Winston Churchill a Myth, Sherlock Holmes Real
Like Motown legend Sam Cooke, today’s Brits apparently don’t know much about history.
Britons are losing their grip on reality, according to a poll out Monday which showed that nearly a quarter think Winston Churchill was a myth while the majority reckon Sherlock Holmes was real.
The survey found that 47 percent thought the 12th century English king Richard the Lionheart was a myth. And 23 percent thought World War II prime minister Churchill was made up. The same percentage thought Crimean War nurse Florence Nightingale did not actually exist. Three percent thought Charles Dickens, one of Britain’s most famous writers, is a work of fiction himself. Indian political leader Mahatma Gandhi and Battle of Waterloo victor the Duke of Wellington also appeared in the top 10 of people thought to be myths.
Meanwhile, 58 percent thought Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional detective Holmes actually existed; 33 percent thought the same of W. E. Johns’ fictional pilot and adventurer Biggles.
I suppose that, in our postmodern, poststructural world, one could argue that “myth” and “real” are mere social constructs. Things are “real” only to the extent people perceive them to be.
Mostly, though, we seem to be wasting a lot of money on education given the apparent rate at which the information is “taking.”