One of the greatest experiences of my childhood was visiting the Tower of London with my family. That day, history came alive and a lifelong passion was born. When I returned with my husband in 2012, I was a little bit disappointed in my experience. While the great structures were still there, many of the exhibits had been “dumbed-down” to make them more interactive. I really didn’t need to vote on who I believed murdered the Princes in the Tower. This did nothing to enhance my experience; I didn’t learn anything. In fact, having the voices of little boys shout “Uncle!?!” actually detracted from my experience.
The same thing happened at Hampton Court. We rented the audio tour, and what we got was a make-believe, short story about Katherine Parr’s wedding day to Henry VIII. I would have preferred a straightforward audio tour. A lot of us, even as children, don’t need all the bells and whistles to make something interesting. Being in a site with as much history as Hampton Court was riveting enough.
Above Left: Exhibit in question in the Bloody Tower at the Tower of London. I don’t have a problem with this display but there was an area where you can vote who you think killed the princes. WHO CARES WHAT I THINK!?!?! Above Right: Me at Hampton Court in the Haunted Gallery where Henry VIII’s fifth queen, Catherine Howard, ran screaming for the king to spare her life. Stories like this are fascinating unlike the make-believe audio tour we had!
Unfortunately, this is just a small, personal example of how society caters to the lowest common denominator.
Another example – when I call to schedule a doctor’s appointment, I am often treated like I’m disengaged and unimportant. I have to fight to get what I need. My husband, who has experience in this field, says it because they see so many who don’t give a damn about their health and don’t listen to the advice of their doctors. Just because other people don’t care doesn’t mean that I don’t. I’ve never heard of just not showing up for an appointment, but apparently it happens multiple times per day! When I go in for my visit, the doctor is usually delighted that I’m healthy and engaged in my healthcare.
It’s hard to find a real news broadcast anymore. Respectable news programs show youtube clips as news. They report what some clown says on Twitter as fact, and then it turns out to be wrong. You would be hard-pressed to find many people in my generation who know the actual news, and I’m not talking about Keeping Up With the Kardashians. I’m sure the average person knows what craziness Donald Trump tweeted early this morning, but do they know what is going on with North Korea or ISIS?
I’m not trying to be political here, but this is concerning. I’m tired of living in a world where we cater to the uniformed. We live in a nation where a lot of people think Lena Dunham and the Kardashians have all the answers.