I do love a curmudgeon, especially one who writes well.
Here's an excerpt from an especially incisive essay in The New York Review of Books by Charles Simic.
If this lack of knowledge is the result of the years of dumbing down of high school curriculum and of families that don’t talk to their children about the past, there’s another more pernicious kind of ignorance we confront today. It is the product of years of ideological and political polarization and the deliberate effort by the most fanatical and intolerant parties in that conflict to manufacture more ignorance by lying about many aspects of our history and even our recent past. I recall being stunned some years back when I read that a majority of Americans told pollsters that Saddam Hussein was behind September 11 terrorist attacks. It struck me as a propaganda feat unsurpassed by the worst authoritarian regimes of the past—many of which had to resort to labor camps and firing squads to force their people to believe some untruth, without comparable success.
You can read the rest of The Age of Ignorance here.
I'm not sure what to do with it all, though, other than shake my head and feel a certain smug satisfaction draped over growing dread that I'm in total agreement.