Have you ever had a job that made your body hurt at the end of the day? Have you ever had a close friend who was an evangelical Christian? Do you know who Jimmie Johnson is? Have you eaten at Applebee’s recently?
If your answers skew more “no” than “yes,” you might be living in a bubble, according to libertarian political scientist (and Maryland resident) Charles Murray. The rich and educated, Murray argues, have cloistered themselves in what he calls super-ZIPs, elite neighborhoods that provide them with little exposure to real America. (“Real America” seems to be pretty narrowly [and white-ly] defined itself — think NASCAR, domestic beer, and Iron Man 2.)
So just how thick is your bubble? Take Murray’s quiz to find out how culturally sequestered you are. (Full disclosure: I got a 22.) If your score is low, Murray has a few suggestions about how to broaden your horizons (or those of your children):
“If you got a conspicuously low score — say, less than the mid-20s — then you ought to get out more. Not all of the interesting people in America live in Northwest Washington, Manhattan south of 96th Street or Palo Alto. Next vacation you take, don’t fly to your destination. Drive. Take several days getting there. Check out a broader range of television series (“Modern Family” is terrific, for example). Watch reality TV once in a while. Watch more movies that do big box office. Watch “Dirty Jobs.” Or do what I do, play live poker. Poker rooms are the most socioeconomically and ethnically diverse places in the country.”
What did you score? And does it accurately reflect your experience?
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