How embarassingly little we know
Published: Thursday, August 2nd, 2012
All right, Smarty Pants, do YOU know who Christine Lagarda, Mamata Banerjee, Chelsea Handler, Pete Cashmere or Goodluck Jonathan is?
I don't, and I blame this situation, at least in part, on the fact that I haven't had a television set in my apartment for two years.
The fact that I have skimmed through several daily newspapers on probably 95 percent of the days during those two years would seem to offset my no-TV problem, but apparently it does not.
Here's the deal.
This spring Time Magazine came out with an issue entitled "The 100 Most Influential People in the World." When I saw that cover on the rack at the library, the thought flashed through my mind—which 24 hours a day is open to column ideas, no matter from whence they come—that I should see how many of the 100 are, at the very least, familiar to me.
I figured getting 70 of 100 would be excellent. Realistically, however, I was expecting to be aware of only about 50 of the 100.
If I could coax the Chronicle to print this next sentence in the smallest available size of type so you couldn't really see it, I would do so. Of the 100 most influential people in the world, according to Time, I could identify a pathetic total of only 21.
But wait. I sort-of knew three others, so can I say I know 24 of the 100?
After blaming the absence of a TV in my life (except for the nights of major sports events when I visit the local sports bars), my second excuse for this embarrassing showing is that the 100 most influential people Time chose are in the world, rather than in the nation. Hey, readers, if it were "The 100 Most Influential People in the U.S.A.," I bet I could reach 50.
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