The thing about pop culture is this: it’s fun to have these random facts stuck in your head. At parties or at work, you have this cache of little ice breakers that everyone can relate to: The Simpsons, Star Wars, the god damned eighties. So help me if I have to hear Rhonda from accounting go on and on and on about the eighties. It’s contagious. One person brings up The Neverending Story, and people can’t help themselves: “Do you remember Punky Brewster/ Jellies/ Parachute Pants/ My Little Pony…?” It never stops. I have had whole days ruined because of this. And women are the worst. This, I think, is directly attributed to the fact that so many of their eighties memories are so wholesome and socially acceptable to reminisce endlessly about them. Men, on the other hand, after we discuss Rambo, The Transformers, and Voltron we immediately start thinking about Brooke Shields in Blue Lagoon, Jamie Lee Curtis in Trading Places, Phoebe Cates in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, you get the picture. This, once fun conversation, becomes increasingly more creepy.
But I digress, pop culture while entertaining, offers no real social or emotional value. It makes friendships, but friendships that hinge on ultimately empty topics. One day, sitting at your desk, you realize that you have wasted so much space in your brain with these useless facts that that’s all you can end up thinking about. I can vaguely remember Plato’s Allegory of the Cave (which I paid, and am still paying thousands of dollars, to learn) but I can tell you that, without a doubt, while Chevy Chase was playing Gerald Ford on Saturday Night Live, he wanted Jimmy Carter to win the presidential election. Why do I know that? Why do I remember it?
It offers no real comfort.