It’s not that I don’t enjoy making fun of people who are dumber than I am; I do, very much. And it’s not that I don’t think the national IQ has been trending downward since about 1989; it has, exponentially. But where celebrities and historical events are concerned, you can’t keep track of everything. For example, I had no idea who this guy Drake was until a member of his entourage recently clocked Nobel nominee Chris Brown with a liquor bottle. I drew a blank on Yvette Wilson until reading that she used to star in two sitcoms I had never seen.
I run into that a lot lately. Google’s list of trending topics always contains about seven names that are completely unknown to me. I peruse the celebrity snark site Dlisted and the stars I don’t recognize far outnumber the ones I do.
The problem is fame inflation. Social media and a million reality shows create so many famous people so quickly that genuine celebrities — Paul McCartney, say, or Chuck Connors — become indistinguishable from fame whores such as Drake or Chris Brown. Or that woman they’re so fond of, with the name that sounds like a nasal infection.
Then there’s history. It just never seems to stop! You can’t blame the Twitterati for knowing nothing of the Titanic. Or World War II. Or that time L.A. almost self-destructed over the King case. Think how many thousands of Tweets it would take just to equal one book on any of those subjects. And while you’re reading them, a whole bunch more history would already have happened! No thanks.
We are all entitled to our own areas of ignorance. I won’t criticize them if they don’t criticize me.