31 Comments

  1. I don’t think it merits a geezer tag. it’s part of our culture. It’s also a part of our history and no more likely to be unknown than the Appian Way.

  2. I had to look up “Groot”, so I don’t think it is just a geezer issue. There are people who read (or have read) comic books, and there are many others who are blissfully ignorant of the intricacies of comic book lore(*). Even if a particular character has appeared in a movie within the last decade, I don’t think that is an automatic “cultural” qualification.
    P.S. I know enough about Superman, the Fantastic Four, and the Silver Surfer to appreciate all of the jokes and references in the “Incredibles” movies, and that’s all I need to know. Beyond a few of Wolverine’s characteristics, I know virtually nothing about the X-Men, and I have no interest in changing that. The same goes for the whole library of D.C. Comics characters. It’s one thing to read and enjoy an ephemeral action story, but trying to keep track of multiple re-writes and ret-cons they have employed just to recycle old characters and keep them all current in a single framework is just not my cup of tea.

  3. Kilby, Groot was a character in the Guardians of the Galaxy films and appeared in the last two Avengers films.

  4. I had never heard of Groot until I made the mistake of seeing Guardians of the Galaxy, 5-6 years ago.

  5. @ Bill – Wikipedia claims that Groot leveraged his four movie appearances to become an Internet meme, but that must have occurred in one of those social media platforms that I avoid like the plague. I still don’t think he qualifies as something that anyone needs to know about.

  6. But, in case anyone missed the implication, I believe the question of geezerhood had to do with Route 66.

  7. I had heard of Groot, a wooden character in some films I have seen, and obviously heard of Route 66.

    But Vanna White was a complete mystery to me, although she has been alive my entire life, so I had to look her up.

  8. I’m so old that it didn’t OCCUR to me that “Route 66” might be a geezer reference.

  9. Maybe we need a “spring chicken” category for references too new for us geezers. I wouldn’t have figured Groot fell into that category, but I’ve obviously been proven wrong.

    (And why does my spell checker not choke on Groot?

  10. I’m trying to make some sort of pun about Arthur’s spell checker knowing the character name so well that when the spell checker senses it, it’s passed as O.K. without said checker needing to examine its own records. In other words,

    “Tastes Groot — Less Filing.”

    But I probably shouldn’t have tried (and the pun may itself be a geezer reference now).

  11. Maybe. The highway closed 35! years ago. The song and especially the TV show are geezer contenders.
    Groot is anti-geezer as we’ve demonstrated.
    The bindle is comics page shorthand at this point.

  12. I hope that no one who eschews social media and revels in his ignorance of popular fiction would not then criticize a comic creator who uses a very popular character without thorough explanation.

  13. Oh, and Hilburn got the year Vanna White’s first child was born correct (though she suffered a miscarriage in 1992), but that looks nothing like Vanna White.

  14. Powers: Indeed, including the four-legged pants the new mother is wearing! (Yes, I realize it’s supposed to be some weird skirt, but once you see it, cannot unsee…)

  15. @ Powers – I have no objections to anyone drawing a comic strip based on a 60 year old comic book character. I just don‘t think he has any right to expect that everyone will get the joke.

  16. Kilby, while Groot was introduced 60 years ago, he became famous in a 2014 movie (3rd highest-grossing film of that year), and has been in a few since. That’s where I know him from (plus innumerable references to him online).

  17. If you live in any community where Route 66 once passed, you are very familiar with it no matter your age, because it’s a tourist thing. Even tiny towns will have a sign or something, because people still set out to drive the length of it as a bucket list item. (The movie Cars was a thinly veiled tourism ad for Route 66, in fact.)

  18. >Kilby, while Groot was introduced 60 years ago, he became famous in a 2014 movie (3rd highest-grossing film of that year), and has been in a few since. That’s where I know him from (plus innumerable references to him online).

    that’s where *everyone* knows him from. The “Marvel Cinematic Universe” has, whether fogeys like us want to admit it, has saturated pop culture

    > I just don‘t think he has any right to expect that everyone will get the joke.

    He doesn’t. He just expects 90% of the readers between the ages of 14 and 50 to recognize the name and image of Groot from MCU. And I think that is a very reasonable expectation.

    What is possibly less reasonable is the expect more than a third of the readers in that range recognize Rte 66.

    We may not like it but I believe those are the numbers.

    By the way, it’s only the deep deep comic nerds, and those who scour the archives after the fact who know of Groot from before the 2014 movies. (He was actually a villain in his first appearance. And he had a full english vocabulary and spoke sentences and was understood. And he died in the end.)

  19. There were even a popular TV show (1960-64) and a famous song (1957) about Route 66. Still today, Route 66 kitsch still sells well at certain tourist shops. Who ever heard of Kingman, Arizona, before that song came out?

  20. A few years ago, in California, I came upon the end point of Route 66.

    Then a couple of years ago when I was in Chicago, and I found out the start point was about half a mile away, I walked through the frigid Chicago… um… end-of-April because I obviously had to complete my set of photos.

    Seriously, what is the matter with Chicago? The last weekend in April, come on…

    And what’s the matter with me that I hadn’t realized this before I packed shorts for the trip? All these Chicagoans, dressed for Alaskan weather (which might actually have been warmer that day), and me dressed for the Fourth of July picnic.

  21. How could those be Vanna White’s i’s? She only deals with capital letters on “Wheel of Fortune.”

  22. Also, if those were sans-serif capital i’s (as they are here and most other forums) they could be confused with lower-case L’s

  23. CIDU BIll, thanks for sharing those photos. And yes, Chicago’s spring and fall weather are totally unpredictable.

  24. Ok – In the Marvel movie we saw it was “Baby Groot” and I made the presumption that dad or mom Groot had been in one or more of the Galaxy movies, had died and they are taking care of him.

    So if he is Groot why is he called Baby Groot – has he not grown up into Groot yet?

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