Today I mentioned something about Beth Ditto to my husband and he interjected: “Who’s Beth Ditto?”
This triggered a pointless and irritating argument about What Most People Know and What Most People Don’t Know. I felt defensive, like he was implying I knew too much trivia from spending time on the internet. I do in fact know too much trivia from being online. But I felt strongly that Beth Ditto is a certified pop culture figure at this point, and it’s not my fault I know about her.
I couldn’t wait to prove that everybody knows who Beth Ditto is. I asked my sophisticated teenager who knows nearly everything about everything. Except Beth Ditto. I asked the hip looking tattooed girl who had just cut my kid’s hair. She never heard of Beth Ditto.
I wouldn’t give up. We kept arguing about what makes someone well known or what makes them a pop culture figure. We agreed that Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are two people one HAS to know about, despite all efforts to not know. Then we went to a school meeting where the speaker mentioned some guy from American Idol and all the parents laughed knowingly, except for me and my husband, who never heard of him. I whispered in his ear: “Beth Ditto.”
What do you think about cultural literacy in 2010? Is it more important to know what a hashtag is, or who Blondie is? Is it good or bad to know about Lara Stone‘s wedding dress? Are you disappointed when you meet someone who seems cool but never heard of your favorite movie? Should everyone be able to know what “Proustian” means even if they haven’t read any Proust?
And what about Beth Ditto??