Thursday, 22 March 2012

A short post about Cultural References

An episode of Eastenders this week had one of characters, Shirl, saying "I hate George Michael. Pepsi and Shirley should have drowned him when they had the chance in that pool."

This caused such mirth to science journalist and broadcaster Marcus Chown that he was moved to mention it on Twitter, as you can see below:

A picture of a tweet, earlier today

BFTF absolutely see where Marcus is coming from here, but what was really thought provoking was the fact that the quote was referring to one second clip in a pop video from 1983 - that's nearly 30 years ago. And the track didn't even reach number 1 in the charts, peaking at number 4.

And yet, despite superficially being so obscure, there are probably tens of millions of people in the UK who instantly got the reference.

BFTF wonders how many such common reference points the UK population shares, 100's? 1000's? more?

And what effect has the media fragmentation that has occurred since thre 80's had on the way society absorbs these references?

BFTF also wonders what references are being embedded in our collective memories now? Lord Sugars "You're a lightweight, you're fired" is probably a good candidate, but what else?

What would your nomination be?

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