In the past three days, I have failed to understand cultural references related to a celebrity chef, a Kardashian person (made from someone old enough to be my father), and (I think) the woman engaged to Prince I–Still-Don’t-Know-His-Name. While watching 30 Rock last night (two episodes on DVD), I counted at least three jokes that zoomed over my head when the cultural references required to laugh at these jokes were unknown to me.
And on Thanksgiving, I found myself watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade with Clara and not knowing most of the celebrities perched atop the corporate floats.
This is an issue I have written about before.
And before that.
And yet I still have not decided the degree to which I am concerned about this trend. I know it sounds a little silly, but as an author, I don’t want to become entirely detached from pop culture. There’s too much investment in movies, television and celebrities by readers and the general public to just ignore these things, and I don’t want my future books to become entirely devoid of any necessary pop culture references.
I’d also very much like to avoid becoming the cranky old man who thinks that the last great movies were made by Jerry Lewis and Rita Hayworth. You know the guy. The one who longs for the days of The Honeymooners and I Love Lucy and cannot understand why there is so much sex on television today.
I don’t want to be that guy.
And frankly, I’d like to feel a little less lost when discussions related to pop culture arise.
Yet at the same time I do not want to turn my attention back to television to the degree seemingly required to keep up on these things.
I don’t want to watch American Idol or its various dancing incarnations. I care nothing for the latest police procedural or the latest reality show nonsense. I don’t care about royal weddings and never will. I have no desire to watch people cook dinner or talk about cooking dinner. And I don’t want to watch a news program that would report on a Kardashian person as if he or she were a legitimate new story.
I was whining about this conundrum over the weekend when someone recommended I watch a television show called Talk Soup in order to keep up on the latest goings-on. Thirty minutes, I was promised, would be more than enough to keep me in the know.
I have never seen this show and get the sense that I may require a shower after watching it, but perhaps this is a solution.