American Heritage provided a great snapshot into trends and issues of the past that helped shape who we are today. With so many Generation Y-types being virtually clueless about events prior to, say 1990, the loss of another archival benchmark bodes ill.
At the same time, we’re seeing various test scores indicating school kids know little to nothing about current events or geography. So, it’s not just the past that today’s kids find challenging, it’s the nature and scope of substantive matters in the world around us as well. The operative word in the preceding sentence, by the way, is ‘substantive.’ If, and when, our news organizations focus more on, say the G-8 Summit or the carnage in Darfur and less on the fairness of Paris Hilton’s jail sentence, the sooner we’ll make strides towards educating an increasingly lazy and out-of-touch society that is not only doomed to repeat history’s mistakes as Abe Lincoln warned, but show every indication that the worst is yet to come.