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Six Degrees of Separation: Pop Culture & Political Dinner Conversations

Family serving Christmas dinner
Family serving Christmas dinner

It is a scientific fact that all Thanksgiving day dinner conversations will lead to political discussions.  Like Kevin Bacon, political discussions are always less than six degrees of separation away from any conversation topic.  The minefield of political discussion makes the holidays more stressful.  There is always the specter of differing opinions looming over the dinner table.  Just to give you a heads up, here are a few of the potential examples of how good-natured conversations can turn into catastrophes within minutes.

Kardashians :

Kim Kardashian âž¡ï¸ Kanye West âž¡ï¸ Kanye 2020

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In pop culture, all roads lead to the Kardashians.  Whether the topic is brought up in regards to robberies, interesting baby names or meltdowns, the Kardashians are just three degrees of separation from bold predictions for the 2020 election.  We just closed the books on the 2016 election, but we might as well get started on the heated discussion of the next election.

The Walking Dead:

The Walking Dead âž¡ï¸ Negan âž¡ï¸ Baseball Bats âž¡ï¸ The Cubs âž¡ï¸ 3-1 Leads âž¡ï¸ Cleveland âž¡ï¸ Republican National Convention

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The Walking Dead is also another universal topic of conversation. I gave up on the show long ago, but I will never be able to shake Rick and his gang of goobers. It may seem, if you are trying to avoid WWIII at your dinner table, that this is a perfectly acceptable topic of conversation.  Well, it’s not.  The Walking Dead naturally settles at the Republican National Convention.  It will no longer become a lively conversation about zombies and cool swords, now you’re stuck talking about “borrowed” speeches and promises that we have all forgot.

Sports:

Dallas Cowboys âž¡ï¸ Tony Romo âž¡ï¸ Tony Roma’s âž¡ï¸ Ribs âž¡ï¸ “Ribbing” Someone âž¡ï¸ SNL’s Alec Baldwin

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Sometimes, sports seem like a no-risk option for polite conversation.  Did you hear that one story about the church that showed the Cowboys game during their morning service? Crazy, right? Well, thanks to that delightful anecdote, now you’re stuck debating whether Alec Baldwin’s “ribbing” of Donald Trump on SNL is appropriate or if it changed to outcome of the election.

Gilmore Girls: 

Gilmore Girls âž¡ï¸ Coffee âž¡ï¸ Caffeine-induced-fast talking âž¡ï¸ Best talkers âž¡ï¸ Donald Trump

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If you’re like me, the only conversation worth having this week is counting down the days till Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.  This is the only topic of conversation that is on my docket.   Naturally, this quick-talking and witty discussion will lead to who is the “best talker,” which will remind everyone at the table of all of Trump’s self-proclaimed accolades.   This conversation  is the the only thing that could make me regret bringing up a conversation about sweet Rory and Loralei. 

She’s All That: 

She’s All That âž¡ï¸ “Kiss Me” âž¡ï¸ Sixpence None the Richer âž¡ï¸ Mike Pence

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As a test, I wanted to try an older piece of pop culture,  to see if the recency bias factored into the six degree rule.   I wanted to see if anything would naturally lend itself to a political diatribe.  So, I went with the cinematic masterpiece, She’s All That.  It was too easy.  And now, not only have you landed on the least desirable topic of conversation, you’ll be singing about the “milky twilight” for days.

Water will naturally find its level and conversation will ultimately land on the topic you least want.  It is a proven fact.  You might as well load up on the turkey and dressing, no one wants to have a political discussion on an empty stomach.

Article written by Megan Suttles

I can't decide if I want to use this space to be witty or insightful. I guess it will be neither.