My grandparents generation fought in WWII.
My parents generation fought for civil rights.
My generation fights with nunchuks on YouTube:
Fear the power of my generation.
Funny. I was just thinking about this the other day.
To me “The War” is still WWII despite the fact that it should by rights be the first (second) Gulf War. Or the breakup of Yugoslavia, perhaps.
But neither of those had that big an impact on my life despite Denmark getting involved in both. And this one.
The one I felt was the Cold War, but that’s still “The Cold War” not “The War”.
Nine years ago I read an article where the author had mentioned to an eighteen year old he knew that “it was ten years since The Wall fell” and the kid had said “What wall?”.
I think that to this generation “The War” is gonna be this bleedin’ quagmire we’re stuck in now, and WWII is gonna be alien to them.
Not sure what I’m actually trying to get at here …
I’m a bit of a history buff, and I like to talk to people. The result is that I can say with some authority that (Americans, at least) have not the foggiest grasp of history past what they see in the daily news.
People do not know who Attila was, how long, or even where, the Roman Empire existed, what the Caliphate was, etc., etc. I will admit that I don’t know every detail of history, but at least I know the outline of Western and Eastern history.
Its funny, but you think that people who only think the world is 6000 years old would at least bother to learn the details of those 6000 years.
But I agree with the first post – WWII (and everything before it) does not exist in the world view of most people.
I am going to agree with David. I am also a history buff and I do like to chat with people so I think I have a good idea of how little people know of history. Actually I am not in the US so I do not discuss this much with Americans but I am in Canada so there are many similarities. In my experience it is not just an igorance of history but an ignorance of the present as well. People are largely forgetful and do not remember what they were taught in school or what was on the news last week.
I started to write more about this but I realised I was just going on and on and being grumpy so I deleted it.
Grumpy would be OK, though. I appreciate now how my junior high school history teacher must have felt: born in the Depression, coming of age around WW2, attending college with veterans, and a scant decade later she had to face us underseasoned yawps who couldn’t get our minds around any of the events that had shaped her life.
My grandfather (still kicking at age 91) fought and was injured three times in WWII, returning to the front each time. It took me 25 years until I really began to appreciate listening to his stories about the war. Sadly, he has now forgotten a lot of what happened, but it’s still enjoyable listening to the tales of a bygone era (and finding out that things weren’t THAT different between then and now – the only major change has been technology)!
Via John Wilkins and John Farrell:
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