Register Thursday | June 20 | 2019

cultural literacy

I keep thinking I'm catching up with the culture. I'm halfway through the DVD catalogue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I've started watching The Daily Show, and I'm going to be getting some video-game lessons from Heather. Plus I just watched a Jerry Bruckheimer movie, and really liked it (more on this in a moment.)

But I was out last night with a friend who really is up on all these things on the television and so forth, and talking to her I realized how little I know, or more accurately how little I'm willing to know.

For example. Paris Hilton's dog wrote a book. About Paris Hilton, of course, and we're speculating that he might have had some help from a ghostwriter. But still. It might (Joan couldn't remember) be a bestseller.

And, on the television, Fear Factor. Apparently people put their heads in boxes full of giant spiders for fifty thousand dollars. Apparently some of the things that the people do are so disgusting they give you the dry-heaves.

And . Remember when he was in Free to Be - You and Me, singing the little song about how happy he was with his body? That made me cry. Actually, that's a whole other post.

My significant other mentioned in passing today that he's a bit concerned that he's getting old, because he keeps catching himself telling the kind of jokes that you can only respond to by going 'Ho, ho.' I also think I'm getting old, because I don't understand the world outside of my immediate and fairly restricted experience at all. Actually, that's ageist. There are way older people than me who understand these things way better. But you know how some people seem stuck in the fifties or the sixties? I think I'm stuck in about 1992. I had no idea it would happen this soon.

Back to the Jerry Bruckheimer movie, though, which I did understand: National Treasure! As my friend Kristin put it, 'It's not good, but it's awesome.' It is! I know, I saw the trailer too, and I rolled my eyes just like you did. I actually had a really nasty review written in my head before I even got to the theatre. But then I had to discard it, much to my chagrin, because the movie was totally perfect for what it was. It's a big, dumb action movie where the American history geeks win, and there's a frozen ship buried in Antarctic ice and it explodes, and there are people in helicopters saying things like 'Activate Zebra! Divers are go!' and Nicholas Cage being all earnest and vulnerable right in the thick of it.

I felt kind of weird about giving The Incredibles three stars and National Treasure four, but National Treasure knew what it was trying to do and did it impeccably, whereas I got the feeling that The Incredibles was a sort of larval stage in the development of a new genre - the animated action flick for adults - actually, this is a whole other post, too, that has to do with Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and my attempts to learn video games - so for now suffice to say that I wouldn't go see The Incredibles again, but I would National Treasure, and I'm still pretty sad about Michael Jackson.