Bizarro (8/20/09)

08-20-09 (Bizarro)

Remember a few years ago when Miss Teen South Carolina embarrassed herself by giving a ridiculously convoluted answer to a simple question? Sure you do. Everyone remembers the painful references to “U.S. Americans” and “the Iraq,” but what we don’t remember is the original query: “Recent polls have shown that a fifth of Americans can’t locate the U.S. on a world map. Why do you think this is?” As a lover of geography, I was more horrified by the question than by the rambling nonsense it inspired. And now it appears that the vast majority of high school students are unable to distinguish between Europe and South America. I wish I could interpret their ignorance as a sly dig at the legacy of Spanish and Portuguese colonialism, but I’m afraid that would be too much of a stretch.

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