Here's the problem, fellow humans: There is TOO MUCH INFORMATION in the world, and it makes it impossible to know what anyone is really talking about.
I realized this last night while watching SpongeBob Squarepants.
You see, I was shocked SHOCKED to find there was a criminal level of nostalgia in SpongeBob! I'm referring to the "special episode" which broadcast last night made in the style of the stop-motion animated classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Do you understand the immense demand of cultural memory that show asked of its audience? Let's look at the numbers:
Spongebob Squarepants is a character which first debuted in 1999 that's thirteen years ago. So already this show is asking its prime time audience to be aware of a kids show from 2.5 presidents ago. Now, this particular special is aping the style of a stop-motion Christmas special that first aired in 1964 a stunning forty-eight years ago!
Even just the concept of "special episode" itself dates back quite a ways: either during the late 1980s when Blossom discovered drugs in her backpack, or maybe the early 1980s on Family Ties when Michael J. Fox's friend killed himself or in the mid-1980s on Cheers when Norm fingered Cliff in the bathroom. I think that happened. Frankly, it's all a blur. Point is: I shouldn't be expected to keep this all straight and neither should you.
These cultural references separate us! If you don't know about the 60s Rudolph special , and also 90s SpongeBob, then you are NOT COOL ENOUGH. These days, you have to know The Beatles and Arcade Fire. The Hunger Games and On the Road. Duck Tales and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! IT'S TOO MUCH, WORLD!
Am I complaining about the media making people feel uncool simply because I am uncool? Yes, but that doesn't make me wrong! After all, "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you!" -("Territorial Pissings" by Nirvana, quoting Catch-22 by Joseph Heller).
I blame Star Wars. Somehow that movie, released in 1977, was so successful that it culturally froze us in place. Every generation since has somehow watched all movies since 1977. Kids today on Halloween dress up like Luke Skywalker! That's like a kid in 1977 dressing up like Rhett Butler.