F.W. Worldweary's Five and Dime Blog

A Glossary of Pseudo-Scientific and Derogatory Terms | June 11, 2010

I will most likely sprinkle this blog with bizarre terms to describe certain phenomena more efficiently.   They are here in alphabetical order. I will continue to update this post as new ones crop up.

Big Sandwich Country: A term coined thusly by the brilliant Linda Holmes:   “a particular kind of female country singer — let’s say the kind they tend to favor on American Idol — that drives me up the wall, …because it’s (1) boring; (2) reactionary; (3) neutered; and (4) the beginning of a life sentence of terrible music. And you have to sing in that growling but completely PRETEND way that says, ‘ho-ho-ho, I’m a tiger,’ but implies that you will also make your man a really big sandwich and be quiet if he prefers that.”

The Emperor’s New Show:  A TV show with a decidedly highbrow reputation.  Most are exceptionally well-done and deserving of their extensive praise, but will lose potential viewers who bristle at the suggestion that one must be an “intellectual” to appreciate it. Usually airs on HBO, Showtime, BBC or AMC and has been called “cerebral” or “literary” by at least three television critics.

iDecade: The 2000’s. So named because the Me Decade was already taken.

The iPod-Celebrity Parallel: The general tradition of each successive generation of celebrities being thinner and shittier than the last.

The McDonald’s Hypothesis: The belief or assumption that the most popular thing must be the best. Often used to defend young adult fantasy trilogies, American Idol winners, James Cameron movies, and occasionally world religions. Named for its logical conclusion: McDonald’s is the world’s most popular restaurant, therefore it must be the best.

Millenials: Members of Generation Y.

The Ruffalo Hypothesis: The belief that no person may criticize anything another person has made or done until he has made or done it better himself, or occasionally that the criticizing party’s lack of experience doing so somehow makes the thing criticized an inherently good thing.  Named for Mark Ruffalo, who, at a Sundance screening I attended of his directorial debut –and perhaps the most dour, humorless film in human history—Sympathy for Delicious, challenged “the fucking reviewers” to experience for themselves how “hard” it is to “even make a bad movie” before they “stood there” and “judged”.

Shoppes at Marketplace Square Creek:  Any pretentious mixed-use or “lifestyle center” development that represents an apparent attempt at new urbanism but is little more than a strip mall with a few strategically placed roundabouts.  Often replaces a failed shopping mall. May be named for a nonexistent geographical feature, or one that is several miles from the shopping center.

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Too smart for her own good and too young to know better, F.W. Worldweary is an inept cultural critic and writer. She enjoys complaining about the things she enjoys.

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