I thought that would get people's attention.
There is this little film on the web, where an Australian film crew ask the average american in the street which country should be invaded next! They are then shown a map of the World and asked to put a pin on where they think that country is. The bit about Sri Lanka made me laugh out loud, as did the bit where someone put a pin on where they thought Iran was, but it is frightening on just how ignorant people can be. Not as frighteningly ignorant as 77 year old Richard Smith of Barking, but frightening enough!
Laughing aside I do agree to an extent with Normal Mouth (Hat tip to him for the link BTW) that we can be very smug about people in the US who show such ignorance, and he is right, some of it is down to jealousy. But I think it is more than that, it is a western trait to laugh at those who show ignorance on subjects and issues that a ten year old can grasp. Look at Jade Goody for example! When she showed her feeble grasp of general knowledge the newspapers were horrified and many of us just laughed and sneered at her because we found it hard to cope that someone could be that ignorant! But at least she was honest about her ignorance.
But I do disagree with Normal Mouth that this is simply how the World is, just because I think I can understand it and accept it doesn't mean that I think it should be tolerated! We should challenge it in a way that doesn't savagely belittle others.