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wundayatta's avatar

What is your feeling about obscure cultural references that you either do or don't get?

Asked by wundayatta (58568points) March 19th, 2010

I don’t know if this is an obscure reference or not, but I imagine that it is unlikely to be gotten by many people born after 1990. When I made it, I kind of tickled myself pink. It’s a kind of code, I guess—secret code that only members of a certain club will get, but I have no idea who the other members of the club are. Yet.

When I was young, and people made references I didn’t understand, it drove me crazy. Now it pleases me a lot to understand things I wouldn’t have understood back then. Of course, there are plenty of references my children understand that I don’t get. Just last night, my son was laughing and saying to his sister, “did you hear that? Dad doesn’t even know who mmph mmph is.” Sigh. What goes around, comes around. I think he was perfectly thrilled to know something I didn’t know.

What do you feel when you either do or don’t get something that someone else either does or doesn’t get? What is that feeling about? Do you have an example of this phenomenon?

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19 Answers

chamelopotamus's avatar

I think it’s more enjoyable to have a secret weapon or a secret knowledge. It’s the element of surprise: you never know just how much I know. That’s probably where our superhero fantasy comes from. It’s like this powerful thing you can tap into any time. The only thing that makes knowledge a superpower is when someone else doesn’t know it…that’s probably where that giddiness comes from. I like it when I know a lot about music, tapping into my Orchestral knowledge, and can use it at the appropriate time lol

Drawkward's avatar

It feels like an urge to Google furiously. Can’t explain it.

jaytkay's avatar

I was born before 1990, and I don’t get the linked reference. I’ll read it again, right after I finish tying this onion to my belt…

dpworkin's avatar

Every time you hear or see something you don’t know about is an opportunity to learn something, and I am a very curious man.

bob_'s avatar

First I’m all “aww, man!”, then I look it up, and then I’m all “yeah, baby!”

zephyr826's avatar

when I make one in conversation I find myself looking around for someone else to understand it, because inside jokes with yourself are no fun at all.

I googled the reference and couldn’t find it. sad.

escapedone7's avatar

I read it and it went right over my head. I don’t get it. I’m a dingbat so that shouldn’t shock anyone.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I’ll second the notion that @dpworkin is a very curious man. And how. ~

I like surprising my kids with recommendations to music that they already listen to and think I couldn’t possibly enjoy—and introducing them to music that’s hundreds of years old.

Stuff like that. I do like to learn new things, just not everything.

Grisson's avatar

It never bother me as a youth. Now with the web, I’m re-discovering some of those old references and finally learning what the mean. My grandmother used to call me a ‘Skeezix’ and I never knew what she meant. When I asked, she sait it meant ‘rascal’. Recently I found out it was an early 20th century comic strip character.

So I think that eventually we get the reference, it just takes some of us longer than others.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@Grisson now you’re making me feel really old, because I know that you’re not a kid. I used to read those comic strips in the Worcester Telegram years and years ago.

noyesa's avatar

I’m very young and because of my exposure to stuff like this and my group of friends, who tend to be older than me, I get a lot of these obscure references that I’m pretty confident most of the people I know who are my age wouldn’t get. I dunno, I guess there’s something interesting about it, like it’s a secret code or something. People tend to enjoy things that they have to “work” for, so decrypting some obscure cultural trivia sort of excites that part of our ego.

wundayatta's avatar

The key words are butter and tango. I shall leave it to you to find out why they are relevant.

Chongalicious's avatar

That reminds me of when my older brother made a joke to my ex-boyfriend’s best friend…he and my brother are the same age, and my ex and I are the same age as eachother.

My brother told the best friend “Tell him (the ex) to jump back on his banana boat!” The best friend laughed hysterically while my ex and I looked at each other confused as hell!

Turns out my brother was making fun of my ex because he was Dominican haha..that meanie!

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@wundayatta hey, that reminds me. He told her she’d be playing soccer with those… in 20 years. What is she doing now, anyway? Hell, it’s been nearly twice twenty years. Maybe she’s refereeing now…

dpworkin's avatar

Marlon Brando is dead.

jaytkay's avatar

That reminds me of when my older brother made a joke to my ex-boyfriend’s best friend…he and my brother are the same age, and my ex and I are the same age as each other…

Wait, wait. It was my understanding that there would be no math.

Chongalicious's avatar

@jaytkay
My age = ex boyfriend’s age
My brother’s age = the best friend’s age <—They are older than my ex and I by 3 years… not a large gap but still ! lol
Now divide each side of the above equations by pi and find the reciprocal for each. Then Add a factorial of 5 to my brother’s age. Subtract the square root of 33,782 from my ex’s age and BAM! There’s your answer :)

wundayatta's avatar

@CyanoticWasp I don’t know what she’s doing, but I’m pretty sure she isn’t doing nude movies any more.

YARNLADY's avatar

When I saw a question about new moon today, I thought it was about astronomy.

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