Friday, June 17, 2011

Slumber Party infiltrator .. and a Question

There had been MANY good TG stories and some captions dealing with slumber parties, and I wanted to stick my toe into the water and make one as well. I did this almost 3 years ago,so it is no where near as refined as I like to think I am now when it comes to making captions. Its much more straight forward and the storyline was pretty much ripped off from the movie "Just One of the Guys" with one of the hottest teen girls of the 80's, Joyce Hyser AND the immortal WILLIAM ZABKA! See it if you can, as she goes undercover as a boy to write a journalism story (sort of like a Black Like Me thing, I think) where she sort of looks like a girlish Ralph Macchio when in guy drag. Also, contains a great line of dialog, "where do you get off having tits?" and later on, the same guys says, "Its OK everyone, its alright. He has tits."

I'm hoping that the slumber party that "Emily" is going to is as fun as what Steffie had last night on the Haven. Heard it was a real blast for all involved!

Now here is a question from Alectra:

Surely you are bound to know a lot of folklore on American History but are you in touch with any folklore outside of your country? by folklore i mean culture, myths, legends, customs, etc. related to the country...

I know a fair amount of world history and some traditions, due to taking some folklore classes in college. I also know many stereotypical things that aren't true, as per the filmstrips we watched when I was in elementary school. I've also mentioned here about Joseph Campbell and the Archetypal Hero and how those relate to myths. Every culture has its own myths and each seem to have the same roots. I think that is one of the reasons that TG captions can play well across cultural boundaries. The ideas behind the captions are universal.  The witches, gypsies, tricksters, etc .. we all use tend to be the same across all cultural boundaries, from Baba Yaga to Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

However, my captions can be an island unto themselves and distinctly American. I tend to litter them with cultural references that are relevant to me and those of my generation. In addition, there is a huge smattering of pop US culture, and pile onto that, instant memes that will fade quickly from our consciousness, unless prodded in a way that you'll say, "remember when that was popular 10 months ago?"  For instance, there was a moment where some old guy sung a song called "Pants on the Ground". It seems like a long time ago, but it was less than 2 years ago. It was a huge sensation for about 3 weeks, then it disappeared. I can't even tell you the name of the guy that did it. Rebecca Black and her song "Friday" is another one of those instant pop culture references that will probably disappear fast. 10 years from now, they'll do a "where are they now?" feature and they'll reflect on it, even though at that point, she'll probably just be getting out of college.

Anyway, my point is that what I write is often contingent on when you are viewing it and where you live. You'll get the main point of it, but there might be some place where you aren't getting the whole GESTALT of what I was playing around with. I mean, how many people honestly read the caption above and KNEW the movie reference I was working with? Perhaps you got a Twelfth Night vibe (which the movie sort of ripped off) but unless you were a teen in the 80's, the caption just sort of "sat there" and existed.

I guess I might need to take a step back occasionally and try for some universal themes, un-littered with obscure (for the world at least) references. Just so I don't leave people out. I will make an effort, but honestly, I put a lot of myself into what I create, and this is who I am. Someone that makes constant pop culture references (the writers of Family Guy really understand my brain, and Seth went to college not too far from where I'm from) is someone that will probably be a good friend of mine. Otherwise they'll just sort of sit there puzzled at why I'm yelling "ROWSDOWER!" when a Molson Ice commercial comes on the television.

DISCUSSION QUESTION:  Do you lose any enjoyment in not being completely aware of everything that is going on in the caption? Does it make you enjoy it more when you catch something that is an obscure reference that most won't get? What percentage of a caption should be universal to all vs cultural references as a good balance?

Perhaps the link will work here in the main posting? It is here to show an interview I mentioned in the comment section.


  1. In all honesty i didn't get that movie reference "giggle" so yeah well I could try write about spanish references on it's own folklore and maybe you wouldn't catch a thing or two... so i try to avoid cultural references, i want to do something that will go abroad, but if asked i don't mind to do include a reference or two this is true to my brits neighbours, we are very close and we share if not a good amount, some cultural references here and there, well we always have been in a row and also with France but Oh Well! eh, eh, eh they are brits and also the frenchies too ^.^
    Hugs and Kisses Alectra

    P.S: But if someone where to make something i wouldn't understand and i would have to ask for opinion, (like Martha with all the references to USA in the Haven) I would demand an explanation eh, eh, eh...

