Wednesday, November 21, 2007

And here's another one

This time, we manage to go from "People sometimes support football teams from towns where they don't live" to "The Government has a policy to stamp out History and Geography" via "Children don't know dates and maps as well as they did in the Olden Days. Is this some kind of complex multi-layered parody, do you think?


Danel said...

Poor old Jenkins... his little article here is almost entirely incoherent. Perhaps his confusion stems from the way he appears to be both an old Conservative, lamenting that we're all going to hell in a handcart and things were so much better in his day, and at the same time a leftie Guardianista blaming everything on Thatcher and New Labour?

Really, these sort of surveys are really a lot of nonsense - they seem to come along every year, prompt a lot of sound and fury about how kids these days don't know anything, for whatever reason is dearest to the heart of the analyst. Even by those standards, Jenkins' foaming "Football teams... New Labour... the internet" diatribe is bizarre.

Geography was a lot of nonsense, anyway. Maybe it was just that all of the teachers I had for it were awful, but it was one of my least favourite subjects. It seemed fairly random to me - a odd combination of map-reading, statistics about 'abroad', and environmentalism. I certainly don't have the love for it that Jenkins seems to - never mind his odd suggestion that people don't know where Everest is because, having read about it on the internet, they don't actually realise it's a long way away. "in our day, we walked to Everest ourselves to learn all about it. Barefoot, there and back".

He does have a point about the sports though - reminded me of what someone else, perhaps Francis Wheen, termed the athletic fallacy, the linking of the fortunes of a nation and its leader to the fortunes of the national sports team. Especially risky in this country, given the dubious success rate of our teams.

Andrew Rilstone said...

I understood that Geography existed purely so that supernumerary P.E teachers had something to do with their time.