I'm going to be straight here. Does anyone else out there not know who the hell Bret Easton Ellis is?
Ever since my revelation over a month ago, I've become the laughingstock of the magazine staff, subject to frequent heckling by fellow editors and staff writers. "Cultural illiterate!" they scream at me. "Worthless swine!" they think. People angrily wave our complimentary copy of Glamorama at me as I walk by the magazine office. It was a painful confession to say the least.
Like most things these days, it began innocently in an e-mail message. "Wait a second," I typed. "Who is this Ellis guy, anyway? B4 we interview him I'd like to know. =@)" Admittedly, the "B4" and "=@)" were lame and unnecessary--I was towards the end of a brief and disastrous experimental period with special e-mail shorthand and parenthetical-math sign-smiley faces. But the electronic response did not critique this visual jargon; instead, what I received was a nasty and merciless attack on my cultural skills and knowledge.
I couldn't help my own cause. I recalled my second effort at the SATs, when I was stumped by the word "jejune" in the analogies section. Everywhere I looked for the next week, there was jejune--the women was jejune, the tree was jejune, every thing was jejune. Now, three years later, on the toilet, reading Time, there was a review of Glamorama. In the featured books section of the Harvard Book Store, there was a copy of Glamorama. In the dining hall, in an awfully contrived effort at an intellectual conversation with an old freshman acquaintance whose name I couldn't quite place--there it was: a recommendation to read Glamorama over intersession.
So I begin Issue 2 admitting defeat. I lose. I'm a cultural illiterate. I live in a shack and spit sunflower seeds on the floor of Sever. I'd rather read another coffee-table picture-biography of Michael Jordan than another page of Glamorama than the seven I read the other night while on hold in the magazine office.
I stand by my ignorance.