Thursday, February 12, 2015

Left Shark and the Lexicon

At the beginning of the month, people everywhere sat in front of their newly bought, over expensive televisions and watched three hours of commercials, and in the middle of it all, a football game broke out.  Which saved the day, because without the Super Bowl, and Half-Time show, the world would have taken a collective Prozac because they were all depressed.  I've never seen a Super Bowl with commercials that inept, nor commercial and business advisers get nearly every idea wrong.  It was a malaise of social consciousness and utter failure.  It will be a miracle if Nationwide gets a positive ad campaign going in the next 6 months because of that one commercial.

Which is why, however exciting the game was, it was Katy Perry who saved the Super Bowl, and more specifically, Left Shark who should have driven off in the car (along with Malcolm Butler, who eventually did get it) that Tom Brady received.  There's so few times in pop culture when a term can be instantly inserted into the lexicon of idioms and sayings.  The presence of cable TV and the Internet makes it all the more possible, however, and it goes without saying that, while the Super Bowl will be forgotten in years to come, if you say "Left Shark," people will know what you are talking about and what it means.

Left Shark: A person or thing that is slightly out of sync, doing its own thing, out of step with the rest of the world. The person or thing named as such may be intentional or accidental. Something that
Thoreau would call "marching to the beat of a different drum." The Antonym for this is, of course, Right Shark, someone or something that is following along the proscribed procedures or directions.

It's amazing, that for all the technical marvels done with the Halftime Show, with things that come straight out of a Olympic Opening Ceremony, very little of it is actually talked about.  The lion Perry rode was astounding! Made me think of an old Magic: the Gathering card... but I digress.  What is talked about, probably more than anything except the last minute of the game itself, is the Left Shark's dance moves, or lack thereof.  It made me think about other sayings popped into the cultural lexicon during events such as this.

I thought to myself when hearing about Katy Perry performing the Halftime Show that, if a "wardrobe malfunction occurred, it might well be fatal."  This is due to fireworks coming out of her jumblies on her "Firework" music video.  The term "wardrobe malfunction," of course, comes from a fateful Halftime Show some years ago where Janet Jackson's breast was exposed after part of the costume was removed by Justin Timberlake.  Now the term is used whenever clothing is worn that accidentally exposes parts of the anatomy that is not normally supposed to be seen.

Then there is the term "sidebar," which everyone glued to the proceedings of the O.J. Simpson trial (not surprisingly also dealing with football, to a degree) learned was a conversation had by Judge Ito and the head lawyers in such a manner that the jurors could not hear what was being said without them having to leave the courtroom.  Now, of course, you can say, "that was just sidebar," meaning any conversation or happening that occurs outside of the normal routine of things.

Of course, there are countless sayings from movies and TV shows, but I was thinking about things that happened live, where the introduction to the idiom was instantaneous throughout the country. Can't think of any others at the moment.... how about you???

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