As we mentioned a couple of weeks ago, to keep the comments as fresh and outstanding as they've been up to this point, we've commissioned Commenting Guru Rob Iracane to write a bi-weekly Comment Ombudsman column. It runs every other Monday. This is that Monday.
Mr. Iracane is the guy who approves and deletes comments around here, and the fellow to whom you should address any comment account requests, and he will explore issues involved in commenting, what makes a great comment thread, what's working, what isn't, answer your questions, so on. We want the place to continue to be as much fun as it is every day, and it's not an execution thread like our friends at Gawker do. We like to be inclusive here, because if we're not, we'd be forced to rely on our own wit and knowledge, and that's a scary thought indeed.
So here's this week's column, about the right and wrong times to toss in a movie reference, and how, and which movies ... after the jump. Of course, don't be afraid to let him have it in the comments.
As commenters, one of our most powerful tools is the Pop Culture Reference. It has the power to either arouse our sense of humor or assault our sense of good taste. Rarely does a thread pass without a quote from some cinematic touchstone of comedic genius or a mention of something that Dwight did on The Office last week. This is a good thing; sports are pop culture and pop culture is sports (also, basketball IS jazz). So what's the best approach to dropping a hot PCR?
Try something highbrow but don't get too obscure. When Suss— references Citizen Kane, we all laugh because he's not reaching:
Suss—: "NO SPOILERS PLEASE."
Rosebud was the name of his sled.
Yet when Rob Iracane directly quotes The Third Man seemingly out of nowhere, readers everywhere scratch their heads. Context, Rob, context. This isn't existentialism.
Still, if no one recognizes your PCR, don't get upset. There are thousands of folks scanning these posts and hopefully you made a few of them chuckle. There's no reason for our friend The Man with No Name to complain on the televised golf wagering post:
The Man with No Name:Come on people! A caddyshack reference! That's gold!
Caddyshack references are gold, The Man with No Name. But use them sparingly and wisely on posts about actual golf, or else we'll get a Movie Quote Avalanche.
Which brings up my final point: no more fucking Anchorman quotes. The next person to say the words 'whale's vagina ' gets the boot.
So, how can you become a better referencer of pop culture? Let me help you with some of my favorite sources of entertainment. Music is a very personal choice; I can't make you listen to Elvis Costello if you're a Pussycat Dolls fan. Television is very time-consuming; I can't ask you to go back and watch six seasons of "The Sopranos" (but if you haven't been watching all along, what's wrong with you?). However, movies require very little investment of time and are frequently shown on
television for free! Here are seven 20th century films that are both culturally enriching and inimitably quotable:
Honestly, anything and everything in the Woody Allen oeuvre is rewarding. Even a garbage movie like Celebrity is enjoyable to see the trainwreck that is Kenneth Branagh playing the Woody role. What does this all have to do with sports? It's up to you to make the connection. Pop culture IS sports.