In certain circles, Indiana Jones brings a rush of pleasure and nostalgia. In others it might be Harry Potter, Game of Thrones or Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
Or even … Dysan vacuum cleaners, Sad Keanu, Liverpool Football Club, Freddie Mercury, The West Wing, Stephen Fry, a particular political party or the bongo playing physicist Richard Feynman.
When we deploy Cultural Touchstones in our stories, we are both setting out a marker and building a bridge (for certain groups of people).
If I talk about Aaron Sorkin’s work on the The West Wing, there’s a certain population of people who will immediately get it, and draw closer to me and my work.
These effects are small in the scheme of things, but as we know … small builds big.