Independence duh 2

What do we celebrate on the Fourth of July? Independence from what country? Who was the general who fought for our independence? How many colonies were there? When did we get our independence? Jay Leno talks to Americans who think Churchill led the 30 colonies to independence from Greece in 1922.

Most of these folks went through school long before No Child Left Behind narrowed the curriculum, points out DeTocqueville’s Daughter.

The only respondent who doesn’t make us cringe is the black grandfather. He was apparently educated in what’s known in many circles today as the bad old days.

The woman who thinks we won independence in 1922 is a college instructor in business skills, who wisely refused to identify where she teaches.

As D’s Daughter points out, Leno decides which clips to use; well-informed Americans’ answers may be left on the cutting room floor.

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  1. Reminds me of the link you had where all of the girls from an exclusive prep school were willing to sign a petition to end women’s suffrage.

  2. Sad (BUT FUNNY!) isn’t it?

  3. To be fair, I think some people clam up at the sight of a celebrity and camera crews, and some people play dumb. Anyone who really knows the answers etc. probably runs from Jay.

  4. Let’s say Jay Leno comes up to you with a camera and asks, “What’s the third planet from the sun?”

    If you answer “Earth,” you are not going to be on television tonight.

    If you answer “Mars,” you might be on television tonight.

    If you answer “New Jersey,” you have a very good chance of being on television tonight.

    No doubt there are some people who will fake being stupid in order to get seen on television. The problem is that it’s hard to tell them apart from the people who really are stupid.

  5. And, for me, the response is “So what?”

    What does it really mean that someone doesn’t answer correctly, either out of ignorance or a desire to get his face on TV by playing stupid (yeah, my name’s Peter Gozinya, heh)?

    Does that wrong answer mean that 8 years ago some teacher failed or that 8 years ago some student failed?

  6. Bill Leonard says:

    Curmudgeon, I hope these goobers were just playing dumb in order to get on TV.

    If not, then that’s really scary; they still get to vote, just like you nd me…


  7. I think at this point, Jay Leno and his crew are good at cutting out the players as well as the folks who answered correctly. I think he used these clips because their answers were genuine. (It’s funnier when they’re not faking!)

    I don’t think it’s fair to blame K-12 schools or K-12 teachers for this (except in a few exceptional cases) – the sad fact is, the majority of Americans just don’t care. Period.


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