I’ve been deluged with people wanting to know the results of my geography quiz (scroll down to Geography – 17th April). To back-track for a second I took it upon myself to travel the high-ways and by-ways of this land asking the simple question: “In which country would you find Mount Everest?” The purpose of my poll to was to obtain data to support or disprove my much-discussed and over-simplified cod-political theory that U.S. Foreign Policy is in a shambles because most Americans know nothing about the world beyond the borders of our country. I assumed that if there was one Geographical item Americans would know about then Everest (the world’s tallest mountain) would be it.
22% of the people I asked replied: “I don’t know.” When I suggested they might like to hazard a guess they couldn’t even think of the name of another country. These people need to return to school immediately.
Astonishingly 22% of the people I asked believe that Mount Everest is in the USA! It appears that if it’s big it must be American. These people need to be given a good clout over the head with a large atlas (that’s a book full of maps by the way) and sent to the back of the class to join those people who can’t name any other countries. On conclusion of their studies we’ll see if they should be allowed to vote ever again.
20% got the answer right: Nepal. These people should report to Washington straight away and replace all politicians in charge of foreign policy.
One person said: “It’s in Nepal, though that’s not a country.” Another said it’s in Tibet which also technically correct as the summit ridge is on the Nepalese-Tibetan border. Another person said China which, depending on your feelings about Chinese politics, is a vaguely correct answer too. These people should do revision after school on Friday and can then apply for any remaining jobs in Washington.
5% thought that Everest was in India (someone else thought Burma) which is close and they’ll be forgiven – but they’ll have to do extra home-work first.
5% of those polled believe Africa is a country. Another 5% believe South America is a country. These people need to take a special needs class along with the person who believes Washington is a country (!) and will also be getting the Atlas treatment listed above.
One person thought Everest was in Switzerland. Well it has mountains so I guess their lateral thinking is good. This person can go work at the UN in the Five-fishes world hunger program.
One grip I worked with looked at me and said “Who gives a $#@%.” Took a drag out of his cigarette and walked off. If I didn’t espouse global peace and understanding between nations and I didn’t give money to the Brady Center to Control Gun Violence I’d have this man shot.
Conclusion: Theory proved. If more Americans knew where Mount Everest was we wouldn’t be in Iraq. It’s obvious isn’t it?
By the way the Nepalese for Everest is: Sagarmatha and the Tibetan: Chomolungma. For more info on this fine piece of rock history go to http://www.mnteverest.net/history.html
Useful reading: “What Every American Should Know About The Rest Of The World” by M.L. Rossi