Little-known secret: I’m not particularly cultured or well-educated.
Sorry to disappoint you.
I mean, I have some refined tastes and I’m well-mannered when you’re not the shitty driver next to me I just muttered murderous things to from the safety of my vehicle.
But I don’t know about things I should know about.
I have a reasonably high IQ, so I can learn things quickly and fake people out. But because I committed most of my youth to athletic pursuits and wasted almost all of my reading and viewing hours on fictional escapism, I’m now more ignorant than a person who writes things as often as I do, and is raising a human being, should be.
I think we can all agree our Trivia Crack percentages paint a pretty distinct picture of our education and should be listed on our resumes. Yes, I’m ashamed that while I win the vast majority of my games due to my nearly 9-out-of-10 correct answers in Sports and Entertainment, my scores in Geography (79%), History (77%), Science (77%), and Art (76%), leave something to be desired.
What kind of a fraudulent writer gets 25 percent of his questions wrong in the Art category? This guy.
You see, I’m guilty of wanting to be the guy at parties that knows everything about everything, but I’m evidently not willing to put in the work to do so.
I love film.
But I’ve never seen Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, Schindler’s List, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, or The Shining. But I’ve watched Back to the Future and Office Space and Terminator 2 a combined 14 million times.
I love music.
But I’m not obsessed with Elvis or The Beatles (though I acknowledge their greatness), and I don’t really get why everyone loves Bob Dylan and The Clash. I dig The Doors and Robert Johnson and Pink Floyd and The Rolling Stones, but I almost never play their albums over the new music I get so much joy out of discovering and sharing.
I love books.
But I’ve read so little of Twain and Orwell and Salinger and Hemingway and Dickinson and Vonnegut that I literally feel shame when I think about how much I’ve ignored the best at what I aspire to do. I just always liked reading Dean Koontz and John Grisham and Michael Connelly novels so much, I never stopped until I was old enough to gravitate to non-fiction.
Am I wrong, or bad, or dumb for making those choices?
I don’t know. Maybe.
What does it mean that I know Chandler’s last name on Friends and the specific date Marty travels back to in Back to the Future and that I’m close to a walking encyclopedia on the Chicago Bulls of the Michael Jordan years, but that I’ve never read The Catcher in the Rye or Fahrenheit 451?
What does it mean that I generally prefer cinema to stage performance, and photography to oil on canvas?
I started thinking about cars.
Ask a hundred people about those things, and it’s almost certain no two people will align exactly.
Heidi Klum married Seal and I was like, what the-!?
Emmy Rossum married Adam Duritz and I was like, what the-!?
Tom Arnold married Roseanne Barr and I was like, what the-!?
But maybe there’s nothing to understand.
Maybe trying to is a big waste of time.
There are people who want to live in desert mountain caves and kill people who don’t agree with them because they believe in different versions of the same story.
I don’t understand why they wouldn’t rather be nice to people and attend fun parties on Saturday and hang out on the beach and go to a great concert and watch a ballgame on television more than blow something up. But they wish I was dead, so it doesn’t matter that I don’t get it.
Kim Kardashian is the most popular person on Twitter. Her stepdad is now a woman.
So is one of the Wachowski brothers.
I adore this painting by Pablo Picasso.
I don’t like the one above at all.
But I bet most art fans do.
Just like most music fans love The Clash.
Just like most literature fans have read the classics.
Just like most film buffs have seen Casablanca.
Whatever I am needs to be okay. Whatever I am IS okay. I secretly think all the things I like are better than all the things you like, but I’ve learned enough to finally understand that input gets filtered and measured so differently from human to human.
The diversity should be celebrated because it’s anything from boring.
Maybe so long as no one’s getting hurt, we just let people be themselves, no matter what.
We know what we know. Love what we love. Want what we want.
And most of the time, there isn’t any “right” or “wrong” attached to it. It just is.
Every day more things are created. More things to get to know and love and want.
Things you get to make and put out there.
Things I get to make and put out there.
And not everyone is going to get it or love it or want it.
But some will.