  2. It depends whether something in the caption hinges upon getting a reference. I didn't get the movie one by the way and I have seen quite a lot of 80s movies but I guess theres nothing that makes it stand out as the plot of a movie. Now if you had to know the plot of Back to the Future then I don't think it would freeze out whoever didn't know the film (but they should! Bloody kids!). I'm not a fan of placing things in other universes anyway, take for example this month's Joss Whedon competition. i'm trying to think of something but stay away from the whole 'Willow turns Xander into a girl' thing as it's not something that generally appeals to me.

    Family Guy I find, as a British viewer, a very American show. There are some very specific references in there that only American audiences would get and you don't get that with other shows but then again if you don't get one joke then there will always be another one along in a minute. I remember one thing the guys said on a commentary once that they knew only about 4 people would get a certain reference but those 4 people would have such a smile on their face. I think your reference to the 'the safe word is banana' in a previous caption was a good one. It made me laugh when I recognised it but the caption didn't hinge on me getting it.

  3. Just forgot to say that in American Dad and Family Guy the translators over here, take another route on the jokes and change the content to some more friendly and not something only an American compulsive of the theater of the Broadway scene would know about!
    I know i checked on the subtitles and in the original audio thanks TDT eh, eh, eh
    Hugs and Kisses Alectra

  4. @ Terri

    I can certainly understand that, as I was a big fan of the original "Whose Line is it Anyway?" that aired on British television. Quite a few of the political and other references I didn't get, but in general I know what they were doing. I think it is why Monty Python's original series took awhile to catch on in America, while Benny Hill did pretty good from the get go.

    Also, I try to make the obscure references be more of a little topper, rather than the BANANA in the ice cream sundae.

    @ Alectra

    I can imagine that Family Guy would be really tough on foreigners for things like The Kool-Aid man busting through a wall yelling "OH YEAH!"I am not sure there is a reference point available. They can get really obscure, like them showing "Wes' Rib House" which is famous in the area where I live, but not really known outside of a 30 mile radius. The whole rest of America is probably, "ummm, what is the joke?"

    Seth himself has mentioned that much of the humor translates poorly on Conan O'Brien.

    Hopefully this link will work.

  5. WOW Seth is Stewie!!! LOL i love his voice, i like the spanish one, but uhmmm... wait Brian too!!! hey Peter too!!! and the spanish voices come pretty close to the real ones YAY i always find it a hard time if i want to see the chapters in the original version or in Spanish. And wait how the hell does he achieve to sing various roles in there? at the same time!!! This guy is a fucking genious i didn't know about him doing all those voices...

    This made my day Dee glad my question inspired this thought on you ^o^
    I even have discovered something i didn't know about "Kisses"
    Hugs and Kisses Alectra

  6. I really don't lose any enjoyment so long as the gist of the cap doesn't rely on it. And as we are all making 'guy turned into a girl for whatever reason' that generally isn't the case. As a whole I don't think caps are a long enough form for you to need that much information. Now if you have that information, it gets that much better.

    It does make me enjoy it more if I get the reference. Especially when it isn't vital to the cap. I feel like I got through the bonus round as a winner. On the flip side, I don't mind if I don't get the references, again so long as its not vital TO get it. Like Teri said, I didn't get the movie reference at all. But I still enjoyed the cap.

    One British show that I watch, is Top Gear. I get maybe half of their references to pop culture, and politics, but I still thoroughly enjoy the show. I don't think there should be a percentage of universal vs cultural references. I think the cap should have the ability to be enjoyed without understanding any of the cultural references. So it could be set in the cafe 80s, talking about dressing up as your daughter to get away from the bully that is about to pound you in with an expanding bat. As long as you can still get from 'started out as a guy, and is now a chick in trouble', then you are fine. But if you NEED to know that she will eventually go to the wild west, and previously went to the 50s... then I think it missed the mark as needing to much cultural references.

    And if you don't understand those references, then just watch Back To the Future (all three parts!) bloody kids *High Fives Teri*