PARIS: Paris is here. Couldn’t wait to jump in there and take over, could you? RORY: Tell it to the Timex salesman.
Timex, global watch manufacturing company founded in 1854 as the Waterbury Clock Company in Waterbury, Connecticut. In 1944, the company became insolvent but was reformed into Timex Corporation, now headquartered in Middlebury, Connecticut. The name was inspired by Time magazine and Kleenex, I guess because they are two successful products.
LORELAI: And dental floss. And paper towels. And People magazine. We’re really hungry.
People is an American weekly magazine headquartered in New York City that specialises in celebrity news and human-interest stories. It was the brainchild of Time magazine CEO Andrew Heiskell, and the core of the founding editorial team were from Life magazine, which had closed down a little more than a year earlier.
It is one of the most successful and popular magazines in the US, and is perhaps best-known for its annual special issues naming the “World’s Most Beautiful”, “Best and Worst Dressed”, “Sexiest Man Alive”, and “Most Intriguing People”. In 2003, it judged the most beautiful/sexy people that year to be Halle Berry and Johnny Depp.
Joan Didion (1934-2021), journalist and author, considered one of the pioneers of New Journalism, along with such figures as Tom Wolfe and Hunter S. Thompson. Didion’s career began in the 1950s when she won an essay contest sponsored by Vogue.
Her writing in the 1960s and ’70s focused on the counterculture, Hollywood lifestyle, and Californian culture and history. In the 1980s and ’90s, her writing concentrated on the subtext of political and social rhetoric. In1991, she wrote the earliest mainstream media article to suggest the Central Park Five, previously discussed, were innocent.
She won the 2005 National Book Award for her memoir about the year following the death of her husband, The Year of Magical Thinking. In premiered as a Broadway play in 2007. In 2013, she was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama.
At this time, Didion had just won the St Louis Literary Prize in 2002, and had recently released her 2001 book of essays, Political Fictions. Her essays on the history and culture of California, Where I Was From, was due to be published in September 2003.
Joan Didion was the first woman to give the commencement address at the University of California in 1975, which is presumably why Paris thinks of her. Her address began with a few charming anecdotes about her own youth, before she launched into a blistering attack on her generation in the 1960s, and its refusal to face up to reality.
A quote from the speech that I think Paris would have warmed to:
“Planting a tree can be a useful and pleasant thing to do. Planting a tree is not a way of life. Planting a tree as a philosophical mode is just not good enough.”
There is no record of her giving a speech at Choate at any time, so it seems as if they didn’t get her after all.
[Rory, Lane and Lorelai are walking through Stars Hollow. They cross a street]
LANE: Are you serious? …We can really rehearse in your garage?
LORELAI: In exchange for the promise that you never pose naked on the cover of Rolling Stone no matter how much trouble your career is in.
Rolling Stone magazine has quite a tradition of musicians and actors posing nude or semi-clad on their cover. A few examples are John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1968, Madonna in 1991, The Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1992, and Blind Melon in 1993. Most recently from the perspective of this episode, Christina Aguilera had appeared nude on the cover in November 2002.
In this episode, Lane’s problems finding a rehearsal space for the band are solved when Lorelai generously allows them to rehearse in her garage. Given how noisy bands can be while rehearsing, this is an extremely kind offer on Lorelai’s part.
Alfred E. Neuman, the fictitious mascot and cover boy of the humour magazine Mad. The image had been used since the 19th century in advertising, and for Roosevelt’s political campaign in the 1930s. Mad magazine claimed the image in 1954, and named him “Alfred E. Neuman” in 1956. Since his debut, he has appeared on all but a handful of the magazine’s covers.
In 1967, the magazine published pictures of joke coins and a three dollar bill with Alfred E. Neuman’s face on it. Despite being an obvious satire on coin collecting, some readers cut the notes out of the magazine and were able to use them in Las Vegas money-changing machines, leading to federal authorities moving to stamp out this counterfeit operation.
Mad magazine went on to publish fake Monopoly money, and smaller versions of the three dollar bill which were given out as novelties at trade shows and conventions.
When Luke gets home, he finds Jess reading this book.
We Owe You Nothing: Punk Planet – The Collected Interviews is edited by Daniel Sinker, and was published in 2001. It’s a collection of interviews from Punk Planet zine, which we already know Jess is a fan of, and a nice bit of continuity. There are interviews with people such as Jello Biafra, Kathleen Hanna, Henry Rollins, Ian MacKaye from Fugazi, and Noam Chomsky.
DEBBIE: Well, I felt obligated to tell the other moms about your little performance at school before they heard about it elsewhere.
LORELAI: Really, ’cause usually I like to meet up at Sardi’s after a performance, wait for the reviews. I hope The Times liked me.
Sardi’s, continental restaurant in the theatre district of Manhattan in New York City. It was founded by Vincent Sardi Sr and his wife Jenny Pallera, and first opened in 1927. It is known for the caricatures of Broadway celebrities on its walls, of which there are over a thousand. Sardi died in 1969, and the restaurant declined in the 1980s, being sold in 1986. After closing temporarily in 1990, it reopened with new staff.
The restaurant is considered an institution in Broadway theatre. It’s known as a place to gather before and after the theatre hangout, as well as a location for opening night parties, and was where the idea of the Tony Award was devised. Lorelai sarcastically puts herself in the role of an actor waiting at Sardi’s for the reviews of their performance in the New York Times.
LANE: This is the most radical thing a Kim has done since my cousin Nam got caught reading Maxim at summer camp.
Maxim, a men’s magazine launched in the UK by Felix Dennis in 1995, but based in New York City since 1997. It’s known for its photographs of prominent singers, actors, and female models. It has been criticised for its sexual objectification of women, and publishes a Hot 100 List – in 2002, #1 was actress Jennifer Garner, the first time someone had debuted in the top spot.
Nam is a very popular Korean boy’s name, which means “south”.