5 Pop Culture Images That Warped Our Psyches for Life

#2. Greatness Comes in Gangs

Anyone reading my column knows that I'm a huge David Bowie fan, but while I'm a huge fan, I never wanted to be David Bowie.

OK, maybe I misspoke.

I guess what I'm saying is, Bowie's greatness was a bit of a fluke for me because normally I'm not drawn to solo stars. I always thought greatness came in gangs. I didn't want to be one man alone on stage. I wanted to be part of something bigger. Part of something huge. What defined greatness like that for me?

There is nothing cooler than being a Beatle. Being a Beatle not only beats being a member of any other band, it beats being a member of anything. I'd rather be a Beatle than a Marx Brother or member of the Animal House fraternity, or a Ghostbuster. But y'know what? If I couldn't be a Beatle, then I would rather be a Marx Brother or Ghostbuster than, say, Elvis.

Yes, even young Elvis.

I'd rather be in Monty Python than be Louis C.K. Is it cooler? There's no point in debating it. I saw Yellow Submarine at 4, and there was no turning back. A member of a gang, but a gang that makes art instead of violence, is where it's at. I could tell you that at 4, and nothing's changed.

#1. Adult-Sized Animal Costumes are Terrifying

For my money, the scariest scene in The Shining is not Jack Nicholson crashing through a bathroom door with an ax, or elevators spilling blood, or even those freaky dead twin girls. No. Without question the scariest scene in the movie is this:

Yeah, what is that? As a child I did not know. As a child, it made no sense. Shelley Duval reacted like she'd seen a nine-headed dragon. I didn't realize the fear came from not being alone in a place she thought she was alone in. And I certainly did not realize that the giant dog costume guy was blowing the guy in the tuxedo. Apparently in the book, that's a more substantial BDSM gimp-type character who performs tricks for decadent, hedonistic sex parties back in the day.

But none of that came into play. I saw the strange image, I saw Duvall's reaction, and I heard the music. And that all mixed with something unknown and sexual that I in no way could comprehend, and that resulted in horror. It's probably why we like making fun of furries now. They're terrifying. In fact, the adult-sized animal costume has become so terrifying for me that not even The Beatles could set it right:


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