2007: the year in catch phrases


As you begin to think about plans for New Year's, the Phoenix's hyper-literate James Parker has some thoughts on "Don't Tase me, bro," and other top catch phrases of the departing year:

In 2007, they gave a monkey a typewriter, and he typed only two words: Chuck Norris. HA HA HA! Dear me . . . (dries eyes).

You’re aware of that particular joke-strand or “meme,” right? The Chuck Norris Fact? Started online? It got turned into a book (The Truth About Chuck Norris, by Ian Spector)? Even Mike Huckabee, that huge Christian square, is in on that one — he used it in one of his god-awful campaign ads. Yes, 2007 was the year that viral humor hit critical mass: from office to office and screen to screen, we all partook of the same wriggling hysterium of clips, gaffes, obscenities, atrocities, YouTuberies, and fragments of folk wisdom.

Was this good for America? Absolutely not. It cannot be a healthy development that the entire country is now tittering or sucking its teeth in unison. For me, it was Tay Zonday, accidental YouTube sensation (12 million viewings!), who best captured the phenomenon in his prophetically downbeat electro-ballad “Chocolate Rain”: “Choco-late RRRRAAAINNN!/Cross the world and back it’s all the same/Choco-late RRRRAAAINNN!/Angels cry and shake their heads in shame.” ....

CATCH PHRASE “My view is, we ought to double Guantánamo.”
ORIGINAL CONTEXT Mitt Romney’s absurdist punch line during the GOP candidates' debate scored a direct hit on the brainstem of the Republican base: approval rumbled through the seats like flatulence, and soft pink hands flew together in eager applause. If anything, the line was too good: so smoothly did it breach the bounds of sanity, one was left wondering why the Mormonator chose to stop there. Double Guantánamo? Why not triple it? Why not quadruple it? Why not build a waterboard the size of New Hampshire and float it out into the Gulf of Mexico? Why not clip electrodes to the gonads of every man in America right now, today, just in case? Doesn’t anybody round here have any vision, for Christ’s sake?
USE IN EVERYDAY LIFE AS a vote for monstrous excess. A variation on “go for broke.”
EXAMPLE “I’m really glad you agreed to get high with me tonight, Roger. But what do you think we should use: this big pile of cocaine or these bags of heroin?”
“My view is, we ought to double Guantánamo.”

CATCH PHRASE “2 girls 1 cup.”
ORIGINAL CONTEXT Well, if you don’t already know about this, I’m certainly not going to explain it to you. Flex that naughty Google-finger, but beware — as I’ve written before, there are things on the Internet that, once seen, will cause dogs to bark at you in the street for the next two weeks. Maximum disgustingness, maximum penetration. And now there is even a secondary wave of “reaction” videos (people gagging, fainting, screaming in horror, etc., as they experience the original clip). Further, a colleague on the West Coast reports seeing a pair of homeless men holding a handmade sign: “2 bums 1 cup.” In viral-marketing terms, that’s a bull’s-eye: once you reach the indigent layer, you’re made.
USE IN EVERYDAY LIFE AS an indicator of unseemly and degrading intimacy.
EXAMPLE “I saw Scott sharing his chicken salad with Ariel. Gross, right?”
“Word. That’s totally 2 girls 1 cup.”

CATCH PHRASE “Don’t Tase me, bro!”
ORIGINAL CONTEXT “By the time 2008 rolls around,” wrote our own Adam Reilly in September, “ ‘Don’t Tase me, bro!’ will have made ‘Where’s the beef?’ look downright timeless.” How wrong can an eagle-eyed and otherwise-faultless media correspondent be? Campus robo-cops may have given University of Florida student Andrew Meyer no quarter when he disrupted a speech by John “Mussolini” Kerry, but a grateful nation took him to its heart. Meyer’s blubbered and futile cry for mercy reaches out Job-like from the core of the human condition: who among us, threatened with the imminent application of reality’s mega-voltage zap gun, has not thought or uttered something similar?
USE IN EVERYDAY LIFE AS a retort to any perceived attempt to intimidate or apply pressure of an authoritarian nature.
EXAMPLE “Hey, this is a disabled parking space! You’re not disabled!”
“Don’t Tase me, bro.”

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