Pop Culture Primer: Factoids so deep they’ll make people uncomfortable.

Posted: March 11, 2011 by ryanlecocq in Off-topic

Oh yeah, this is really the fucking Scorpions dressed as Mortal Kombat ninjas, playing Rock Band.  Has Nathan Explosion ever done anything this awesome?  Not if they’re doing “Rock You Like a Hurricane” like only they can.

The Scorpions:

It’s not uncommon to be in a social gathering and see someone making headway by repeating jokes from Metalocalypse or Spinal Tap in any conversation about music culture.  What most people not cool enough to tear the sleeves off their shirt don’t know, is that most of the best jokes in these two properties are based on real German band The Scorpions.  Although wearing a Scorpions shirt may not get you laid, knowing that the joke about the cover of “Smell the Glove” in This is Spinal Tap is a reference to the album cover of the Scorpions’ “Virgin Killer,” will at least get you more nods than Mr. impersonate Nathan Explosion.  Widely considered to be the most offensive album cover ever (google it and be horrified), the final version is actually a compromise from the cover the band wanted to print.  The cover of “Smell the Glove” used in the movie is almost identical to the later Scorpions album Animal Magnetism.  The unstoppable fame shared by both fictional bands is not entirely exaggerated from the Scorpions’ worldwide popularity in the mid-80s.  I wouldn’t recommend sharing all of that, but the Virgin Killer part is actually pretty funny.  The Scorpions have recently retired with over 150 million record sales and continued worldwide popularity for over 30 years (proving a band can survive many airplane flights).

Jumping The Shark

Recently this phrase has become popular in internet lambasting of films, when saying that the film has gone too far.  For a brief period after Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, “Nuking the Fridge” was substituted, but didn’t stick.  Jumping the Shark is a reference to an episode of Happy Days where Arthur Fonzarelli jumps over a shark on waterskis.  Although Happy Days never had much, at this point all credibility was lost.  Kevin Smith has repeatedly mocked the scene in his stand-up and the Clerks animated series, adding to the meme’s popularity.  Oddly enough Jumping the Shark and Nuking the Fridge both relate to Harrison Ford.  Happy Days was birthed from George Lucas’ second film, American Graffiti which also starred Ron Howard in basically the same role, but also had Harrison Ford as a version of The Fonze that was way more Danny Zucco from Grease.  Ford must have wisely foreseen that one day the internet would be invented and would be mostly fueled by mocking Happy Days and decided not to join the show’s cast and instead build George Lucas a desk that would see him cast as Han Solo.

Who is William Shatner really?

At one point William Shatner’s IMDB page was edited from “The Canadian actor” to “The Handsome Canadian actor.”  Internet rumors would tell you that this was done at Shatner’s personal request.  The handsome Canadian actor best known for playing Captain James Tiberius Kirk has a reputation for ego that is larger than life.  The factoid:  Shatner’s over the top machismo act was never more than that, an act.  In his early career Shatner was known to have frequent stage fright and would psych himself up by putting on a larger than life persona to amuse people when he appeared on talk shows.  While the backstage Will Shatner would often be terrified that people would find him a bore, when he crossed the curtain we saw Captain Kirk.  Shatner’s act was so convincing that, combined with his rolls as a macho ladies’ man, he was branded as the paradigm of male ego.  Personal acquaintances have said that although William Shatner can be difficult at times, it’s often the result of his desire for creative control, not a desire for more close-ups.  Shatner has actually made a continued career of mocking his stage persona that culminated in his role in Boston Legal, where he basically played a crazy version of his public self.

Chuck Norris

I know everyone uses that name for hits, but there will be no references here to punching planets or ripping deities new assholes.  It absolutely astounds me that Chuck Norris is synonymous with senseless violence as the real Chuck Norris is all about sensible violence.  When he’s not doing commercials, Cordell Walker spends most of his time doing charity work and teaching karate to little kids.  Like Mr. T, he’s one of those musclemen that is really a fantastic human being in the real world.  If the internet really needs someone to make outrageous claims about, why not Steven Segal?  Segal has beat up everything from women to animals and would probably punch Saint Peter in the face if he were even allowed to wait in line at the pearly gates.  If Chuck Norris met god, he would probably ask him a bunch of hard questions about abortion and homosexuality, so he could tell everyone at his church.  If Steven Segal met god, he would probably glare at him and demand to be reincarnated as an eagle made of steel (called of course: STEEGAL!!!).

G4 and other gaming TV programming

Is not cool.  The people on those shows (you know who you are guy who is awkward and not funny and girl who looks too nervous to be attractive) would like you to think that they are gamers that are ‘hip.’  They make uncomfortable references to gaming in-jokes that never quite hit and they always look like they can’t believe they’re on TV.  They also row hard for the games that their parent companies publish.  The thing that offends me most is that these gaming ‘personalities’ do not represent me as a power gamer.  When I’m standing in Gamestop trying to get my shit and get away from all the poor people pawning their kid’s games, it makes me uncomfortable to see them on the store TV.  It makes me even more so when other customers and the Gamestop clerks repeat what they say as if it’s funny.  In case you’re wondering I absolutely loathe the show Big Bang Theory for the very same reason.  It may just be that I’m an alpha geek and it insults my ego to be categorized with the likes of such pedantic scum, but they really piss me off.  To me gaming and technology is rebellion.  It’s about being unique and erudite and not having memes and in-jokes.  I realize that we’ve been overrun by the casual gamers and the bros, but in that case the powergamer stereotype is obsolete and networks should not be creating fake personalities to appeal to us.

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