The Jennifer Lopez Test

This Christmas I got to see a college friend of mine who is around 32 years of age. He is a very successful dude in the CGI software biz. During the conversation, he mentioned that another friend of his had gotten married twice in the space of two years. I chuckled and replied “the ol’ Jennifer Lopez syndrome.” I received a blank look in response. He didn’t know who Jennifer Lopez was. I told him, “she’s an Puerto Rican-American actress and singer, famous for her big butt. She was married to ‘Puff Daddy’, and is now engaged to Ben Affleck.” Blank looks at all of this. “She was in Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Out of Sight,’ but first became famous for portraying the Mexican singer Selena in a biopic.”
More blank looks. He knew about none of this.

So, my question to y’all… How important is knowledge of such cultural trivia to success in the world? The guy is pulling down an excellent salary and gets to travel the world. BUT HE DOESN’T KNOW ABOUT J-LO’S ASS! Is knowledge of this stuff a help or a hinderance to life?

I guess this falls in the category of “general knowledge”. The only reason I know about J-Lo’s finer points is that my wife keeps up with the industry showbiz gossip and this often gets mentioned at the dinner table.

Personally I am not good at general knowledge. Between my career, computer gaming, and my wife I have little time for anything else including J-Lo’s ass. :wink:

Useless facts like the above are really food for the masses. When I watch the news I tend to focus on the more important issues like which country is invading which country and what level the stockmarket is at. I guess it is all relative as different people place varying levels of importance on information.

I am a big follower of industry computer gaming news but apart from my long suffering wife no one else I know has the slightest bit of interest in such a topic.

She was never married to puff daddy, so you fail as well. She is still married to someone, some goofball hairdresser or something, has to get the divorce finalized before she marries affleck.

The knowledge I pick for stories I don’t post on poenews…


I didn’t know anything about Jennifer Lopez until my wife pointed her out on some tabloid in a supermarket and gave me a five-minute rundown… none of which I remember. She’s some kind of pop star or something, right? I mostly ignore that kind of stuff.

I’m actually depressed that you used the term “Puerto Rican-American.”

Anyway, I think that general knowledge of the world (pop culture included) is pretty important. Sure, someone might be able to recite the first fifty numbers in Pi, but that’s not going to interest anyone.

to the average TV viewer (well, me at least), J. Lo is just as real as Bosnia anyway.

I cannot imagine why knowing about J. Lo would have any discernable value.

whereas knowing about bosnia wins you friends and influences people :wink:

Hey, as long as they keep voting down statehood…

Chris something-or-other. A bald hairdresser at that. I know because, ummm, my wife, well I like movies and music. SOme of the pop-crap knowledge is bound to be remembered when looking for and reading about the good stuff. J-Lo is not the good stuff, BTW, although she does have some good stuff. Ben Affleck is a step below untalented.

I think there’s some kind of GURPS-like personality trait–let’s call it cultural awareness–that some people have and some don’t. Basically, the people that have this trait will notice cultural trivia. At the lowest level, they look at advertisements on those triangle things in the mall, they linger just a few seconds longer on MTV when clicking through, they notice the story on the web about the famous so-and-so.

Obviously, people who have this at higher levels will actively seek out this info.

But for people who don’t have this trait, they just don’t “see” the pop culture happenings. They can walk right past a poster for “Maid in Manhattan” and their eyes just slide right past it. They don’t see J.Lo and even if they did, it’s just another pretty latina on a poster. They don’t see Ralph Fiennes, and quite frankly, although somebody tried to convince them to go see “The English Patient” they were able to beg off, and they don’t know the name of the guy that was in it.

Personally, I don’t have the faintest clue how people are able to do this. It’s like selective blindness. I wish I could ignore all the meaningless data that comes my way. I wish I didn’t have a clue who Norah Jones was or that Jacko dangled his baby over a balcony in Germany.

Incidentally, the older you get the more likely it is that you can revert to the blissfull state of unawareness that these people enjoy. I’m sure that my Grandmom has no clue who Shakira is.

I’m one of the people who will know nothing until his immediate social circle clues him in.

I don’t feel the need, compulsion or desire to watch MuchMusic or MTV, to check through the celebrities and entertainment sections of papers and magazines, and I’d rather watch “Guess what material X is by watching how the paint dries on it” than FatAssPrimaDonna’s biography, on the off chance one day I might be able to make a Holmesian deduction on the scene of a crime.

Obviously though, I don’t spend my time working on my English skills to prevent run-on-sentences.

How true. I find as I get older, pop-culture becomes more of a blur of stereotypes: The tough guy, the naughty girl, the brand-name guy, the brand-name girl… It’s always the same mold, but the names change every few years. I see no point in giving a shit, anymore.

I don’t even know what a “Shakira” is. I’m guessing it fits into the Female-Music-Pop-star category – but it could just as well be a shakeable soft drink. :)

MuchMusic and even MTV2 are exponentially better than MTV. Especially for those of us who have a nausea-inducing selection of local radio staions.

I must plead guilty to lingering on Britney videos and the like. Only seldomly, of course. I may be above pop music drivel, but I am still a warm blooded male and when a 20 year old’s sweat is glistening on the Boob tube… :P

There’s actually an academic term for knowing about pop-culture stuff.
‘Cultural literacy’. My geek programmer compadres and I used to joke about how we were culturally illiterate.
Since I haven’t had TV for two years, I still am. :)

Since I got a computer some ten years ago I found that my need for TV has diminished to almost nothing.

Especially since any good shows on TV/cable will eventually be put on DVD (e.g. “Band of Brothers”, “Sopranos”)

Jim Hoffman wrote:
There’s actually an academic term for knowing about pop-culture stuff.
‘Cultural literacy’. My geek programmer compadres and I used to joke about how we were culturally illiterate.
Since I haven’t had TV for two years, I still am.

Since I got a computer some ten years ago I found that my need for TV has diminished to almost nothing.

You must not have any kids.

When we received my little girl, the package said: Required: television and VCR (not included).

I’d hope they’re not included, they’d have trouble fitting.


I’d hope they’re not included, they’d have trouble fitting.[/quote]

I think France is coming out with a Baby Bundlesize=2[/size] in Q1 2004: Cloned baby with a TV/DVD combo all in one box.