two years later, they realize, they've not paid off any of the principal and they have 28 years to go. That $300,000 house now costs $500,000 and that's not including the property taxes, insurance, landscaping, repairs, etc etc etc. And that's IF you put down 10-15%.

So the real estate example is extreme and it negates the idea that anyone should have the same dream their grandparents had, but maybe that's the real issue. My grandparents came from a time when common knowledge was common. My parents came from an era where they were supposed to have it better than their parents, but most found out they didn't. My generation, in this country, is the most materialistic generation since the Roman Empire and that's why so many urban and suburban areas look like ghettos or trailer park versions of the modern day Coliseum. This next generation of "Millenials" is starting behind the 8-Ball, because they have two generations of people being duped by expectations as their role models. Why the hell would you want to follow in your two-job having parents' path? Which brings us to the kids of today. Most of the kids I have worked with are called lazy, spoiled, coddled, or viewed as disabled because they fall on this thing called The Spectrum. Maybe it's something else.

Did we ever consider creating a "spectrum" for parents and grandparents, some who may even be college educated, who just aren't that intelligent? If you can figure out how to install a home theatre system onto your smartphone, but you don't know that Nazis weren't in Vietnam, the difference between they're, there, and their, or that the toilet paper should be able to be pulled down, you probably shouldn't be able to raise kids (or vote). Just remember, when your kids don't know things that most people their age should know, they're labeled and put on a spectrum. When you don't know it, nobody cares, they just call you names behind your back. The terrible part is, this is happening to your kids too, you just don't realize it, because it's being said by teachers and better parents. Think about that, the next time you say "Who cares?" when someone points out what you don't understand or know.


  1. People seem to enjoy their stupidity these days they wear it like a badge. UGH … The dumbing down of America makes me crazy … It started a long time ago but it is so in our faces right now … I am horrified by this topic and I feel your pain and disgust! We live in a very different world today! Look one doesn't need to go to school to be smart and successful if they have a desire to learn and grow and work, but I am just not running into many of these folks very often. When I went to college I'm pretty sure we were required to take 18 -19 credits a semester … now I'm pretty sure it's 12 ... I think my cat could get through a semester of college, with good grades! And what is with this administration and their preoccupation with religion (and guns of course) in the schools? Be very cautious of crazy fundamentalists of any religion, they're all the same. I would like to remind all the douche nozzles that the Iranian Revolution happened in 1979/80 shudder and we appear to be headed down the same path … but they wouldn't know what the Iranian Revolution was. Look, not everyone is as dumb as wood. A lack of good jobs, you know the ones that pay a living wage and provide health and retirement benefits really is fueling much of the problem, and having your parents basement be the only place you can afford to live can be more than just a bit depressing …
    Our generation is the first to not do as well as their parents did... sigh Please feel free to delete if this post is too off topic

    1. Not deleting! Amen! It's a sad state when people are made fun of for not "succeeding," because no matter how good they are at what they do, whatever they do, they don't receive enough pay to survive. I went from making what I made in six or seven hours in Scarsdale, to making the same amount, doing more work, in 60 hours. I work with Ivy League students who are no smarter than those I met taking classes at W.C.C. And yes, they are all in their 5th year, some six, because 12-15 credits is all they could handle. Many not working part-time as an excuse. We've "dumbed down" so much, that the simple every day knowledge we once assumed, can no longer be called standard or common. I could have written about decency, manners, or any other topic. Who we are as people has changed dramatically, and not for the better.


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