Of the many horrible moments I forgot to include in my high school reunion post, the most humiliating one was when, toward the end of the evening Amy, a classmate with whom I’d never really hit it off, came up to me and told me that she’d found a bunch of old school newspapers in which I’d written a column “telling everyone what music they should listen to.” Yes, if you wanted to be right-thinking, politically correct, relentlessly hip human being in 1982, you would have chosen me as your guiding light. I was one of those insufferable people who, if “I listen to bands that don’t even exist yet” t-shirts had been invented then, surely would have worn one every day. Under a deteriorating Levi’s jacket festooned with punk paraphernalia, and maybe coordinated with some pink corduroy pants made by my mom.
Anyway, faced with the passionate snobbism of my youth, I had no choice but to bury my face in my hands and apologize for having been such a twit. In that brief moment, though, I think that Amy forgave me. At least, she had a good laugh at my expense. Group hug!
The problem we’re now facing is that I’ve been handed another opportunity to unleash my pop-cultural opinions on the world: I now have a once-a-week column at Work It, Mom, called Flat Pop. The title is Jack’s. Because what do I know about what’s hip anymore? Precisely nothing. And that’s the point! My pop is flat; someone opened the can and left it out on the counter all night, the fizz is gone and it’s all syrupy and warm. That doesn’t stop me from having all sorts of opinions, of course, but at least now I realize that I’m completely full of shit.