Sheltered Islander: Updating Trivial Pursuit on the Isle

The original and out-of-date Trivial Pursuit, ca. 1981
The original and out-of-date Trivial Pursuit, ca. 1981, Photo: Oliver Peterson

Recently I was playing Trivial Pursuit with my family. I love this game because I have a head full of useless information that never sees the light of day unless someone has a sudden urge to ask what the names of Julius Caesar’s three wives were (Calpurnia, Octavia, Cleopatra), or some other critical tidbit of information.

So there we were playing Trivial Pursuit, the original game from 1981. The questions got funnier and funnier because the world has changed so much since then. Nobody remembers the SALT talks or the policy of détente, or the enormity of the Soviet Union and the certainty we all had that one day they would start World War III. The last toy fad was the Garbage Patch, I mean Cabbage Patch Kids. And probably no current members of the Yankees team had been born yet.  I realize there have been updated editions of the game put out since 1981, so I only hope they covered some questions I think were missing…

Geography: When did Burma become Myanmar? Does this mean in order to be politically correct, Burmese rubies have to be called Myanmar rubies now?

Entertainment: Andy Warhol said in the ’60s, “In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.”  Does this include fame acquired via the internet? Such as the case of Justin Bieber, who became a sensation through YouTube ?

How many sequels of the movie The Hangover must be made before they are condemned as detrimental to the national I.Q.?

Who can we send to tell Sly Stallone that we love him and we all agree that he’s in fantastic shape for his age and he has enough money to stop making movies now?

Art & Literature: Never have these two entities needed more protection than now. There can’t be any wrong answers to Art because it’s all in the eye of the beholder. And there aren’t many wrong answers to Literature because it’s all in the mind of the literates.

Science & Nature:  Why isn’t it obvious to America that the genetically modified (GM) fruits and vegetables, that were engineered to include their own pesticides, is what is killing our bees? Albert Einstein said that without bees, the world can only survive about four years before all the fresh food is gone. Is chocolate in this group?

Sports & Leisure: This category used to ask statistics and records. Now, you just have to know which sports star is dating, or married to, or divorced from, which Hollywood star.

History: With the advent of the internet and Twitter, governments can rise or fall as fast as it takes a flash mob to assemble and rush the gates. History has never been able to change so fast. I think this category can be read from cards up to 2000, and any questions after that have to be read from an iPad with a CNN live stream channel.

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