People are proud of themselves for all sorts of dumb reasons. You have to be careful about what you're proud of.
About once a week someone comes up to me and announces that they never watch television. They always sound proud of themselves as if it made them intellectual. I can understand not watching, but is not watching television really something to be proud of?
I have to be careful because I find myself telling people that I don't go to the movies as if that made me special. I notice I'm also proud of myself for not knowing some of the people whose names I read in the paper all the time.
For example, I could not have told you who Winona Ryder was before she was caught shoplifting in Beverly Hills. She's great looking and doesn't look like what I thought a thief looked like. In Hollywood, they say, "It's a cry for help."
I've been slow to get to know Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. I just found out J-Lo and Jennifer Lopez are the same person. It's partly an old fogy thing, I know that. But it isn't all age; it's part attitude, too. They're all good-looking but they don't seem interesting.
The most well known person I don't know right now has been around for 40 years - Michael Jackson. I first heard of him when he was a cute little boy with The Jackson Five on the Ed Sullivan Show.
There must have been a thousand stories about Michael since then.
He married and divorced Elvis Presley's daughter, Lisa Marie.
There was talk of bankruptcy.
He either did or didn't have children.
He did or didn't dye his skin white.
Most recently, he was in the papers for hanging his kid out a hotel room window.
The talk shows talked about him:
Phil Donahue: Michael Jackson held the baby out over the balcony.
Rooney: I did hear about this.
Donahue: Look at this. Watch this. This is terrifying. Careful, Michael. Watch it; look at this. I think he's on, like, the 38th floor. Nice going, Mike.
Rooney: You know, I'm interested in almost everything in the world, but Michael Jackson is not one of them.
There's one question I'd like to ask Michael Jackson, and I'll bet his answer would be "No". My question would be, Have you ever heard of Andy Rooney?