Thursday, November 16, 2006

Quotorrhea

This is just a straight-up mean post about something that's irked hell out of me for a long, long time:

What the FUCK is it with people who always have to quote Monty Python? And it's not just Monty Python; there was this animated television series once--oh, wait, it's still on? Seriously?--okay, never mind, just tell me, because I'm through fucking around here: What the fuck? What part of "jokes get less funny the more you repeat them" do these people with the neverending quoting of 10-, 20-, 30-year-old comedy bits not get? Law of diminishing returns, that ring any bells? What is wrong here? Why so stupid, humanity? Why?

Hey, remember Seinfeld? Funny show. Gives me an idea: How about if we all sneer and say "Hello, Newman," every time anyone named anything even a teeny bit similar to "Newman" is referenced. Let's do it even when 20 other people in the thread have already beat us to it. Let's ride that elevator to the top. Wait, is that a cheeseburger you got there? Cheeboiga! Cheeboiga! Cheeboiga! Remember that? Oh, it never gets old. No wonder Belushi needed that eight-ball; you try to be high on life with a bunch of loons yelling "Cheeboiga!" at you everywhere you go and then (this is the best part) expecting you to laugh when they do that. "Laugh," I said, not "punch them all in their parroting larynges."

See, what happened was, I was reading this old post at The Poor Man and like a fool, I figured that because the post was excellent, the comments would at least not suck. I forgot something important, though: I forgot that on the internet, you cannot say "crucifixion" without three dozen lonely wanksters piping up to tell you to always look on the bright side of life. I saw Monty Python's Life of Brian . . . um, shit . . . 20 years ago? That sounds about right. I have never watched it since. I haven't needed to, because in the intervening years I acquired a connection to the internet.

And don't start me on Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which I never saw a single scene from until I was 30 years old. That's right, 30. Thir-tay. But then my boyfriend found out I'd never seen it and he insisted, you know, because It's A Classic. And he was right: It was so classic that I knew every line. Every line. Some of them weren't even punch lines. I knew about the fucking flesh wound. I knew about Brave Sir Robin. I knew about the fucking knights who say--okay, I'm not typing that. I refuse to add to the problem. No. And listen, you mention the elderberries, especially in reference to anyone smelling of them, and I ban you. Just try me, asshole.

(That reminds me, although I am not sure why: I'm gonna reach in through the internet and kick the next American who types "whilst" in the kidneys. We say "while" here no matter the tense, you fruity poseur. You didn't read anything "whilst" sitting on the toilet, unless you were in fact sitting on "the loo," in which case you were probably sitting on the can in the United Kingdom, in which case you may not even be American in the first place, in which case, can't we just deport you? Americans should not do anything whilst. We declared independence to get away from that shit.)

But back to the Grail: Sure, a smart man would have concluded, "This woman spends too much time on the internet and working with nerds if she can quote from Holy Grail without ever having actually seen Holy Grail." Instead he kept going out with me, and now he lives with a woman who owns truly shitty movies like Hot Shots! Part Deux*. But give me this: I don't QUOTE from it.

What I concluded from the whole deja-Grail experience is, all y'all nerds need to find another hobby besides memorizing Holy Grail, and memorizing Season 4 of The Simpsons instead does not count as "another hobby." Shut the fuck up with The Family Guy, while you're at it, and you can put that Reservoir Dogs DVD back on the shelf, too. I've never seen Reservoir Dogs either. Because, again, why would I need to? I have internet.

I live with a reformed habitual Simpsons quoter. You know how he got reformed? I reformed him. I reformed him by becoming a red-hot castrating bitch every time he started to hit me with the quotorrhea. You recoil! You are appalled! You say I'm always being too mean to that guy! And you are right on that last count, but nevertheless what I say is, living in a Simpons-quote-free household is a hundred times worth losing your respect over, because there is only so often I can hear "When I was seventeen, I drank some very good beer," before I have to grab a dude by the secrets, look him in the eyes, and hiss, "No more, motherfucker." This is not something I do intentionally. It is a reflex.

