Opinion: America by the numbers
A recent Time magazine takes a look at Americans by the numbers. I love these kinds of surveys because they help you realize there are a whole lot of people out there who need to get a life as much as you do. For example, after work and sleep, yo...
A recent Time magazine takes a look at Americans by the numbers.
I love these kinds of surveys because they help you realize there are a whole lot of people out there who need to get a life as much as you do.
For example, after work and sleep, you know what consumes the largest portion of our day? Watching television. And why wouldn't it?
I mean, right now the average male has to keep track of college football, college basketball, professional football, professional basketball, hockey, baseball trades and the various court dates of his favorite players. That takes a good three to four hours a night, plus weekends.
Women, according to the survey, don't spend nearly as much time watching television because apparently they have other interests -- like housework.
If you are of the opinion that everybody spends too much time in front of the tube, consider this: You know what both men and women do when the television is off? They spend time thinking. How frightening is that?
Another factoid regarding television, which is not at all surprising, is this: The average home has more televisions than people. Although the survey doesn't go into why, I assume it's because people are so much more, you know, high maintenance.
Another thing I like about these surveys is that they tell us things about ourselves that we might not suspect.
Like, did you know that although Americans annually spend $4.9 billion on exercise equipment and $17.4 billion on fitness clubs, "83 percent of us don't exercise at all on a given day."
Or that on a per capita basis, the average person in New Hampshire consumes about 18 bottles of booze a year (which explains why they all think they're such big experts on national politics).
I guess if I have a criticism of surveys it's that they seldom elaborate on their findings.
Sure, it's interesting to know that 6 percent of men's dreams are about animals. But shouldn't it also be noted that most of these animal dreams involve dancers named Bambi, and women dressed in skintight-leather cat suits?
Finally, any decent survey contains certain nuggets of information that just wow you, and the Time story contains two gems:
The average American lives 13 years longer than the average celebrity. (Tell me that information isn't going to be helpful if you have to watch something involving Kathy Griffin?)
Ten percent of Americans think Joan of Arc was Noah's wife.
(For the record, I'm not one of them.)