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Shark Weak: Da Fonz – Da Hai-Two

Jukebox. Pinball. Lights.

 Broken Washer? No Problem!

Leather clad Clapper ™

 

 

Shark Weak: Part II

Unjumping the Shark: The Fonz-a-thon Equilibrium Principle

 

 

As a nation we have turned our back on the Fonz. We mockingly celebrate The Shark for a week every year and celebrate mocking The King of Cool with idiomatic stigma.

 

Keep your ‘Shark Week’ – I’ll celebrate ‘Jump Day!’ September 20th:  A day in 1977 the huddled masses bathed in technicolor glare, held their collective breath, and began a long, slow raspberry in the direction of Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli.

 

Let the ill and somewhat spittley winds blow as they will for I know that Fonzie achieved a Nirvana of Cool that day. The path to enlightenment is discovered through vision, deed, and righteousness.

 

Vision – He saw the shark.

 

Deed – He jumped the shark.

 

Righteousness – Swim trunks and a leather jacket for ‘Ye it was asked among the people is there a raiment more righteous?’ Fonz 3:16 [11]

 

In modern tropism, what The Fonz achieved that day was a ‘Lockdown’ [12] : a single crystalized moment of awesome awesomness that embeds itself in one’s psyche. This moment becomes the fundamental image of recall overriding all other impressions of a show’s run.

 

Pop Culture Haiku Entertainment Television Humor LOST Lockdown The Fonz Shark Weak

The ‘Lockdown’

 

Above: Brain Neuroimaging- PET result of a ‘Lockdown’

Subject was asked to recall impressions of a certain TV show

 

This kernel of pure awesome trapped in the amber of recall is so ingrained that it can blind one to the exponential lessening in awesome that inevitably follows thereafter. In fact, in our Hai Sci labs down at The Kujo, we ran some Nielson correlations. At its most potent, The Lockdown has been known to act as a dayglo and blacklight beacon, so powerful it can shepherd one through a mediocre final season of randomness and about 45 minutes into a finale of ‘You said you wouldn’t!!!!’ [13]

 

Hero worship can subsist for eternity on the endless Mobius strip of re-runs.

 

With regret and the advent of Nick-at-Night and TV Land, I caught glimpses of a tarnished idol that I never saw in the endless re-run loop of childhood. What I saw wasn’t cool – but chilling. The Fonz had been Oliver!’d [14]. The Fonz was teaching at a tech school like a poor man’s Kotter. With nary a shark in sight, I crushed that uncool shadow of The Man into a blip of light with a quick remote press.

 

But I come to praise Fonzarelli, not to bury him.

 

Whatever chinks in his worn leather armor I refused to witness, cannot be placed on the doorstep of his garage apartment (which he probably didn’t even have anymore-because who was he?) The blame cannot be placed on the Fonz, the shark, or any amount of jumping betwixt the two. The blame lies on writers, producers, and executives who simply don’t stop. The same triumvirate who foist a thing like Urkel on us and then poke him like a baited bear so he dances on our screens until he is in need of cataract surgery.

 

Oh there be sharks in these waters that even the Fonz cannot conquer.

 

There is a saturation point in entertainment that no one seems to bother with. A boundary defined and determined by what Hai Sci Laboratories calls The Fonz-a-thon Equilibrium Principle:

 

Pop Culture Haiku Entertainment Humor Television Fonzie The Fonz Jump the Shark Shark Weak

Too much of a cool thing = tragedy

 

 

(AAYYY) N= U+M+M+M

 

as N ∑ ∞ [15]

 

Too much of a cool thing eventually becomes tragic

 

Leather Jacket: Cool

 

Leather Pants: Tragedy

 

One Eyepatch: Cool

 

Two Eyepatches: Tragedy

 

Sombrero: Cool

 

The Alamo: Tragedy

 

Just know when to hold, fold, and walk away Burbank.

 

I never wore my sky blue Fonzie tee until it was bursting at pubescent seams. I retired it with reverence to a drawer and I’m sure it now resides entombed in cardboard like an Ark of The Covenant in Awesome, shining with black light and dayglo cool in the shadow warehouse called Mom’s Basement 13.

 

It may be faded. It may be worn. It may slightly pink on the hem from when Kristy Federwitz and I decided to make a ‘million dollars’ by selling Kool-Aid and slightly brown from when she threw mud at me because we didn’t.

 

But it isn’t a rag.

 

It isn’t unrecognizable.

 

It still is the Fonz and it still is cool.

 

—PepperJack

 

 

 

Meta-Notoriety    (↵ returns to text)
  1. ‘And lo it was said unto the people:”It would be easier for Dick Dastardly to stop that pigeon than it would be for Scrappy Doo to not receive a punch in his annoying mug from everyone he met.”
  2.  LOST (SEASON 2:EPISODE 17) or the day I discovered my DVD player had a zoom function
  3. Cuse and Lindelof (def): FUCKERS
  4. OLIVER!’D (def): A derivation of the ‘Cousin Oliver’ trope.Much like that annoying little waif with the bowl and the bottomless stomach, a young child character is introduced as a distraction on an iron lunger TV show with a hand out wanting ‘more’ of your attention and laughter
  5. TAKE THAT ‘BEAUTIFUL MIND’ GUY WITH YOUR NOBEL PRIZE IN HOT BLONDE THEOREMS AND YOUR JENNIFER CONNELLY WIFE. THIS SEMI-ATTRACTIVE BRAIN IS GETTING THE NOBEL PRIZE IN NOTHINGNESS AND while I might not have Jennifer Connelly – ALL MY MAGAZINES ARE STILL INTACT!

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