Yeah, this pretty much sums it up.
I'm waiting for the time I can save my own life or the lives of others with my knowledge of pop culture. I am positive this will one day happen and I have been studying vigorously my whole life so that when it comes, I will not fail. Sure, it seems implausible that Al-Qaida will one day threaten the world unless I can name the villain in the 1986 movie, Labyrinth, played by David Bowie (the answer is Jareth) but honestly, I rest all my hopes on this. Otherwise, I've wasted a large portion of my life learning random, little facts for no apparent reason.
Jareth, the Goblin King. Fear him. Or you could just tell him that he has no power over you. It's your call.
Sadly, this is what pop culture expects from us. It wants us to care about it so much that we sit around and memorize every little minutiae till it's seared in our brains. When we've done that, then we have to go out and tell every other poor bastard about how Morgan Freeman didn't really catch his big break until he was the age of 50 or how Anthony Hopkins supposedly reads all of his scripts 250 times before he performs them (two facts I find fascinating, by the way). We use this knowledge to jockey our position in the world, sure that if we prove to our friends and colleagues that we know more than them about the Star Wars films or all the places those important numbers pop up in the show Lost, that we are somehow smarter than them or at least more observant. Our power is our knowledge. But after we've bored them with all of our facts about how many times Anthony Kiedis has fallen off of the sober wagon or our fascinating insights into the deeper meanings of Lil Wayne's "Lollipop", where do we go from there?
No one is more lonely than the man on top. The only logical way to find purpose then is to save the world with your knowledge. Yeah, you could become a journalist (Chuck Klosterman is the owner of my heart), or a film maker (Quentin Tarantino loves to bore show us his knowledge) or a hundred other careers that find a use for that knowledge. They would make you happy. But you would ignore your higher calling of being a Pop Culture Warrior. We do not do it for money (although if we entered the World Series of Pop Culture, we would surely win it without a struggle). We do not do it for fame (although being known as the Master Samurai of Pop Culture would be totally awesome). We do not do it because pop culture controls our lives (.....hopefully). We do it because we love it. We love every stupid, little fact about how all of the great rappers in history have had an album cover of theirs adorned with a baby picture, or how many great legends of rock have perished at the age of 27 (Jimi, Janis, Jim, Kurt and others). We love it because we love to see little snippets of coincidence, miracle, happiness or tragedy. We love it because it is our lives through a filter of unadulterated rock n' roll, graffiti art, wardrobe malfunctions, celebrity weddings, celebrity breakups, celebrity deaths and the people who profit off of them (::cough:: Joe Jackson ::cough::), cooking shows, the making of cooking shows, the making of the making of cooking shows, violent video games, comeback roles, and all the other different colors, coincidences, and ironies that make up the gamut of popular culture.
Yeah, this pretty much sums it up.
We love it so much that eventually we become a part of it and that is really what it is all about. Except of course, when we have to save the world with it. You are laughing now. But when Al-Qaida calls you and threatens to blow up your toilet unless you can name the rock star who had a brief cameo appearance in Back to the Future 2, you better be ready.