Several Popular Things I Know Nearly Nothing About


At age twenty-seven, I have somehow slipped into grumpy old mandom. Sometimes I hear about things that are cool, but I don’t really understand what they are. Please help.


Dubstep, I believe, is a genre of music. Right? My impression is that it’s like robot reggae. But we already have reggaeton, so that should be covered. How many varieties of reggae do we need? Sometimes even one seems like too many. We could cut the whole deal down to four Bob Marley songs and the soundtrack to The Harder They Come, and I’d be a happy dude.

Anyway, dubstep. It’s music. I don’t know of any artists that perform said music, except possibly Skrillex, whose name I assumed for months belonged to some sort of abrasive cleaning product. Something like a Brillo pad full of its own liquid detergent. Like a Gusher, which is a candy from back when I still understood new things.


Ke$ha is someone I know a little more about. I know she did that pretty catchy “Tik Tok” song, and she spells her name with a dollar sign like Ma$e did in the late 90’s. Her hobbies seem to be dancing, blacking out, and drunkenly forgetting what her other hobbies might be. Probably they are sexy things, we are led to believe. I’m not sure where she came from or what her other songs are, even though I’m sure I’ve heard them because I’ve been in grocery stores and my car and other places where the radio plays.

Much like reggae, the genre of “drunk party girl” could stand for some consolidation. Can’t Ke$ha and Katy Perry join up with Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas? Maybe in each song two of them can sing verses about getting wasted and puking in an aquarium, and the third one can sing a chorus about being the designated driver and making sure that her friends get home safely.

Jeremy Renner

My girlfriend assures me that Jeremy Renner is the next zeitgeist of male hotness. I know he was in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, so I respect that. I also have heard (maybe?) that he was in Inception, which is a movie that I have not seen, but only because it’s not on Netflix: Watch Instantly Protocol yet. If you are wondering why I didn’t see it in theaters, I was probably watching The Shawshank Redemption on TNT over and over again like some kind of idiot. I missed the boat.

I’m always blindsided by what guys are hot nowadays. I didn’t understand the whole Ryan Gosling phenomenon until he came crashing down upon us in an ab-alanche of muscles and charisma. And that does not come from a place of jealousy. I really enjoy Ryan Gosling’s work. I just never could have guessed that he would come to occupy eighty percent of the entire internet. To be fair, I also don’t know which women are hot. I’m still not over my longstanding crush on Julianne Moore.

Recently, I was blindsided by the groundswell of ladylove for Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch, who I was entirely sure was not a human at all but a cartoon rabbit, just based on his name. Which reminds me of the time I thought Bruno Mars was a crime-solving dog from outer space. True story.


Twitter is a thing that I can get on board with. But when people start using Twitter to talk about other, more niche internet things, I get completely lost. Klout, from what I can tell, measures how “influential” a person is about a topic. That is a sentence that seems to not mean anything at all. I don’t know whether I’ve ever been “influenced” by anything on Twitter. I don’t know Klout’s algorithms, but I imagine they are entirely arbitrary and were made up on a whim. Watch this. I just invented Chunk. It’s an online diagnostic tool that you use to measure how “delicious” you are on Facebook. I just gave myself +3.141 Chunk points for posting a status update about pie.

The Hunger Games

I know that there are three Hunger Games books. If I had my say, they would have been called: The Hunger Games, The Hungerer Games, and Hunger Games With a Vengeance. From conversations I have overheard, I imagine that the themes of the books include: girls kicking ass, dystopian society, hunger, games, independence, love, and archery.

I am sure that I will be forced to see the movie when it comes out, and I’m reasonably confident that I will enjoy it. I will, however, be really bummed out if “Hungry Like the Wolf” by Duran Duran isn’t on the soundtrack.

Please do not think that I think my lack of knowledge makes me cool. Mostly I try to learn the words to Mystikal songs from the year 2000 and obsess over my floundering fantasy basketball team. If you are planning to go to the Hunger Games movie or start a Ke$ha cover band, please include me. I would like to be influential about something for once in my gosh darn life.

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