THE MIDDLEBLOG - a guide to the pop culture references in "the paradoxically festive mortality"
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a guide to the pop culture references in "the paradoxically festive mortality" [Dec. 20th, 2012|08:45 pm]
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- "higbee's department store" is an homage to bob clark's film of jean shepherd's "a christmas story."

- the middlejetpack was first seen in the "middleman in africa" chapter of the middleman graphic novel "the third volume inevitability - illustrated by the amazing les mcclaine.

- "guy goddard" and "fleming's commander jamaica rum" are both callbacks to the character played by kevin sorbo in the spy-themed middleman episode "the obsolescent cryogenic meltdown. "commander jamaica" was the original title of ian fleming's james bond novel "dr. no."

- the "30-megahurt definit-kil photrazon cannon" was famously featured in douglas adams's "the hitch-hiker's guite to the galaxy."

- "ferrets of fury" is my goof on "angry birds." the "gummi bears" cartoon - and its theme song - are real.

- davis is the canonical maiden name of james tiberius kirk's mother winona across the many incarnations of star trek.

- the paragraph introducing khan noonien singh is a bowdlerization of the original series episode "space seed" and the films "the wrath of khan" and "the search for spock."

- the paragraph introducing gary mitchell is an encapsulation of the original series episode "where no man has gone before."

- in other news, summarizing the lives of even the most minor of star trek characters reminds me of that old monty python sketch set at a "summarizing proust competition."

- the crew of the enterprise famously used a slingshot around the sun to go back in time in the film "the voyage home."

- "chronometric particles" is an homage to the star trek film "first contact," and "psycho-kinetic energy" is a term from "ghostbusters."

- "the big green cheese" is an homage to the nickname given to captain marvel by his arch-nemesis, doctor thaddeus bodog sivana, "the big red cheese."

- "kaiju" is a japanese term for "giant monster," "kawaii" is the same for that same popular culture's predilection for hypercute, stylized characters and objects.

- "sons of anarchy" is a reference to the popular fx drama about outlaw bikers - though it is unlikely that the middleman would favor such violent fare.

- "you'll put your eye out, kid" is another reference to "a christmas story."

- "oh, the humanity" was the famous cry of despair heaved by a radio announcer upon witnessing the destruction of the hindenburg.

- stuntmen "mike," "bob," and "zoe" are an homage to the tarantino grindhouse flick "death proof."

- the history channel is a basic cable network famous for having more shows about things like ducks, truckers, and lumberjacks than...you know...history.

- "pineapple express" is a reference to a recent seth rogen/james franco stoner comedy.

- "jolly fats wehawkin" is a name taken from the jerry lewis film "cracking up."

- "pink-skinned normal" is a common derogatory used by members of the church of the sub genius to refer to "ordinary people."

- the last heir of the qin dynasty was a character in the middleman episode "the accidental occidental conception." the next two lines are in homage to harry potter and "the matrix."

- "mona lisa overdrive" is the title of the second book in william gibson's seminal cyberpunk trilogy that began with "neuromancer" and ended with "count zero."

- "corinthian leather" is a quote from a famous chrysler car commercial featuring celebrity pitchman ricardo montalban - who invented, perfected and slam-dunked the role of khan. khary mingh's language is peppered throughout with paraphrases from this commercial.

- gene roddenberry was, in fact, involved in a plane crash in the syrian desert as a young commercial pilot soon after his stint as a b-17 aviator in world war 2. he conducted himself heroically and was awarded a medal for his stewardship of the survivors.

- "you are in a position to demand nothing" is a quote from "the wrath of khan."

- the nexus - and kirk's equestrian ranch/love nest were featured in the star trek film "generations."

- in "where no man has gone before" gary mitchell famously threatened Captain Kirk with an open grave featuring a headstone engraved with his name.

- laura mulvey is a prominent cultural critic/feminist philosopher whose work on defining "the male gaze" in cinema seemed appropriate here, considering how much watching khary ming wants his victims to do.

- uri geller was an infamous psychic who came to prominence through books and talk show appearances in the 1970's. he claimed to be able to bend spoons with his mind - which in hindsight, is kind of a piss-poor mutant ability.

- asbestos seems to be a very popular building material with O2STK - one of the middlesubs is also coated with the stuff (as seen in the series episode "the obsolescent cryogenic meltdown).

- "there's a storm that's threatening my very life today" is the opening line of the rolling stones song "gimme shelter."

