Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Pop Culture Non-Integration Index

We reached a new record today. . . a high of 73.

It is well-known (in this house, anyway) that our knowledge of modern pop-culture, i.e., the rock stars, actors, celebutantes, and assorted other notables, is extremely lacking. As far as motion pictures go, our familiarity starts petering out in the late 1950's and with a few outstanding exceptions stops dead in 1960. That's a pretty accurate chronological box in which to put most of our pop cultural knowledge.

Lately, we've found a new index which confirms our breath-taking ignorance of modernity. Each morning the Press-Telegram prints a little column called "Today's Birthdays". We have found that, in general, we have no idea who anyone younger than 50 is. There are exceptions. Yesterday, for instance, we recognized a little tyke of 42. Can't remember who that was at the moment, but the age sticks in the mind as we haven't gone that low in a few weeks. But today was a new record: cluelessness rang in at 73. A happy birthday to Larry McMurtry, the novelist, who is 73. We have no idea who anyone under 73 on that list is.

We are occasionally sorry to find that one of our favourite people is not on the list merely, we suppose, because he is dead. But on the whole, this probably makes it a better index of one's non-integration into pop culture. If Halliwell Hobbes, Dub Taylor, and H.V. Kaltenborn were on the list we might get the mistaken impression that we still knew something about what was going on. Not much chance of that in the current format. It hasn't happened yet, but we expect someday to find ourself whitheringly ignorant of the entire list.