Monday, October 26

Tuesday, October 20 was the NCTE-sponsored National Day on Writing. NCTE had been touting its National Gallery of Writing (http://www.galleryofwriting.org/) for months and yesterday was the big unveil via webcast.

I thought periodically about contributing something, but could never decide on a genre or topic. I was quite wishy washy about the whole thing. But the other night I started thinking about writing in general and the kinds of writing that have influenced me and what popped into my head? Jingles and TV show tag lines. Then random lines from shows and songs. Yes, I’m a product of popular culture in many ways and on many levels. Herewith, in no particular order nor segregated by medium, a few of those influences:
GE. We bring good things to life.
Good to the last drop.
It’s the story of a lovely lady. . .
Just do it.
I’d walk a mile for a camel.
Out of the clear blue western sky comes. . . Sky King
Don’t leave home without it.
My bologna has a first name. . .
Takes a licking and keeps on ticking.
Melts in your mouth, not in your hands.
Be all that you can be.
Have it your way.
It’s the real thing.
Mmm. Mmm. Good.
You got some ‘xplainin’ to do, Lucy.

The longer I thought about these, the more lines careened and crashed through my head which made sleep nearly impossible. So I tried to shift mental gears so I could sleep. Still, every now and then, I think of a few more choice lines or song titles and the parade of recollection begins again.

What to make of all this? I dunno. But I do know that I have not yet managed to tame the involuntary need to quote a line from a movie or a fragment of a song when someone says something that triggers that connection. My students, bless their undergraduate hearts, are too young to have any idea what I’m talking about most of the time, and that’s not just when I’m blathering about popular culture. When I mentioned Fleetwood Mac not too long ago, I was rewarded only with blank looks. Not a scintilla of recognition. And only a few have recognized lines from Princess Bride and I tell you, that is quite unacceptable.

I know I’m not alone in this quoting thing. I wonder if we Boomers just have more or better quotable stuff than these here young whippersnappers. I think so. Well, I’m not going to dwell on it, but it was fun to consider the things that make up “the fabric of our lives.” After all, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."

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