Which Pop Culture Object Would You Like to Possess?
This question came up on the Pop Culture Happy Hour. What a fun thought experiment, I said to myself. Because I am lame?
Still with me? Here are my choices for today.
Reason: My first thought was Excalibur from the movie Breaking 2: Electric Bugaloo. I joke. No, of course I mean the sword from the 1981 John Boorman film, off of which they continuously reflected green light, making it appear super mystical. I have realized since falling in not-so-ironic love with this movie while watching it with Drew in our salad college days in Eugene, Oregon (maybe that's better phrased differently but I like the idea of Salad College, so no edit), that if you take away the late Nigel Williamson, who drunkenly brilliantly played Merlin with a comic, nearly cartoonish swagger, that the movie would be one long, over-serious, over-pretentious, over-written cosplay of a film. But with Williamson, even with lines like “Look into the eyes of the dragon and despair!”, it’s a cherished classic.
Use: Cheese cutter.
Object: The Tom Servo and Crow Robots from MST3K
Reason: Nothing on TV or film has captured my pop-culture-watching essence like Mystery Science Theater 3000. Just ask poor Drew who has had to watch TV and movies with me for 34 years. Oh, did you want to watch this episode of Swords and Rapes without any further explanatory dialog? Then fine, you’ll have to watch it without me, because I have some questions and answers. And no, I don’t think the old seasons with Joel Hodgson are better. I didn’t know MST3K existed until the Mike (Michael T. Nelson) era, so I am free of your whiny bias. In fact, I am extremely excited about the reboot with Jonah Ray because I’ve been a fan of his since the first Nerdist podcast. If none of this make sense, thank God you’re not such a meganerd and go about your much more relevant business.
Use: I would install them in the back of my Prius, looking out onto whoever is following me. Occasionally I would make them talk about bad drivers.
Object: Peewee’s Bike
Reason: DUH. According to Peewee Herman, it’s the best bike in the whole world, and there is pretty solid evidence to back that up. It’s red (the best color), it’s got chrome, whirlygigs, bells, horns, a lion hood ornament, and some space-age saddle bags to carry your bow ties. And Peewee’s Big Adventure holds up as a film. You should revisit it if you haven’t lately.
Use: As intended.
Object: The Cow-tapult from Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Reason: Actually, I would like all the makeshift armor and weapons as well as all the fake moustaches. However, if I were to choose a useful item, it would be the trebuchet with which the Frenchy-accented John Cleese and crew launches a mooing cow toward King Arthur (Graham Chapman) after calling them names and farting in their general direction. Okay, so you don’t actually see the trebuchet because of budgetary reasons and the cow, after mooing convincingly, turns suspiciously stiff (you’re welcome, PETA), but let’s pretend/assume that it exists. Then I would want it.
Use: Set up in the back yard, it could reach the street easily in case of unwanted solicitors, unleashed dogs and/or religious bullies. I could grow my own pumpkins to use as ammo.
Object: Lucy’s White Burial Outfit from Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Reason: FASHION. To be clear, this is the 1992 Dracula, directed by Francis Ford Coppola with Gary Oldman as creepy/steampunk dreamy Dracula, Anthony Hopkins as vampire hunter Van Helsing, and both Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder obviously turning down accent coaching and taking a stab in the dark at what English people sound like and each getting it hilariously wrong in different ways. That little nitpick aside, come for the Oldman/Hopkins act-a-thon, stay for the costumes. Sure, Dracula gets all the wacky costume stuff, but Nina’s friend Lucy gets the best of the female costumes. They get more gorgeous every time she appears on screen until the vampire bites her extra hard and everything gets blood on it. Most of her outfits are corseted beyond all hope, but her burial outfit is both outrageous and roomy!
Use: Gardening, camping.
Object: Luke Skywalker’s Lightsaber
Reason: I know I’m supposed to say this, because everybody wants it and many have a Hasbro facsimile, but it doesn’t really work because we don’t live in that galaxy far, far away and I don’t have The Force. So without all the special effects, it would just be a lightsaber holder. Oh, and don't out-nerd me by questioning my choice of this particular light saber over another. No one wants to hear that. No one even wants to hear THIS.
Use: Hiking (this would require Drew to accompany me and don a Jedi cloak at the top of each hill so that I could repeatedly hold the Lightsaber out to him while a drone camera films us in a circle).
Object: Yeoman Janice Rand’s outfit and wig from Star Trek TOS
Reason: Look, there aren’t that many awesome Janices in pop culture. There’s Janis Joplin, but I was never a fan of screamy blues. After that, characters named Janice become a bit of a joke, especially during the Friends era. But Yeoman Janice (played by the late Grace Lee Whitney) was hot and smart and had a weave hairstyle that was kickass. And Captain Kirk would try to look her in the eyes, but could never quite make it.
Use: If you give me that outfit, I would lose 30 pounds by next week to get that thing on.
One Last Fashion Must-Have: Zoe Washburn's leather vest from Firefly/Serenity.
I've said enough. Now you. Do you have a favorite pop culture object?