Pop Culture Awareness: Pulp Fiction

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I’m glad I went into this movie with an open mind, instead of expecting to “enjoy” it or something along those lines. While I can’t say I actually “enjoyed” it, I did sort of like it. The content of the story was tough. It’s not the typical storyline that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, and if you saw my current DVD collection (When Harry Met SallyShrekAnchormanThe Notebook, etc.) you would know I usually go for that sort of thing: funny and sweet. Despite the rough and tough shell of a powerful drug mogul and his flunkies, the movie reveals a delightful center of straight-up funny dialogue and incredibly normal characters.

One thing I did enjoy about the movie is that it’s different and breaks the mold of linear storytelling; it gives us a snapshot of a point in time and then tells a story in a circle so you end up completing the puzzle at the end. It goes against everything I was taught in my scriptwriting class in college. It doesn’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. It doesn’t have a pinch. The characters don’t really grow or develop within themselves. But somehow, it works.

Another pro to the movie is the positive female/male relationships. There is a great deal of love among the pairs. I especially loved the French girl and Butch. They were sweet together, with just enough dysfunction (ok, a lot of dysfunction) to be realistic. Jules and Vincent’s relationship is another great aspect to the movie. I loved their conversations about miracles, Quarter Pounders, and filthy animals. That type of conversation is the kind you could catch me in with any of my friends.

I knew I had grasped the point of the movie when I laughed out loud as Vincent exclaimed, “Aww man! I just shot Marvin in the face!” I had made it past the harsh, gross aspects to comprehend what was under the surface.

So, there you go. Now I’ll get the joke whenever someone mentions how tasty that Kahuna burger is, and I’ll laugh if someone says, “Stay out of trouble, you crazy kids.”

Pulp Fiction: check.  Next up: Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Pop Culture Awareness: 101

Most of the people who know me really well know I grew up in a pretty sheltered house. I went to private Christian school until high school, and my parents were strict on movies and TV I could watch, etc. My parents weren’t as strict as some kids’ I know, but still. Nowadays, I grow more and more aware of the gap between me and my peers when it comes to common knowledge. Simple things like who sings “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and famous lines from the Karate Kid fly over my head, sometimes without my notice. In fact, since people have started pointing out how little I know of the 80s and 90s and even millenium pop culture, I feel anxiety when band names are mentioned or movie lines are quoted, and I stay silent on the subject, hoping not to end up on the wrong end of the joke. I think the last straw was when someone said, “You were homeschooled, right?” That was a low blow to my awkwardness. I knew at that moment something needed to change.

So, I’ve decided to remedy this situation by immersing myself in the culture I missed out on. I would love your input. I was born in 1986. What movies are must sees? What music would it be a shame for me to never have heard? What TV shows should I watch? Help, people.

Here are a few starters I have come up with:

  • Karate Kid
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Jimmy Buffet and
  • The Goonies (to the guy I pinky-promised in the hotel lobby at 4 a.m. that one night, this one’s for you!).

Go ahead, give me your list. As I go through them, I will share my thoughts and reactions.

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