Sign of the times

By Razib Khan | August 10, 2007 12:02 am

Hung with old college friends last night. We kept referring to South Park episodes to illustrate a point or make an analogy so as to clarify an issue. Interesting that this is a common touchstone for my generation.

  • John McKay

    I’m mid-boom: born 1956, high school class of 1974, college 1978. Of course, I don’t see any number of school friends at the same time any more, but I think teevee as a common language fades fairly quickly over time. That is, people I went to grad school with in the lats decade might refer to teevee episodes, but high school friends and college friends from thirty years ago would be more likely to refer to song lyrics or movies for cultural references.
    There’re two or three possible conclusions you can draw from that: your generation is more teevee oriented than mine, you’re teevee is more memorable than mine, or teevee fades from our cultural language faster than movies or music. I’m inclined towards the latter, but maybe you have your own theory.

  • Agnostic

    I was a Beavis & Butthead junkie in 6th grade when it came out, but I never watched South Park, though I saw the movie.
    Simpsons are still the gold standard for quotable TV I think — although not with the young ‘uns these days. Kids who are freakin’ 17 or 18 in general don’t know any Simpsons (Family Guy is popular w/ them though). It started sucking in about ’97 or ’98, but they rerun the episodes so much that they’ve had the chance to see them. I guess once something leaves the limelight, even 12-episodes-per-week sindication can’t make it cool again. What a waste.


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About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at


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