Not So Dynamite

posted by Zach Patton "Vote for Pedro." Ligers. Tina the Llama. Nunchuck skills. If these words don't make any sense to you, you ...
by | January 17, 2006

Napoleon_background_full_1_1 posted by Zach Patton

"Vote for Pedro." Ligers. Tina the Llama. Nunchuck skills.

If these words don't make any sense to you, you probably haven't seen 2004's "Napoleon Dynamite." But you must not have been paying attention to state government news either.

"Napoleon Dynamite" became a cult classic pretty much as soon as it came out. Its loser characters and off-the-wall humor made it hugely popular, and one of the most quoted movies in a really long time.

But in the past year or so, some public officials have started co-opting the movie and its hipster cache. Last April, the Idaho Legislature approved a resolution praising the film, specifically noting such accomplishments as "Napoleon's tetherball dexterity" and "Kip's relationship with LaFawnduh [which] is a tribute to e-commerce and Idaho's technology-driven industry."

And in September, Utah tried to hip up its state fair with a Napoleon Dynamite theme.

Now, Alaska Gov. Frank Murkowski is borrowing a phrase from the film as his catch phrase for the 2006 legislative session. (Side note: since when did legislative sessions have official catch phrases?)

Enough! It was mildly funny in the beginning. And referencing the movie did sort of establish a tongue-in-cheek hipness. (Surely we can all agree that nothing screams "hipster cred" like a joint resolution from the Idaho legislature.)

But please! Stop quoting this movie! It has surpassed its shelf life (perhaps even a little sooner because of all the attention from state governments). Public officials should all agree to move on -- or at least start referencing more recent films.

Zach Patton | Executive Editor | zpatton@governing.com