In-Jokes and Social Connection through Media

Many years ago, at the wedding of a dear friend, I was horrified to find myself relating to another human being through an advertisement. The wedding guests were an assortment of somewhat conservatively dressed types and bikers. I myself was still in my ‘pseudo-goth/punk peacock’ phase, and so was drawing the usual stares and glares from the conservatively dressed guests. Well, the ones I bothered paying attention to, that is.

At the reception, I begin sidling up to the section of the buffet with little squares of different kinds of cheese – oh, I do love the cheese. I almost bumped hands accidentally with a conservative woman who was reaching for the cheese at the same time I was, and we both looked at each other. I piped up with, “Behold, the power of cheese,” and gave her a weak smile. With that, she returned my smile and relaxed, figuring that I was no longer going to stab her in the face or steal her children for some wild orgiastic satanic ritual of some kind.

This was likely just a social identification marker that let her know that, although I looked different, we still lived in the same world. Well, I guess any port in a storm, right?
The thing that gets me about this is that I’m finding that a great deal of my interaction with other people is through either in-jokes that only a small section of my friends grok, or various commercials/books/movies that I’ve seen. These are the things that influence my life, my thinking, etc. I find it odd that people can find common ground with such a bizarre side event like this – relating to each other through a commercial catchphrase.

It gets even weirder when internet catchprhases like LOLLERSKATES, ROFLCOPTER, OMG STFU, WTFBBQ etc are brought into the mix. Sometimes just the mention of a single word or phrase can bring up an entire memory that then mentally courses through our grey matter in the blink of an eye, and everybody just finds themselves going, “Yeah,” and laughing at the shared moment.

I guess what my rant boils down to is this – if this kind of thing goes on all the time between people, why on EARTH do people not just put the brakes on vocally recalling entire Monty Python skits when we all know the setup, the subtext and the punchline?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s