The only problem with my cure is that it is impractical to apply to the entire internet.


*Look, it was like $5.94 or something at Wal-mart. I will buy almost anything for $5.94 at Wal-mart, because I am a whore who hates Kuraltian America.

25 comments:

gennimcmahon said...

(Mentally noting to never, ever, quote Monty Python and to never introduce you to my 16 year old, who can recite entire Simpsons episodes verbatim...) But, if we must stop quoting Monty Python and the Simpsons, can we also ban quoting the bible? Especially, perhaps, when we flip a lightswitch and shout, "And the Lord said, Let There Be Light!" 'Cause, well, that's pretty tired, too....

Anonymous said...

See, now I'm with you on this. I was at a dinner party not long ago and they descended into Monty Python quoting, each quote apparently far more hilarious than the last. And if you could quote the obscure...! My God, it's as though Baby Jesus came in bottle form.

I was bored stiff.

I am one of those that-ready for this?-I don't find Monty Python funny. Really. I don't find the Young Ones funny either. Unfunny. Totally. Quote them and I may kill you.

Luckily Angus thinks Monty Python is unfunny, too. Except he uses "whilst", but he IS English and the English do use the word, so he should get a pass on that.

PS-banning Bible quotes should also be done (although I'd never heard that light one and now am itching to use it), but I do like saying: "I give you these 15....10! 10 Commandments!"

-Helen

Rob said...

Don't know how I can be a pretentious twit if you don't let me use "whilst". Will have to remember that. I admit it. I like things British. My favorite rock stars are British. Some of my favorite movies are British (The two Pythons you mention, Local Hero, and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels to name a few). Some of my favorite TV shows are British, too. I find Monte Python funny in regular doses. I absolutely can OD on it. I couldn't quote a Simpson line if you put a gun to my head.

Elayne said...

As a veteran of the Firesign Theatre Quoting Wars (still going on here every Thursday night starting at 9 PM Eastern time), I think part of the attraction comes from feeling like other people have already put words to certain situations more cleverly than you could ever hope to. I think that's why we link to other blog writers as well. It also fosters a feeling of comradery, of this little winking "we're all in this together, and we Get It" mentality. (Come to think of it, maybe obsessive Bible quoting fits in that category as well!) I don't think there's anything wrong with cross-referencing and Easter egging (the visual equivalent) in moderation, on blogs and in real-life conversation and such, but I don't care for it in storytelling, I think it diverts the audience's attention from the actual tale being told.

wolfa said...

I don't even recognise the Simpsons or Seinfeld quotes, mostly. Monty Python does get in my head -- Out, damn'd spot! out, I say!

gennimcmahon said...

Truly, nothing was said about Mel Brooks quotes, and you haven't lived until I've done my "Puttin' On the Ritz" imitation from Young Frankstein. Can we still quote Airplane!? And stop calling me Shirley!

ron O. said...

Why do people watch movies so often they memorize them in the first place? I may watch a movie twice if it was good enough. Usually a couple of years passes between viewings. Same with really good books. There is so much out there I haven't seen or read, I don't have time for too many repeats.

Yet I do use "...which is nice" from Caddyshack often enough.

Auguste said...

The only problem with a post like this is that you'd better spend the next, like, four years policing yourself to avoid movie quotes of any type, or internet geeks will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger.*


* I had to google this, I swear I did.

ilyka said...

[sigh]

Clarification! I don't hate quoting from a movie/show/routine in all circumstances by anyone ever EVER. Okay? I quote from things myself, often inadvertently, i.e. some line or two has lodged in my head for so long I don't even recall the source of it.

What I hate is people who have no discretion, or even self-control, with it--so that "crucifixion" always triggers a recitation from Life of Brian, "beer" always triggers a line from Homer Simpson, and reaching for s auperlative always results in "these go to 11."

I'm not saying never quote. I'm saying don't be a reflexively-quoting nitwit.

JD said...

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, but OH, that was awesome!

