Every so often an obituary will come in for a person who shares a name with someone famous. Everyone who sees it will gasp in mock surprise over the “death” of an icon. Today, it was James Brown. Cue the faux-shock from several of my coworkers.
As I was typing it up, I noticed that one of Mr. Brown’s pallbearers was John Williams. I remarked on this. “Hey, one of James Brown’s pallbearers was John Williams, har har.”
I got crickets.
“John Williams was a pallbearers for James Brown, get it?”
“You know? James Brown was a musician. John Williams was a musician…”
“Oh. Who’s John William? What did he sing?”
It was my turn for the blank stare.
My coworkers, who are only a couple of years younger than me, do not know who John Williams is. And one of them was in band.
“You know, the composer? He did Indiana Jones? Star Wars? Harry Potter? Freakin’ Jaws?”
They did not know they had all been written by the same Academy Award-winning composer. A five-time Academy Award-winning composer.
I do realize I live in a world where people have not seen Star Wars, incomprehensible as that may be. My coworkers are intelligent, lovely people. But today I wanted to smack them on the head with a piece of rolled-up sheet music from E.T.