Sunday, January 15, 2012

Pop Cultural Literacy

I've followed the Republican primary race so closely that I could tell you the difference between Bain Capital and Bain & Company. I could probably report three key points from each of the last three republican debates. There is less-than-zero chance I'll vote for any of them, so why the obsessive curiosity?

If you look at my browsing history, I probably visit Entertainment Weekly website as much as the New York Times website. When new magazines arrive at the library to be labeled before circulation, the first one I look for is Us Weekly. Then People Magazine. Then, maybe, The Atlantic Monthly or The New Yorker. Even though I don't watch it, I like knowing who was kicked off Dancing With the Stars. I like knowing that person's reaction as well as the viewing public's reaction. I read Chris Harrison's weekly behind-the-scenes blog from "The Bachelor" or "The Bachelorette" because I like to know what drama is going on.

I think my interest in the circus that is the republican primary is the same as my interest in the rest of pop culture: I like to know what's going on, what people are talking about. That way, if it comes up in conversation (the same thing goes for sports--I have fun surprising people with my knowledge of pro-football and baseball), I'm armed with statistics.

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