Talking about pop culture references in writing and how I feel on them. Once you’ve read that post, come back and read the rest of this one. After the jump I’m posting the “translations” for the pop culture paragraphs I used in that post, as well as a few samples of other paragraphs that Shannon Stacey gave me to work with.
Alex Fleming’s paragraph translated:
“I am so sick of this. Every time you open your mouth you do a Sir Joe on me. I never know where I am with you. I don’t even know if you still care.”
Jason shrugged. “Hey, it’s not like we’re Kylie and Jason. I need some time to myself.” Christ, did she have to bung on a Lady Flo? He let the anger rise to cover his sense of guilt. “Ah, to hell with this. You can stand here whining if you want. Me, I’ve got a Tam Slam with my name on it waiting.”
do a Sir Joe – Lie through your teeth – Sir Joe Bjelke-Peterson: the biggest liar in Aussie politics. Used to be Queensland’s Premier ( as in govorner of a state type of thing) Still lying right up to the day he got charged for his lying and decieving of the Queensland people. Now a definite part of Aussie culture.
Kylie and Jason. – all lovey-dovey newly-weds – A reference from the tv show “Neighbors”- the characters played by Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue created a storm here in Australia when their “wedding” was shown in the show. 6pm every night, people across Australia were plastered to the front of the tv screen watching Neighbors.
have to bung on a Lady Flo – act like a snooty-nosed prima donna – Lady Flo, wife of Sir Joe Bejelke-Peterson – First Lady of Queensland political circle for a long time- Famous for her scones, but don’t cross her or say anything about her hubby, or she came off like a snot-nosed snob. And she always got her way!
Tam Slam – An Aussie Icon. The delicious act of making a coffee, taking a Tim Tam biscuit, biting the corner off it and then slurping the coffee through the biscuit.
“I am so sick of this. Every time you open your mouth you lie to me. I never know where I am with you. I don’t even know if you still care.”
Jason shrugged. “Hey, it’s not like we’re newly-weds. I need some time to myself.” Christ, did she have to act like a Prima Donna, always wanting her own way? He let the anger rise to cover his sense of guilt. “Ah, to hell with this. You can stand here whining if you want. Me, I’m going to have a coffee and Tim Tam biscuit.”
Shannon Stacey’s paragraph translated:
Sara and I had been best friends since the eighth grade. Our hometown, Cedar Falls, was definitely the kind of place where everybody knows your name, and I guess you could say she was the Carla to my Diane. An odd pairing for a friendship, maybe, but it last for years. Right up until we fell in love with the same man.
To me, that would be using a pop culture reference as instant characterization. It’s playing fair—Cheers was the longest running sitcom in history—so we should know Sara was outgoing, brusque and snarky, and the narrator a more refined, intellectual type.
Imogen Howson’s translation:
I’d been dawdling home, licking the Twiglet stains off my fingers, and didn’t realise the time until I passed an open doorway and heard the Blue Peter theme tune.
I quickened my steps, looked up to cross the road—and stopped.
The girl walking towards me was clearly an ASBO waiting to happen—a Vicky Pollard lookalike in clothes that were more Primark than Topshop. I instantly felt as comfortable as Jade Goody on a visit to Bradford.
But when the girl spoke her accent was pure Home Counties.
“Is there a newsagent’s near here? I need to buy heat—it can’t be true that Peter Andre has left Jordan for Jodie Marsh!”
Blue Peter—children’s TV program—on about 5 o’clock.
ASBO—Anti-Social Behaviour Order—a civil order made against a person who has engaged in anti-social behaviour. An ASBO can carry certain restrictions, such as a curfew or being banned from a town centre, in order to lessen that type of behaviour, and if breached can result in a criminal conviction.
Vicky Pollard—character on a TV comedy show—representation of a teenage delinquent.
Primark—very cheap, fashionable clothes shop.
Topshop—fashionable clothes shop—ordinary girls and young women shop there, but also TV and pop stars.
Jade Goody—reality TV show contestant who recently caused huge offence for her apparent racist bullying of Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty—in Delhi, India, there were furious protests.
Bradford—northern UK town with a large Bangladeshi/Indian/Pakistani population.
Home Counties—the counties surrounding UK capital, London. ‘Home Counties accent’ is generally used to denote an upper-middle-class accent.
heat—celebrity gossip magazine.
Peter Andre—pop star.
Jordan—glamour model, married to Peter Andre.
Jodie Marsh—glamour model, mostly famous for her feud with Jordan.
Canadian author, Lara Rose’s paragraph translation:
He walked in the room and she took a giant gulp of her Timmie’s dark roast, wincing as it burned the tip of her tongue. He was hot, if you liked the whole Red Green beard, Bob and Doug McKenzie wardrobe, and, dear lord, a Joey Jeremiah hat. Of course, it would be like her obsession with the Great One and would end badly, with her singing Alanis and Avril songs while she cowered in the corner of her sleigh bed, her Hudson’s Bay blanket wrapped around her and a 2-4 of Canadian in the fridge. She gathered up her Roots bag and box of timbits, and turned to leave, her Crocs squeaking on the polished floor. He was probably a hoser anyway.
He walked in the room and she took a giant gulp of her coffee, wincing as it burned the tip of her tongue. He was hot, if you liked the whole big scruffy beard, baggy jeans and plaid, flannel lumber jacket look, with, dear lord, a fedora. Of course, it would be like her obsession with Wayne Gretzky, the famous Canadian hockey player, and would end badly, with her singing angry emotion-filled songs while she cowered in the corner of her sleigh bed, her thick, fleece blanket with red, green, purple, yellow, and black stripes wrapped around her and a case of 24 Molson Canadian beers in the fridge. She gathered up her red leather bag and box of doughnut holes, and turned to leave, her garden clogs squeaking on the polished floor. He was probably a jerk anyway.
Timmies = Tim Hortons Coffee Shop
Red Green = a not so handy man tv show
Bob & Doug McKenzie = characters on SCTV (Canadian Saturday Night Live)
Joey Jeremiah = character on Degrassi Junior High (the first one) known for always wearing a grey fedora over his mullet.
The Great One = Wayne Gretzky
Alanis Morissette = very angry singer who shocked everyone with her song You Oughta Know.
Avril Lavigne = singer, sk8r grrl (hee),
Hudson’s Bay Blanket = striped blanket known to be from the Bay (Canada’s oldest company)
2-4 of Canadian = A case of 24 Molson Canadian beer
Roots = retailer of clothes (mostly sweatsuits) and leather bags
Timbits = doughnut holes from Tim Hortons
Crocs = very ugly but very comfy shoes. J
Hoser = see Bob & Doug McKenzie… this was one of their trademark insults. Take off you hoser, eh?
And a few bonus pop culture paragraphs courtesy of Shannon Stacey, because she’s an overachiever.
2. He checked his weapon one final times. This was third and long at Mile High with two ticks on the clock. He had three bullets left, and he’d have to make them count. In this game, punting wasn’t an option.
3. “Hey, Whitesnake called. They want their hair back.”
“You’re supposed to be undercover, not a cover band. How about a little less VH-1, doll, and a little more Rachel?”
4. The idea of aiming high and being all I could be had sounded good in theory, but I was starting to wonder if Uncle Sam had really been pointing at the guy over my shoulder. The recruiter hadn’t said jack about getting shot at by a Nice ‘n Easy blonde in a ‘Cuda, so unless Tarantino was a DI in his spare time, something was going very, very wrong. And Basic just got a whole lot more complicated.