It was bound to happen eventually. After years of absorbing trivial details about the lives of the rich, famous and notorious – sometimes against my own conscious will – I’m starting to feel a bit like a burgeoning pop culture brontosaurus.
The other day there were three headlines on people.com that meant nothing to me. Doutzen Kroes Marries. Karina Smirnoff Engaged to Brad Penny. No Foul Play Suspected in Julien Hug’s Death.
So I had to do some digging to find out who the heck these people were. Doutzen Kroes is a Victoria’s Secret model. (Don’t care) Karina is a pro on Dancing with the Stars and her fiance is a baseball player. (Don’t watch) And Julien Hug was a short-term contestant on one season of The Bachelorette, who killed himself. (Have seen one episode)
In the news game it’s customary to add some sort of hint when the so-called famous person isn’t a household name. For years, James Gandolfini was known as Sopranos star James Gandolfini, for example. There’s Oscar winner Halle Berry or troubled actress Lindsay Lohan. The discriptor gives those who may not be living and breathing celebrity culture a fighting chance to catch on. But then there’s People. Their entire approach is, “if we have to tell you, you’re obviously not cool!”
OK. I’m not cool.
I could be cool if my Little Sister or my Step-Daughter were around more often. With either of those young women in close proximity, a wizened adult like me has a fighting chance at keeping up with what’s going on with stars-of-the-moment. My Mom may have hated Star Wars but if someone referred to a Jedi, she knew what they were talking about because of my brother and me. I don’t have that kind of youthful knowledge around me and it makes a difference. This is the point where some of my contemporaries would start saying dismissive things like, “They’re just flashes in the pan anyway”, and “They won’t endure like the stars of MY generation!” Well, I can’t see the future and for all I know, that Karina woman is a budding actress whose work will make babies laugh and grown men weep. And I’ll have to admit that I didn’t know who she was back in the day when she did that thing with that show about the stuff!