I would like to continue on the same theme as my last post which was: Teenagers Don’t Know Shit About History (or anything).*
For anonymities sake, let’s say I was chatting to ‘a’ teenager. Any will do. But this is a true story. And we started to talk about The Civil War. Pretty big war, no? I didn’t expect her to know the details (which was just as well really, because she sure as hell didn’t) however, I did expect her to know the basics of human nature. Which it turned out, was apparently ridiculously unrealistic of me.
So we’re chatting away, and I’m pulling out all the stuff I know from my extensive reading of Gone with the Wind and my studies of it thereafter, and I’m saying stuff like ‘the war had a lot of ramifications that we still see in society today’, and then realising I would have to dumb down ‘ramifications’, and so saying stuff like ‘people are still upset about the war’ and cringing about the utter inadequecies of that sentence.
But that sentence bought about this little gem:
“Um… like… who was upset? Like, the black people or the white people?”
At this point you could almost see the light bulb desperately flickering to alight in her head.
“But mostly the black people right?”
“Why do you say that?”
“Because they felt guilty that they you know, caused it.”
“The black people feel really guilty, cos they caused The Civil War, right?”
NO. WRONG. WELCOME TO WRONGTOWN PLEASE TAKE A SEAT NEXT TO THAT OTHER REALLY WRONG PERSON FROM WRONGONIA.
My brain actually melted a little bit.
*This is a radical interpretation of teenagers. I am aware that there are some quite awesome and knowledgeable ones out there.
Image from: http://dibblyfresh1.blogspot.com/ (which is, incidentally, an awesome blog, and I completely recommend checking it out if you read trashy YA lit as a kid. Especially The Babysitter’s Club. It’s rad.)