A long time ago, at least a month, I wrote about the atypical Disney film 'The Three Caballeros'. Good movie, still reccomend it. The movie sticks out in my mind due to it's unique animation and surrealist quality.
Just the other day a firend showed me on YouTube a clip from 'Life on Mars', an informative segment done in 1957, part 5 of which hypothesizes on what martian life may look like. View it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d76fiWRobU4
This was a response to my showing them 'Willy the Operatic Whale', also on Youtube in two parts. Not nearly as amazing as the clip above, but perhaps more likeable. Then another friend and I had a squeal over that cartoon, Lambert the Sheepish Lion and Ferdinand the Bull. And Coupling.
Media is increasinly important. Off-the-cuff references are increasingly part of our narratives, and almost always with pop and childhood ties. Cartoon shows, certain escapdes of Donald Duck, Homer, Cartman, or Phil Ken Sebbens become moments of shared nostalgia. There is a theory held by folks who are now in their young twenties that in the 90's children's television may have peaked. Those memories can always be shared, or often be shared, with the aid of sites like YouTube. Then the reference isn't personal, of your enjoyment of the show, but instead becomes a communal good time to be remembered. There are many groups on this very campus dedicated to getting together to watch things like Pete and Pete, Degrassi, Are You Afraid of the Dark? and other staples of growing up.
Another columnal reference ties into this. I'd posted a link to watch Senator Byrd's speech on dog fighting, citing it as one of the least-intended yet hysterically funny things I've sene in a long time. However some folks had apparently not taken the time to watch it, so when I showed it to them one evening it became a communal experience. A day or so later at dinner, I made reference to the epic part of the speech condemning barbarism. A few people laughed, others gave odd glances, universally translatable to "Excuse me, I'm lost. Will a sales spokesman come over here and help me find what I'm looking for?/answer my question/cite your reference?"
So it spreads. Now the joy of Byrd's speech has reached more people, more laughter when we reference him, and the media has become a part of our group's consciousness.
The stories behind references don' have to relate to media, I suppose. Any good story can be referenced. Some people, reading this, may find the following lines amusing:
"We're on a bench!"
"That's what I do."
"I feel sick, and Mike feels sick, and Jackson feels sick..."
"That would be some scary foreplay!"
"Hands up, Wediko!"
"Tomatoes are like...sex."
"There he is!"
Etc. In jokes? References? Shared social-cultural exchanges of identity and belonging in the politics of personal geography? Yes to the first two, no to the last.