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Generally Recognized As True: How am I supposed to know English if it was invented before I was born?

Friday, December 31, 2010

How am I supposed to know English if it was invented before I was born?

I watched the incredibly tedious movie "Inception" this evening, and was surprised to see it rank near the top of IMDB's top movies, with a huge number of votes. Trying to find what all the fuss was about, I came across this comment in the message board, written by a fan of the movie in response to someone criticizing the younger generation for liking the movie so much, and not being aware of previous works produced before their time:
Um, how can young people be 'aware of much of anything' before their time, as you say, if it all happened BEFORE we were born? I'm pretty sure even you weren't aware of things before YOUR time, only the things around your time, that are kind of old now to we 'young people.'
I admit, I never even heard of Edith Piaf until this film, but then again, she's French. Her music is French. I don't speak French, nor am I of a French racial background. So just cut us some slack, alright?

1 comment:

richard said...

I think that person has a bright future as a Republican politician.

Knowledge tends to be culturally driven. At one point, knowledge of Latin and Greek was considered essential - one couldn't be well educated without it. Today, not so much. On the other hand, being au courant vis-a-vis Lindsay Lohan's latest meltdown, or plugged into Paris Hilton's Tweets gives you all the social context you need to navigate.

While it is true that in the past social knowledge was far more uniform, the Internet and instant connectivity, in general, rather than homogenizing knowledge has made it far more hetergenous.