Thursday, June 01, 2006

Spelling Champs as National Heroes?

What does it say about a culture when a sufficient number of people are expected to watch a spelling bee on national television, enough in fact that the producers expect to turn a profit from it? What's more, the bee is supposedly going to be broadcast during prime-time for the first time ever.

According to the AP article:
"Spelling bees are gaining in popularity, thanks partly to the ESPN broadcasts and the competition's starring roles in movies, including the recently released "Akeelah and the Bee," and a Tony-winning Broadway musical, said Paige Kimble, the bee's director and 1981 champion."

I'm sure this says something about our culture, but I have no idea what that might be. The trouble with trends is that for everyone one of them, there's doubtless several others trending in some other direction.

Ah, well, I can't help but hope that this is a trend toward more literacy in at least some small subset of America's vast middle. I hope so, because the opportunities available to me in my career may depend on it.