Pop Culture Ingnorance

April 14, 2007

My co-worker’s name is Emily and she’s in her early 20’s. She listens to Tim McGraw, has a collection of romance novels by Lurlene McDaniel at her desk, and her favorite movie is Dirty Dancing. She likes Dirty Dancing so much so, that she has two copies of the movie. One is to keep in her car, so she can watch it where ever she goes. You see what I’m dealing with here? No? Let me put it in perspective.

A while ago, I asked Emily if she heard they were making an Indiana Jones IV. Her response was, “What’s Indiana Jones?” (See the more detailed conversation here.) It gets worse…

Star Wars.
Indiana Jones.
Back to the Future.
Weird Al.

Other than the fact that all of these have had an enormous impact on pop culture and have been around for more than 20 years, some of them even pushing 30, what else do all four of these thing have in common? Emily claims that she has never had an interest in any of these things. So that’s why she’s never seen the movies or listened to Weird Al. Fine. But, it’s not just that – she hasn’t even heard of them! Has NO IDEA WHATSOEVER!

I’m not going to cover Indiana Jones again. It’ll just make me want to cry. Click the link above for that.

Let’s start with Weird Al. Comedian. Musician. Grammy winner. You don’t have to be a fan of Weird Al to know who he is or what he does. Even if you haven’t listened to his music, surely you’ve at least heard of his hit songs “Eat It”, “Fat”, “Like a Surgeon”, “Amish Paradise”, or “White & Nerdy” and probably know which songs they parody. Emily, on the other hand, couldn’t even name one of his songs. She didn’t even know that he was a musician.

Back to the Future. This is a movie for everyone! It’s not about an archeologist who fights Nazis (which Emily referred to as a “cowboy and indian” movie). And it’s not a sci-fi, space epic either. It’s about a teenager who travels through time. There’s action, humor, music, romance – what’s not to love? I’ve never ever heard anyone utter the phrase, “I hate Back to the Future.” These movies have become classics from the 1980’s. There is no good excuse for not seeing these movies.

When I asked Emily what she knows about Back to the Future, she responded “Well, nothing really. But shouldn’t it be Back to the Past, because how can you go back to what never was?” I think I understand what she’s trying to say. I honestly even tried to diagram it on a timeline for her. I did not succeed. I had to give up and told her to just watch the frickin’ movie.

And last, but certainly not least – Star Wars. I can understand she doesn’t have any interest in Star Wars. Not many girls do. However, through friends, family, or references from other types of media, they at least – bare minimum – know that Darth Vader is Luke’s father. I guess Emily has also never seen Tommy Boy.

Furthermore, Star Wars has had two trilogies. Not one. Two. That’s a grand total of six movies. Six. And with all the hype from the rest of the whole wide world, this is what Emily had gathered from it:

I asked “So, Emily, what do you know about Star Wars?”

To which she replied, “Oh, that’s spaceship people. Right?”

…. Right. Spaceship people. I don’t think anyone could give a more simplistic summary. Let’s move on.

I am completely befuddled by this. She’s a normal girl. How could have all of these pop culture phenomenons just slip by her? I don’t get it. What concerns me even further is that chances are, Emily isn’t the only person in the world that’s like this. And it pains me to even imagine how many more there might be. I know I’m a nerd and a fanatic of all of these things and that I am probably over-reacting a bit here, but still – these are the big dogs! I feel like I showed a picture of the solar system and she pointed to the sun and said, “What’s that?”

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go take a bottle of aspirin…



  1. haha thats awesome.

  2. I know many people like this, and it boggles the mind.

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