Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Six Degrees

I don't think anyone has actually seen the movie "Six Degrees of Separation," but everyone understands the premise: that you are somehow connected to everyone in the country (the world?) through the people that you know, and the people they know, and the people those people know, and so on, within only six levels of people. Proof of this engaging concept is above. If you are reading this post because you know me (and other than "Keith C." I think that describes all of you), it turns out you are only four people away from Christina Aguilera (pictured, with my friend Jessica). This may seem of no use to you at present, but what if you someday give birth to a child who has a burning desire to receive Christina's autograph for their sixth birthday lest they burst into the pitiful tears of six-year-old despair? (well, then, they're spoiled, and you should do something about that. But also, we could probably get you that autograph.)

Through a short but complicated chain involving a friend, a cousin, and a best man, it turns out only three peeps stand between me and the premier Miss Mickey Mouse Club herself, a talent who, let's face it, is going to last way longer than Britney Spears (that pop culture reference is for you, Keith C.) This picture was taken at a wedding last weekend where all three of the aforesaid people in my chain were hanging out and dancing to "Celebrate." A normal wedding, in other words, except for the part where Christina sang "I Will Always Love You" (or similar) to the bride and groom after the band went home.

This got me thinking about other chains of connection. Could it really be true that we are somehow interlinked with all of the 250 million people in this country? What about rednecks in the bayou who have never left the trailer-park compound? Or the mousy school librarian from the tiny Protestant high school in Orange County whose only friends are Shakespeare and the heroines of Christian romance novels (yes, such novels do exist). Or my grandpa's fishing buddies up in Frankfort, Michigan, pop. 891? Maybe it seems unlikely that these cats could have many connections, but consider the fact that those fishing buddies are only five people away from, for example, Christina Aguilera, and therefore only six degrees of separation from every average joe and celebrity she knows.

I am only one person removed from Nomar Garciaparra (which would be more impressive were he actually playing in the major leagues right now. Sorry about the groin, Nomie!) I'm one person away from George Bush Sr., which means I'm two people away from all the other presidents that he knows (well, except Ronnie of course), which means I'm only three people away from every head of state and luminary known by every president since Nixon. That doesn't help me down in redneck city, no. But that's where being only two people away from George W. Bush comes in handy.

Unfortunately I am facing the biggest deadline of my dissertation this coming Friday, so I don't have time to tease this all out a little more. If I did, I would probably figure out how many degrees of separation lie between me and Eden Riegel so I could convince her to come back and make All My Children worth watching again. (Oh, the power.)

And, finally, speaking of celebrities from New York to LA, I leave you with some irresistibly cute shots of the newest stars in the Demmon and Quintanar households, below:


At 7:15 PM, Blogger charles.bukowski.costanza said...

i totally experienced a re-newed interest in this game when my dad was president of the uw and i realized that he was friendly with governors and billionaires and....and, well, just being 2 degrees from paul allen and bill gates puts you within reach of a lot people. [thanks for your post-bday note the other day; i'll respond i kind when i get a chance.]


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