Ultimate SDMB Cultural Icons: The Poll

There are artists and creative works that have a large fan base here with new threads being started year after year, such as J.R.R. Tolkien, the Beatles, and the Princess Bride. I think of these as SDMB Cultural Icons. A few months back I opened a thread asking for nominees and have finally put together a poll:
The Ultimate SDMB Cultural Icons.
(Yeah, plural. When 60 year old films are competing against recent television series, I’m not thinking in terms of “There Can Only Be One!”)

You can vote for as many as you wish, but we’re looking for something more than “Like It/Don’t Like It.” We’re interested in things you have been at least mildly obsessed with.

You decide what’s worthy of your vote, but possible criteria include:
[li]You see it as an outstanding example of its type. [/li][li]It has held continuing interest for you over a period of years.[/li][li]You enjoy seeing discussion of it on SDMB.[/li][li]A some point it was important to you. (Maybe you read articles, told other people about it, actively looked forward to it, etc.)[/li][/ul]

Comments and quibbles are encouraged. The groupings can certainly be second-guessed: Why aren’t the Potter books and movies separate items like the LOTR are?

Since no one had voted yet and results could thus not be skewed, I took the (moderator’s) liberty of adding an option – “none of the above.” I’ll look at the list more closely, but my first reaction to skimming it was “nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope …”

And, with further reflection, I checked “none of the above.” There are a few of them I enjoy, none I am obsessed with to the slightest degree. Now, if you had added “movie musicals” or “reality TV,” or some more focused subset of either, you might have gotten me.

I checked the “why wasn’t this included?” box wondering why these weren’t on the list:

The Wire
The Sopranos
James Bond
Clint Eastwood

No one nominated them when I posted a Top Nine SDMB Cultural Icons thread a few months ago. But it’s good to see some chafing, because otherwise poll threads just slide off the page.

Other possible (book) nominees:
The Joys of Sidewalk Cycling.
Fine Dining with Milk.
Abortion: Bedrock of America’s Unity.

Or Seriously: Calvin and Hobbes.

So here’s my take on it - I tried to think of artists or works where I would catch just about any reference, no matter how sly, oblique or obscure or artists/works where I would feel free to make reference to them and be sure that those references would be caught.

So, Monty Python? Absolutely. Joss Whedon? Dopers might get it, but I wouldn’t because I haven’t followed his work. Jay Leonhart? Yeah, I’m that into him, but I don’t think he’s that well known by Dopers.

Based on that, I’d say the following should have been in there -

Calvin and Hobbes
Frank Zappa
Looney Toons
Galaxy Quest

and I’m sure we’ll all think of others as the thread goes on…

What, no Lost? Love it or hate it, it’s had more discussion on SDMB than at least half of these options.

A valid approach, but I think there are just too many works where people have an easy familiarity with something, but no deep attachment. Fifty percent of Dopers might catch 95% of Wizard of Oz references, but I consciously decided not to put it in. A judgment call.

OTOH, leaving out Calvin and Looney Tunes was due to just not thinking of them. I suspect that Bugs gets a lot of affection but no fascination ( I left off the Three Stooges for that reason.) Still, a big reason for posting this poll is to check out preconceptions like that, and it would have been interesting to see Bugs battling Aquaman.

From the title I was expecting the list to be things like “Hi Opal” and “once, for twenty minutes” and “cite!”

I seem to recall some mention that LOTR was a series of books before they were movies. :wink:

Why wasn’t ______ … “Pink Floyd” included? I didn’t even see the Cultural Icons thread and so did not have a chance to vote for it. But every Floyd thread will inevitably gain around a page of posts. Not as many as the Simpsons and LOTR, granted… :slight_smile:

Where the flying fuck is Rudolph?

Star Wars. I was 7 when the first movie came out. How could I NOT be fascinated? I had Star Wars toys from one end of my room to the other. I’d never seen anything like that before. It was such a phenomenon. Having to wait 3 years between sequels added so much antici…(say it)…pation. Then they released books with back stories on all the minor characters. That’s when it became a universe. That’s when it became an obsession.

You’re right! I think I saw that mentioned just yesterday, in a poll somewhere!

Excellent point, to which I can only respond:

Major omission.

Why wasn’t…

Fawlty Towers
The Goon Show
Haruhi Suzumiya

… included?

You’re probably thinking of the novelized versions of the LOTR films. It’s a way for successful movies to rake in a few extra bucks.

If you can find evidence that the films were based on existing books I’ll see if a moderator can add them as a voting option right above the LOTR films.


I take it “Big Bang Theory” here means the television sitcom, not the scientific theory. So, no.


I didn’t even see that. :o


Preliminary Analysis (126 voters):

[li]5 voters chose “None of the Above” [/li][li]The remaining 121 voters cast 929 votes, for an average of 7.65 votes apiece.[/li][li]If you’re the Perfectly Average Doper, you cast those 7.65 votes for Monty Python, Star Wars, Tolkien, the Simpsons, Princess Bride, the Daily Show, the Beatles, and either Josh Whedon or LOTR films.[/li][/ul]

After a runaway start Monty Python has slowed a bit and the Simpsons could inch up even with it. And it’s very possible that if the LOTR books and movies had been grouped together as LOTR Universe that that might be the leading SDMB cultural icon. (At the 126 voter mark.)

I regret not including Pink Floyd, Calvin and Hobbes, and Looney Tunes/Merry Melodies… and maybe SNL? I’m not sure that The Daily Show should have been included. (Will it hold up in syndication? Isn’t it basically a new broadcast/talk show.)