This is my key phrase when people talk to me about something I know nothing about. I stare at them in the eyes, purse my lips, maybe shake my head in disapproval and say 'Yes, it is very sad. Very.' The silence afterwords is not because it is too sad to continue talking - it is because I can't think of anything educated to add without inciting suspicion as to my ignorance.
Politics are not my strong suit. Here is an example from 2005:
people in carpool: "yada yada yada...Paul Martin."
becca: "Hey, I recognize that name! Who is that?"
people in carpool:"............uhm...our prime minister."
Yes, my political trivia is what's very sad. You will never find me volunteering to play 'Trivial Pursuit - the goverment version' or be a contestant on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (they always ask about American politics from the 1600's. Eliminates me as an imaginary contestant everytime).
If you can recall a blog entry from last week, I skipped over the political mambo jambo when reading Le Journal de Montreal. That 'political mambo jambo' turned out to be what's going on in Libya right now, so you can imagine my only Libya knowledge to date has come from overhearing snippets of various conversation:
-...'people dying'....(Nelson and his friends)
-....'political uproar'....(coffee shop talk)
-.....'civial war'.....(my cab driver last night)
So 'yes, it is very sad.' is an educated guess, and seemed to placate the cab driver last night who was quite passionate on the subject. I do hope he doesn't read this blog. That could lead to a very awkward cab ride in the future.
I decided last night (after sweaty palms in the taxi) that today I would go on a knowledge quest, as to remedy my naivity as a political philosopher. I informed myself about Libya and its uprisings from two sources - Nelson and good old Wikipedia.
I now can say 'Yes, it is very sad' with convinction and without nervously darting my eyes and hoping no one probes further.
Just don't ask me about the war in Iraq.