Silver Threads: Out of the loop
News of Dolly Parton’s scheduled performance at The Smoothie King Center in New Orleans tonight gave me a music world name that I actually recognized.
I know lyrics like: “I know it’s my own damn fault” that Jimmy Buffet sang in “Margaritaville.” He’s another of the few stars I’ve kept listening to over the years, and he has a place on my e-tablet playlist along with Sinatra, Elvis, Bobby Darrin (“Mack the Knife”), and Dean Martin.
Oh yes, and Tony Bennett, who’s somewhere in his 90s and doing just fine, thank you, with the assistance of Lady Gaga, a much more current icon.
Why do most of us seniors remain so attached to the music and stars we grew up with in our teens through about our 50s, ignoring or failing to grasp the greatness — or not — of the sounds that came later?
It’s the same with drama: I still think that Sean Connery was the quintessential James Bond. Let no other actor tread in his footsteps. Some things just can’t be changed: Picture Ryan Gosling as Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind. Think of anyone but Paul Newman and Robert Redford in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Sure you can, if you’re younger than 40.
My problem is that I don’t know the names, accomplishments and history of more than about 30 percent of today’s showbiz celebrities. Recently, seeking online photos of some of the actors in TV shows I’m binge-watching, I came across a website picturing “15 celebs who said they’ll leave the country if Trump is elected president.” The face of Al Sharpton was the only one I recognized.
I’ve also come across sites featuring “15 celebs whose facelifts went wrong,” and “20 celebs who’ve aged badly.” The latter series of photos I pulled up eagerly; it’s the rare old woman who wouldn’t be interested in gazing at a star who now looks worse than she does.
But I digress.
In the interest of “keeping up with popular culture,’’ I signed onto my Mac and began typing that line into Safari. Before I could finish, I got “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” Do I really want to be educated that much on what and who’s current?
Finally I reached a website titled “Mashable
,” which provided the info that there are apps you can get to supply it.
“If you’d rather not subscribe to the print edition, the PEOPLE Celebrity News Tracker app can digitally satisfy your craving for the latest celebrity news and gossip.
Packed with full-screen photos, breaking news, celebrity profiles and even a ‘Top 5 Stories’ feature, rest assured you'll stay up-to-date on the latest Jersey Shore news. That is, if you care. Price: $1.99, iOS and Android. Click here to view this gallery.”
More from Mashable: “You're among a group of people who are talking about ScarJo or Blake Lively or Beliebers. You nod along with them in agreement, but deep down have no idea who they’re talking about. If this has happened to you, it may be time to brush up on the latest and greatest celebrity gossip. Whether you religiously follow the Kardashians, the Real Housewives or the Brangelina brood, the following apps will make sure you’re in the Hollywood loop.”
Well, since I rarely converse with folks who talk about ScarJo but go the movies frequently enough to know she’s Scarlet Johansson, can figure out who the Beliebers must be, recognize the Brangelina brood as one-time, part-time New Orleanians, and have no interest in the Kardashians — perhaps I’ll pass on that app.
And just have some lesson-sessions with my grandsons.
Bettye Anding is a former editor of the Living section of The Times Picayune, for which she wrote “Silver Threads” until her retirement. Email comments to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.