the 50 cultural references you must know to understand me

Dr. Robert R. Cargill, falconer.

Dr. Robert R. Cargill, falconer. On the grounds of Ashford Castle, Cong, Co. Mayo, Ireland.

i was lecturing at ucla today and made some pop culture references in an attempt to relate the ideas and concepts from antiquity to modern times. and, as any lecturer will tell you, while my favorite movies and bands remain the same over time, the students get younger each year, and their favorite bands and music become much more modern (and increasingly obscure. and not as good). thus, while some of the cultural examples i use as examples in lectures may have at one time ‘killed’ or perfectly conveyed the meaning of a profound point, others have become lost to time, at least in the minds of my students.

thus, as a public service to my students, i have put together a list of cultural references to which i find myself regularly referring. in order to fully understand me, get most of my jokes, comprehend all of my anecdotal textual allusions, know who i’m quoting, and catch all of my deadpan comments, i hereby offer the following list of the greatest and most influential quotes, movies, literature, people,activities, and historical events of all time. (these are presented in alphabetical order, and i reserve the right to add to or change this list as i remember more influential items.)

  1. airplane
  2. anchorman
  3. apple/mac
  4. aramaic targumim
  5. archaeology
  6. austin powers (trilogy)
  7. beavis and butthead
  8. billy madison
  9. blogging
  10. boston red sox
  11. casablanca
  12. colbert report
  13. contact
  14. damien rice
  15. dumb and dumber
  16. espn sportscenter anchors’ one-liners
  17. facebook
  18. fail blog
  19. falconry
  20. flight of the conchords
  21. forrest gump
  22. fresno
  23. funny king james bible quotations
  24. happy gilmore
  25. hebrew
  26. hunting
  27. i’m gonna git you sucka
  28. indiana jones (raiders trilogy)
  29. jethro tull
  30. lost
  31. lyle lovett
  32. monty python’s search of the holy grail
  33. more cowbell (watch)
  34. naked gun (trilogy)
  35. primus
  36. shawshank redemption
  37. smashing pumpkins
  38. snl jeopardy parodies
  39. so i married an axe murderer
  40. spinal tap
  41. star wars (original trilogy)
  42. the big lebowski
  43. the dollars/man with no name trilogy
  44. the onion
  45. the princess bride
  46. the west wing
  47. tombstone
  48. wait wait…don’t tell me!
  49. willy wonka and the chocolate factory
  50. zoolander

what is your list? if you create one, please link to it in the comments below. -bc

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