- shout! factory is the producer of the middleman dvd sets - now available through amazon.com!

- the "phynberg oscillating framizam" and the "irvingoscope" were both place-holder names used by classic-series star trek writers when they did not have the time to research a technical name for a device used on board the enterprise. they are named after the show's propmaster irving feinberg. i know this because i wrote a paper in the ninth grade about the making of star trek. in other news, i'm a fucking geek.

- the scramble suit was an identity-concealing gizmo in philip k. dick's novel "a scanner darkly."

- the heydar is an homage to the middleman series online editor heydar adel. nice guy.

- in the film "deep impact" nasa tried to stop a comet from hitting earth by shooting a flight of titan missiles at it. the missiles failed and tea leoni almost had to go to the ark while frodo outran a tsunami in a dirt bike. it's better than it sounds.

- "fools, i will destroy you all" was a villain catch-phrase pitched by middleman editor raul davalos as a potential second season replacement for the first season catchphrase "my plan is sheer elegance in its simplicity."

- the baobab trees ravaging a small asteroid are my tip of the hat to one of my favorite books, "the little prince" by antoine de st. exupery.

- the shai hulud is a reference to the king sand worm in frank herbert's novel "dune."

- "ents of middle earth!" is a reference to the tree creatures featured in "the lord of the rings."

- "no, you cannot get away" is one of khan's last lines from "the wrath of khan."

- "clarence" was revealed as the middleman's real name in the canonical graphic novel "the doomsday armageddon apocalypse," co-written by hans beimler and illustrated by armando zanker.

- code 47 is a last resort communication sent by the middlewatch in the event of a middleman's death to a member of his/her next of kin. it was introduced in the middleman episode "the clotharian contamination protocol."

- "infinite diversity in infinite combinations" is the vulcan philisophy of tolerance and good will. i also suspect gene roddenberry intended it as a statement on the sexual revolution, but don't quote me. the vulcan symbol is canonically referred to as the IDIC after this concept. in other news, really, i'm a fucking geek.

- "welcome to the machine" refers to a pink floyd song from the album "wish you were here." this song was widely used in "laser floyd" laserium shows beloved by toking college students everywhere.

- the enterpise of the next generation series is a galaxy class starship. the original enterprise was a constitution class ship, the refit from the films was occasionally called the enterprise class (but really, it was still a constitution) the enterprise b was an excelsior class ship with the boat-prow variant main hull, the c was an ambassador class and the e was a sovereign class. i don't consider the jonathan archer nx-1 enterprise to be canon. shoot me.

- "brains of braga!" is a reference to brannon braga, who co-created several star trek series and was known for his labyrinthine mind-screw plots.

- technically, galaxy-class ships were not fitted with quantum torpedoes, a weapon that seemed unique to the defiant class light assault vehicles in ds9, but since this ship may be a middle variant of the galaxy class, i figured what the hey.

- "what about me?" was a common cry among victims in the middleman series.

- the canonicity of the star wars expanded universe is so heavily debated that i often wonder if any it ever happened at all - not just fictionally, but, like, i wonder if the novels even came out at all...that much said, i truly enjoyed the series of books detailing the yuuzhan vong invasion of known space, even though many fans cite it as a low point in the franchise's history.

- pip's epic monologue "hey, mister god" was first heard in the middleman episode "the flying fish zombification."

- jamie - the nag champa-stinkin' resident goth was created by middlewriter andy reaser for the episode "the vampiric puppet lamentation."

- "all was right with the world" is jean shepherd's catch phrase, often heard in the film "a christmas story," and is as good a way to cap the middleman and wendy's christmas adventures as any!
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: 4hour_ramona
2012-12-21 06:09 pm (UTC)

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i love these cultural reference primers. thank you!
[User Picture]From: corellianjedi
2012-12-22 06:46 am (UTC)

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- "fools, i will destroy you all" was a villain catch-phrase pitched by middleman editor raul davalos as a potential second season replacement for the first season catchphrase "my plan is sheer elegance in its simplicity."

I can't even read that without hearing Mark Sheppard say it in my head [from the Comic-Con table read].
[User Picture]From: hematitebadger
2012-12-22 10:56 am (UTC)

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Now I feel like an idiot. I own and regularly listen to "Gimme Shelter," but didn't get the reference because I have never been able to decipher that first line. And deciphering lyrics is my mutant supoerpower!
[User Picture]From: 4hour_ramona
2013-10-28 07:41 pm (UTC)

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happy birthday!