Another cultural allusion

A recent Joe Dator New Yorker cartoon:

What does it take to comprehend (and then enjoy) this cartoon? A Martian would need to know about  texting and the language conventions available to texters. My 10-year-old grand-daughter would get that much, but would still be baffled by the cultural allusion.

Which is to the movie Taxi Driver, which I am quite sure my grand-daughter has not seen. From  Wikipedia:

Taxi Driver is a 1976 American vigilante film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Paul Schrader. Set in New York City soon after the end of the Vietnam War, the film stars Robert De Niro and features Jodie Foster, Harvey Keitel, Cybill Shepherd, Peter Boyle, and Albert Brooks.

… The catchphrase “You talkin’ to me?” has become a pop culture icon. In 2005, it was chosen as #10 on the American Film Institute’s AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Movie Quotes. In the scene, [Travis] Bickle is looking into a mirror at himself, imagining a confrontation which would give him a chance to draw his gun. He says the following line: ” You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? Then who the hell else are you talkin’ to? You talkin’ to me? Well I’m the only one here. Who the fuck do you think you’re talking to?”

Roger Ebert called it “the truest line in the film… Travis Bickle’s desperate need to make some kind of contact somehow — to share or mimic the effortless social interaction he sees all around him, but does not participate in.”

A frightening, creepy moment.

One Response to “Another cultural allusion”

  1. Two linguistics cartoons | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] Dator has appeared once before on this blog, on 3/6/14. Information about him on his website, here, with a link to an Inkspill interview with him, […]

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: