“I’ll have what she’s having.”

Have we no minds or imaginations anymore?!? I’m not one to talk — I’ve been suffering from a major lack of ideas of what to write about lately. I find it a little ironic that this is what I came up with.

But if anyone can respect a good movie or song reference, it’s me. A ton of my type of humor relies on pop culture references. But there’s a fine line between a witty reference or an inventive use of “sampling,” and becoming a mindless pop culture spewing drone.

Two birds with one stone: A Futurama reference and an illustration depicting mindless drones

Summer has long been known as the season of the sequel at the movie theater. And with the list of sequels getting longer each season, the lack of original movies becomes pretty apparent. If you’ve clamored to 12 a.m. sneak preview showings to see Transformers 3, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, The Hangover 2, and already are the proud owner of tickets to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II, you’re not alone. (I haven’t seen the first two, but I admit, I enjoyed The Hangover 2 … Even more than the original, which stressed me out a lot. Yeah, that’s how neurotic I am.)

But at least movie sequels make it obvious what the original is they’re referencing. Sampling is a practice that’s becoming increasingly popular in mainstream music. I’m not knocking it — It can be a real art. I think it’s usually a great way for an artist to repurpose a song that inspired them and make it their own. The thing I have beef with is when songs I liked months or years ago are sampled and the resulting song becomes more popular. Top 40 lovers know every word to the new song, but in my experience, an alarming amount have no idea that there was an original song behind it.

If you like any of the songs on the left, you may want to have a listen to the songs on the right. Click the links to hear the songs.

“The Show Goes On” by Lupe Fiasco ——- “Float On” by Modest Mouse (I recently heard a local DJ try to credit the original song, but mis-identified the band as Muse. It took all I had not to call in to the radio station and start screeching.)

“Paper Planes” by M.I.A. ——- “Straight to Hell” by The Clash – My dad is a fan of The Clash and would play them a lot when I was younger, which is probably the reason I like “Paper Planes” so much. “It ain’t Coca-Cola, it’s rice.

“Whatcha Say” by Jason Derulo —— “Hide and Seek” by Imogen Heap (If you have some trouble recognizing it, skip to 2:51 in the video)

“Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys ——- “Love on a Two Way Street” by The Moments

“S & M” by Rihanna ——- “Let’s Go to Bed” by The Cure (As you may know, I already discussed my thoughts on “S & M.” The song not the — uh … practice.)

Is the practice of sampling and referencing burrowing its way into everyday life? I can almost never get through a conversation without making or hearing a reference to something. I know I do it all the time. Is that okay?

Well, Houston, we may have a problem. It seems what we have here is a failure to communicate. Then again, perhaps frankly, my dears, we shouldn’t give a damn. After all, if all we do is make sequels, sample songs, and quote movies in conversations, our brains will have so much more room for activities. Maybe we can’t handle the truth that we’re just running out of original thoughts. Maybe the sun will come out tomorrow, and we’ll think up some stuff on our own for a change. Until then, hasta la vista, baby.

I’ll be back.

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6 thoughts on ““I’ll have what she’s having.”

  1. Love your last paragraph with all the reference…just out of curiousity how long did it take you to come up with that? In reference to your post as a whole, sometimes I feel that all of society is trying to stay in on all of these inside jokes. When I was in high school I remember that there were little groups of us that would quote certain comedians, movies or tv showes but they were usually lost on larger groups…now it seems like everybody knows every quote to everything…one big outside joke. Ugh…I feel so unoriginal now.

    • Oh I know! The best part of an inside joke is when not everyone gets it. It’s especially amazing when someone accidentally overhears an inside joke, gets it, and tells you they know what you’re talking about, and then you decide you should be best friends because you’ve found someone who shares this obscure knowledge. But, yeah, that doesn’t really work anymore with everyone in on most “inside jokes.” And thanks for your comment about the last paragraph! It didn’t take as long as I thought it might when I first had the idea, but I had some trouble finding a quote to fit in the middle, and ended up going with the Annie one. Thanks for reading!

  2. I know this is really random because I don’t know you (I found your blog on the Freshly Pressed & came across this), but I just want to say I’m so insanely glad you know that those songs on the left are just popped-out versions of the songs on the right. None of my friends seem to know “Float On” (which I thought was pretty popular?) or that Jason Derulo’s song was a remix of Imogen Heap. There’s also a rap remix of Flock of Seagulls and, of course, Flo Rida’s Right Round. I just thought it was interesting that you pointed it out since none of my friends seem to agree with me. Clicking through your posts, you seem to have the same opinions about things I do…haha.

    Anyhoo, like I said, I know that was random. I just felt like I had to say something. I enjoyed reading your posts, though! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks! I know what you mean, I get so excited to find someone who actually knows where references and popular songs originated from! Props on the other two you added — I know I’d picked out a ton of them over time, but had a hard time remembering when I was writing, so I just put in a few. Thanks so much for reading though and for your thoughtful feedback — I really appreciate it! (I secretly like this post better than the one that got Freshly Pressed, but I’m not complaining!)

    • It was like a reference on top of a reference on top of a reference — I usually just look for pictures that at least portray on the bare minimum what I’m talking about, but that one was a mindless drone image on top of a pop culture reference what was referencing a book … and it just got too confusing to describe in a small caption, but perfect for what I was talking about. I’m glad you caught on! πŸ™‚

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