Wednesday, June 09, 2004
In the Old Time, when I still naïvely believed that what matters is what you know and what you have done, rather than who you know and who you'll do it with, I actually bothered sending CVs out to potential employers. And when I did, along with all my other academic achievements, and made-up hobbies, I would always claim a deep and intimate knowledge of "popular culture".
I'm not sure what it meant, and neither did they, but it sounded good at the time. What I think I was trying to say was that, while I'd been taught dead useful things at University like the path to fascism as evinced in the German horror cinema of the 1920s, or the role of allegory in the oeuvre of some French poet even his mère didn't care for, I was also a truly well-rounded individual, who had a proper appreciation of the "low-brow" stuff the man on the street was really interested in.
It would be called "patronising" today, but we all did it back then, in our DMs and our black 501s, and not just because we were closet Janet Street-Porter wannabes and wanted to get onto yoof telly.
Today, right snobby little Stranger that I can sometimes be, most so-called popular culture passes me by. I don't know, and couldn't care less about who Den is shagging in the Queen Vic (and judging by the ratings neither does anyone else), and find it terminally depressing to think that people don't seem to realise that the third-rate, infantile has-been's appearance in yet another reality show is just a desperate last-ditch attempt to save a washed-up career.
Unlike a few years ago, I wouldn't now know a kids' TV presenter even if he went down on me round the back of Studio Four for my two Blue Peter badges; and all B*g Br*t*er is to me is some bloke from a George Orwell book. Proper pompous pain in the ass, aren't I? Anyway, everything I need to know about popular culture these days I can get from my best-loved blogs.
Which must go to explain why, at an arty theatre performance last night featuring my favourite diva, no person in the audience other than Kate Moss had to be pointed out to me by a friend. I had no idea that was what she looked like. I didn't even realise she was white: for years I thought she was that skinny black bird from Streatham.
So much for my deep and intimate knowledge of popular culture, then. I really need to get out and read the scandal-sheets more often, if only to understand what the rest of the world out there is talking about.