Every once in awhile I run into a person who surprises me by having “never heard that.” This doesn’t always throw me for a loop. Take the following example: “Did you know that some snakes, lizards and sharks have two penises?” I would not be shocked by a person saying, “No, I didn’t know that some lizards have two penises. I’ll pay closer attention next time.”
But then there are other times when I admit to being taken off gaurd. A colleague, who is about 30, admited to not knowing many classic rock bands. Ok. I found it odd, but whatever. A week or so later I was sharing the news that Glen Frey died. He asked who that was. I answered: you know, from The Eagles. He said he’d NEVER HEARD OF THEM!
Ok, look……we all have different interests. I don’t like Justin Bieber or Harry Potter, but I have HEARD of them. I could even name one or two things about them. But how can a person who is 30-years old grow up in this country without having heard the song Hotel California?
We went to lunch recently at a pub. They were, of course, playing classic rock on their sound system. When The Eagles played, see we heard them by just living, I pointed the song out to him. Then, Foxy Lady came on. I jokingly prodded, “next you’ll tell me that you don’t know who sings this song.” He said, “No, but I could ask Google.” I stabbed him in the eye. Ok I didn’t, but I would have been justified.
I have heard the expression of people living ‘sheltered lives’, but this seemed over the top to me.
People who know me know that I am a big fan of quoting lines from famous movies. My favorite people are those who can jump right in with a responding line from the same or similar movie. For anybody who watches the TV show Suits, the main characters do this regularly as a form of bonding.
I used the line, “Son, your mouth is writing checks that your body can’t cash” on a colleague just this last month. My good mood was immediately lost when he sounded off that he had no clue what the hell I was talking about. I said, “It’s from Top Gun! He said that he had never seen Top Gun. I called immigration. If you, dear reader, have not seen Top Gun, stop what you are doing and go watch it. Or kindly climb back over Donald Trump’s wall and return to your homeland.
I was able to confirm that he has tried apple pie.
I realize that we can’t all like the same forms of art. We can’t all watch, read, or listen to the same things. But shouldn’t red-blooded Americans above the age of two-days old know the riff to ‘Foxy Lady’, know the first names of The Beatles, and be able to recite Top Gun and every line ever spoken by Jack Nicholson by heart?
Some people feel that the end of civilization can be predicted based on our current political candidates, but I feel this issue is much more reflective of the pending Armageddon. Please, save the world. Go listen to Hotel California and Are You Experienced. You might even ‘go crazy’ and read Huckleberry Finn or watch The Wizard of Oz. This will allow you to call yourself an American. I don’t give two shits about whether you know the name of the yahoo who wrote ‘The Star Spangled Banner’. If you don’t know who wrote Foxy Lady, you should have your American Passport suspended!
*side note: Why are so many of the top 50 classic rock albums of all time British?