Tuesday, October 25, 2011

An Annotated Guide to the Top Gear Jag-you-ar episode

More highlights in European history and culture as gleaned through three British boys geeking out over Jags.

Reference: Speaking of the MK 2: "It was glamorous enough for David Bailey and genteel enough for Inspector Morse."
Heh: David Royston Bailey, CBE, is a "noted fashion photographer" credited with helping create the "Swinging London" culture of the mod-fabulous 1960s. Not only was the sexually voracious photog in Blow-Up likely based on him, Austin Powers owes a lot to Bailey as well.

Bailey, presumably after he has lost his mojo.

Inspector Morse, however, is fictional. He's the titular hero of a series of detective novels by Colin Dexter, and also the star of a television series of the same name. He's noted for his posh tastes, including poetry, Wagner, and yep, Jaguars.

I'm getting more of an Austin Powers vibe from this guy.

Reference: Guest, MP Boris Johnson, is a part-time car writer for GQ. During his interview, he compares his writing to Jeremy Clarkson's by remarking, "I'm like Aeschylus feasting on scraps from the rich banquet of Homer."
Heh: Getting pretty high-brow there, Top Gear! Aeschylus is an ancient Greek tragedian. You probably know him for Prometheus Bound, if you're into that kind of thing. Homer, the blind epic poet who basically influenced the whole of the Western canon (you probably know him for the Iliad and the Odyssey, even if you're not into that kind of thing), was a forerunner (superior?) of Aeschylus by default. But in particular, they both deal with the character of Agamemnon. So in this simile, Jeremy Clarkson is Homer, Boris Johnson is Aeschylus, and Jaguars are Agamemnon.

He does project bling.

Reference: JC, discussing an older model Jag: "The wheels are too narrow, so they look pinched. [Makes fish face.] Like Joyce Grenfell."

Don't worry, this British comedienne has been dead since 1979--her feelings weren't hurt.

Reference: JC, referencing an idea he had, "I had a wizard wheeze."
Heh: This phrase is a bit of British slang meaning solving a problem through an unexpected or strange situation. I had no idea this language existed outside of Harry Potter, and it makes JK's reference all the more meaningful and smart:

I'm talking about Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, of course.

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