Thursday, February 16, 2006

Poll: Which Is Jennifer’s Biggest Pop Culture Faux Pas?

I have had the opportunity to make two major pop culture faux pas in my life to date. Let’s have some fun. I’d like to take a poll on which is the bigger of the two. I am summarizing each below in chronological order:

Dan Rather/Tom Brokaw – What’s the Difference?

I had the honor of serving my home parish as a chaperone for the World Youth Day event held in Denver, Co. This was an incredible event to attend and I cherish every memory. There were Catholics from all over the world there. Especially at the closing Mass you understood exactly how universal – catholic – the Catholic Church is.

Catholics weren’t the only people there. The media was there in spades. Although most participants were in support of the Church and Pope John Paul II (JPII, We Love You), the media certainly liked to concentrate on the negatives. One night we went back to our hotel room and watched the news. Its coverage seemed like it was from another event entirely. So, when I saw a network news anchor in Eddie Bauer, I decided to go straight up to him, shake his hand and tell him how wonderful I thought the event was and how much I supported my Church and the Pope. It wasn’t long after that when the rest of the patrons in the store were cleared out so that he could shop alone (hmm… I wonder why). Andy Fleser, one of the high school students attending from my parish, was in the store with me. We were one of the last people to leave. I wanted desperately for him to meet Mr. News Anchor himself. I said, “Andy, look! It’s Dan Rather!” In that instant, Andy was pushing me out the door. “Don’t you want to say hi to Dan Rather?” He pushed me even harder. Once we got out of the store I asked him what his problem was. His reply, “Jennifer, that was Tom Brokaw.” I laughed so hard that I cried all the way back to the bus. Needless to say, my chat with Mr. Brokaw did not make the national news.

Man, He Sure Looks Like Sean Lennon…

Shortly before I moved to Roanoke, Grand Valley State University held a day-long concert featuring independent or up and coming bands and musicians. Two bands caught my eye: Cibo Mato and Guided By Voices. Cibo Mato is a Japanese band primarily made up of two women. They currently released “Know Your Chicken.” This song is funny and catchy. I wanted to see them perform. Guided By Voices is one of Danny’s favorite bands. He had never seen them in concert. I wanted to see them for him.

I was working at Rite Aid as a pharmacy technician at the time. One of my co-workers (I can’t remember her name, but she was a nice person) was interested in seeing new bands so she agreed to go with me. It was a great time. Cibo Mato performed first. They were a lot of fun. There was a man performing with them that was dressed in so much fur that you might have thought his stylist was an Eskimo. He was interesting thought because he looked a lot like Sean Lennon. My friend agreed with me. Before their performance ended, I picked up two of the free Cibo Mato stickers and positioned myself to get the band’s autographs. Eskimo Man walked off stage first. He passed within a few feet of me. I didn’t bother to ask for his autograph, but I thought to myself again, “God, he sure looks like Sean Lennon.” He was soon forgotten while I was graciously given autographs by the two females heading the band.

Guided By Voices was the last band to perform. They were really great, too. I didn’t stay long enough to get autographs. It was after midnight when they got on stage. I did buy Danny a bottle opener/key chain that he still uses to this day.

The next day I looked through the paper for a write up on the concert. To my shock, there was a huge picture of Cibo Mato with Eskimo Man prominently featured. Per the Grand Rapids Press, he was, in fact, Sean Lennon. I had the opportunity to be once removed from John Lennon and let it slip on by. If I had done my homework, I would have known that ahead of time. I gave those autographed stickers to Danny and Shelia as planned. It would have been a lot harder to do that if I had been bright enough to ask Eskimo Man for his autograph…

2 comments:

Andy Fleser said...

The Tom Brokaw faux pas is DEFINITELY the bigger one. All of America still knows who those cats are, while Cibo Matto/Sean Lennon have been safely relegated to the bargain bins, luckily for you. I don't think I've seen you for about five years now! What is that about?

Andy Fleser said...

P.S. I'm at andrewfleser@mac.com. How about you?