Withering Glance: Enough with the 'Dynasty' references

  • Article by: RICK NELSON, CLAUDE PECK DISPENSE UNASKED-FOR ADVICE ABOUT CLOTHING, ETIQUETTE, CULTURE, RELATIONSHIPS, GROOMING and MORE.
  • Updated: May 22, 2009 - 5:17 PM

Singer and rock music star Alice Cooper poses in a 1976 file photo.

CP: Rick, I'm afraid we are going to have to ban our constant references to pop-cultural touchstones of yesteryear.

RN: And put the kibosh on rehashing our long-expired youth? Never.

CP: The all-important demographic of those whose adolescence coincided with Sept. 11 are just not getting what we write.

RN: Tell them to join the club.

CP: We need to start saying Lady GaGa when we mean Cyndi Lauper, and "Gossip Girls" instead of Sue Ann Nivens. Elsewise we risk being thought irrelevant. Worse, we could elicit giant cynical eye rolls among those who never got to see Alice Cooper wearing full nurse drag or hanging from a noose onstage. Poor things.

RN: My corneas just did a backflip.

CP: I have name-checked some past columns, and we are definitely guilty of DBR -- Dated Boomer References. All your casual mentions of Sondheim musicals? Ix-nay.

RN: This reminds me of that episode on "Gilligan's Island" where Ginger and Mrs. Howell ... oh, wait, this is what you're talking about, isn't it?

CP: 'Fraid so. This means I can't write "Book 'em, Dano" or "You bet your sweet bippy!"

RN: Come on, aren't we all the sum of our pop-culture experiences? So what if mine are a little, well, vintage? Does it matter if I'm unable to name the cast of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" or speak semi-intelligently on "Twilight" when I can summarize every episode of "The Big Valley" and can effectively weave "I have to get up at 5 a.m. and sparkle, Neely, sparkle" into a conversation?

CP: So I can be proud that Tricky Dick was president when I got my first pimples? That I know the name of every senator at the Watergate hearings? That Bobby Sherman was my Zac Efron, and the Buzzcocks my Franz Ferdinand?

RN: Absolutely. Own it.

CP: Besides, a lot of the kids these days are finding our music and TV shows "cool" in an ironic, retro way. Maybe we need more DBRs, not fewer.

RN: Let's face it, with YouTube, Hulu, DVD boxed sets and iTunes, every movie, TV show and song created since Vivien Leigh swore before God and the Technicolor camera that she'd never be hungry again is now available for mass consumption like never before.

CP: A high-school junior in my gym class recently revealed not only that he has heard of Blue Oyster Cult, but that he digs the band. Go figure.

RN: I'm sorry, did you say something? I was watching this hilarious clip from "Nanny and the Professor" that my friend Brad posted on his Facebook page. I don't care what anyone else says: Juliet Mills was hot.

E-mail: witheringglance@startribune.com. Become a friend of Withering Glance on facebook.com.

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    Rick Nelson and Claude Peck talk about how they need to make cultural references in the 21st Century so that people understand them.

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