Don't put your ignorance on blast

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So, last night I couldn't sleep. I was up late worrying about Hurricane Dick, er, Richard. You see, I've been madly in love with Belize for more than a decade and that's the country Dick was dumping on. For me, it's a place that feels like home. I study its history, culture and government. If all goes well, I'll retire there.

Because of my love for the country, I was up late last night watching hurricane news trickle in on Twitter. I learned the country lost power, the hurricane didn't totally annihilate it ... and a bunch of American dumb asses have no idea what countries are part of our continent. Not only do they not know which countries share a land mass with us, they're too fucking lazy to Google a map.

So, let me help:

Map of Belize

You can even drive there, contrary to the belief of the twitterer who suggested the country is an island. See for yourself: Plug in your address and find out how long it will take you to drive to Belize here.

I've decided to rail on this topic, not just because of Hurricane Dick, but because, a couple weeks ago, it became clear people don't fully understand where Afghanistan is ... you know, the country we've been warring in for a decade? When the news broke that our troops' fuel was being blown up in Pakistan, people were all *shrug*. Not cool, dudes. I don't even want to know how many citizens of this country can't find the 50 states on a map.

Folks, it is not OK to be this stupid, especially when you're practically mainlining the Internet — a glorious information source — 24/7. I know, I know: Our education system could use some work. But even with top-notch schools, students have to want to learn. They have to be curious about something outside of their tiny sphere of influence and friends.

And, for chrissake, if you don't know something for sure, shut the fuck up about it. Example: Belize isn't full of "Mexicans," as some jerk suggested on Twitter last night. It's actually an English-speaking former British colony that will celebrate 30 years of independence on Sept. 21, 2011. All of this easily discovered via the power of Google.

By all means, Google topics you're interested in — but, don't stop there. Go to the library and check out books, then read them. Participate in civil conversations with people in-the-know and soak up their knowledge and wisdom. Learn to crave knowledge.

Whatever you do, don't settle for being uneducated. There's no excuse for it these days. And, never forget this: Your education does not stop when you walk out of your school. Your education should continue for a lifetime since it's impossible to know everything and there's always something new to learn.

Rhiannon “Rhi” Bowman is an independent journalist who contributes snarky commentary on Creative Loafing’s CLog blog four days a week in addition to writing for several other local media organizations. To learn more, click the links or follow Rhi on Twitter.

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