Yesterday I heard myself gassing on on a Zoom call about the importance of professional speechwriters and other communication people who advise the big shots of the world, being “culturally literate.”
Suddenly I thought of Dylan Thomas, in his cups at the White Horse Tavern, interrupting himself to say, “Somebody’s boring me. I think it’s me.”
In the pause that followed, I asked myself: What does it mean to be “culturally literate” these days? Is it knowing Dylan Thomas quotes, or is it knowing that a TikTok star was recently forced to close down her thriving business of selling farts in a jar? (I shit you not.)
Also: Doesn’t everybody, including your average CEO or prime minister, feel fairly “culturally literate” these days, what with “culture” being served up on our social media feeds, in little fart jars?
Perhaps the only American who’s not “culturally literate” is the one who’s calling gravely for “cultural literacy.”
Yes, it’s definitely me.