I recently had the candid unpleasure of having to participate literary discussion of Ray Bradbury's masterpiece, Farenheit 451, by a bunch of sniveling 9th graders with inflated egos, an exorbitant level of self-reverence, and the attention spans of the lowliest sub-moron with a horrible twitch. A point can be made that I myself fall into that category, it's impossible to disprove one way or another. Also, that last sentence was an allusion. Albeit, a reworded allusion, but the point stands that you should recognise it on contact. Perhaps on point, but I digress.
Throughout this festival of idiocy, the butchering of a work, a recurring theme I heard from the participants (they were American students) was that Ray Bradbury's society could never develop, that there could never be a dystopian empire such as that depicted. The irony being that one the recurring themes of the story is that the ignorant can never recognise their own ignorance.
I interjected at this moment, and began to talk about how the declination of society has allready allowed for Bradbury's nightmare to become a reality (eye of the beholder, I suppose). They disagreed, thought that things had made a drastic change since the writing of Farenheit. Surely with television and the internet, people can absorb more information, learn about new topics, expand their horizons. Thought is encouraged, not frowned upon, in this meek malignant myriad of modern memorandic media. They insisted that the majority of Americans were well versed in politics, foreign affairs, internal affairs, and philosophy. According to them, advertisements and other vapid scenarios are easily blocked out by all who watch them, meaning they have no adverse effect on thought (note that the words "advertisement" and "adverse" share the same root, the Romans knew quite a bit). Guss again, morons, or perhaps you would like to guess again.
They attempted to refute my points, things were said, and the discussion ended. So, doing what I always do when I want to prove people wrong, I devised a test. A real test, one that should really be incorporated by scantron. I call it "The Survey of Incopetence". It does just that, forcing people to confront their own ignorance. Take this test to show just how enlightened, or most likely not, you are. For full effect, you should be American, but I'm sure that it can be universally applied to unroot the universal ignorance of the world. Do not use Wikipedia, Google, or any other source. You're being a hypocrite and seemingly increasing your own intelligence. And on.
The Survey of Incompetence
1) Name 4 countries from each continent (excluding Australia and Antarctica).
2) Name 2 currently declared wars that do not directly involve the United States.
3) What is the difference between socialism and capitilism?
4) What is the core point of anarchism?
5) What is the Sudan?
6) Who is the president of the United States?
7) Who is the chief prime minister of England?
8) Who is the chief prime minister of Canada?
9) Who is the leader of Russia?
10)In what year did the Soviet Union officially collapse?
11)What type of government is the United States?
12)What type of government is England?
13)Who was the first winner of American Idol?
14)Name 8 reality shows.
15)Name 10 actors.
16)When was the last civil uprising in France?
17)How many people are there on Earth?
18)Name 1 soap opera.
After the survey, I compiled a list of how many people got each question right/wrong (test administered to 25 people). Here are the results, making me a little uneasy with these future administrative individuals having access to nuclear weapons:
11)Right:0 Wrong:25 (It's not a democracy!)
I did not just use the test on the students, but on the teachers as well, 8 of them to be exact. The supposedly intellectual sect of society which clearly isn't. Americans pay more attention to themselves than the outside world, demonstrated by the correct culture questions, which is most dangerous. The fact that the majority of people didn't know that France is on the verge of being overthrown by its own citizens sets off an alarm.
I can't speak for other areas of the world on this, though, which is why I want the feedback/results of the test from people residing other countries. Also, note that the I realise full well that these results are not indicative of every individual in America, there are still some intelligent people that live there. I also am not calling you an idiot if you don't get the important questions right, I'm just demonstrating the point that subliminal advertisements have a larger effect than most people think.