nuke the fridge

Discuss word origins and meanings.
Post Reply

nuke the fridge

Post by Ken Greenwald » Fri Jul 04, 2008 7:07 am

NUKE THE FRIDGE. I love it! In an exquisitely concise three words we have a phenomenon that would otherwise take quite a bit more to explain. Admittedly, the expression has very limited application and it likely won’t survive much past the summer (although stranger things have happened), but what a beauty it is. And at my coordinates and altitude it receives an unpaltry 35,000 Google hits.

As the following Newsweek article explains, NUKE THE FRIDGE is to movie sequels as jump the shark is to TV series.
<2008 “‘Jump the Shark,’ Meet ‘NUKE THE FRIDGE’: Early in the new "Indiana Jones" sequel, our creaky, 65-year-old hero stumbles onto a nuclear test site, and the warning siren is blaring. Panicked, surrounded by Potemkin houses, he folds himself inside the lead-lined cavity of a refrigerator. Kaboom: the blast sends Indy hurtling across the New Mexico desert, a mushroom cloud rising behind him. He lands and, logic be damned, tumbles out unscathed. The franchise, though, will never recover.

In TV land, this phenomenon is known as ‘jumping the shark: the moment when a once proud series swan-dives into putridity. It's a reference to a dreadful, late-era episode of "Happy Days" in which a water-skiing Fonz lofts himself over the fin of a great white. But Indy fans were so demoralized, they coined a new phrase just for movie-franchise meltdowns. Ergo: ‘nuking the fridge.’

The phrase was born on May 24—two days after the film opened—and it went viral on movie message boards. In barely a month, it has blown through several Web. 2.0 benchmarks: YouTube tributes, ‘fridge’ haikus, merch-hawking Web sites, ‘Word of the Day’ status on UrbanDictionary.com. "You're expecting [the movie] to be as great as you remembered it," says Beth Russell, creator of nukingthefridge.com, "and after the fridge scene, it was like, 'Oooo-K'." A new legend is born, for all the wrong reasons.”— Newsweek 14 July, page 16>
I’m a sucker for Indiana Jones, 007 (although I missed the last one), Star Wars (also missed the last one), etc., so I’ll probably break my movie fast, buy some popcorn, and settle back in expectation of being disappointed by a sequel that has NUKED THE FRIDGE. (>;)
__________________

Ken G – July 3, 2008
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

Re: nuke the fridge

Post by JerrySmile » Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:31 pm

Mind defining it right at the beginning of your posting, Ken?

Thanks.

BTW, To nuke something is to cook it in the microwave. ...
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

Re: nuke the fridge

Post by Bobinwales » Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:38 pm

JerrySmile wrote: BTW, To nuke something is to cook it in the microwave. ...
No it's not, that's zapping it.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

Re: nuke the fridge

Post by Erik_Kowal » Fri Jul 04, 2008 6:17 pm

In the USA, food cooked in the microwave can be both nuked and zapped.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: -- Looking up a word? Try OneLook's metadictionary (--> definitions) and reverse dictionary (--> terms based on your definitions)8-- Contribute favourite diary entries, quotations and more here8 -- Find new postings easily with Active Topics8-- Want to research a word? Get essential tips from experienced researcher Ken Greenwald

Re: nuke the fridge

Post by Ken Greenwald » Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:07 pm

JerrySmile wrote: Mind defining it right at the beginning of your posting, Ken?
Jerry, I didn’t define it because I thought that the above article of about 200 words, which can be read in about a minute, does a commendable job of doing just that. Your request brought to mind the cover story in this month’s issue of the Atlantic Monthly titled ‘Is Google Making Us Stupid? WHAT THE INTERNET IS DOING TO OUR BRAINS.’ And the author’s answer, as I take it, is that it is certainly changing the way most of us read and think – and he includes himself in that number. Sustained thought and ‘deep reading’ are in decline. We expect to take in information the way the Net distributes it – in a swiftly moving stream of particles. “Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.” Now we don’t even want to read articles, we want summaries of articles. “Thinking has taken on a ‘staccato’ quality, reflecting the way we quickly scans short passages of text from many sources online . . . we may well be in the midst of a sea change in the way we read and think.”
<2008 ”The Net’s influence doesn’t end at the edges of a computer screen, either. As people’s minds become attuned to the crazy quilt of Internet media, traditional media have to adapt to the audience’s new expectations. Television programs add text crawls and pop-up ads, and magazines and newspapers shorten their articles, introduce capsule summaries, and crowd their pages with easy-to-browse info-snippets. When, in March of this year, The New York Times decided to devote the second and third pages of every edition to article abstracts, its design director, Tom Bodkin, explained that the ‘shortcuts’ would give harried readers a quick ‘taste’ of the day’s news, sparing them the ‘less efficient’ method of actually turning the pages and reading the articles. Old media have little choice but to play by the new-media rules.”—Atlantic Monthly, July/August, page 60>
Ken – July 5, 2008
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

Re: nuke the fridge

Post by Tony Farg » Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:09 pm

Ken, could you please summarise your summary?
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

Re: nuke the fridge

Post by JerrySmile » Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:50 am

Ken,

Honestly speaking, I prefer this definition to the one in Newsweek:

--------
nuke the fridge

A colloquialism used to delineate the precise moment at which a cinematic franchise has crossed over from remote plausibility to self parodying absurdity, usually indicating a low point in the series from which it is unlikely to recover.

A reference to one of the opening scenes of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, in which the titular hero manages to avoid death by nuclear explosion by hiding inside a kitchen refrigerator.

The film is widely recognised by fans as a major departure from the rest of the series both in terms of content and quality.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.p ... the+fridge
--------

Thanks.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

Re: nuke the fridge

Post by Ken Greenwald » Sun Jul 06, 2008 5:01 pm

Jerry, Glad you found what you were looking for. This is certainly a clear and concise definition as opposed to an extremely brief magazine article. And who knows, with a little further effort perhaps it could be reduced down to a caption and a cartoon. (<;)
________________

Ken – July 6, 2008
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

Re: nuke the fridge

Post by JANE DOErell » Mon Jul 28, 2008 3:18 pm

The nytimes.com http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/28/busin ... odayspaper has a discussion of origin and current use of "nuke the fridge". I believe the origin discussion has already been discussed above but the discussion of the scope of current popularity may be new.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

ACCESS_END_OF_TOPIC
Post Reply