What's especially irritating about obsessive Python fans is the implication that sketch comedy reached its peak with them, and died immediately after (Hello? Kids In The Hall?) Same with The Simpsons -- There's only been, like, maybe ten funnier adult-oriented cartoons since then.

I can't believe you actually said all that and hit on my pet peeve of "whilst", too!

How 'bout a ban on quoting "Won't Get Fooled Again" ("Meet the new boss / Same as the old boss") in reference to politics? Sure get tired of that one.

Tanooki Joe said...

I dunno. When I was younger, it was really a show of comraderie among nerds/losers, something everyone in your social circle knew. I find people who first associated with it later in life really never gain the same sort of fondness for it.

I, of course, am a habitual quoter, which comes more from a love of metaphor and allusion than anything else. At least feel I alleviate that habit by being ecumenical in the extreme on source material.

Hubris said...

Say what you like about the tenets of Quotism, Ilyka, at least it's an ethos.

I must admit I've said "next time I'll use less semen if it bothers you so much" a dozen times in the last couple of months, but it always seemed appropriate for the occasion.

ilyka said...

Maybe now would be a good time to point out that this post is basically a sad little hack job off a six-year-old Onion article, triggered in part by my belief that the only comments which should appear at The Poor Man should be offers to have The Editors' baby, or at least to help scoop his litterboxes once in awhile.

ilyka said...

it always seemed appropriate for the occasion.

Well, naturally. It helps that there are not 30 million Jay Pinkerton fans butchering that line daily, too.

Sage said...

I admit I laughed right out loud and heartily at gennimcmahon's shirley line. I am just that easily amused.

If we refrain from low-brow comedy recitations, can we also ditch the high-brow over-quoted and misquoted Shakespeare? But we must tread cautiously. If we make too many restrictions on regurgitation, some of us will have nothing left to say.

My new tag-line: I don't pee out of my nipples. I pee out of my penis. - an obscure reference to illuminate some similar minds from the masses.

Tlönista said...

Fifteen comments and nobody's linked to this relevant comic?

(Ironically, now my friends and I quote that webcomic far too often...)

Craig R. said...

Yes, Python quoting can be obsessive.

However, the songs can be great (sometimes). (if not tooo often)

My strangest experience with Python-quoting as hen I went for a dinner date with someone, and a last-minute addition was an out-of-town friend of my date's, who when we were discussing strange movie bits ("I'll buy *that* for a dollar!" / "But Doktor, that would mean he would have an enormous Schwann-stucker!" / "What is your quest?"/), she recited, without any errors, the discussion about the state of the British economy from the viewpoint of the "agrarian worker" in response to King Arthur's announcement that he was, in fact, King.

Auguste said...

However, the songs can be great (sometimes).

Hearing Eric Idle's brutally desperate and therefore unfunny (desperation is only funny if it's being portrayed, not intrinsically present) solo recital of them pretty much beat that opinion right out of me.

JackGoff said...

Fucking nihilists.

Chris Clarke said...

I love you.

Chris Clarke said...

Oh, and seeing as Auguste didn't link to this, I will.

Zendo Deb said...

The trick is to quote obscure movies - well they are obscure today. Like the Thin Man movies "all this work is putting me way behind in my drinking."

But I much prefer historical figures. Or popular figures, like Gen. W.T Sherman on war or journalists. Yogi Berra for example, has quotes for every occasion. "The future ain't what it used to be."

PG said...

How about misquoting the Bible? Samuel L. Jackson bullshitting the Good Book is not something I want to lose. (And if you want to talk about someone who kept quoting the same thing over and over...)

Andrew said...

42! Ha ha!

I'm sorry. Very, very sorry. What I meant to say was that the Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy is just as overquoted. I like both it and Monty Python, but after a while you just get fed up.

Dan said...

I love Monty Python, but I almost never quote it unless I'm actually watching it. It's just so...expected. I kinda feel the same way about Army of Darkness.

No, the movies I quote apropos of nothing are Wizards and The Yellow Submarine.