The author of seven other books, she was a fellow at the library when she first got the idea for this book back in 2001, on 9/11.
Walking home to her Upper East Side apartment, she said, overwhelmed and confused, she stopped at a bar. As she sipped her bloody mary, she quietly listened to two men, neatly dressed in suits. For a second she thought they were going to compare that day’s horrifying attack to the Japanese bombing in 1941 that blew America into World War II:
“This is just like Pearl Harbor,” one of the men said.
The other asked, “What is Pearl Harbor?”
“That was when the Vietnamese dropped bombs in a harbor, and it started the Vietnam War,” the first man replied.
At that moment, Ms. Jacoby said, “I decided to write this book.”
I think I'll ask MizBubs, girl genius, to grab this for me from the library.
As if to prove Jacoby's point, this article recently appeared in the Orlando Sentinel: "Clash Over Teaching Evolution Hits Orlando". Here's the opener:
Evolution has been a cornerstone of biology for more than 100 years, but don't try to tell that to many of the thousands of people who posted comments on
Florida's Department of Education Web site.
"The last time I went to the zoo, the monkeys weren't evolving into man," read one comment.
"Evolution is not proven and we should not brainwash our children with this concept," stated another.
Pickler: I am. Like, I'm listening to what you're saying, but I only hear what I want to.
Foxworthy: That's just called being a woman.
Pickler: Well we could just call this show "are you smarter than a man?" I'd win that.
Foxworthy: Women don't really want to hear a man's opinion, they just want to hear their opinion in a deeper voice...
Yuk yuk yuk yuk, ain't that the truth? Har. Here's the video:
I found this next video bit while looking for Ms. Pickler's performance. It's one of those Jay Leno man-in-the-street bits, set in Las Vegas. In all fairness, at least some of this stupid is alcohol-induced.
For now my questions are:
- What was the background of the shooter?
- Where did he get the guns?
Most police are now trained that the first officers on the scene should go directly towards the gunfire and engage the shooter as quickly as possible, even if it means stepping over the bodies of the wounded to do so. According to this article in the NY Times the police arrived within 2 minutes of the first 911 call. The Chicago Tribune reports that police arrived 29 seconds after receiving a 911 call at 3:06 pm.
The reason I'm including this at the end of a post about stupidity is that, over the past 14 hours, I've heard some really stupid stuff come out of the mouths of radio news people and some NIU kids who have been interviewed. I heard one radio interviewer ask a kid who was present at the shooting "when the shooter's eyes locked onto yours, what did you read in his expression?" Seriously, what kind of asshole asks a 19 year old kid, who's just seen a bunch of people killed, a question like that?
What really got me angry were the questions prompting kids and parents to find fault with the school's security. I heard two different young women interviewed, students who were not present at the shooting. Both of them felt that the school could have done more to keep them safer. Both of the women had those voices? You know? The kind where every sentence sounds like it's ending in a question? And they just thought, that, um, the school didn't do as much as they could have? To keep them safe? As if 18 people shot isn't newsworthy enough, the reporters are already trolling for the next angle--that someone, some institution, failed and must be blamed.
Yes, NIU could have kept all those kids safe. All you have to do to prevent school shootings is turn every school into a prison: locked doors, search everyone entering, metal detectors, total video surveillance and armed guards everywhere.
Thinking like this got Bush reelected in 2004, and if the dumbing-down continues lord knows what lies ahead.