Paul Savage

Comedian, host, cartoonist, astronaut, occasional liar

Archive: Mid 2008, I think. Losing at Pop Culture

no comment

I’m starting to worry. My pop culture senses have started to lose their razor sharp accuracy. I used to be on the cusp of stuff. Not in any useful way, but if someone made a reference to a TV show or celebrity, I could follow the conversation.

Then it started to go wrong.  I got a reference to “Peters and Lee” that my dad’s mate made. Why on earth would a man of 24 know about a 70’s folk band from Opportunity Knocks? And then I didn’t get a reference to some major news story, which was so major, I have since forgotten it. A disquieting feeling. Would my whole cultural psyche be forever skewed, like those Japanese troops coming out of the jungle to find modern civilisation, would I be stuck?

I want to blame other people. The other day I met a girl who knew the moves to Soulja Boy (which I didn’t), but then she hadn’t heard “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugar Hill Gang. Who is in the wrong here?

This is beginning to nag at me. There were some very fresh faced teens at a student gig who didn’t laugh at my Adam Ant bit, and someone actually scoffed and repeated it incredulously when I called him a pop legend.  If people are going to stop knowing who Adam Ant is, then I might have to drop that bit, and I love it. It’s usually a banker. I have a whole bit about Funkadelic, but do enough people know it?

The really worrying thing is that approximately 18% of my conversation is made up of pop culture references. When I get blank eyed stares from a perfectly well known and properly used Life of Brian quote, this is bad. It’s like when I watch Family Guy, and he says “This is worse than that time… (x) came round to (y)” where x is an American celebrity I haven’t heard of. Now some of you won’t have watched Family Guy and are staring blankly, as that description isn’t broad enough. It’s a never ending circle of infinite obscurity.

Where it starts to get weird is that exactly 12% of my self esteem comes from being good at Simpsons references. (Other parts include 11% that I am alright at pool, 5% that I can make a curry from scratch and 8% that I shower every day). I thought everyone watched The Simpsons, and that it was a cultural signifier. During a scale and polish the other day, when my dental hygenist asked how many times I brushed and I said “3 times a day”. Now if she was a fan, she would respond with “Why must you turn my office into a house of lies?”, and get out “the big book of British smiles”. She didn’t though, as she is about 65. The thought that she would made me laugh out loud, which is not good when someone is jabbing sharp metal around your soft gums.

But I haven’t seen many episodes from the newer serieses. Someday soon, someone will make a reference to one of these, and I will be floating cold and alone in a sea of non-quote-getting, like a exiled king looking at some stamps from his country, that now has a pudgy General’s face where his used to be.

Leave a Reply

Recent Posts

Paul Savage on Twitter

Recent Comments