Monday, February 4, 2008

What Historical Perspective?

This is just sad. Read this article and weep.

A majority of people in Britain believe that Sherlock Holmes was a real person while one quarter believe the great Winston Churchill a fictional character. I sincerely hope these are the people who choose not to exercise their voting responsibilities. There are many factors that I'm sure contribute to such a sad state of affairs: multiculturalism, poor public schooling, et cetera..., but one factor I think particularly pernicious are the hours spent in front of the television.

This week everyone in my family, yours truly included, have had nasty colds and so we have watched more television than usual. So far we have watched Harvey, The Secret of Roan Innish, Persuasion, Northanger Abbey and Jane Austen Regrets, the latter two thanks to Masterpiece Theatre, and one night after the girls got to bed, my husband and I watched Amelie. Our usual quota is about two hours a week, so the girls can hardly believe it! I can't help but wonder if everyone in the U.S. and the U.K. limited themselves to two hours of television watching or electronic game playing a week, how much more culturally and historically aware we as societies might become?

I know I sound like a killjoy, and my family used to watch much more t.v. than we currently do. Now, except when we are down with the crud, it seems much more like a nuisance - an invasion even.

Lent is fast approaching. Perhaps it might be a good idea to give up the television and read a good book, A History of the English Speaking Peoples (Birth of Britain; New World; Age of Revolution; Great Democracies, Four (4) Volume Set) in Slipcase, perhaps?

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