Today I wanted to become more cultured. I hear that a cultured person is viewed by society as super-smart, and that it is perfectly acceptable for cultured people to wear black turtlenecks and berets. I was kind of hoping the culture fairy would come and zap me with her Cultured Staff of Wisdom, but the vending machines were out of fairy pizza, so I had to become cultured in other ways. I had a few options available to me:
1) Move to France – This worked in Sabrina, so I don’t see why it couldn’t work for me. I would have to live there for at least a couple weeks, but when I returned to America I would be totally cultured and probably ten times more fashionable. Unfortunately, I am much too broke to attempt such a trip. What I really need is a culture sponsor.
2) Acquire a Taste for Jazz Music – Enjoying Jazz music makes you cultured. I have no idea why, but it does.
3) Attend Poetry Readings – Although I enjoy poetry, this would not be an option for me because I can’t snap. Sometimes I can fake a snap by moving my hand really fast and slapping a table at the same time, but I think I would be facing some serious snap scrutiny if I went to one of these shindigs.
4) Read Dante’s Inferno – I seriously considered this one, but I think it only works if you can talk about it using only four-syllable words, and I have to speak in mostly single-syllable words or my head explodes.
As I fingered the spine of a copy of Dante’s Inferno, I remembered a fifth way to become cultured:
5) Watch a Foreign Film – You know, the kind where they have to put subtitles on the bottom.
All I had to do was sit in a dark room for 96 minutes. This was almost as good as the culture fairy, and definitely cheaper than a trip to France. So I went to a foreign film theater and watched Russian Ark. It’s too bad I know almost nothing about Russian history except that Joseph Stalin was self-conscious about his height (a plight with which I can truly empathize). I only understood two historical events, and was surprised when the main character realized he had been on a giant boat the entire time. Or a giant ark. Whatever. Confused at the meaning, I consulted the stars, and when that didn’t work I turned to my old pal, Wikipedia.
It turned out to have something to do with preserving Russian history and (that’s right, you guessed it) CULTURE! In your face, France! I don’t need your culture enlightenment or your incredible makeovers!
And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to buy a black turtleneck and a beret.