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What Is Your Cultural Age?

By Tater Barley Banks | Comment Diversions | May 1, 2010 |

By Tater Barley Banks | Comment Diversions | May 1, 2010 |

It’s the first day of May and I have a birthday this month. I know I’m not the oldest Pajiban but I do help skew the demographic toward Ensure and Viagra ads (get on it, D.R., us Golden Panthers have lots and LOTS of disposable income, only not me).

Anyhoo, I’ll be 53 years old. That’s my physical age. But, in my mind, you’re only really as old as your cultural age.

Here’s how I calculate that: Take a list of celebrity birthdays from any random day and scan down. When you hit a point where you know 2/3 of the people below the line and you’ve never heard of 2/3 of the people above it, that’s right about where your cultural age is.

I like to think I’m pretty hip and with-it and know What’s Happening, I’m a pretty groovy guy (you kids and your lingo these days!), but more and more often when I’m in the grocery store I don’t know who the hell some of these people are on the tabloid covers. Someday I won’t know any of them, but I’m staving that day off another week, or month, or year, now that I’ve finally figured out who the fuck Kendra is. (But she can’t make me care.)

Well, let’s get on with the diversion, shall we? Here’s a list of celebs for my birthday (from ), and I’ll draw an actual line at the point where my cultural age falls:

Happy Birthday to:
“Dancing With The Stars” winner Kelly Monaco (1976)
folk singer Jewel (1974)
Radiohead drummer Phil Selway (1967)
“Dumb and Dumber” actress Karen Duffy (1961)
actor/comedian Drew Carey (1958)
“Murphy Brown” actor Charles Kimbrough (1936)
“Dynasty” star Joan Collins (1933)
English actor Nigel Davenport (1928)
singer/actress Rosemary Clooney (1928; d. 2002)
bandleader Artie Shaw (1910, d. 2004)
“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” actor Scatman Crothers (1910; d. 1986)
“Zorro” actor Douglas Fairbanks (1883; d. 1939

Actually, that’s not a very good example as I’ve at least heard of most people on that list. If the line is going to fall anywhere, it’s between Drew Carey (uh-huh) and Karen Duffy (who?), making my cultural age between 49 and 52, but I know who Jewel and Kelly Monaco are (Monaco once made my 5 Freebies list, I think) and have at least heard of Radiohead and know some people think they’re the greatest band ever, if I couldn’t pick Phil Selway out of a police lineup.

Let’s try May 24:

Happy Birthday to
country singer Billy Gilman (1988)
rapper Heavy D (1967)
“Boogie Nights” star John C. Reilly (1965)
“The English Patient” actress Kristin Scott Thomas (1960)
country singer Rosanne Cash (1955)
“The Da Vinci Code” actor Alfred Molina (1953)
“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe” actor Jim Broadbent (1949)
actress Priscilla Presley (1945)
Lady Marmalade singer Patti LaBelle (1944)
“M*A*S*H” actor Gary Burghoff (1943)
legendary singer/songwriter Bob Dylan (1941)
Canadian actor/comedian Tommy Chong (1938).

That’s better. The line more clearly falls here between Kristin Scott Thomas and John C. Reilly. While I’m vaguely aware that Reilly is an actor, it’s unfortunate for him that when I hear his name I always see the face of Charles Nelson Reilly (born Jan. 13, 1931). Also, I thought Mark Wahlberg and Burt Reynolds (and, of course, Rollergirl) were the stars of “Boogie Nights”).

Anyway, I’m pretty clueless about Heavy D and Billy Gilman too, so for this day my cultural age is between 45 and 50.

Damn, I’m still old, ain’t I?

How about you? Find the list of celebrities for your birthday, post it here and draw the line.

(It works the other way, of course. I’m sure some of you young’uns will discover your cultural age is much OLDER than your physical age. I tip my Metamucil to you!)

TATER BARLEY BANKS is not to be trusted. He probably makes up everything he writes about himself, especially the stuff about living in West Virginia. Don’t be fooled. In truth, he lives in Pajibaland, where he speaks gibberish as , (TCFKAB), spends his time sitting on a park bench, eyeing little girls with bad intent, and is developing a 25-letter alphabet, now that his key doesn’t work. He has no blog, no Facebook page and no MySpace page, so don’t try to find him. If you’re so inclined, you can email Tater.

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