Welcome to No Fact Zone’s weekly roundup of cultural references on The Colbert Report. From Darcy to Danger Mouse, String Theory to Shakespeare, we’ve got the keys to this week’s obscure, oddball, and occasionally obscene cultural shout-outs (hey!).
nuqneH Zoners! Hope you had a great weekend! Too bad it isn’t still Friday, Friday… I still can’t get that darn song out of my head, but I enjoyed the build up to it oh so much! What were some of your favorite segments of the week?
In, fact you can now mess with Texas for 50 bucks, but no kissing on the mouth.
Hey, I mean it, I live in Texas, so don’t mess with it! Even on the weekends or in skeevy bars! Don’t Mess With Texas turns 25 this year. It is a campaign that the Texas department of Transportation began to combat the littering problem on Texas highways. The first commercial starred local musician Stevie Ray Vaughn and aired in 1986. My favorite commercial starred The Fabulous Thunderbirds, but other local artists and celebrities such as Lance Armstrong, Lyle Lovett and more recently George Strait have also made commercials for the campaign.
That’s a long time ago and they still haven’t paid off their war debt from World War 2.
They did send us a nice statue.
He is referring to the Statue of Liberty, or as dubbed by the French: La Liberté éclairant le monde (Liberty Enlightening the World). It was designed by Frederic Bartholdi and given to the United States as a gift from France. The statue represents Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom. It is located on Liberty Island, which is technically in New Jersey, although it is maintained by New York. Interesting note, friend of the show Anthony Weiner led a crusade to get the statue fully re-opened after the 2001 attacks.
OK, the Quakers appeal to me. Nixon was a Quaker, and I’m into paranoia.
This one is a little personal. Through my mother’s geneological research I have found out that many of my ancestors were Quakers. She found that I am distantly related to William Penn- who founded Pennsylvania as a safe haven for Quakers to practice – and yes, Richard Nixon, also a Quaker. In fact, he was raised in the conservative Quaker tradition (there are several different branches of Quakers) and, instead of attending Harvard, he went to Whittier College, a Quaker-founded private college in California. The non-violent stance of the Quakers apparently caused him much grief during the Vietnam War (although interestingly, he did enlist during WWII, despite his ability to be exempt due to religious beliefs). Oh yeah, he was also paranoid.
Shakers are a tradition out of New England and they actually have some revelations that come out of this woman Ann Lee, and she says – among other things – that we should not have sex with another person, and this is a very small religion.
This one also hit close to home. Mr. Toad is from a part of the country where Shakers first established themselves, right around the town that I always misspell (Colonie, not Colony) . In fact, he went to Shaker Jr. and High Schools! They were called “shaking quakers” (later shortened to “shakers“) due to the nature of their worship practices (rhythmic dancing and shaking during services). Known largely for their artistic contributions (especially their music and furniture), the Shakers were strong proponents of celibacy, and gained members by recruiting, indentured servitude and adoption. As of 2009, only 3 members remained, largely due to turnover and their celibacy policy – severely limiting their growth and prosperity. The Shakers are a fascinating group, and I highly recommend watching Ken Burns’ special on them, if you get a chance.
HuckPAC, by the way, I believe is Klingon for “out after Iowa.”
Actually, the closest translation I could find of this is “pa’ pIq Iowa”. The Klingon language was initially created by James Doohan for the first Star Trek film, but further developed by Dr. Marc Okrand, for use in Star Trek II; The Search for Spock. It has its own vocabulary, grammar, usage, and Okrand is the only person authorized to add words to the Klingon lexicon. Interestingly enough, when he adds new words to the dictionary, he says he hears them in his mind the way they would be uttered by Christopher Lloyd (one of the first to speak them). Many works of literature, including The Bible, Much Ado About Nothing, Gilgamesh and most recently A Christmas Carol, are translated into Klingon.
As for the ad, it is chock full of movie and television clips. Here is a list that I have compiled. I know I am probably missing one, so feel free to comment: clip of Babe Ruth, Katy Perry’s California Gurls video, Armageddon, E.T., Star Wars: A New Hope, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, The Ten Commandments, Jaws, Dramatic Chipmunk, Rally for Sanity/Fear, Top Gun, The Price is Right, Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior and Scanners.
He’ll be the first guest to not complain about the green room snacks [To Serve Man]
The Twilight Zone Episode “To Serve Man” is based on a short story written by science fiction short story writer Damon Knight. The story revolves around Michael Chambers and his interaction with an alien race known as the Kanamits, who helpo solve the Earth’s problems, including hunger a nuclear arms. It is eventualy revealed that the title of a book left behind at a meetin with the United Nations in “To Serve Man” which, it is revealed as Chambers goes to the Kanamits home planet is (spoiler)
1937: Amelia Earhardt becomes the first woman to make a solo flight across the Atlantic, forcing a heartbroken and emasculated Charles Lindbergh to become a Nazi Sympathizer.
After the very public kidnapping and death of their child, Charles and Anna moved away from the United States and lived in Europe for a time. While there, Charles met a French Scientist Alexis Carrel , who turned him on to the ideas of race superiority. He also visited Germany several times, once as a guest of Hermann Goering during the Olympic games in Berlin (In fact, he liked Germany so much he fathered 5 children via two German sisters). Charles and Anna returned to the United States in 1939 and, having already lost the favor of some after being awarded a Nazi commendation, further alienated himself after a speech he gave in which he said some less than favorable things about the Jewish in America (at the time, Germany was at war and killing off many of the European Jewish folk). There is still speculation whether or not he was a Nazi symathizer. Many point to his association with the antiwar America First Committee and his statements on race/eugenics and the Jewish as evidence.