Whit's answer to Saturday's question about pop culture quotes we use in daily life opens a whole 'nother can of worms. Like most people of her generation -- and maybe most Americans overall -- she identifies the quote "Maybe the dingoes ate your baby" (delivered in an Australian accent) with Seinfeld. But of course the line is a reference to another pop culture product: the movie A Cry In The Dark, in which Meryl Streep blames dingoes for the death of her baby although others suspect she did it herself.
All of us who grew up in the age of mass media get some portion of our cultural literacy secondhand. We know about Wagnerian opera because of What's Opera, Doc?, or about twentieth-century British politics because of punk rock lyrics. Everything I know about the Napoleonic Wars is courtesy of Patrick O'Brian. Noel's familiarity with the works of Thomas Hardy is limited to this Monty Python sketch, but it's enough to provide a few key details.
Every night Noel and I quiz each other with the daily trivia questions in Ken Jennings' addictive Trivia Almanac. And regularly we run across pieces of knowledge about literature or music or art that we know only because it was referenced on television, in movies, or in comic books.
What's your source of secondhand culture, and did it ever save your bacon on a pop quiz?