Thursday, December 07, 2006

They Also Had No Clue Who RuPaul Was, and For That, I Envy Them

I understand that not everyone is as pop cultures savvy as yours truly; I don't expect the average person on the street to know who Joss Whedon is, and if someone confesses ignorance of Firefly or Wonderfalls or Sons and Daughters, I don't express surprise, just sadness that they haven't experienced those wonderful (if short-lived) shows. But there are some things which strike me as so entrenched in pop culture that they should have seeped into the public consciousness, and yet, time and time again I find that my estimation of what is and isn't common knowledge is vastly out of touch with reality.

For example, a few months back I discovered that several people I knew had absolutely no clue who Lon Chaney Jr. was, which boggled my mind. To me, Chaney's name is as recognizable as Boris Karloff or Vincent Price*, but apparently that's just because I spent a great deal of my youth thumbing through horror movie encyclopedias. A more recent example which I mentioned briefly here was PigPen's ignorance of Happy Fun Ball; what I didn't discuss was that several other people expressed the same ignorance when I mentioned it to them later.

Still, both of those examples make much more sense to me than my recent experience with some of The Singles at our class Thanksgiving dinner. After we had finished eating, we sat down for a game of Cranium Pop 5 which, as its name might suggest, is a pop culture heavy game. Due to where we had been sitting before the game started, the suggested team divisions were Cap'n Cluck, The Anti-Cap'n, and myself on one team, and Squiggly, Shack-Fu, and Scuba Girl on the other. My team tried to warn them that this division of forces was unfair; it's kind of like putting a pee-wee football team up against a college team - - we might not be pros, but we definitely had a big advantage. Still, they decided that they didn't care about the imbalance, and so we set about royally stomping them; my favorite moment was when The A.C. drew an owl and I correctly guessed the answer "Give a Hoot, Don't Pollute," followed by the other team's cries of "Oh, come on!" But that's not what this is about; no, this is about one turn in particular where my team drew a card for the other team (category: TV show), handed it over to Squiggly, and felt our collective jaw drop when she proclaimed "I have no idea what this is." There was a brief exchange wherein my team expressed incredulity, and she steadfastly maintained that she had never heard of the show before in her life. But, even though she didn't have any clue about the show, she did a really good job of giving her team clues to what it might be. Unfortunately, her teammates couldn't figure it out. We discovered why after their time ran out and the answer was revealed; turns out, neither one of them had heard of it either. So, what was the name of this obviously obscure and little-known TV series?

The Love Boat

Now, is it really that much of a stretch to expect people to have, if not watched, at least heard of The Love Boat? I mean, it's not like I was expecting them to be able to name off Captain Stubing, Julie the Cruise Director, Doc, Gopher, or Isaac. To have never heard of the show at all . . . the mind wobbles.

Of course, you know what the real tragedy of the Love Boat situation is**? It's that the odds of the three of them having the faintest clue who Charo*** is are slim to none.

Kids today, huh?

*I can hear the resounding chorus of "Who?" even as I type this
**Other than making me feel old, of course.
***Or "The Cuchi-Cuchi Girl" as she was known in my household