Doubly obscure

On this day of all days, which marks the passing of time in a more than usually dramatic way, I was reminded of how culture moves on in surprising ways.

Today I heard a song by Duran Duran, and I was reminded of when the source of their name was one of those deliciously obscure pop cultural factoids. Back when they were one of the biggest bands in the world, true fans knew that they had named themselves after the villain in the 1968 Roger Vadim sci/fi film Barbarella.

Now, among many people, the band Duran Duran itself is an obscure pop cultural factoid. So the full lineage of the term “Duran Duran” is doubly obscure.

There are lots of examples of such doubly obscure pop cultural references. A few might come to your mind while you are reading this. But I wonder whether there are any pop cultural references that are triply obscure .

3 Responses to “Doubly obscure”

  1. Steve says:

    Another potential example: the latest Paul Thomas Anderson film, Licorice Pizza is named after a former record store chain in southern California. This in turn took its name from a joke on the album “Bud & Travis In Concert 1960”.

  2. J. Peterson says:

    I suspect this essay describes a situation meeting your criteria:

    (Opening line: “I’m going to draw a line through 1930s agitprop, Ronald Reagan, methane-breathing zombie space aliens, the Mozilla logo, Barack Obama and the International Communist Conspiracy.”)

  3. admin says:

    Great essay! Oddly, nowhere in either the essay or the comments does anybody point out that “They Live” is based on the wonderful 1963 Ray Nelson short story Eight O’Clock in the Morning. It’s one of my favorite stories, and I read it long before “They Live” came out. I was thrilled when John Carpenter turned it into a movie.

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