I had a boss at a sales job (Cutco Knives, thank you) tell me once that “you only need to know that much more than they do to look like a genius.” A pithy, but rather sad thing to say. No doubt the mantra of a cutlery tycoon.
But it is definitely pretty funny when people think I’m smart about lead-levels in public drinking water, but really I just spent the time it takes to drink a coffee on reading this page right here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead_poisoning
It’s almost more interesting when it’s expertise on mundane things. I wanted to share some of my favorites with everyone, so that we can all appear to be experts. Oh, and I’ll try to write these as if we were hanging out and I was a pompous person just telling you about interesting things:
TELEVISION and FILM
A good trick to play on people is saying “You know Matlock is actually good right? That’s why old people love it, because of the writing.” Also works with Murder She Wrote. Both of those shows have main characters best described as armchair detectives:
Jesse Frederick wrote the theme songs of some significant television programs. Remember cousin Larry?:
urban legends of Three Men and A Baby
For such a silly movie, there are some really intense urban legends surrounding it, and all are addressed here:
stacked cast, and a Clueless reunion
This film was a hit with the goth community in 1995. Starring Jeff Golblum, Alicia Silverstone, and Jeremy Sisto: a man (G’blum) witnesses the satanic ritual suicide of his son. Then the man dies, but comes back to life. Then he’s alive again but has to see the world through the eyes of a satan-worshiping serial killer. Here is some dialogue from the first 5 minutes of the film:
Silverstone (pleading to be allowed out): Well Linda got these really cool tickets to this new rave and they’re really hard to get…
Goldblum: No No No NO, I’m not too keen on this rave scene.
The mom: How come? It’s just a concert right?
Goldblum: From what I hear, uh, everybody is up all night getting blasted on all kinds of new stuff…its not cool.
The late 1980’s into the 1990’s would have been a strange world without TV programming wizard Brandon Tartikoff:
For all intensive purposes, you should note this peculiar phenomenon of popular speech:
The term Barbarian is a modification of what was just a local joke; villagers would say Bar Bar when referring to foreigners or visitors whose language was strange. Compare it to Blah Blah:
what a shocking bad hat!
In the olden days of the 1850’s, if a man was seen wearing a hat that was even the least bit out of fashion, sometimes a mob would form around him of (seriously) a hundred people who would all shout “WHAT A SHOCKING BAD HAT!” Read all about it in this amazing document:
cranks and kooks
Ever know someone who thought they were good at everything, thought they knew everything about everything but were always so fucking wrong. That person is called a crank, or a kook:
Pruno is prison wine. It can cause blindness and has been “colorfully described as vomit flavored wine cooler”.
our love of outsiders
People have long been obsessed with the art of the insane, and for just as long have debated the morality of it:
This guy was so good at making fun of the royal family with his caricatures that they had to bribe him to stop. He also did cover art for Charles Dicken’s books:
Before computer hacking, there was Phone Phreaking. For some great band names, and for the story of the best phone phreaker ever, read about Joybubbles:
A couple’s protest of Swedish baby-naming law results in a wonderfully absurd baby name that is funny in any language:
primtive gangster computer god
This guy has been called “one of the most mysterious characters in all kookdom” and “the most important paranoid schizophrenic kook of the century.” His mas-mailed “rant” flyers are dense, challenging, and disturbed:
there is no general tso
The no-duh part is that Chinese food is way different in China. The interesting part is why, and how. A history of Chinese chefs all but forgotten who created dishes like General Tso’s chicken:
there is no mike myers
A version that seems American… but…. something is off about it:
Once considered the perfect food by nutritionists, and still considered so by me and Libby, here it is– the history of pizza:
Pickled punks faded away with the traveling carnival, but it was a thing people did for like 500 years. There is even a Holy Grail of pickled punks “the stone child of sens”: