Pop Culture: Repeating the past by avoiding the present
October. The month when I annually lament my inability to catalog significant pop-culture moments throughout the year.
Most people are content to wait until December and read someone else’s 12-month recap. But that’s the easy way out. It’s like a guy who wants to build a car, so he waits until somebody else builds one, then says, “Here it is!”
I wouldn’t want to put together a top-moments retrospective every year. But just once, I’d like to keep tabs beginning Jan. 1 and keep up with it all year.
But I have the same problem that befalls people who vow to keep a daily journal. They start the year gung-ho, but things eventually go astray.
Jan. 1. Happy new year — my first journal entry! Made appetizers, watched the Gator Bowl, took a nap during the Rose Bowl, then watched the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, while munching on (ironically) Doritos.
Jan. 2. Got up. Went to work. Went out for lunch, ordered a turkey club. Stopped at the outlet mall and bought a Rascal Flatts CD that I wanted for Christmas but didn’t get!
Jan. 3. Nothing much new.
April 29. Had a garage sale. Sold the Rascal Flatts CD for a buck.
July 4. Fourth of July.
Laziness is one stumbling block for people like me. Decision-making is another. I think the task of chronicling a year’s top events is more daunting than it used to be. Way back, any armchair historian could just keep a stack of newspapers next to his armchair, and compile the list in one sitting.
Cable TV and the Internet complicated the exercise, but not the way you might think. People talk about information overload, but our current problem is more like information wide-load.
Everything is equal. Tropical storms and a “Survivor” premiere??Push.
So my attempt at a top-stories project might fail, even if I were motivated. If everything is important, nothing matters. The chaff overwhelms the wheat. It makes me want to take out a patent for a combine.
I did try to make a list of top events of September, just to see if I was up to the task. Here are a few I found, using the Yahoo’s home page new headlines as a guide.
- “High school football player’s bizarre touchdown.”
- “High school football player’s big blunder.”
- “High school football team’s strange reason for forfeiting.”
- “High school football player’s miracle catch.”
This list would bore even a football coach.
It’s been that kind of year.
Contact Dennis Volkert at firstname.lastname@example.org.